Ads in a Quality Score World Session at SES New York

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As search marketers, quality score has played a huge role in our campaigns determining our bids and positions in the search engines.  I just attended the session, “Ads in A Quality Score World” by panelist David Miller from Yahoo Search Marketing, Joel Lapp from Reprise Media, Jon Kelly from Sure Hits and Frederick Valleys from Google.

Quality score is ever changing in the ways the search engines will evaluate the way they rank ads in search queries.

What are the quality score factors?
-Click through Rate
-Historical Account Performance
-Relevance of Keyword to Ad Group
-Landing Page Quality
-Relevance of Keyword to Ad

How will Quality Score benefit everyone?
-Better User Experience (Relevance- User)
-More Qualified Leads (You- Advertiser)
-More Money for the Engines (Engine- GOOGLE)

Jon Kelly’s Three Tips:
-Align Keywords, Creative, and Landing Pages
-Experiment with Different Grouping Structures
-Use Day-Parting to Focus on High Demand and Conversion Periods

David Miller from Yahoo Search Marketing spoke on and focused more on how Yahoo goes about ranking your ads and keywords. For those of you who already use both, Yahoo and Google, you will notice a big difference in their Quality score, or should I say Quality Index for Yahoo purposes.

Yahoo will give Quality Score based on your ad, not individual keywords. Keywords with low activity or irrelevancy will hurt your ads quality index which is also compared to the competition.

Two important factors Yahoo looks at in your campaign are historical account performance and expected performance.  What impacts your quality index?
-Ad Quality of Competition
-Ad Group Structure

What can you do in Yahoo to have better ranking ads and improve quality index?
-Look at Quality Index
-Improve the Ad Itself
-Move Out the Irrelevant Keywords and Improve Ad Group Structure.

Frederick Valleys from Google spoke on Quality Score and we all have had our frustrations with Google, especially since you can wake up one morning and have your bids go from .20 cents to $5-$10 bids. Valleys states Google’s quality score is Google’s way of measuring what their USERS think about your ad.

Quality Score Wisdom:
-Obsess Over User Experience, not QS
-Don’t Be Afraid to Make Changes
-CTR is Still a Large Component of QS.
-Broad Matches Don’t Affect QS
-Keyword Match Type Doesn’t Matter for QS
-“The algorithm” Can Sometimes Be Wrong

Things to Avoid:
-Extremely Long Keywords (low volume words can hurt you)
-Keywords That Don’t Associate with Your Business
-Ad Text: Avoid Generic Ad Text Especially on Specific Keywords
Landing Pages: Avoiding Taking the User to a General Page for a Specific Keyword and Avoid Slow Landing Pages.

Pablo Palatnik
Pablo Palatnik is the author of the blog PalatnikFactor, focusing on all things Online Marketing and Search Engine Optimization specialist for Fortune3, a shopping cart software company by online retailers, for online retailers.
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  • Lynette

    Interesting and informative article Pablo.

    I am writing you to ask for support or to hear if others have run into issues with Google’s Organic Search and Google’s AdWords. The company I work for, Laserfiche (, spends more than $500,000.00 annually on AdWords. I’ve been having ongoing problems with sites that rank above us in the organic site of Google. I have done further research on these sites and have seen these sites use paid linking, paid directories, and forum pulling to gain higher page count for their sites. Google states that paid linking is against their policies and will sandbox sites that use just practices. We have reported these facts over and over to Google AdWords Account Reps and they have told us there is nothing they can do for us in regards to the sites in question. But they would help us with other marketing means to help our AdWords. We have asked for contact information to the Google Search Team and we still get nowhere with Google.
    Has anyone else had issues like this with Google?

    Please see our letter to Dr. Schmidt, CEO of Google.

    Thank you!
    Lynette Wilson

  • Mercy

    Very informative post. I would like to include my option with this,

    Landing page quality score could be increased by.
    1. Provide relevant and significant content.

    2. Develop an easy navigation site

  • Tom

    to: Lynette Wilson

    Dude if you can’t beat em.. join em

    Why don’t you invest a bit on organic SEO huh?? If you can spend $500,000 on PPC why not a bit of it on SEO? Why blame others for your illogical decisions dude?