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What is Quality Score?

Samantha Noble

by Samantha Noble on 23rd November 2009

Quality Score was introduced for Google AdWords to help Google decide which position an advertisers ad should be displayed and subsequently how much should be charged for each click on the ad.

Google assigns each keyword within an AdWords campaign with a score between 1 – 10 (1 being the lowest, 10 being the highest).

The Quality Score calculating method has been constantly changing over the years. One of the first algorithms was simply your Click through Rate (CTR) multiplied by your Maximum Cost per Click (CPC).

CTR x CPC = Quality Score

This has become more and more complex over the years and only Google know the actual calculation that they now use.

However, we are aware of some of the major contributing factors that will determine your score:

  • Keyword Relevance
  • Landing Page Relevance
  • Page Load Time

Google openly informs advertisers whether their keyword has achieved a good score within the Google AdWords interface. Simply hover over the callout bubble within the ‘Status’ column in the Keywords tab and you will be returned with the following popup box.

Quality Score Indicator

Quality Score Indicator

The Score Definitions

1 – 3            Poor
Keywords with a score of 1 – 3 need urgent attention and should be improved on or removed from your campaign.

4 – 7           OK
Keywords with a score of 4 – 7 are deemed suitable candidates to be advertising on Google but can still be approved on. Keywords with a score of 4 or 5 should be monitored closely to make sure that their score does not drop.

8 – 10         Great
Keywords with a score of 8 – 10 should be working very well for your campaign. Remember, there is no such thing as perfect so there will always be ways to improve on your score.

Stay tuned for the next blog in the series – The Benefits of a Good Quality Score.

Samantha Noble

Samantha Noble

Samantha Noble is the Marketing Director at Koozai; having worked within the marketing industry for over nine years, Sam has a plethora of marketing knowledge. With a strong understanding of digital marketing techniques, Sam will be covering all aspects of search and the industry in general.

4 Comments

  • Alan Mitchell 24th November 2009

    Hi Sam,

    I tend to look at Quality Score as a relative measure, since the more generic and abstract the keyword, the lower the CTR and lower the Quality Score (generally), so it can often be extremely difficult to improve Quality Score beyond 5 or 6 for these abstract terms which can still be relevant to your business.

    Highly relevant keywords, however, should never really fall below a Quality Score of 7, so guess it depends of the keyword in question.

    Cheers,
    Alan

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  • Samantha Noble

    Sam Noble 26th November 2009

    Hi Alan,

    Thanks for you comments.

    Yes, I would totally agree, sometimes improving your Quality Score is not always straightforward. The last blog post in my Quality Score series will be posted soon which provides tips that can help you improve your score.

    Sam

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