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How does Google "grade" exactly?

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# 1
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I've been on Google Adwords quite a few months and still really don't understand what quality scores are about. And yes, I have read lots of pages in books, on the Internet and in these forums about quality scores and what Google is supposed to be looking for ("relevance is king!"). I know I still often don't understand how Google Adwords "grades" at all. For example, while I don't claim that my web site is the best, I have a translation business and every word of my ads, every keyword and every word of my web site is about my translation business. So how can Google give me a 1/10 for ad relevance for numerous keywords? It isn't like my web site is talking about something else that is far afield. I have read numerous forums on Google Adwords where some "assisters" have said that ultimately quality scores on Google Adwords are all about click-through rates much more than anything else so thus almost all obscure broad modifiers would presumably get low ratings as the click-thru rate to be expected would always be extremely low? Certainly the quantity of clicks would be expected to be very low even if the CTR were good.

 

Higher quality scores should bring down the costs although I guess it won't bring a 23-dollar keyword down to one dollar, will it?

2 Expert replyverified_user

How does Google "grade" exactly?

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# 2
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Quality score measures the quality of your (keyword)+(ad text)+(landing page) and it's relevance to users, which includes the click-through rate.  You need a highly structured campaign with small ad groups to reach high quality scores in most campaigns.  And many keywords just don't get enough clicks to reach high quality score status. 

 

Many AdWords users obsess over quality scores.  While all "best practices" recommended by Google should be followed in order to maximize your quality scores, it needn't be the central focus of your campaigns.  It is better to focus on conversion rates, and cost per conversion (or action - CPA).  That measures the ultimate marketing result of your campaign. 


Quality scores are now heavily influenced by the use of ad extensions and their performance, so campaigns should be taking advantage of those readily available enhancements. 

 

Google does not publish the full quality score algorithm because it would lead to manipulation, thereby diluting their usefulness. 

 

hth

How does Google "grade" exactly?

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# 3
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Thanks. So I guess it would theoretically be possible to just "override" a low-quality score by just bidding higher?

 

I have tried to bid very, very high on, for example, a highly-sought-after term like [translation company] on a weekday, but it seemed like my ad rank barely moved. I guess that means my competitors are probably bidding extremely high (or have a combination of a better quality score and a high bid)?

How does Google "grade" exactly?

[ Edited ]
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
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Yes, you can offset a low quality score by bidding higher.  However, you will be paying more for the same rank (ad position) with a lower quality score.  And Google will favor higher quality scores when determining which ads appear on a landing page. 

 

Yes, it can be hard to "break into" a market dominated by high ranking, heavily funded, high quality score competitors.  They become "king of the (keyword) hill after some time.  But it can be done.

 

I like to bid a little higher in a new campaign, to give keywords a better chance of having a CTR advantage.  Position 2 is a nice place to start. Sometimes it can be difficult to recover if a keywords sinks below QS4; for one reason you will have to big much higher to get into a higher CTR ad slot.  But there are many theories, and approaches to that sort of thing; it is just one approach.

 

hth

How does Google "grade" exactly?

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

Yep, so if you could convert 2x better than your competitors, or had 2x the profit margin, then having half the QS would very roughly make it a level playing field.

 

Keep in mind that QS is relative, so if you have a low QS, some others bidding on the same keywords will have a higher QS. 

 

So QS is a way for Google to say "we think other ads and sites for this same keyword are much better, and we prefer to run their ads, unless you much bid higher than them". 

 

 

How does Google "grade" exactly?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

Hi Rls1020,

When Google says relevance, they mean relevance to the user. That is primarily measured by CTR, although things like extensions will help with your QS. A QS of 1/10 means your CTR is much lower than your competitors.

 

On the Campaign tab, add the competitive metrics for "Lost IS Due to Rank". That will give you a good idea of where you stand in terms of AdRank. A higher QS will help reduce your costs, but from $23 to $1 I don't think will happen.

 

Creating smaller, more focused ad groups will help you write ad copy that is more closely related to the search terms used and your keywords. That should improve the CTR, which in turn should improve your QS.

 

Best of Luck!

 

Pete

 

petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

How does Google "grade" exactly?

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# 7
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Yes, Steve, you bring up a number of interesting points. Of course, everyone would like to have the first position, but I have somewhat theorized that top of page would still be pretty good as you tend to pay substantially lower than first position, but you're still high enough to be seen and above all the organic search results (oftentimes, I've felt that probably there is just as much or more competition provided by the organic search results than competitors' ads). If you're at the bottom of the page, you're "credited" with an impression, but aren't really sure whether the person viewing the page even made it all the way down to your ad before leaving. 

How does Google "grade" exactly?

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 8
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You're on the right track.  Position 2 or 3 is often analogous to purchasing a 2 or 3 year old car, versus a new one.  

 

With AdWords though, the mantra is test, test, test.  It is good to develop working hypothesis, but very important to always test it to see if you're right.  That is a major secret because there are a lot of surprises you will discover that work in your favor, or push you away from changes which seemed like a good idea, but didn't work out that way in the live campaign.

 

Best of luck with your AdWords.