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December 9, 2009

What Is AdWords Quality Score And Why Is It Important?

If you’re like many Google advertisers, you’ll be very frustrated by your AdWords Quality Score.

You’ll be regularly hammering your fist against the table with anger because your score is stuck at 1 or 2 and no matter what you try, you just can’t seem to get it to rise.

But what is AdWords Quality Score, why is it important and how is it calculated?

Once you understand the answers to these questions, you’ll be able to improve the Quality Score for all your keywords and save money too.

What is AdWords Quality Score?

Just think about it, what is the purpose of Quality Score?

Google prides its self on providing users with relevant search results to queries. Quality Score is their way to ensure that only the most relevant AdWords ads appear to users.

Why Is Your AdWords Quality Score Important?

The reality is that AdWords calculates a Quality Score for a keyword every time it matches a search query. In general, the higher a keywords Quality Score the lower your bidding costs and the higher the position your ad will appear.

What this means to you is that the higher the Quality Score for your keywords, the less you pay in bids.

How Is AdWords Quality Score Calculated?

If you’re like most people, when you start using AdWords for the first time you might find the way your Quality Score is calculated and keeps changing very confusing.

What is actually happening is that when you create your brand new campaign, Google calculates a provisional Quality Score for each of your keywords based on how the keywords you choose have performed in the past when used by other advertisers and how relevant your ad is to those keywords.

The right thing to do therefore when setting up a new campaign is to divide your keywords into small ad groups of 10 or less closely related keywords. Each ad group should trigger at least one relevant ad that includes within it the most popular keyword in the ad group, ideally in the title and in the first line of the text.

The landing page of your ad should also point to the most closely related page of your web site for those keywords and not your home page.

As time passes by, Google will evaluate your landing page and the rest of your web site.

Therefore your entire web site or at least a significant amount of the content on it needs to be on the general theme of the keywords you’ve selected.

Now, as your account starts to mature, so the Quality Score of your individual keywords will change based on their performance. If the ad your keywords trigger has a high click-through-rate then it’s likely that your Quality Score will rise, poor click-through-rate and it will probably fall.

As a rule-of-thumb you should be aiming for a click-through-rate of at least 1% for all your keywords.

What Is Google Actually Looking For?

The actual formula for calculating a keywords Quality Score is a closely guarded secret. However, we do know what Google looks at when making the calculation.

Your AdWords Quality Score is calculated differently depending on if you’re using Google and the search network or the content network.

For Google and the search network, factors used to calculate Quality Score include:)

  • The historical click-through-rate of your keyword and the ad it triggers.
  • The historical click-through-rate of your entire account. The historical click-through-rate of your domain.
  • The quality of your landing page.
  • The relevance of the keywords to the ads in your Adgroup.
  • The relevance of the keyword and matched ad to the search query.
  • Your accounts performance in the region you’re targeting.

For content network, factors include:)

  • The ads past performance on the target and similar sites.
  • The relevance of your ads and keywords in the ad group to the target site.
  • The quality of your landing page.

The best way to improve your keyword Quality Scores is by optimizing your account. This entails making sure that each of your ad groups contain descriptive ads all advertising the same product or service, and that each keyword in the ad group closely relates to the ads.


Adrian Key is editor of the AdWords Adviser, a blog dedicated to making AdWords more profitable for you. Learn more about improving your Quality Score and discover resources, ideas and tips to improve your AdWords campaign at: ==>> http://www.adwords-adviser.co.uk/

3 Responses to “What Is AdWords Quality Score And Why Is It Important?

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    avatar preeti says:

    great info…quality score is related to bids …i think

    Thanks for sharing a great article. Really knowledgeable about the adwords parameters for gaining superior campaign data.

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