Google’s definition of quality score is:
“An estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing page. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.
The components of quality score (expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience) are determined every time your keyword matches a customer’s search.
You can get a general sense of your ad quality in the “Keyword Analysis” field of your account (reported on a 1-10 scale). You can find this by selecting the Keywords tab and clicking on the white speech bubble next to any keyword’s status.
The more relevant your ads and landing pages are to the user, the more likely it is that you’ll see higher 1-10 Quality Scores and benefit from having higher quality components of your Ad Rank, like a higher position or lower CPC.”
It’s a 1-10 score given by Google after it has rated your keyword’s expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience, which are individually scored as below average to above average to give an overall score – the quality score (QS).
I recently found this very useful video in the Google Best Practices series about ‘Settling the (Quality) Score’:
In the video Sean Quadlin, Marketing Manager at Google, explains quality score from Google’s perspective and explains that it shouldn’t be a KPI, but used a diagnostic tool.
I sometimes find that clients can get really bogged down by QS, but as Sean says, it shouldn’t be something you are optimising your campaigns around. It should be used to indicate if something is wrong with your campaigns, it should not be a key metric when measuring the success of a campaign. KPIs should be things like impressions (exposure), clicks (traffic), conversions (sales), not getting a quality score of 10 out of 10 for your keywords.
In the video Sean explains how every time an ad is shown Google judges its ‘auction-time quality’ which takes a lot more into consideration than the QS calculation does. This takes into account; query, device, time of day and user location. Google uses all those things to rank your ad, on top of QS, therefore the 1-10 score that Google gives your keywords is very limited:
For further information there’s an in depth video about ‘Calculating Quality Score’ here: https://youtu.be/8ymhD-7nGVY