Explaining Quality Score and Its Significance

Confused about how to get your ads seen first without breaking the bank? Quality Score is the answer! This article dives into what Quality Score is, why it matters, and how to improve it for better ad placement and lower costs. Learn how to leverage Quality Score to outrank competitors and get more leads, all within your budget. In this blog you'll learn: •What Quality Score is and how it affects your ad rank •How to identify areas for improvement in your campaigns •Tips to optimize your keywords, ad copy, and landing pages •How to use Quality Score to maximize your return on ad spend. Stop wasting money on irrelevant clicks! Take control of your Google Ads with the power of Quality Score.


Haider Irfan

2/17/20218 min read

Quality score meter
Quality score meter

In recent years, automated bidding has improved its track record of providing search marketers with reliable results.

Instead of selecting a CPC price for each keyword, they can now define CPA or ROAS goals and let machine learning to determine the optimal bid for each and every search that occurs.

Knowing the specifics of the underlying system's operation is still beneficial in this shift towards more detached campaign management, though.

By collaborating with automation to produce outcomes that beyond what a machine can produce on its own, money can be saved.

It's not over for an advertising when they enable automated bidding.

Although there are other ways to optimize automated campaigns and bids, the focus of this chapter is on leveraging Quality Score to lower the cost of an advertisement while simultaneously increasing its visibility.

Both novice and seasoned marketers may be confused about how Quality Score (QS) reduces expenses.

How does the search engine determine which ad takes the top place and how much each advertiser pays when thousands of advertisers are fighting for top results on the same keywords and many of them are using the same tools for automating their bids?

Even if advertisers may no longer be in charge of the other lever that influences this, the bid, they still have control over QS, which is a significant component of the equation.

What is Google Quality Score (QS), how is it calculated, and how can advertisers make it better?

What's a Quality Score?

Google uses data from previous ad auctions to determine a keyword's Quality Score, which is a measure of its relevance.

Keywords in an advertiser's account are given a QS number between 1 and 10, with 10 being the best, as soon as Google has gathered sufficient data.

The QS will appear as "—" in the UI or null (0) in certain reports until they receive sufficient data.

This figure represents the keyword's overall relevancy across all of the auctions in which it is present.

It is not used to rank ads; rather, it is intended to assist advertisers.

The auction-time QS, which considers numerous other characteristics, is what ranks advertising in the background of each ad auction.

The real-time QS is what matters most, even though the advertisers can use the 1–10 figure to assess how well they are doing at selecting relevant keywords, crafting effective advertising, and directing consumers to useful landing sites.

Although the auction-time QS is more precise than a 1–10 score, it is not disclosed to advertisers due to its constant fluctuation.

Additionally, each Google search has a unique result that varies based on the context of the query, such as the user's location.

the moment of day.

how your keyword relates to the search term and its nature.

and more elements.

As an aside, Google offers two different kinds of automated bidding solutions.

One is referred to as merely "automated," while the other as "smart."

The main distinction is that bids can be set differently for each auction using smart bidding, which allows for the consideration of the real-time QS factor and the establishment of "smarter" bids that are more likely to align with the advertiser's aim.

Why Is There a Quality Score on Google?

Given how complex everything sounds, why does Google have a Quality Score?

Every time a user performs a search, they use it to help display more relevant adverts to them.

Google has a strong incentive to ensure that users find the ads engaging and click on them because their revenue comes primarily from advertising.

Remember that Google only gets paid when ads are clicked because the Google ad auction is based on a cost per click (CPC) mechanism.

Short-term revenue would be reduced, and long-term customer alienation would be possible, if they let irrelevant, low-quality ads to occupy space that could be occupied by more pertinent ones.

Even though improving QS can occasionally be difficult, advertisers can benefit from it as well because they enjoy receiving the kind of high-quality leads that Google Ads can provide.

Advertisers must do their share in selecting pertinent keywords, crafting effective ad copy, and guiding people to excellent, informative landing pages if they want those leads to keep pouring in.

And by lowering their CPCs, companies can reap significant rewards when they do.

How Is the Quality Score Determined?

Because Google has so much information about how consumers interact with search results, it is able to calculate the predicted relevance of each ad, keyword, and landing page in relation to each search that takes place by combining machine learning techniques with "big data." That's why it goes by QS—a mouthful.

Google uses the "wisdom of the crowds" method to assign QS rather than having personnel evaluate each keyword's relevance (as was the case when Google Ads were first introduced), which would be an extremely time-consuming, subjective, and error-prone procedure.

To be more precise, their algorithms anticipate future user interactions by tracking what visitors interact with on the search results page (SERP).

just, QS is just a click-through rate (CTR) prediction.

Before QS existed, in the early stages of AdWords, CTR was used to decide whether keywords were low relevance and should be disabled or required extra money in order to compete in the ad auction.

The CTR component that had previously been a part of the ad ranking process was replaced with the term Quality Score as Google began to take other criteria into account as machine learning capabilities improved over time.

To put it simply, QS may be thought of as a gauge for the likelihood that users will find your advertisement relevant to the search they were just doing, and the possibility that this will lead to a click on your advertisement.

The Significance of Quality Score

Due to the fact that their QS is one of the criteria used to determine:

Which advertisements are up for bidding?

How the qualified ads are ordered

The real cost per click that the marketer must pay

Taking Part in the Auction

It is understandable that Google would not want to display irrelevant adverts.

