What Is Google Quality Score & How Does It Impact Google Ads

Samuel Edwards
April 11, 2023

Running a successful Google ad campaign is hard work. It requires crafting compelling ad copy, bidding on competitive keywords, and creating engaging landing pages. 

It also requires having a handle on ad Quality Score. As the name suggests, this is Google’s official metric for measuring the quality of your ads. The higher your ad’s Quality Score, the higher Google will rank the ad and the less you will be charged for it. It's part of the ad rank formula.

In this article, we’ll go over exactly what the Quality Score is, how it’s measured, how it impacts Google Ads quality score, your Google ad performance, and more. You will also learn how to optimize your Google Ads account. Let’s get started!

What Is Google Quality Score?

Google Quality Score rates the quality of your ads in terms of their relevance to the search keywords you are targeting and their usefulness to users. It does this by comparing your ads to those of other advertisers on a scale of 1 to 10.

According to Google, you can use Quality Score as a diagnostic tool to “identify where it might be beneficial to improve your ads, landing pages, or keyword selection.”

How Is Quality Score Calculated?

The first step to improving an ad’s low-quality score is to understand how the metric is calculated in the first place. 

There are three main components of Google’s Quality Score:

  • Expected click-through rate (CTR). This refers to how likely an ad is to be clicked on based on users’ past interactions with ads for that keyword.
  • Ad relevance. This refers to how relevant a keyword is to users’ search intent and the particular ad group it is a part of.
  • Landing page experience. This refers to how relevant and useful users will find the landing page that the ad directs them to.
Google Quality Score

Source: https://instapage.com/blog/quality-score

Each of these factors is given a rating of “above average,” “average,” or “below average” by Google’s machine learning (ML) algorithms, which use historical data from other advertisers over the last 90 days.

In other words, Quality Score is based entirely on the “wisdom of the crowds” (Google users) as opposed to that of Google employees.

While Google doesn’t disclose the relative weighting of each Quality Score component, the click-through rate (CTR) appears to be the most important.

Why? Because at the end of the day, the number of people that actually click on your ad is the strongest indicator of its relevance to users.

Plus, Google relies heavily on ad revenue, and the only way it makes money from ads is if users click on them. Then Google collects money from advertisers. That’s how the cost-per-click (CPC) ad model works.

So, Google has a strong incentive to ensure its ads are high quality.

How Does Quality Score Impact Google Ad Performance?

Quality score impacts your Google Ad performance in a few important ways:

First, the Quality Score helps determine which ads are eligible to enter the ad auction for a particular keyword. If your ad’s Quality score doesn’t reach a certain threshold, it won’t be considered.

Second, Quality Score helps determine how eligible ads are ranked in search results. The better the Quality Score, the higher the ad will appear.

Lastly (and perhaps most importantly), Quality Score helps determine an ad’s cost per click (CPC). Google discounts ads that have higher Quality Scores because it knows those ads will get clicked on more, leading to more ad revenue.

Again, without clicks, Google doesn’t make any money. So, if it can get generate more clicks by offering a discount to advertisers with higher-quality ads, it will.

The opposite is also true. If your ad’s Quality Score is lower than your competition, then Google will penalize you by requiring you to pay a higher CPC. 

At the end of the day, Google just wants to make as much money as possible, and discounting and penalizing CPC is how it offsets differences in ad Quality Scores.

How Does Quality Score Impact Google Ad Performance

Source: https://www.clairejarrett.com/how-to-increase-quality-score-in-google-ads/

How to Improve your Google Ads’ Quality Scores

How to Improve your Google Ads’ Quality Scores

To improve your Google Ads’ Quality Scores, there are a few things you can do:

1. Perform thorough keyword research

Knowing which keywords to target with your ads is essential to gaining a high-Quality Score. Some keywords may seem relevant to your product or service but, in fact, are not. To find out which keywords your target customers are actually searching for requires thorough research.When you get your keywords right, your ad CTRs will increase and so will your Quality Score.

2. Create tight keyword groups

Another way to improve the Quality Score is to tightly group target keywords. You want to make sure the ad groups aren’t too broad or else your ad relevance will suffer. If needed, split your ad groups into smaller, more tightly themed subgroups.

3. Refine your ad copy

You can’t expect a high ad Quality Score without writing high-quality ad copy. After all, the content of the ad is what gets users to click on it. So focus on keeping ad copy short and to the point. Don’t try to be clever. Speak directly to your target customer’s heart so that they will be more inclined to click.

4. Optimize landing pages

Of course, even the most compelling ads won’t do you any good if they lead to a landing page that isn’t relevant or useful. So you need to make sure your landing pages connect directly to your ad groups and provide a seamless experience for users from the initial ad to conversion.

Do this by creating a visual hierarchy, using minimal text, adding high-quality photos, and having different landing pages for different keywords and products.

5. Add negative keywords

Lastly, add negative keywords to your Google ads campaign. This excludes certain keywords that are irrelevant to your product or business so that you don’t waste any budget on them.

Partner with us

Ultimately, ad Quality Score is all about making your ads more relevant to users. Now that you understand how to do that, you can expect your ads to perform better in terms of CTR (performance) and CPC (cost). 

That said, if you need extra help, PPC.co is here for you. Our expert marketers have decades of experience in running successful ad campaigns, and we’re confident we can take yours to the next level, too.

Contact us today for a free proposal. We look forward to chatting!


Samuel Edwards

Chief Marketing Officer

Throughout his extensive 10+ year journey as a digital marketer, Sam has left an indelible mark on both small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises alike. His portfolio boasts collaborations with esteemed entities such as NASDAQ OMX, eBay, Duncan Hines, Drew Barrymore, Price Benowitz LLP, a prominent law firm based in Washington, DC, and the esteemed human rights organization Amnesty International. In his role as a technical SEO and digital marketing strategist, Sam takes the helm of all paid and organic operations teams, steering client SEO services, link building initiatives, and white label digital marketing partnerships to unparalleled success. An esteemed thought leader in the industry, Sam is a recurring speaker at the esteemed Search Marketing Expo conference series and has graced the TEDx stage with his insights. Today, he channels his expertise into direct collaboration with high-end clients spanning diverse verticals, where he meticulously crafts strategies to optimize on and off-site SEO ROI through the seamless integration of content marketing and link building.