Brad Geddes / PPC Geek
Official Google Ads Seminar Leader.
Author of Advanced Google AdWords.
Co-Founder, Adalysis.
(703) 828-5811‬
Brad Geddes's Theories on Marketing What determines the ‘Keyword Quality Score’ for AdWords?

What determines the ‘Keyword Quality Score’ for AdWords?

Your keyword quality score, along with maximum cost per click is what determines the placement of your ad on the search network.

The Ad Rank Formula for Search is:

Search Ad Rank = (Keyword Quality Score) X (Max CPC)

If you have a higher keyword quality score than your competitor, then you can bid less, pay less, and appear higher in a search result.

Ad Rank is what position your ad is displayed in a search result. The lower the number, the higher the placement (i.e. 1 is the top of the page).

In the below instance, Advertiser 1 is bidding over twice of Advertiser 2, and still showing below Advertiser 2 in a search result.

Advertiser 1 Advertiser 2
Max CPC – $2.00
Quality Score – 0.75
Ad Rank – 1.5
Max CPC – $0.75
Quality Score – 2.5
Ad Rank – 1.875

Keyword Quality Score for Search is Determined by:

  • Click through rate on
    • Overall history
    • Most recent history
  • Ad copy
  • Account quality score
  • Other relevancy factors

It does not include the landing page.

Please refer to the full list of AdWords Quality Score Factors for an explanation of each factor type.

Understanding your keyword quality score can help you pay less, receive higher ad rank, and more exposure for your PPC advertising dollars. It is often more profitable to increase your quality score over just raising bids.


  1. CarlosM
    April 4, 2007 at 12:12 pm ·


    You say Landing Page is not included for the Keyword Quality Score for Search.

    I found that I get better Keyword Quality Scores (and thus lower minimum bids) if I provide a very target landing page for each keyword than if I provide a landing page that is not so targeted. I found this when I use a unique landing page PER keyword (not per ad group).

    Google on the following pages, says that landing page quality is one of the factors to determine the Quality Score. Have they changed this?

    Landing Page Quality
    “Landing page quality is one of several factors that helps determine a keyword’s Quality Score”

    How do I improve my keyword’s Quality Score?
    “To increase your Quality Score, you’ll need to optimize your affected keywords, ads, and landing pages for relevancy.”

    How do I create a high quality landing page?
    “[…]these suggestions do reflect the site quality principles we evaluate when calculating your Quality Score and setting your minimum bids.”

    How often do you visit landing pages and update Quality Scores?
    “The AdWords system visits and evaluates advertiser landing pages on a regular basis.”

  2. Brad Geddes aka eWhisper
    April 4, 2007 at 9:09 pm ·

    I’ve been though this with Google a few times now. For quality score for search – the landing page is not used. It is used for the minimum bid. The minimum bid is closely aligned with the the displayed quality score (great, ok, poor).

    If you pay above the minimum bid (which includes landing page and will discussed in a post shortly) then for the actual auction process, the landing page doesn’t matter.

  3. CarlosM
    April 5, 2007 at 9:36 am ·

    If you pay above the minimum bid (which includes landing page and will discussed in a post shortly) then for the actual auction process, the landing page doesn’t matter.

    Ok, I understand that the landing page weight factor is removed in this situation – when ranking the ads on search.

    After re-reading this article, now I see that you are referring *only* when *ranking the ads on search* – my bad. I thought you were referring to the keyword’s quality score in general due to the article’s title What determines the ‘Keyword Quality Score’ for AdWords?.

    Isn’t correct that in general (not when Google calculates the ad rank on search) the keyword’s quality score is also determined/calculated using the landing page quality/relevance factor? In my experience you cannot have a great quality score if the [keyword | ad group] landing page is irrelevant (e.g. your ad and keyword is about flowers and the landing page is about car parts).