Adwords and quality score

Posted on 2006-11-23
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-28

I am trying to get my head around adwords.  I have looked at Googles learning centre but have got information overload.  I understand that an ads rank is calculated by the formula...

Max Cost of click x quality score

... and that the quality score calculation is a closely guarded secret.  However is it possible to briefly define the most likely criteria used for the quality score and how each of these work?

Many thanks
Question by:kenabbott
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Expert Comment

ID: 18004595
The quality score is dependent upon your click-through rate.

Expert Comment

ID: 18004672
Here's more, a direct quote from Google:

"Some factors have continued to appear every time we evaluate the most relevant ads and keywords within AdWords. These factors include performance variables like keyword clickthrough rate (CTR), ad text relevance, overall historical keyword performance with Google, and even the user experience on the landing page or site associated with an ad. We put all of these factors and more together to create a Quality Score - the measurement of an ad's quality in relation to each of your keywords. "

click-through rate: # of clicks on an ad divided by # of impressions

ad text relevance: From talking to Google many times, this is most likely things like using keywords in your ad, having high quality ads (good information, keywords, calls to action, attractive word and phrase choice, etc)

overall historial keyword performance with Google: Most likely history of CTR

landing page: Whether or not you have a high quality website that directs and displays the product to the user as cleanly and pleasantly as possible.

And hang in there as far as learning Adwords goes, it's a good tool. The most success comes from tracking and calculating ROI (return on investment)

Author Comment

ID: 18007343
Thanks - thats a really concise breakdown.

Re the landing page, how does google decide if the product is displayed to the user as cleanly and pleasantly as possible?  Also does the page ranking on a normal google search influence ad rank?

Finally how does an adwords ad become suspended?

Many thanks again

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Expert Comment

ID: 18009979
    "how does google decide if the product is displayed to the user as cleanly and pleasantly as possible? "

Good question. See this info: https://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=47884&topic=9356

    "does the page ranking on a normal google search influence ad rank?"

As far as Google has told us, Adwords ads and the regular search listings are completely separate animals.

    "Finally how does an adwords ad become suspended?"

Ads that don't meet these guidelines might get disapproved:



Author Comment

ID: 18011478
Thanks for the info - it is really useful.  The link is very interesting - however many of the landing page criteria seem to be subjective - so does this mean that they are assessed by a human rather than a computer?

Also I didn't word my last question very well - what I meant to say was are there circumstances when an adword ad won't appear, even when keywords are matched.  For example if the adrank score is too low or if too many of the scoring criteria aren't met.

Thanks again


Accepted Solution

weikelbob earned 1000 total points
ID: 18012241
I believe Google Adwords does use actual people to assess the quality of a landing page/site.

"are there circumstances when an adword ad won't appear, even when keywords are matched.  For example if the adrank score is too low or if too many of the scoring criteria aren't met"

If Adwords' criteria is not met (like low Click Through Rate) then you will just get pushed farther and farther down.

Also, you have to watch your keywords when making changes, because sometimes, as you may have seen, you'll bid too low for a keyword and you'll get a little message inside the campaign by the keyword saying "increase PPC to $.50 to activate this keyword." At that point, you must increase your PPC to run ads for that keyword. That could cause an ad not to run.

And there's also delivery methods. If your budget for a day is lower than what it looks like you will spend, Adwords will either 1) spread your ads out evenly over the day (standard) or 2)Show your ads all at once right at first (accelerated)  Either way, this is one more reason why an ad might not run every time. So keep your budget/day up so that this won't happen.

And there's ad squeduling to only make your ads appear at a certain time of the day. If this is accidentally turned on, your ads may not run properly.

Both ad squeduling and delivery methods can be changed in the Edit Campaign Settings for a campaign.

That's the only reasons that come to mind why your ads may not show every time. If it looks like an ad isn't showing and it doesn't have to do with any of the above reasons, it usually happens that the ad is just pushed way down for that keyword.

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