Quality Score Facts & Insights

Thursday, July 30, 2009 | 3:22 PM

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Quality Score and the AdWords auction is one of the more complicated aspects of our system. Quality Score measures how relevant your keywords are to users' search queries and influences CPCs and first page bids in your account. To help you wrap your head around this very important part of AdWords, we wanted to share with you some key insights about Quality Score.

A higher bid will not improve your Quality Score. Your Quality Score is determined by a number of factors, clickthrough rate (CTR) foremost amongst them, and is normalised to compensate for the higher CTR that ads in higher positions accrue. By simply increasing your bid for a keyword, you will likely increase the position of your ad on the page, but you won't be impacting the Quality Score for that keyword.

Quality Score does not suffer when your ads are paused or showing infrequently. One of the factors that determines Quality Score is the performance of a keyword in combination with its associated ads. Pausing ads or showing them infrequently doesn't affect Quality Score since they aren't accruing any performance data while they're not active. So there's no need to worry if you run seasonal or low-exposure campaigns for your clients, your Quality Score won't drop while the ads aren't showing.

Restructuring your account does not cause you to lose your historical Quality Score information. The historical performance of your keywords, ads, and landing pages is preserved when you restructure your account. Therefore, we encourage you to restructure or optimise your client's account structure as needed.

Ads may not be shown on all search results, even for queries that advertisers are bidding on. Some keywords have such low Quality Scores that ads are unlikely to show on them. Therefore, there may be keywords in your client's account that don't show any ads at all. You may want to try optimising the ad creatives associated with those keywords to make them more specific and relevant, thereby increasing the likelihood they'll be shown. You can also find out why your client's ad may not be showing for a given query by using the Ads Diagnostic Tool.

Low competition for a keyword does not mean that it will be inexpensive. Competition is only one of the variables that determines your actual CPC. The price you pay for a click is also determined by your keyword's Quality Score for that query. If your keyword has a low Quality Score relative to the other ads on that page, you may find that your actual CPC is close to your maximum CPC, even though there is low competition for that keyword. Keep in mind that you will never be charged more than your maximum CPC for a click, no matter how low your Quality Score.

If you have any questions or have ideas on other topics we can provide more facts or insight to, please let us know at apac-agency-blog-feedback@googlegroups.com