Google AdWords is a competitive bidding system. With a difference…

Google’s mission in life is to give its users the best experience it can, this means giving the most relevant results possible to a searcher  both on the left side of the results page (the organic results) and the right side (the paid results).

So if you’re using AdWords, it is not just how ‘good’ your Ads are that’s important, it’s how good they are compared to your competitors’ Ads.

If you can outperform your competitors, one of two things will happen:

  • either your ads all move further up the page (ie towards the top)
  • or you’ll pay less for each click

outperform them by enough & you might get both benefits!

So what does ‘good’ really mean? To find out we need to look at Quality Score…

Think of Quality Score (QS) as a measure of how relevant Google thinks you are.  There are three overall scores: Great, OK, and Poor

quality score on google adwords

Every single one of your keywords is assigned one of those three scores. That score is constantly being updated and is based on a huge variety of factors.  The most important are:

  • the click through rate (CTR) for that particular keyword
  • how relevant the keyword is to the rest of the keywords in the AdGroup
  • how relevant the keyword is to Ad (or Ads!) that you’ve written for that group
  • and the quality and relevance of your landing page, that is the page that you take the searcher to once they click your Ad

The Quality Score for each of your keywords used to be a well-kept secret.  Last year Google started to show your score for each word, as well as a minimum bid price.  This minimum bid price in effect shows you a more refined QS.

For example, two key words might both be given a Great Quality Score.  One may have a minimum bid of six cents while the other may have a minimum bid of three cents, the one with a minimum bid of 3c is much better.

quality score new tool - recommendationsAs of yesterday a new tool now gives you far more information to help you diagnose why it keyword has been assigned a particular Quality Score.  To see this detail open any AdGroup within your account, and look for the magnifying glass icon next to each keyword.

You will immediately be able to see the reason why a keyword is no longer showing, and you can also get ‘details and recommendations’ to help you improve the QS for that word.  Next week I’ll create a short video to show you exactly how to display the quality score column and how to open the recommendations window.