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Why do related keywords have a mix of high and low quality scores?

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# 1
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This is my first post here. I would describe myself as a "lurker" - I've read your community posts for a couple of years but I only recently started betting "real" money on Adwords.


So far, happy with the results but there's something that puzzles me.


For example, I have an ad group that is triggered for keyword variations around "green widgets" and although the phrases are closely related, they show up in my account with different quality scores.



"service for green widgets" have a quality score of 6/10 (and converts well)

"servicing on green widgets" have a quality score of 1/10 (and is rarely shown hence 0 conversions)

bids are the same, and settings too.


I would still like my ads to appear for the 2nd phrase because that's got a higher search volume and would potentially convert well for me.


Since the two phrases are so similar, I have no idea how to optimise it. Do I make changes to the landing page? Or do I split off the low-scored phrases into a separate ad group and create different ads for them?


Please help.

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Why do related keywords have a mix of high and low quality scores?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi John.
Welcome to the world of posting on the forum. Glad to hear you are out of the shadows.

First of all, let me just say that this issue has driven AdWords users crazy over the years. It's a difficult one to pinpoint.

You have to remember a couple of things. Quality score is based on the keyword, not the adgroup. What you are seeing is actually quite common. The quality score is based on the CTR or the expected CTR of that keyword. If it is a new keyword, it's based on the expected CTR based off YOUR COMPETITORS HISTORICAL CTR on that keyword. This is a difficult concept to grasp actually.

If a keyword historically hasn't performed well for other advertisers, Google essentially tosses it in the bin. If it has historically performed poorly, they don't want to subject their customers (searchers, not advertisers) to ads for it .

There could be many other reasons why this is happening too. You really need to look at the QS bubble and find out what areas Google thinks are low quality. Is it the expected CTR? The ad relevance? The landing page relevance? It could be any of those.

In some cases, when there's a policy issue, Google may decrease the QS of keywords for that landing page so as to prevent advertisers from advertising for that keyword.

Unfortunately, without knowing your URL/Landing page and without knowing the QS bubble notifications, that's all I can tell you right now. Hope that helps.

Re: Why do related keywords have a mix of high and low quality scores?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor
I would not try to bid on keywords with a low QS, Furthermore - I would remove it.
Why wouldn't you use the first keyword with enabled (camapign level) setting of " include close variants" (active by default)
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Why do related keywords have a mix of high and low quality scores?

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# 4
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Dave_Davis, MosheTLV - thank you, very helpful