Brad Geddes / PPC Geek
Official AdWords Seminar Leader.
Author of Advanced Google AdWords.
Co-Founder, Adalysis.
(312) 884-9017
Brad Geddes's Theories on Marketing Google AdWords Quality Score Factors Chart

Google AdWords Quality Score Factors Chart

This is a quick reference chart that shows which of the major quality score factors affect the different quality score types.

10/2/08 Update:

The chart was updated to include the new geographic factors quality as well as what is used to calculate first page bid.

First Page Bid Search Quality Score Content Quality Score (and placement CPC) Placement (CPM)
CTR on Google.com Yes Yes
CTR on content site (specific or related sites to your ad display) Yes
Display URL CTR Yes Yes
Account History Yes Yes
Relevance of keyword to ads in ad group Yes Yes
Relevance of keyword and ad to search query (or site) Yes
Geographic Factors Yes Yes
Landing Page Yes Yes Yes
Other Relevancy Factors Yes Yes Yes

9/3/08 Update: Due to the changes in Quality Score, the chart has been changed to reflect those changes. It is important to note that these changes are not live for everyone yet, therefore, you need to pay attention to the original chart (below) until the changes are rolled out to everyone.

Essentially, since minimum bid is going away, most of the factors that were used in minimum bid will now be used in the Search Quality Score along with the original factors.

I’m sure there will be one last update when the new system is closer to a public launch due to the dynamic live nature of the new quality score.

Updated Chart: The red column means it’s going away. The Yellow is what will be added.

Minimum Bid Search Quality Score Content Quality Score (and placement CPC) Placement (CPM)
CTR on Google.com Yes Yes
CTR on content site (specific or related sites to your ad display) Yes
Display URL CTR Yes Yes
Account History Yes Yes
Relevance of keyword to ads in ad group Yes Yes
Relevance of keyword and ad to search query (or site) Yes
Landing Page Yes Yes Yes Yes
Other Relevancy Factors Yes Yes Yes

Here is the original chart (and what still matters today):

Minimum Bid

Search Quality Score

Content Quality Score (and placement CPC) Placement

(CPM)

CTR on Google.com Yes Yes
CTR on content site (specific or related sites to your ad display) Yes
Display URL CTR Yes Yes
Account History Yes Yes
Relevance of keyword to ads in ad group Yes
Relevance of keyword and ad to search query (or site) Yes
Landing Page Yes Yes Yes
Other Relevancy Factors Yes Yes Yes

17 Comments

  1. Josh
    August 19, 2008 at 10:46 pm · Reply

    Nice chart.. Can you provide evidence regarding the Display URL CTR affecting minimum bids & Search Quality Score?

    Of course, we know that Google can effectively ban a domain from advertising by slapping the entire domain with high minimum bids. So there is some sort of tie in between the domain and minimum bid, but I believe you are talking about the CTR on the domain level?

  2. Tom Hale
    August 21, 2008 at 10:40 am · Reply

    One row I would add is General History, as opposed to Account History. General history (across all AdWords users) is a dominant factor early, seems to me.

    Anyone care to take a stab at how these factors are weighed?

    Take Search Quality Score for instance – here is my attempt at listing the factors in order of importance.

    This is a total wild guess, for discussion proposes only – I have also broken it down into initial versus ongoing, because general historical is is more important initially than it is after account/campaign history is established.

    Initial

    General History
    Account History
    Google.com CTR
    KW/Ad Relevance
    Other Relevance
    Display URL CTR

    Ongoing

    Google.com CTR
    Account History
    KW/Ad Relevance
    Other Relavance
    General History
    Display URL CTR

    -Tom Hale

  3. Brad Geddes aka eWhisper
    September 3, 2008 at 3:35 pm · Reply

    On the display URL; that was added later. Essentially, when QS first rolled out only the ‘ad copy’ (headline, d1, d2) was used to determine quality. This was added at a later time. For more info, see the AdWords help: http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=10215

  4. Brad Geddes aka eWhisper
    September 3, 2008 at 3:37 pm · Reply

    If I had to pick one factor that I think is one of the most important to focus on it would be conversion rate (if you don’t convert, who cares about your quality score) and then CTR.

    I think account history is more important for new keywords (especially the medial industry) than for most small businesses. Google doesn’t have a good way to judge new keywords,so looking at account history gives them a gauge of what you’ve done with the keywords you try.

