Quality Score: 3 UnFrequently Asked Questions

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One of our new services at Fuel Interactive is consulting/training. I’ve been training a guy in Austin, Texas, and he’s very observant. That means he asks me questions… and LOL I don’t know everything, but fortunately we’ve got this killer AdWords dedicated account rep team, so I ask them. Here are a couple questions that came up while we were doing some Quality-Score-oriented optimizations lately.

  1. Do keywords with zero impressions lower your quality score (QS) at the account level?
  2. Is 7/10 a good enough quality score?
  3. Does it hurt 10/10 quality score keywords if they’re in the same ad group as 7/10 keywords? In other words, is there an Ad Group level quality score?

First, a refresher:

  • Quality score is kept at the keyword level, ad level, and account level
  • Quality score is largely but not entirely based on CTR
  • High quality score lowers the bid required to achieve a given ad position


Do keywords with zero impressions lower your quality score at the account level?

In short, the answer is no. However, if they are zero long enough, they will become inactive for search, and inactive for search keywords do lower your account-level quality score. Here’s the exact quote from our optimization specialist:

-QS is influenced by CTR
– CTR is influenced by search volume, impressions and clicks
– Since the search volume is low, there are no impressions or clicks i.e., 0% CTR
– If the keywords continue to have zero or low search volume, they will become inactive for search and this will negatively impact your QS.
– In this particular account case, especially, the low search volume seems to have an impact on the QS in a round-about way.

Is 7/10 a good enough quality score?

I thought the goal would be to get 10/10 on every keyword, but evidently 7 is good enough. The AdWords guy says:

Any QS less than 5 can be treated as a low score and they can be either paused or deleted. If need be, you can resume or add the same keyword at a later date when the trend or traffic for these keywords improve. 7/10 is a good QS.

This is a relief, because I don’t see any rhyme or reason to why, in some cases, some keywords in the same ad group are 7 and some are 10.

Does it hurt 10/10 quality score keywords if they’re in the same ad group as 7/10 keywords? In other words, is there an Ad Group level quality score?

Nope, no ad group level quality score. The AdWords guy says:

It is true that there is account level, keyword level, and ad level QS. While there are no obvious QS at the ad group or campaign level, the QS of all the individual keywords put together seems to create a score for the ad group which is an influential factor for account level Quality Score. 7/10 is a good QS and you do not have to worry about it hurting the ones with 10/10.

It never ceases to amaze me that there are more depths of complexity to AdWords for us to plumb.  Here’s hoping these few insights help you optimize your accounts better.

Brian Carter
Brian is author of The Like Economy: How Businesses Make Money With Facebook and Facebook Marketing: Leveraging Facebook's Features For Your Marketing Campaigns, How to... Read Full Bio
Brian Carter
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