No matter if you are the Chief Marketing Officer, or a one-man-operation, if you advertise on Google, you need know what Quality Score is, and how to improve it. 

“Quality Score” was introduced into AdWords by Google way back in 2005. And today, I am still shocked at the percentage of SEM managers and Small to Medium Sized Businesses (SMB’s) who either do not know what  Quality Score is, or how to improve it.Movie A Dog’s Purpose (2017)Roblox HackBigo Live Beans HackYUGIOH DUEL LINKS HACKPokemon Duel HackRoblox HackPixel Gun 3d HackGrowtopia HackClash Royale Hackmy cafe recipes stories hackMobile Legends HackMobile Strike Hack

Initially, in 2005 Google used it to measure relevance between the keywords and ad copy. Here they were seeing how their Click through Rate (CTR) metric was enabling them to take over the Search Engine Marketing industry, and now wanted to add another layer of relevance in order to improve the experience of their customer, the “Internet Web Surfer.”

In 2006 Google included the landing page metric in the Quality Score calculation. And in subsequent years, other factors such as Click-Through-Rate (CTR), and Historical AdWords Account Performance (HAAP) were added. Below is the current simplified equation for Quality Score.

Quality Score (Q.S.) = Keyword + Ad Copy + Landing Page + CTR  + Historical AdWords Account Performance (HAAP)

Each keyword in the ad set, associated with a specific ad is compared for relevancy with the ad copy and landing page. The Click Through Rate, or CTR is a function of ad copy effectiveness and ad placement. And the “Historical AdWords Account Performance” is another variable who’s weighting and relevance in the calculation of the Quality Score is debatable.

As expected, Google has not disclosed the algorithm for the Quality Score calculation, but they did assign a number from 1 to 10 for every keyword. A Q.S. of 1 is the lowest and 10 is “perfect relevance”. There’s actually more complexity involved, but I am not going to include it, in the fear of losing the main concept presented here.

The first question for someone who is not familiar with the Quality Score, will ask; “Why does this matter?” Well, it matters a lot. Here’s why when you see understand this simple formula.

Ad Rank = Maximum Bid x Quality Score

From the equation above, Google determines the Quality Score for every keyword associated with the ad. You, the account manager, typically decide the Maximum Bid. An example will quickly show you the benefit of having a higher Quality Score.

Competitor “A” – Quality Score = 7; Maximum Bid = $12.00 –> Ad Rank = 84
Competitor “B” – Quality Score = 4; Maximum Bid = $12.00 –> Ad Rank = 48

In this example, Competitor “B” with an Ad Rank of 48, and Max Bid of $12.00 has his ad currently appearing in position #1 on Google. With this scenario, position #1, each click costs Competitor B $12.00.

Along comes Competitor “A” who has no idea of Competitor B’s Max Bid and Quality Score. However, Competitor A sees that Competitor B is in the #1 position for a very high volume and profitable keyword and Competitor A wants that position.

So Competitor A chooses  a Max Bid of $ 12.00 also; again not knowing that Competitor B has the same max bid. (Note: Google AdWords is a blind auction where nobody knows the other’s bids.) We are only able to see the ad placement for our competitors.

With an Ad Rank of 84, Competitor B has an Ad Rank advantage of  43% (1-(48/84)) over competitor B. With Competitor A’s campaign set to maximize clicks, Google is going to place the ad as high up on the page as the Ad Rank will allow.

And since Competitor A has a 43% advantage, with the same Max Bid, Competitor A will replace Competitor B for the #1 spot with an actual Cost-Per-Click(C.P.C.) of ($12.00*(1-43%)+ $ 0.01) or $ 6.85!

With this scenario, Competitor A will receive 1.75 more clicks (or opportunities) than Competitor B. Think about how this disparity calculates into cost-per-conversion, and also how Competitor A can easily keep Competitor B from ever occupying the #1 position at a 43% lower cost. With Competitor A having a Max Bid of $12.00, Competitor B would have to set its Max Bid to $ 17.17!

With this type of advantage, Competitor A, is now able to, as they said in the Old West, “Run Competitor B out of town on a rail.” Do you know your Quality Score? Is your competitor currently running your business out of town on a rail? Go check. I think I just heard a train whistle.