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What is the Google AdWords Quality Score?

March 2018

For the uninitiated, Google AdWords can be a confusing and complicated place. With a frequentlychanging algorithm and many different moving parts, there’s certainly a lot to take in. Getting a grasp on the basics can go a long way toward helping you understand your optimal Google AdWords strategy -- or why your current strategy might not be delivering the results you expect.

Related: The AdWords Budget Change: What You Should Know

When most people start out with Google AdWords, there are a few key indicators they look for. The two most obvious are cost-per-click (CPC) -- or how much you’re paying for every click you get -- and clickthrough-rate (CTR). The click-through-rate helps you determine how effective your ads really are. The key to a successful AdWords campaign is balancing a high click-through-rate with a lower cost-per-click. That being said, there are many different strategies out there, some focusing on CTR at a higher expense and others utilizing harder-to see indicators to drive success.

Among less obvious performance indicators, Quality Score is perhaps the most important. Google tracks the usefulness and quality of your ads to make sure their customers aren’t getting served irrelevant and spammy ads and invested advertisers get better results. The Quality Score can greatly impact how well your ads perform and directly affect your PCC and CTR. So, what is the Google Quality Score?

What Makes Up the Quality Score
There’s a lot that goes into calculating your score, and no one outside of Google really knows how much weight these factors are given at any particular time. We do know the main influencers. They include the relevance of your ad text, keywords, and associated landing pages, your overall CTR, and the historical performance of your AdWords account. Some of these are expected -- having irrelevant keywords tied to your ad looks bad for both you and Google.

Others are easy to overlook. A lot of AdWords users don’t realize how much the quality and relevance of their landing page matters. Google rates quality a few different ways, including by keyword relevance, site security, and loading time. A landing page that takes longer to load than Google’s standards can cause your Quality Score to drop quickly. It’s one of the most common quality pitfalls since Google started tracking site speed.

Why it Matters
The Quality Score can have a big impact on your ads’ rankings on Google searches and your CPC, so keeping it high is imperative to a successful AdWords strategy. At Inherent we can help set up your account to maximize the success of your ads by maintaining or increasing your Quality Score.

It’s important to address this quickly. Once your score starts slipping, it’s much more difficult to bring it back up than it is to establish a higher score in the first place. Since every part of your AdWords account influences others, even one low-quality ad or bank of keywords can really mess things up. Don’t wait until it’s too late: get help with your AdWords strategy today.