Their primary source of revenue for advertising is ad clicks. Google will not profit if an advertiser places an unrelated ad in a prominent spot on the page and pays a high bid to do so.

Getting people to respond to an advertisement through search advertising is more important than just creating a brand.

For instance, a vehicle manufacturer might believe that an advertisement for a new pickup truck would be very relevant to someone who is checking the big game score, but it is unlikely to get clicked, which is bad for Google Ads.

As a result, an advertisement may not even be included in the auction for the majority of searches when Google determines that a certain keyword is highly irrelevant and gives it a very low QS.

Conversely, an ad with a high QS advances to the ranking phase and is qualified to bid in additional ad auctions.

Ad Positioning

The keywords and ads that Google determines are most likely to be relevant for a search are then put into the ad auction.

Google assesses the following during this split-second auction:

  • The maximum CPC that each bidder is willing to pay.

  • Their level of relevance (QS).

  • What additional elements, such as ad extensions, can increase the CTR.

Every ad receives a score, and the rank that is generated decides which ads appear first on the results page and which ones don't.

A higher ad rank is advantageous to advertisers because it typically results in more clicks on the ad, which generates more leads and opportunities for sales.

However, what happens if advertisers utilize automatic bidding and have a target CPA, target ROAS, or some other goal in place of a maximum CPC?

The CPC bid is still used in the ad auction process even in those situations. The advertiser's objective is merely translated into a distinct CPC offer for each auction via the automated bidding process.

CPC Rebates

Lastly, the real cost per click (CPC) that an advertiser must pay is determined by the CPC. They would have to continue to be ranked higher than the subsequent auction ad.

The majority of marketers have an average CPC that is less than their maximum CPC because of this discount.

A higher QS is advantageous to advertisers since it suggests they will need to spend less to stay ahead of their next rival.

They essentially pay less for the same click the higher the QS.

All advertisers are covered by this, even those that use automatic bidding.

The automated bidding process may find that it may accomplish the advertiser's objective with a lower CPC (and save money) if the advertiser has a strong real-time QS for that particular search, or it may discover that maintaining the bid higher may result in more conversions.

In any case, the advertiser benefits from having worked to attain high QS, which we'll go over how to do in a moment.

Ways to Raise Your Quality Rating

By making your advertising, landing pages, and keywords more relevant, you can raise QS.

Start by examining the relative scores of the three QS subcomponents in order to concentrate your efforts:

  • anticipated rate of clickthrough.

  • Ad-relatedness.

  • landing page encounter.

You can use this information to determine what has to be optimized because each component's value will be either Below Average, Average, or Above Average.

Additionally, historical values can tell advertisers whether the various components of QS have benefited or suffered from recent revisions.

Keep in mind that the value on the final day of the chosen date range is represented in the historical field.

Advertisers can activate daily segments to view daily values.

Anticipated Rate of Click-Through

This indicates the likelihood that a click on your advertisement will occur when the search phrase perfectly matches your keyword.

Ad placement, the existence of ad extensions, and other variables that don't directly correlate with relevancy are taken out of the equation when calculating this score by normalizing it.

Make sure the keyword is precise and pertinent to what you're giving if it's low.

Additionally, keep in mind that it might only apply in specific circumstances.

For instance, a dog walking business could occasionally be pertinent when searching for the term "dog."

But, there are numerous searches a user might conduct that contain the word "dog" if they aren't seeking for your business but rather for a veterinarian, dog food, or dog pictures.

The keyword's CTR will suffer as a result, and it might be time to think about adding more pertinent keywords to the account.

If your term is relevant but the score is low, consider crafting a more appealing ad that emphasizes the keyword's relevance, adds a stronger call to action, or offers a distinctive value proposition.

Ad Pertinence

This element assesses how effectively your advertisement's message corresponds with the term.

Should this component be low, it can be because the themes in your ad groups are too wide.

Dividing the ad group into smaller, more closely themed ad groups could be one way to solve the problem.

If you're a pool contractor, for instance, keywords like "pool design," "in-ground pool construction," and "pool renovation" might all be quite relevant, but there will inevitably be some relevance lost if they are all in the same ad group with the same ad copy.

If you use too many different keywords in one ad group, the resulting ad may appear overly generic or focus on the wrong topic.

Take the time to correctly structure your account by creating distinct ad groups for each set of closely related keywords rather than relying solely on dynamic keyword insertion.

The three pool-related keywords in the previous example each have a distinct subject and ought to be grouped into separate ad groups.

Experience with Landing Pages

The last QS element gauges what transpires following a user's click on the advertisement.

Are they glad they came, or did they immediately leave after seeing your landing page?

Make sure the landing page fulfills the ad's promise and is closely related to the user's search if this component is too low.

Deep linking is typically preferable than sending users to the homepage.

Make the landing page simple to navigate on desktop and mobile devices.

Optimize the page for speed and think about utilizing an AMP.

Provide valuable and original content and handle user data with care.

In summary

Google uses Quality Score in conjunction with bidders to determine which ads to display and in what order.

As a result, a strong QS may be equally advantageous as a high bid.

Due to their greater relevance, ads with lower bids can outperform those of competitors who offer higher prices.

Because of this, PPC is particularly tempting since everyone can win—not just the marketer with the biggest budget.

If your QS is preventing you from reaching your goals, keep an eye on it and make adjustments.

Ultimately, though, avoid becoming so mired in detail that you neglect the main objectives of your company, which are growth, profitability, and revenue.