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Check and understand Quality Score

The 1-10 Quality Score reported for each keyword in your account is an estimate of the quality of your ads and landing pages triggered by that keyword. Having a high Quality Score means that our systems think your ad and landing page are relevant and useful to someone looking at your ad. You can find out your Quality Score for any of your keywords.


Let's say that you own a website that specializes in socks, and Sam, a customer, is looking for striped socks. Wouldn't it be great if Sam typed "striped socks" into Google search, saw your ad about striped socks, clicked it, and then landed on your webpage and bought some spiffy new striped socks?

Example ad

What would happen if, on the other hand, Sam simply saw an ad about "socks" or "clothes," especially if he saw it together with a competitor's ad about "striped socks"?

In the first case, the customer searches and finds exactly what he's looking for. That's what we consider a great user experience, and that's what can earn you a high Quality Score. What's more, relevant ads tend to earn more clicks, appear in a higher position, and bring you the most success.

Checking your Quality Score

You can check your Quality Score by looking within your Keywords tab. There are a couple ways to check your Quality Score, as shown below.

Run a keyword diagnosis:

  1. Click the Campaigns tab at the top.
  2. Select the Keywords tab.
  3. Click the white speech bubble Ad disapproval bubble next to any keyword's status to see details about that keyword's Quality Score. You'll be able to see ratings for expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience.


Another way to see your Quality Score is to enable the Qual. score column:

  1. Click the Campaigns tab at the top.
  2. Select the Keywords tab.
  3. Look for the Qual. score column in the statistics table. If you don't see this column in your table, you can add this column by doing the following:
    • Click the Columns drop-down menu in the toolbar above the statistics table.
    • Select Modify columns.
    • Select Attributes.
    • Click Add next to Qual. score.
    • Click Save.
Quality score column

Try it now

Each keyword gets a Quality Score on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is the lowest score and 10 is the highest. Keep in mind that Quality Score is intended to give you a general sense of the quality of your ads, but it doesn't take into account any auction-time factors, such as someone's actual search terms, type of device, language preference, location, or the time of day. Similarly, the components of Quality Score that you see in your account -- expected clickthrough rate (CTR), ad relevance, and landing page experience, each with a descriptive estimate such as "average" or "above average" -- also don't consider auction-time factors.

Instead, every time one of your ads competes in the auction, AdWords calculates real-time measurements of expected CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience that, together with your bid and other factors, produce a score called Ad Rank. It's this auction-time Ad Rank -- not the Quality Score estimates you see in your account -- that determines where your ad appears on the page or whether it appears at all.

How the components of Quality Score affect Ad Rank

Every time someone does a search that triggers an ad that competes in an auction, we calculate an Ad Rank. This calculation incorporates your bid, auction-time measurements of expected CTR, ad relevance, landing page experience, and other factors. To determine the auction-time quality components, we look at a number of different factors. By improving the following factors you can help improve the quality components of your Ad Rank:

  • Your ad's expected CTR: This is based in part on your ad's historical clicks and impressions (excluding factors such as ad position, extensions, and other formats that may have affected the visibility of an ad that someone previously clicked)
  • Your display URL's past CTR: The historical clicks and impressions your display URL has received
  • The quality of your landing page: How relevant, transparent, and easy-to-navigate your page is
  • Your ad/search relevance: How relevant your ad text is to what a person searches for
  • Geographic performance: How successful your account has been in the regions you're targeting
  • Your targeted devices: How well your ads have been performing on different types of devices, like desktops/laptops, mobile devices, and tablets

How ad quality affects you

The quality components of Ad Rank are used in several different ways and can affect the following things in your account:

  • Ad auction eligibility: Having better quality components typically makes it easier and cheaper for your ads to enter an auction. Our measures of ad quality also help determine whether your ad is qualified to appear at all.
  • Your actual cost-per-click (CPC): Higher quality ads can often lead to lower CPCs. That means you pay less per click when your ads are higher quality.
  • Ad position: Higher quality ads lead to higher ad positions, meaning they can show up higher on the page.
  • Your keyword's ad position bid estimates: Higher quality ads are typically associated with lower first page bid estimates, top of page bid estimates, and first position bid estimates. That means you’re more likely to get your ads on the first page of search results with a lower bid when your ads have high quality components (expected CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience).
  • Eligibility for ad extensions and other ad formats: Some ad formats require a minimum ad quality threshold to show. In addition, your Ad Rank determines whether or not your ad is eligible to be displayed with ad extensions and other ad formats, such as sitelinks. Because Ad Rank is a function of the components of Quality Score, higher quality ads can increase the likelihood that your ad is displayed with extensions and other formats.

In a nutshell, higher quality ads typically lead to lower costs and better ad positions. The AdWords system works best for everybody – advertisers, customers, publishers, and Google – when the ads we show are relevant, closely matching what customers are looking for. Relevant ads tend to earn more clicks, appear in a higher position, and bring you the most success.

How Quality Score works with new keywords

New keywords automatically get a Quality Score of 6 and a value of “average” for their expected clickthrough rate (CTR), ad relevance, and landing page experience. That’s because when you add a new keyword, the system that calculates its 1-10 Quality Score doesn’t have any information about that keyword’s past performance. And Quality Score is based on a keyword’s historical performance. It usually takes about one day for the Quality Score system to have enough performance data to begin setting a different Quality Score and value for expected CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience.

If your Quality Score and “average” value don’t change after a few days, it’s likely because the system has determined these are good estimates of your Quality Score and expected CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience.

Keep in mind that  the actual quality of your ad and its Ad Rank are calculated differently than the 1-10 Quality Score. That’s because unlike Quality Score, ad quality and Ad Rank take into account auction-time factors, like a person’s search terms, location, and which one of your ads is being displayed.  An ad’s auction-time quality and Ad Rank don’t incorporate its keywords’ 1-10 Quality Score estimates. So if you restructure your account, such as moving keywords to a new ad group, your Ad Rank and ad quality won’t change, even though the new ad group’s keywords might all initially have a Quality Score of 6. Learn more about ad quality.


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