SMX Session Notes: Up Close With Google AdWords Quality Score

Up Close With Google AdWords Quality Score – Google’s quality score remains a mystery to many marketers, plus Google keeps changing when and how it is used. This session takes a fresh look at the current state of quality score, how it is implemented and tips on using it to your advantage

Moderator: Matt Van Wagner, President, Find Me Faster

Q&A Moderator: James Zolman, CEO, semvironment


Addie Conner, Director of Search Marketing, Course Advisor Inc.
Craig Danuloff, President, ClickEquations Inc.
Nicholas Fox, Business Product Management Director, AdWords, Google Inc.


Addie Conner, Director of Search Marketing, Course Advisor Inc.
Topic: Fact vs. Myth with Google Quality Score

  1. There is a different CPC forumula if you are the only advertiser on the page? Fact.
  2. Quality score is lost once you  make changes? Myth, QS is changed, but not lost.
  3. Match type impacts QS. Myth.
  4. Conversion rate impact QS? Myth.
  5. Ad Rank QS included landing page quality? Myth.
  6. Certain tuypes of site/business models carry a quality score penalty? Fact.  There is a Google FAQ about this.  There is a penalty, but not a blacklist.
  7. Long tail keywords are given lower quality scores? Myth.
  8. It takes two weeks for Google to determine quality score? Myth.  QS is a real-time factor and QS is determined really based on the amount of clicks your campaign is getting.  A campaign getting 10 clicks a day takes longer to build a QS compared to an account that gets 100k clicks a day.
  9. Absolute CTR is the most important QS metric? Myth.  CTR relative to others is the most important QS variable.  You need to compare relative to other in the auction at that rank, this accounts for 95% of your QS rating.
  10. QS is carried over to a new account if kw/creative all stays the same? Fact.
  11. Landing page quality score is tiered? Myth.  Landing score QS is binary.
  12. Quality score is the most important optimization method? Myth, what really matters is ROI.
  13. You can help gain higher QS though high bidding? Fact.  Bidding high can put your ad in a position to increase your QS, but bidding high in and of itself will not help.

End Addie.

Craig Danuloff, President, ClickEquations Inc.
Topic: Quality Score (QS) (duh)

Ad rank formula: Bid x QS = Ad Rank.  Working quality score is just as important as raising your bid.  Having a high quality score will allow you to rank righer while paying less, thus netting you a greater ROI on each and any campaign.

Check out the campaign impression share report in Google to get an idea of how bad your ads are within the target search market.  If your ads are not showing 70% of the time, than people typed keywords that you have bought specifically, but your ads are not showing because your QS is so bad.

There are many Quality Scores and QS is figured in real-time during a search:

  1. Keywords QS.
  2. Ad Group QS.
  3. Account History QS.

What QS should you start to shoot for: seven (7).  Seven is the mark showing that if you are below seven you are probably penalized, while above seven you are probably benefiting from QS.

Final thoughts:

  1. QS is very important.
  2. There are clear steps you can take to improve QS.
  3. Advertisers should demand more clarity.

End Craig.

Nicholas Fox, Business Product Management Director, AdWords, Google Inc.
Topic: What Makes a Good Quality Score?

Defining Quality:

  1. Relevant
  2. Reputable site
  3. Honest page
  4. Specific page
  5. Fast loading page
  6. Trust for landing page

The bulk of quality is the CTR.  Click through tells them that everyone that looked at that ad thought it was this % important.  We try to capture things beyond the CTR, but it by far matters the most.  Quality score is then combined with the advertisers bid to rank that ad in PPC.

What we can do as advertisers:

  1. Key point is to focus on the user and think about what users would want.
  2. Keywords:
    1. Thing about what the user would search for.
      1. Diamonds is better than diamond for jewelers.
    2. Keep keywords to 2-4 words in length.
    3. Don’t use to many keywords: 10-15 per ad is about right.
  3. Creative:
    1. Invite the user to do something; be compelling!
    2. Be specific.
    3. Be transparent about what he user will get.

Match types have no effect on quality score (QS), ad position does impact quality score, QS does not suffer when your ads are not showing, ad conversion rate does effect your QS.

Summery: Focus on your users and your customer (come on, please get more specific then that!)  Go to:

6 thoughts on “SMX Session Notes: Up Close With Google AdWords Quality Score

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  2. Tom Demers says:

    This is interesting: “Keep keywords to 2-4 words in length.”

    Why? The number one QS factor is relevance, and a creative tip is specificity, why a 4 term keyword limit?

    It seems to me that generating and segmenting a list of keywords between 3 and 7 terms long offers better targeting, more specificity, more relevance, no?

  3. Mat Siltala says:

    @Tom Demers
    Tom – I hear what you are saying, but Andy was simply just “live blogging” and putting down what the speakers were saying … If you want more insight try getting a hold of Nicholas Fox from Google. He is on their Adwords team so I might tend to listen to him, but again all we were doing here was relaying the message! Thanks for your comment.

    ps – I do have my own thoughts on this and it gives me a great idea for a post later on.

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