Quality Score Factors

What Factors Affect Your Quality Score?

Many discussions of quality scores use the term interchangeably with click-through rate (CTR). There is no question that CTRs are crucial, but they aren’t the only factor that Google considers.

1) Keyword-Related Factors

If the keyword-related factors that affect your quality scores could be summed up in three words, those words would be Clicks, Clicks and Clicks. As I mentioned above, the most important consideration in your quality score, by far, is your click-through rate (CTR). Google has determined that the best indication of the relevance of your ads is whether users click on them.

The other factors discussed below are crucial, but none of them rate as highly as CTR.

2) Ad Copy-Related Factors

Ad copy is not an important consideration as far as your quality score is concerned. Most of the ad copy-related factors that would negatively impact your quality score in the past — such as misspellings, grammatical mistakes and exclamation marks — are banned outright. You simply can’t submit ads that include them. It is still important to include keywords in your ad copy, as we’ll explain below.

3) Ad Group-Related Factors

Your ad groups don’t affect your quality scores directly, but they still make a difference. We’ll discuss concrete tips for improving your quality scores in the next post in this series, but for now, keep one thing in mind: small ad groups that include negative keywords will lead to a tighter alignment between keywords and ad copy, and improved traffic.

4) Landing Page-Related Factors

In addition to the inclusion of keywords on your landing pages, Google considers a number of factors, including slow landing page load time and the use of pop ups. (Both bad.) It’s also important to avoid putting text in images or using Flash, because…

5) Aligning All of the Above

After CTR, the single most important factor in your quality scores is the alignment of your keywords, ad copy and landing pages. If you do not include keywords in your ad copy or landing pages, Google has no way of automatically verifying their relevance. And if the keywords on your landing pages are embedded in images or Flash, Google’s bots can’t read them.

Now that you know which factors to consider, you can begin optimizing your campaigns to improve your quality scores. In the next post in this series, I’ll discuss a number of ways that you can do so.