Brad Geddes / PPC Geek
Official Google Ads Seminar Leader.
Author of Advanced Google AdWords.
Co-Founder, Adalysis.
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Brad Geddes's Theories on Marketing Quality Score is Only Affected by Exact Match Impressions

Quality Score is Only Affected by Exact Match Impressions

I had a long assumed thought confirmed by Google: Quality score is only based upon the exact match for a keyword.

Impressions and clicks that occur from expanded broad match do not affect your quality score.

While it is important to bid based upon conversion metrics; I often find it useful to use broad match combined with a search query report to help identify each keyword’s universe.

No Comments

  1. Nikos Kapsomenakis
    January 23, 2008 at 7:37 am ·

    Brad i would like to ask to explain more about this. Do you mean that the system takes account only those queries conducted with exact matching by the user or the keywords with exact matching in my adgroups ?

    What is going on if all my keywords in the adgroup have broad match targeting or some of my keywords have both exact and broad match targeting (for testing purposes) ?

  2. John
    January 23, 2008 at 12:24 pm ·

    Brad,

    I too would be interested in a more thorough explanation of this. Where did you get confirmation of the relationship between Quality Score and Exact Match? Glad to see you posting again! : )

  3. Diana
    January 23, 2008 at 10:14 pm ·

    I’m curious about this. Similar to what Nikos was asking, my question is more detailed.

    Are you saying that if I bid on the keyword motorcycle battery as a broad matched term, and the term is searched exactly as above and clicked, that these clicks don’t affect my quality score?

    And the same is true if I bid on “motorcycle battery” as a phrase match, and someone searches exactly that phrase and clicks my ad, that those clicks don’t affect my quality score?

    That only when I bid on [motorcycle battery] as an exact match, will the clicks affect my quality score?

    Or are you saying if I have the keyword motorcycle battery, regardless of my match type, clicks only count toward the quality score if someone searches exactly as the keyword is listed?
    Thanks – I look forward to hearing back!

  4. Richard Ball
    January 24, 2008 at 1:15 pm ·

    FYI, here’s the Google documentation that explains that expanded matches don’t impact QS:

    http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=6137

    Relevant text: “Also, your ads’ performance on keyword variations doesn’t influence your keywords’ Quality Scores, minimum cost-per-click (CPC) bids, and ad positions.”

    Keep in mind that this means the CTR of any broad-matched keyword is potentially meaningless when diagnosing QS problems.

    Also, don’t you think expanded broad matches should not be subject to the same min bid, then? IMHO, the QS system is flawed. It doesn’t make any sense that the same QS applies to all 3 match types. How can Google be so lazy when they’re forcing advertisers to be so quality-conscious?

    I generally set higher bids for exact, lower for phrase and much lower for broad. I think it’s prudent to pay less when you don’t know what you’re actually buying, particularly in the case of expanded broad matches. Accordingly, I think it would make sense if the 3 different match types had different Quality Scores and, hence, different min bids.

    They could at least adjust their algorithm for cases where more than 1 match type exists in an ad group. Might be a bit difficult for them to implement, but QS + min bid as currently implemented clearly stacks the deck in Google’s favor.

  5. Mark
    January 30, 2008 at 4:59 pm ·

    Thanks Brad. This is a great insight.

    The use of the word “exact match” in the title and first paragraph can be a little confusing though. Initially, I interpreted this as meaning broad and phrase match types do not factor into QS. Not the case. They do.

    Broad, Phrase and Exact keyword match types ALL factor into quality score, as long as they match the search query “exactly.” Only search queries with extensions and synonyms for bid terms do not. Some examples are below:

    Extension: you bid on the term flowers and it is matched to the query discount flowers (applies to broad and phrase match types)

    Synonym: you bid on the term flowers and it is matched to the query red roses (applies to broad match types only)

  6. stelios
    January 31, 2008 at 11:23 am ·

    Thats very interesting! Thanks for sharing this with us as google is not very clear!

  7. Brad Geddes aka eWhisper
    February 3, 2008 at 12:39 pm ·

    If you bid on the broad or phrase match of motorcycle battery and:

    The search is blue motorcycle battery. Then the search will not affect your quality score.

    If the search was motorcycle battery (even though you’re bidding on the phrase or broad match version of the word), then the search will affect your quality score.

    I’ve spent a few days each of the last two weeks at Google and had a few conversations around this topic.

  8. Kristina
    February 4, 2008 at 6:30 am ·

    I too would be interested in a more thorough explanation of this. Where did you get confirmation of the relationship between Quality Score and Exact Match? Glad to see you posting again!!!

  9. Micheal Clarke
    February 11, 2008 at 2:40 am ·

    I am confused when I read Mark and eWhispher response. They differ in their opinion. Any help ?