What is Google AdWords Quality Score?

The simplest answer to that question is, Quality score is a score given to your ad every time your ad is eligible to show in a Google.com search.

The quality score you are given for that search is multiplied by your bid amount to provide you with an ad rank for that particular search.  Ad rank is how Google determines which ads will show in which positions for that search.

Quality score is a number between 1 and 10 with one being the worst and 10 being the best.  Therefore, the lower your quality score the higher your bid must be to obtain the same ad rank, and, of course, the higher your quality score the lower your bid needs to be.

Quality Score Example

Quality score is determined by the relevance of your ad, your keyword, and your landing page to the search query.  In other words, how likely is it that the searcher will find your ad relevant to what he or she is looking for and click on your ad?

A high quality score can save you a lot of money and of course more clicks on ads makes Google a lot of money.

Better Quality Score

You can view the quality score of your keywords in your AdWords account.  These scores are given as whole numbers with most quality score falling between 3 and 5.  This is not a true quality score though.

A specific quality score is given instantly for every search your ad is eligible for and those scores are a combination of keyword, ad, ad group, campaign, and many believe account quality scores.

The biggest factor of quality score is CTR (click-through rate).  If your ad shows 1000 times and receives 500 clicks that a 50% CTR and your quality score is going to be great!  Google wants those clicks and you will be rewarded with high quality scores for getting them.

Here are some tips to begin getting better quality scores:

  1. Keep your keyword specific.  Try to stay away from single word keywords.  Use keyword phrases with phrase or exact matching options.  This limits your ads chances of showing to searchers who are not interested which lowers your CTR.
  2. Separate your keywords into smaller groups so you can show more relevant ads.
  3. Try to use your keywords in the ad text.  These words will show up in bold in they are part of the search query which will draw attention to your ad and increase CTR.
  4. Try to always make your landing page the most relevant page possible for your ads and keywords.
  5. Make sure your landing page is of high quality and loads quickly.
  6. Bid higher in the beginning to get a higher ad rank.  The ads in the first 3 positions normally have a higher CTR and over time you can lower your bids to hold the same position.

Quality Score Math

A couple of things you should know:

  1. Quality scores do not play a role in the display network.  The display network involves different strategies which will be discussed in a future article.
  2. Historical performance does play a part in quality scores so there are certain keywords that even if you do everything right you will not see a high quality score.
  3. Your keyword quality scores are the only scores that you will have access to and they are more of an aggregate score then a true score.
  4. Score less than 5 are a problem.  Think about it, if you have a 3 and your competitor has a 6, you will be paying 2x as much as your competitor for the same ad position.  You could even be paying more to show up lower on the page.


I hope you find this information helpful.  Most advertisers do not take the time to run their AdWords properly, so if you do, you will have a big advantage.

As always, please comment if you believe any of this information is incorrect or contact me directly from the contact page or the AdWords Services page if you have any questions or need some help understanding anything about quality scores.