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 Get More Fans on Facebook, and LinkedIn For Business: How Advertisers, Marketers and Salespeople get Leads, Sales and Profits from LinkedInBrian has 12 years experience as a freelance consultant and digital marketing agency director. His hands-on business experience, cutting edge insights, background in improv and stand up comedy culminate in a keynote speaker, and social media trainer who leaves every audience not only entertained, but armed with powerful strategies and tactics.
Brian Carter
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  • http://www.techmadly.com Nitesh patel

    yeh gud article but i am always confused with this CTR can you please explain

  • http://www.fuelinteractive.com Brian Carter

    That’s a pretty general question. CTR = clickthrough rate. You can read about it here: http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=6305

  • http://www.productivity-magazine.info Jen

    Yeeeeeeaaaay AdWords guy!!!
    He should be a regular feature here.
    These are the little things you need to know to do proper job in Adw.

  • http://www.bevelwise.com Jessie

    Adwords must be getting quite a lot of calls about quality scores lately (i’ve called three times this month)! They told me that a 7/10 is like an A- on a grading scale…I was worried that it was a C.

  • http://www.ladwebdesign.com Linda D

    That the quality score is largely but not entirely based on CTR places the importance on the two or three line ad copy to bring in visitors. Test different lines of copy to see which one works best.

    I also have to believe that the quality score is also applied to the website itself – the information actually provided. Google can determine the bounce rate for a site fairly easily – I wonder if they combine that info with an adwords account for the site?

  • http://www.SocialMediaCommando.com Social Media Commando

    Quality Scores: A Family Issue

    Thanks for touching on the different levels, or ‘families’ of quality scores (keyword, ad, account). It’s a nice refresher and points out the need for a good ‘family relationship’.

    For example, a 10/10 qs for a particular keyword is nice, but to achieve maximum effect must be paired with outstanding ad copy – and be part of a well performing account.

    Further, the importance of quality landing pages with intelligently designed and positioned forms and calls to action (not to mention tracking numbers) can’t be forgotten. After all, in the end quality score is nice, but conversions are golden!

    Keep writing that killer content…

  • Sana Rizvi

    This is great stuff. Please keep giving us refresher courses like this! very good

  • http://davidodonnell.com.au David ODonnell

    Great stuff, short and to the point. I have often wondered about how good (or bad) 7/10 was and whether it would better to separate those keywords from 10/10 QS keywords.

  • http://replacementwindowsinc.com Steve Smith

    OK if they are measured at the ‘ad level’ then yes a 7/10 in an adgroup with 10/10’s all over it will lower the qs of the ‘AD’ associated with it down to maybe 8/10-9/10 so break em out of there. And score a 10 on the previous 7/10’s HA! Google contradicted themselves! Can’t blame the guy it is kinda convoluted.

  • http://www.acai-optimum.com/ Sandeep

    so, if u get Quality Score of 7, its good.
    i was messing to get it 10, thanks for awesome share

  • http://www.acai-optimum.com/ Sandeep

    so, if u get Quality Score of 7, its good.
    i was messing to get it 10, thanks for awesome share

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