Google Ads Quality Score – Find It, Define It, and Improve It

Jul 28, 2018 | Search Engine Marketing | 0 comments

Quality Score Google Ads

For anyone advertising in Google Search, Quality Score is critical to understand because it can affect your Ad Rank and how much you pay for that rank.

In this post, I’ll give a quick overview of Quality Score, how to CHECK it and how to USE it to get better results in your advertising.


What is Google Ads Quality Score?

Quality score is a measure of the quality of your entire campaign. So it’s not just about your ads – it’s about the connection and quality of your keywords, text ads, and landing page. Watch my video on Message Match to understand the important connection between keywords > text ads > landing page. Understanding message match and making sure the message path is maintained for your visitors is a key way to improve an maintain quality scores.

Put yourself in Google’s shoes for a moment. Nearly all of Google’s revenue comes from ad clicks, so they want to get as many ad clicks as possible. This won’t happen by just throwing up any old ads as much as possible. Google uses quality score to show only relevant ads to searchers. If they were to show ads on every search even if they weren’t highly relevant and received a clickthrough rate close to zero, they would be wasting real estate on the search results page and lowering quality of their search engine. Over time, this could mean less market share in search!

In the past, Google actually used the Quality Score number 1 out of 10 to calculate your Ad Rank, Now, Google does not use Quality Score at the time of the auction to measure Ad Rank, but they do use a combination of quality and relevance factors to calculate Ad Rank so Quality Score is still an important indicator.


Three Components of Quality Score

There are three components of quality score that you need to understand if you’re going to improve it.

  • Expected clickthrough rate – the likelihood that your ad will be clicked
  • Ad relevance – How closely your ad matches the intent behind a user’s search
  • Landing page experience – How relevant, transparent and easy-to-navigate your page is for users

The #2 and #3 factors are pretty self explanatory with #2 probably being the easiest to fix since you can just edit your ads and #3 being a lot more work since it requires editing your website and maybe even creating more targeted landing pages on your site.

Expected Clickthrough Rate - Low Quality Score

A Discussion About Expected Clickthrough Rate and Striving for 10 out of 10 Quality Score

I wanted to spend a moment on the #1 factor above which has been a little confusing to me over the years.. It’s just #1 on the list and not necessarily the TOP factor weighted more than others.

It’s called Expected clickthrough rate and it’s an estimate of how likely your ad is to be clicked. Some of this is inherent in the keywords you choose and the industry you are in. For example, some keyword searches, although they might be high volume searches, will not be likely to generate clicks to an add. They are usually informational searches like the ones below.

  • Michael jackson wiki
  • Amazon stock price
  • Strongest type of wood

If you were to search any of these keywords in Google, you’d probably not see any ads. This is likely because they are informational searches and although there might be ads that are loosely related to the topic, they are not highly related and would not serve the user well. Google Ads would give ads for these keywords a low score (probably 1 or 2) in the category of Expected clickthrough rate and not show the ad at all due to low quality score.

So in effect, there is often nothing you can do to improve Expected clickthrough rate. You may need to choose better keywords. Google Ads help docs say you can edit your ad to be more relevant or more actionable. I have never found this to help with Expected clickthrough rate number. This also makes it very difficult to achieve quality scores of 10/10 or high quality scores in general for certain keywords that are struck with low Expected clickthrough rate.

What’s your experience with Expected clickthrough rate? Do you agree with my assessment? Please comment below as I’m still trying to figure it out!


Get It From The Source! Read Google’s Guide on Quality Score

I don’t need to reinvent the wheel here. For the latest guide from Google that will help you understand the basics of quality score, Read Google’s Guide on Google Ads Quality Score.


VIDEOS Showing You How to View Quality Score

I made the video below to show you on the screen and in your Google Ad’s account how you can graph your quality score in a bar graph to see how you campaigns are stacking up.

Stay tuned for a new and updated video that shows you how to add quality score columns in the new Google Ads experience. Subscribe to my Youtube channel so you don’t miss it!

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