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Google Adwords Quality Score – Paid Search Campaigns

Here is the brief summary of sessions we attended in SMX west 2009 on PPC and Quality Score..

Speakers:
Addie Conner, Course Advisor Inc.
Craig Danuloff, ClickEquations Inc.


What is Quality Score and Why Does it Matter?
Quality score is a way for Google to filter out the inefficient advertiser’s, while rewarding the successful advertiser’s. They assign a score based on a multitude of factors such as an ad’s click-through rate, historical keyword performance, and landing page relevancy. The main idea behind quality score is rewarding sites/ads with higher relevancy and quality by granting them with top placements and lower bids. This also really explains the importance of quality score. It is directly linked to ad rank and how much an advertiser will end up paying for a click.

How is Quality Score Improved?
Chris Danuloff explained that click-through rate has the biggest impact on quality score, and is something you have to earn. One other key component, yet something that does not hold as much weight, is relevance. The relevance between your keyword to the search query to the ad, and finally the landing page is important when it comes to the quality score. Tightly related adgroups help in the success with a higher score. Lastly, Chris named a few other factors such as page load time and privacy policy as the most insignificant factors.

Important Tips & Truths About Quality Score
While quality score may seem like a simple enough idea, there seems to be quite a bit of question surrounding it. During this session, Addie Conner helped set the facts straight by playing a simple myth or fact game with the audience. Not everyone turned out to be a quality score expert, but hopefully walked away with a little more knowledge. Here is a little snippet of the quality score trivia:

Conversion rate impacts quality score…Myth
Conversion is going to be different for every advertiser-whether it be a dollar amount or lead. Not everyone will choose to track or share conversion data with Google.

Long tail keywords are given a lower quality score….Myth
While these low volume keywords tend to have less data and predictability, they are not penalized. However, it is harder for Google to determine a quality score, which leads to a “temporary depressive” quality score. The key here is to delete any very low volume keywords that are bringing the overall quality score down

The content network uses two different quality scores…Fact
CPM bidding equates to a quality score being determined by landing page. CPC bidding on the other hand, has a quality score based on landing page as well as historical click-through rate on that site or a site like it.

Absolute CTR is the most important quality score metric…Myth
Click-through rate relative to others in the auction place for that position is the most important factor in quality score. Your CTR really only matters in relation to the average auction CTR for the position and keyword you are bidding on.

Quality Score is the most important optimization metric…Myth
ROI is really the most important metric. If a particular keyword is making you money, it doesn’t matter what quality score it has. However, it is still something to keep in mind and is important to keep your ads showing in a good position.

In conclusion, quality score is an important part of any search campaign, but is not something an advertiser can improve overnight. There are a few steps however any advertiser can take when trying to improve quality score. Increasing relevancy within campaigns and adgroups, and specifically between search queries and ad text can improve quality score. Getting rid of underperforming keywords and separating out any questionable words can also help. Lastly, increasing CTR can have the most impact. Testing adcopy is a great way to increase click-through rate and drive up quality score.


3 Responses to “ Google Adwords Quality Score – Paid Search Campaigns ”

Interesting points – I’m struggling with a client site at the moment with very poor QS, it’s a .info site which is actually a hotel. Do you know if .info sites are regarded badly for QS?

Will a low volume but high qs long tail keyword harm my overall performance?

Typically a low volume keyword with a high quality score will not harm your overall campaign performance. The keywords to watch for are the ones with many impressions and no click thrus, and a low Quality Score. If you do encounter these, my recommendation is to isolate these low performing keywords into their own AdGroup so it won’t drag the overall quality score of the other AdGroup. However, in your situation, the long tail keywords with high quality score will not harm the campaign.


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