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What is Google’s Keyword Quality Score?

Updated on June 17, 2024
Posted on July 25, 2017 by Brent Wildman

What is Google's Keyword Quality Score

“Quality score is one of the single most important metrics in Adwords and also one of the most ignored. No other metric has the impact that a bad, or good, quality score can have on a campaign.”  – Brent Wildman, Search Marketing Manager


There has been an update to how we view and access Google’s Quality Rating and the relevance of keywords to your ads. Due to these visual changes to reporting, advertisers are now able to easily identify underperforming metrics and compare changes and updates to historical performance.

Definition of Keyword Quality Score


Google rates the quality and relevance of the keywords. This quality score is the main determining factor affecting cost-per-click for each keyword. Quality Score is used in conjunction with max bid to determine how much you’ll be spending in each of your auctions.


Quality score is based on:

  • Click through rate (CTR)
  • Relevance of each keyword to its ad group
  • Landing page quality
  • Relevance of ad copy in each ad group
  • Historical performance across the entire account


The Quality Score Update


AdWords has 7 new columns related to quality score. Now, advertisers can see the quality score, ad relevance, landing page experience and expected CTR directly within the AdWords interface without having to hover over every keyword.

Google's Keyword Quality Score


This allows advertisers to see all the different metrics that attribute to quality score at a glance and allows them to focus on underperforming areas, like landing page experience or ad relevance.


Historical data is a long-awaited addition, allowing us to jump back in time to get a glimpse of previous performance using the time range selector to compare current metrics. It is important to note columns always show current scores unless you’re viewing historical data based on time range selected.


Only Google knows the exact ratio calculating the quality score. But CTR, ad copy and landing pages are the top 3 factors that affect it. On a scale from 1 to 10, 10 is the highest possible score. Having a higher score directly relates to having a lower CPC, translating into a higher ROI because you’re spending less per conversion.


A score of 5 or 6 has a neutral affect. You’re not penalized but you also do not benefit. New or updated keywords start at a 6 as a default, and Google moves you up and down from there. Having a quality score of 1 can be as much as a 400% increase in cost!


How do I increase my Google quality score?


A high score indicates a healthy account, pulling in the right traffic and conversions. If your score is low, there is a disconnect between your message and the traffic you actually receive. Here are ways to improve your quality score:

  • Research
    • Find relevant and highly targeted keywords
    • Organize keywords into correct ad groups, target them strategically
    • No overlap or spillover from ad group to ad group
    • Always remember the user’s search intent
  • Write good ad copy. Make it targeted and relevant to your user.
  • Testing, testing. Utilize A/B testing to determine which ads, landing pages and keywords are performing best.
  • Optimize your landing pages with relevant copy and keep the page organized. Put your user’s experience first.. You’ll be rewarded with a good quality score.


The Creative Momentum’s PPC experts can help your business build the best campaigns for your users. If you’re interested in learning how to increase PPC ROI and pull in the most qualified leads, contact us today.

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