  5. Sopian
    November 1, 2008 at 5:41 am · Reply

    Do value of clicks with impressions to influence score?
    Example Today my value 6 but tomorrow can 5.

  6. Tomasz Frontczak
    December 4, 2008 at 5:06 am · Reply

    Are you sure, that Landig Page factor do not affect First Page Bid.

    Here is written:
    For calculating a keyword-targeted ad’s position, landing page quality is not a factor.

    IMO — Landing Page is a factor for first page bid.

    Great job and great blog.

  7. Brad Geddes aka eWhisper
    December 4, 2008 at 7:19 am · Reply

    It is starting to get confusing. Essentially, trying to figure out where quality score is used as opposed to first page bids. Before it was easy, quality score with landing pages determiend min CPC, and if your bid was above the min CPC then landing page was thrown out in determining your ad rank.

    If you look at this page, http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=6111 you can see how ads are ranked. Google lists the factors on that page as:

    Ad Rank = CPC bid × Quality Score

    The Quality Score for Ad Rank on Google and the search network is determined by:

    * The historical clickthrough rate (CTR) of the keyword and the matched ad on Google; if the ad is appearing on a search network page, its CTR on that search network partner is also considered
    * Your account history, which is measured by the CTR of all the ads and keywords in your account
    * The historical CTR of the display URLs in the ad group
    * The relevance of the keyword to the ads in its ad group
    * The relevance of the keyword and the matched ad to the search query
    * Your account’s performance in the geographical region where the ad will be shown
    * Other relevance factors

  8. Brad Geddes aka eWhisper
    December 4, 2008 at 7:24 am · Reply

    As an FYI – this chart is in the AdWords seminar presentation, which is approved by Google and I did have conversations about this chart and first page bids to make sure it was accurate before it was posted.

  9. Aaron
    April 1, 2009 at 12:17 pm · Reply

    How do you feel about bidding on domain names as keywords to increase quality score and low cpc?

    Great site btw, glad I found this one ;-).

    Cheers,

    Aaron

  10. Brad Geddes aka eWhisper
    April 1, 2009 at 3:58 pm · Reply

    Aaron,

    I have a tendancy to bid on what actually converts. In general, on search one keyword will not really help another keyword (account history is a pretty small factor). Therefore, bidding on a keyword to raise CTR helps much more for content than search.

    However, since content uses a different set of factors for determining where you ad will be places, an actual domain name might not help in the overall strategy.

    If the domain name words convert, then excellent. If they don’t then I wouldn’t bid on them outside of competitor research reasons.

  11. Google Adwords Expert
    December 1, 2009 at 11:09 am · Reply

    It’s been really become hard sometime to fight with the quality score. Because it happened with me with some campaign where in spite of having all the keyword quality score I could not figure out what is the reason of lower quality score.

  12. Chad Walls - Tutor Guy
    July 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm · Reply

    I was hoping someone could expand on landing page quality and the content network. My ads appear on Google search and search partners but not on the content network. The site is a single landing page so thought the landing page criteria of search results is different then the content network.
    Also, thanks for the table. It did help gain some insight into my problem.

  13. Jawad from Traffic Siphon
    August 29, 2010 at 5:56 am · Reply

    Quality score is a main issue about 80% of the advertisers must be facing. But I am seeing a lot of account being suspended because of bridge page policy and the affiliate pages. One of my account promoting an affiliate product was suspended and I really don’t know how to make my other accounts secure. Can you help me? Does affiliate marketing totally banned by google adwords?

    • Brad Geddes aka eWhisper
      August 30, 2010 at 11:21 am · Reply

      Affiliates are no hated by Google. Sites that do not add any value are hated by Google.

      Ask yourself this question: “Should the searcher have gone directly to the merchant’s site, or did my site make part of the process better?”

      If they should have gone directly to the merchant, then your site doesn’t offer something unique enough (content, decisions, etc).
      If you helped the searcher make a better decision – then there is a reason for the site to exist and send traffic to it.

  14. Cursos Adwords
    September 11, 2010 at 1:54 pm · Reply

    Great information. Anyway the quality score can only be affected by the searches made in [keyword], so if you don’t use the exact match you hardly see any changes.

  15. Jawad from Traffic Siphon
    September 12, 2010 at 12:45 pm · Reply

    Sorry for being late but thanks Brad for your answer. Yeh I understand that and that’s what I look for. See one of my site about for which my adwords account was banned. I would like to have your views particularly for this site so I don’t do what I have done wrong with it.

    Thanks.

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