Quality Score Curiosities
Frankly, I am confused by quality score. The majority of the time I find it pretty straightforward to manage – increase the relevance of ads, make more targeted ad groups, improve landing pages, and occasionally, increase bids – but sometimes I come across a puzzler.
But first a little back story:
It’s not just your bid that contributes to your ad’s position in Google search results. There is also the pesky quality score to deal with. Quality score takes a number of factors into consideration, meant ensure the overall quality of Adwords advertising.
- click through rate
- keyword relevance
- landing page quality and relevance
- ad relevance
- historical performance
Quality score is displayed as a rating from 1-10 and a good quality score can result in better position for lower cost per click.
Seems super straight forward RIGHT?
Consider the following
While digging into a creatively organized ad group the other day I came across this situation. You’ll notice in the screenshot above that each match type is in duplicate, the only differences being that one set has a Max Cost Per Click of $6.50 while the other is set at $6.25, and the apostrophe.
While the apostrophe might make a difference for the exact match keywords, it shouldn’t make a difference in phrase or modified broad match, so for the sake of consistency we’ll only look at those two sets of keywords. Leaving the bid as the only significant difference.>
So why is the bid resulting is such a disparity between quality scores? Not only are they showing a below average “expected click through rate” – which in my experience means “bid too low” – it’s also showing below average for ad relevance and landing page experience, both of which are exactly the same as the higher quality keywords.
So, I matched the higher bids – but this only improved the expected click through rate… as expected. Ad relevance and landing page experience both remained “below average.”