Adwords Quality Score – Have Changes Improved Optimisation?

Jimmy McCann

Head of Digital Strategy


Whats My Adwords Quality Score Now?

Googles quality score system has been changed and we’re all learning how to understand it. My initial thoughts are that it was easier before. Although the minimum bid has indeed been replaced, that doesn’t mean your ads will show more often. In fact, some of them may be shown a lot less frequently.

Lets start with an example of the adwords quality score system, to see if we can work it out. We’ll use one of my accounts – that sell ladies shoes. I have a brand campaign that captures traffic looking for them. Here are four keywords and their quality scores:

Why does the brand variant 3 keyword have a quality score of 5 out of 10? The click through rate is almost three times more than the 2nd brand variant keyword, which manages to get 10 out of 10 with a cost per click of 10p. Perhaps the higher cost per click is more appealing to Googles algorithm?

Lets look at another example. This time we are bidding on a competitors brand term:

The adverts are loaded with the keyword “shoes” and that has doubled the quality score. The click through rates are identical though, and there isn’t much difference between the cost per click. However, both of these keywords are rarely shown because of the poor quality scores. This is despite having average positions of 2.5 and 1.2 respectively, meaning that there aren’t many people are bidding on these terms.

I think some clarification from Google is necessary. We used to know what we had to pay to appear on adwords. Now its more of a guessing game than ever.

So, seriously, whats my quality score?