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Quality Score 101: What Does Google Look For?

Quality Score 101: What Does Google Look For?Quality Score is one of the most important, yet, least understood aspects of the Google AdWords equation. Part of the reason why Quality Score is so poorly understood is that Google provides only very basic information about its formula.

Fortunately, over the last few years Google has become a bit more open. Marketers have also pooled their collective experiences to figure out what really makes up a high Quality Score.

Without further ado, here are the top factors that affect your Quality Score.

Landing Page Quality

This is perhaps the number one thing that trips up marketers. In order to succeed in Google AdWords, not only do you need landing pages that convert, you also need landing pages that actually provide quality content to the user. Your landing page will be evaluated first by an automated bot, then by a real human being.

In addition to good content, your landing page should be well designed. It should address whatever question the user came to your site to have answered.

It should be noted that contrary to popular belief, opt-in pages are not banned by Google. But if you want to use an opt-in page, make sure the opt-in page, itself, provides valuable information.

Having a poor landing page is one of the fastest ways to get a “Poor” quality score. However, just a good landing page isn’t enough to get a high Quality Score.

Click-Through Rate

Your click-through rate is the second most important thing to pay attention to once you’ve got your landing page handled.

Keep in mind that the more people who click per 100 people who see an ad, the more money Google makes. It only makes sense, then, that the people with a higher CTR will get higher positions and, thereby, make Google more money.

Always split test your ads to try and get the highest CTRs possible.

Historical CTR of Display URLs

If Wikipedia decided to start running AdWords ads, their Quality Score right off the bat would be much higher than a no name website. If an advertiser with a high Quality Score stops advertising for a while then comes back, the same will also be true. Google doesn’t just consider your immediate CTR, but also the display URL’s historical performance.

Relevance of Keyword to Ad

Even if your CTR is high and your landing page is good, if you’re showing up for unrelated pages, Google still won’t highly rank your score. Relevancy counts. Google’s goal is to give the search users exactly what they’re looking for.

These are a few of the most important factors that Google looks for. Of course, Google’s formula contains hundreds of smaller variables that they haven’t disclosed. But if you focus on just mastering your landing page, your CTR and your relevancy, you’ll cover the most important bases.