August 19, 2018

AdWords Quality Score Reporting Update: Improved Transparency for Advertisers

On Tuesday, Google released an update to their AdWords Quality Score reporting that lifts the hood a little on the individual components that make up your QS.

When you hover over the status icon in the Keywords tab, you will now see a rating for each measure, ‘Expected clickthrough rate”, “Ad Relevance” & “Landing page Experience”. The ratings are:- Average, Above Average or Below Average.

This should be a welcome addition for most advertisers (direct and agency) as it takes away a big chunk of the guess work and may actually save you time!.

This scenario may sound familiar to you:  You may be  (or have a client or a manager who is) obsessed with the QS for a particular group of terms. You may have them sitting at 7 or 8 out of 10, but no matter what you do, you’re cannot get it any higher…

STOP, breath slowly, and listen to me… As far as QS goes, NOT ALL KEYWORD TERMS ARE CREATED EQUAL. If the intent of the query is not all that commercial, QS will likely never get to double digits. So now you can stop wasting your time.

Check out the new rating for your keywords, and get a more accurate read on the Quality Score potential. If you’re getting Average to above average on all three measures, but your QS is only at 7, then perhaps this is close to as good as it gets for that term.

Image credit: Inside Adwords blog.

Attack the low hanging fruit first – look for terms that are performing well for you (CTR ,CR, CPA – whatever your goals), but have below average ratings for one or more areas of the QS and focus on at least getting those to Average or above average.

Don’t waste your time obsessing over why you can’t get a QS 8 keyword to QS 10. if the ratings are telling you you are above average, then perhaps it’s as high as it’ll go.

Let me know what you think of this new reporting feature in the comments.


## Update: It’s worth being clear that this IS NOT a change to the way Quality Score or Ad Rank is calculated, It’s simply a change to the way Google are reporting it.



About Leigh Hanney

Leigh Hanney is a marketing consultant helping companies optimise and execute digital marketing strategy and improve ROI.
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  1. Hi Leigh,

    Although I think Quality Score can be a useful metric, I think it can be too easy to look into it in too much detail, and lose track of other more important parts of the campaigns, such as developing a long-tail strategy and writing targeted ads.

    Even with the increased amount of competition on Google, I’ve found that relevancy to long-tail keywords is still very rare on Google (at least in Australia):

    Would be interested to hear your thoughts.


  2. Thanks Alan, I don’t really view QS as metric to measure, but rather take it for what it is – an indication of quality and relevacy. It then has flow on effects to all other areas of the campaign and the performance mertics that spring from there. I agree though that you still need to concentrate an all the other moving parts (long tail, relevacy, structure, lp’s) – no arguments there!

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