What is a Google Quality Score? Get Your Head Out of the Sand and Pay Attention

dog butt - piebald dog - head in the sand - Disruptive Advertising
March 13, 2014 By AdWords

Get your head out of the sand and learn how the Google Quality Score can help you succeed.
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Google AdWords claims they just want to show the most relevant material to the people who will see your ads. I think we can all agree that we want the same thing for our potential clients.

Nothing irks me more then when somebody can cheat the system and perform better than you with a less relevant product or service.

To solve this problem, Google came up with the quality score. This basically is a rating that estimates how relevant your ads, keywords and landing pages are to the people searching.

I’ll give you an example: If you sell red ping pong paddles and someone types in a search query for “red ping pong paddles”, Google wants to make sure the ads (and subsequent landing pages) are about red ping pong paddles.

Simple, right? It wouldn’t be good for Google (or for users and advertisers), if a company that sells blue kayaking paddles is showing up ahead of our extremely relevant red ping pong paddle ads/product.

This brings us back to the Google AdWords quality score.

What is it? Basically a simple (yet complex) algorithm that Google made up to rate our keywords (between 1-10, 1 being the best) each and every time a search query is made. It’s calculated by looking at a combination of the following:

  • Ad relevance: Make sure your ads are relevant to the keywords.
  • Expected clickthrough rate: Are people going to click on your ad? Again, is it relevant to the search query?
  • Display URL past clickthrough rate and account history: The higher the CTR, the better your quality score will be.
  • Landing page quality: Just make sure your landing page is relevant to the ad and keyword.
  • Devices: Google gives you different quality scores for the various devices you are targeting.
  • Targeting: Whether you are successful or not in the areas you target your ads in.

Google Quality Score Benefits

So why do you care about this score? Well, if your ads and landing pages aren’t relevant, Google is going to slap you with worse quality scores and that’s going to hurt. Here are a few of the things it affects:

  • Ad position: A bad quality score could mean poor ad position. And you should know what happens to your CTR if you aren’t showing up in the top ad positions.
  • Cheaper clicks: A great quality score will lower the cost per click; I don’t think any of my clients would complain about that!
  • Lower first page and top of page bid estimates: Again…things get cheaper and easier to rank better.

In the end, I think the Google quality score is one of the ‘restrictions’ that I agree with. It makes for a better user and advertiser experience…people see what they are looking for and advertisers can’t cheat the system (as easily at least). I agree with this. This makes life better, and anything that makes life better…well, I throw my hat into that ring.

For more detail on the Google quality score, you can check out Google’s blog article here.

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John Thuet

VP of Product & SMB
John is our extreme, all around, athletic dude and beard enthusiast. He loves the outdoors and is currently obsessed with rock climbing. His major pet peeves include paying too much for food and being late.

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