November 25, 2014

Written by Kurt Anagnostopoulos

5 Critical Components of Google Quality Score

Paid Search is not “Set It & Forget It” media. If you want optimal results from Paid Search, you must build fundamentally sound campaigns, monitor their progress at every opportunity and continually tweak, tweak, tweak. Discipline is the way to win. And the key to winning anything is maximizing your scoring power.

That’s the reason Google calls its relevancy metric “Quality Score.” It’s the algorithm Google uses to estimate how relevant your ads, keywords, and landing pages are to a person seeing your ads. A high Quality Score means Google’s systems consider your ads, keywords, and landing pages relevant and useful to users searching a particular topic. The higher your ad scores, the higher your ad ranks in every search auction. The higher your ad ranks, the more likely clicks will become sales.

In other words, a high score increases your likelihood of winning business through Paid Search campaigns. And if you want to raise your Quality Score, you first have to understand how Google determines this metric. Google is protective of its algorithms, so I can’t say exactly how it’s done. But I can reveal the five most important factors:

  1. Click Through Rate (CTR) – CTR is a user influenced attribute so Google gives it the most weight. Theory is: Large numbers of users clicking your ad must correlate to a positive experience. So high CTR drives Quality Score higher.
  2. Ad Relevancy – Both closely related relevant ad copy and having the actual keyword within ad copy improve Quality Score.
  3. Keyword Relevancy/Campaign Structure – Google’s system looks for keyword relevancy across ad groups. When keywords within an ad group are closely related, Quality Scores go up.
  4. Landing Page Relevancy – The more relevant the landing page, the better Quality Score.
  5. Account History – The length of time a keyword has been active in an account impacts Quality Score, but more important than length of time is how the keyword has performed over time.

Knowing these five critical components leads the way to five techniques you can apply to building and adjusting Paid Search campaigns that will drive higher Quality Scores. And that will be the topic of my next FirstWord post. Stay tuned.