Quality Score: What is & Why it’s Important in 2022

Quality Score What is & Why it's Important
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How Quality Score (QS) works to lower costs can be a mystery to new and old advertisers combined.

With thousands of advertisers fighting for top rankings on the same keywords and many of them using the same tools for automating their bids, how does the search engine decide which ad gets the top slot and how much every advertiser pays?

This is where quality score comes in as it is something advertisers can influence.

Why does Google use quality score, how is it calculated, and how can you as an advertiser improve?

This is why this post is here today. Let’s get to it.

What is Quality Score?

quality score

Quality Score is a diagnostic tool by Google that is meant to give you a sense of how well your ad quality compares to other advertisers based on data from past ad auctions.

This score is measured on a scale from 1-10 and is available at the keyword level. A higher Quality Score indicates that your ad and landing page are more relevant and useful to someone searching for that specific keyword as compared to other advertisers.

The quality score diagnostic tool can be used to identify where it might be beneficial to improve ads, landing pages, or your keyword selection.

According to Google,

Quality Score is not a key performance indicator and should not be optimized or aggregated with the rest of your data.
Quality Score is not an input in the ad auction. It’s a diagnostic toolto identify how ads that show for certain keywords affect the user experience.

Why is quality score important?

The fact that it sounds pretty complicated, it’s important as it helps show more relevant ads to users every time a search happens.

Google depends on revenue from advertising, so they have a big motivation to ensure users find the ads interesting and click on them.

You should note that the Google ad auction is based on a cost per click (CPC) model, so Google only makes money when ads are clicked.

If for instance, they allowed low-quality ads to take up space that could be filled with more relevant ones, they’d make less money in the short term and risk alienating users in the long term.

How Quality Score Is Calculated

The calculation is reached based on the combined performance of 3 components:

  1. Expected clickthrough rate (CTR): The likelihood that your ad will be clicked when shown.
  2. Ad relevance: How closely your ad matches the intent behind a user’s search.
  3. Landing page experience: How relevant and useful your landing page is to people who click your ad.

Each of the components is evaluated with a status of “Above average,” “Average,” or “Below average.” This evaluation is based on a comparison with other advertisers whose ads showed for the exact same keyword, over the last 90 days.

If one of the components has a status of “Average” or “Below average,” it is an indication of an opportunity to make improvements.

How can quality score be improved?

You can improve QS by improving the relevance of your keywords, ads, and landing pages.

To focus your efforts, start by looking at the relative score of the three subcomponents of QS:

  • Expected clickthrough rate.
  • Ad relevance.
  • Landing page experience.

Read: How to improve quality score

How to check quality score

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. In the left menu, select Keywords.
  3. In the upper right corner of the table, click the columns icon columns.
  4. Under “Modify columns for keywords” open the Quality Score section. To see the current Quality Score and its component statuses, choose any of the following to add to your statistics table:
    • Quality Score
    • Landing Page Exp.
    • Exp. CTR
    • Ad Relevance
  5. To see past Quality Score stats for the reporting period you’re looking at, choose any of the following metrics:
    • Quality Score
    • Landing Page Experience.  
    • Ad Relevance  
    • Experience CTR.

Additional resources:

What is PPC & how paid search works

Benefits of using PPC advertising

Best PPC ad networks

How to develop your PPC strategy

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