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What is Google's Adwords Quality Score?

Mar 23, 2016, 15:43 PM | Published under Google AdWords , Internet Marketing by Michael Hodgdon

Quality ScoreGoogle Adwords is undoubtedly a great way to maximize Return on Investment (ROI) online. Advertisers and marketers do not have to waste money by throwing advertisements into thin air in the hopes they reach a relevant customer. Customers don't have to deal with the frustration of seeing an ad they are completely uninterested in. Google Adwords works for everyone--marketer and customer alike. But how do you make the most of your Google Adwords performance? 

Having a high Ad rank ultimately determines how, where, and if your ad will be seen. Ad rank is calculated by bid amount, Quality Score, and extensions and other ad formats. Of course, the bid is something pretty straightforward--the higher you bid, the more likely you are to receive a high Ad rank. What's a little more vague is the Quality Score and how the components therein--relevance, clickthrough rates, and landing page experience--impact your score. 

Google Launches New Version of AdWords API

With AdWords API, developers can create programs that make the management of large AdWords accounts more efficient. In the latest version of AdWords API, users are now able to download Quality Score information by and large. 

Using the new version of AdWords API, Brad Geddes of AdAlysis was able to breakdown the Quality Score and determine the impact each factor has on the overall score. In an article he wrote for Search Engine Land, he developed a simple formula by which you can determine the breakdown of your Quality Score.

The Quality Score is affected by several factors: CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience. Until now, it was unclear how much of an impact each of these factors had on the Quality Score and what areas should be targeted for improvement. Now, determining where your ad's weaknesses lie is as simple as plugging in numbers. 

The Importance of The Quality Score

Importance of Quality ScoreThe Quality Score is, as the name implies, a score from 1-10 (1 being the lowest, 10 the highest) that determines the quality of every search keyword in an AdWords account. Having a high-quality score decreases the cost-per-click for the specified ad and increases your average ad position. Although the CPC can vary depending on what other companies you are competing with, in general, having a higher Quality Score can boost your position without putting stress on your budget. 

Quality Score Breakdown

Beforehand, determining the impact each factor (CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience) had on each keyword and Ad was difficult. One would have to hover over each keyword to see the factors at hand, and even then, there wasn't a numerical breakdown. Let's say you had a quality score of 10/10. It wouldn't give you a number that determines what score you got per factor. Instead, it would tell you whether each factor was below average, average, or above average. 

The team at AdAlysis was able to analyze and dissect many Quality Scores to determine how each of these individual factors is weighed. This will help you to figure out exactly where to apply your focus in your ad campaign:

Quality Score Anatomy  

Based on this table, it seems as if the landing page experience and the CTR have the greatest impact on the overall Quality Score. The formula to use, then, is, 1 + Landing Page Experience + Ad Relevance + CTR = Quality Score. Let's say you're above average on both Landing Page Experience and CTR, but just average on your Ad Relevance. Then you Quality Score is: 1 + 3.5 + 3.5 + 1 = 9. Of course, you knew your Quality Score beforehand, but now you understand the impact of each component on your overall score in individual, numerical values. 

Improving Your Quality Score

Improving Quality Score 

Although users are now able to implement this formula with their own Quality Scores, the methods for improving the Quality Score have not changed drastically. Having a high-quality landing page with high-impact keywords will reel in higher CTRs and a larger pool of visitors. Now, however, you can fully understand the formula behind your Quality Score and focus your efforts on the factors of greatest importance. 

What This Means for You 

With the new AdWords API, managing Quality Scores becomes a little easier. Instead of jumping on a vague notion that your ad relevance is below average and focusing your efforts on fixing that, you now understand that ad relevance has the lowest impact on the overall Quality Score. 

Dissecting the Quality Score allows you to fully understand the impact each search keyword has on your advertisements. With this formula, advertisers can effectively raise Quality Scores across the board, saving money and time, and increasing exposure all the while. 

About the Author

Mike is the COO at Infront Webworks. An online entrepreneur since 1997, he has owned or run website design / SEO, online marketing and internet advertising companies for over 15 years. Featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Colorado Springs Business Journal and with projects featured in N.Y. Times, L.A. Times, he has a solid track record of successful online undertakings. He has Digital Marketing and Marketing certifications from Cornell University, is a certified Yext Partner, Google Certified in Analytics, Tag Manager, AdWords, Online Display Advertising, Shopping and Video Advertising.

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