One of the most critical aspects of Google AdWords management is your ability to understand Quality Score and how it affects your account (and your business).

In this article, I am addressing the Quality Score used during a Google Search. Increasing Quality Score Saves Money

Google’s AdWords Quality Score is used to determine how relevant your ad is to a visitor searching on a given term.  Google has developed, over time, algorithms to help them present the most relevant results to visitors based on many historical performance factors and on existing relevance factors.

In their quest to present the most relevant results to their visitors, Google rewards high quality ad / keyword combinations with higher positions and lower costs.

When a search query is performed there are two steps. 

  1. The first page bid + your keyword (including match type) are used to determine if you are eligible to be shown on a particular search phrase.  In other words – “Are you In the Game?” 
    • The “first page bid” is an estimated metric that exists in your account with each keyword and is only displayed if your particular bid does not equal or exceed the bid estimate.  When Quality Score is used to calculate the first page bid, it does not consider your ad copy or the search query itself. 
  2. Once you are eligible, your Quality Score + your Max CPC are used to determine where your ad will be positioned on the page – “Ad Rank” and how much you will be charged for the click – “Actual Cost Per Click (CPC)”.

Quality score is calculated at the Keyword level and is affected by:

  • The relevance of the keyword and the ad copy to the search phrase
  • The Historical Click Through Rate (CTR)
    • CTR in your current account
    • CTR of the keyword throughout all accounts
    • CTR of any account using your URL in the ads
    • CTR in your account in the geographic region you are targeting
  • The Quality of your Landing Page

The algorithm takes into consideration the effect ad position has on CTR and adjusts the importance accordingly.

It is important to note that quality score is used differently within placements on the content network and we will discuss that next week.

If you’d like more information on the Quality Score, check out Google’s Improvements to Ads Quality Post or contact a professional PPC Management Company.

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