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About Quality Score

Quality Score is intended to give you a general sense of the quality of your ads. The 1-10 Quality Score reported for each keyword in your account is an estimate of the quality of your ads and the landing pages triggered by them. Three factors determine your Quality Score:

So, 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.

This article explains how Quality Score works.

Quality Score is based on past performance data

Quality Score is an aggregated estimate of how well a keyword has performed overall in past ad auctions. Based on this data, each of your keywords gets a Quality Score on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is the lowest score and 10 is the highest. 

Null Quality Scores, designated by "—" in the table, appear when there aren’t enough impressions or clicks to accurately determine a keyword’s Quality Score.

Quality Score status columns

These status columns show you the 4 Quality Score values: Quality Score, Landing page experience, Ad relevance, and Expected clickthrough rate (CTR).

These optional columns can be added in your keyword reports. You’re also able to see these scores in the text that appears when you hover over the keyword status icon speech bubble “(Ad disapproval bubble)”.

Historical Quality Score columns

These historical columns let you see past data for all 4 Quality Score columns: Qual. Score (hist.), Landing page exper. (hist.), Ad relevance (hist.), and Exp. CTR (hist.).

Historical columns will reflect the last known score for the reporting period. If you apply the "Day" segment to your keyword reports, AdWords will report daily values that reflect what your score was at the end of each day. Note that historical data won’t be available in these columns for dates earlier than January 22, 2016. However, if you previously used a third party or scripts to download historical Quality Score data, these should remain unaffected and this data will still be available.

Null Quality Scores

New keywords initially get a null Quality Score, designated by “—" in the table. As your ads run, your keywords accumulate performance data and your Quality Score may change. You may see changes in your Quality Score once you’ve had enough impressions. 

Occasionally, you may see keywords getting a lot of impressions, but still see a null Quality Score. This could happen when your keywords don’t have enough exact match impressions. Exact match impressions refers to ads showing on searches for terms that are an exact match of your keyword. So if there haven’t been enough times your ad showed for searches that were an exact match of your keywords, you could see a null Quality Score. 

Also keep in mind that keywords need recent exact match impressions to maintain a Quality Score. If a keyword doesn’t have enough recent traffic, its Quality Score may also turn back to null.

Different Quality Scores for the same keyword

Sometimes, you may see different Quality Scores for the same keyword across campaigns or ad groups. This is because the three components that make up Quality Score--expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience--depend on the creatives, targeting, landing page, and other factors which can vary between ad groups. So if the ad groups are not exactly the same, the same keyword could have different Quality Scores across ad groups or campaigns.

How it differs from auction-time ad quality

Important: Your Quality Score is not used at auction time to determine Ad Rank. 

Ad Rank is calculated in the instant someone does a search that triggers your ad to compete in an auction. For Ad Rank, we take into account real-time signals such as the query and user context (e.g. type of device, language preference, location, time of day) to calculate more precise measurements of expected CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience. Quality Score, on the other hand, is a more general estimate based on your average past performance. It also differs from Ad Rank in that it’s keyword-based.

Learn more about Ad Rank

A high-quality ad in action

Here’s an example of a good user experience based on an ad that is high quality and relevant. Let's say that you own a website that specializes in socks, and Sam, a customer, is looking for striped socks. Here’s how your ad (and high Quality Score keywords) connects Sam with what he wants.

  • When Sam searches Google for “men’s striped socks,” he sees your ad. (Your ad has “[striped socks]” as a keyword.)
  • Sam clicks the ad and lands right on your website’s “striped men’s socks” page. The page loads quickly and is easy for Sam to use.
  • Sam buys several pairs of striped socks.

That's what we consider a great user experience. Beyond a potentially higher Quality Score in most cases, relevant ads tend to earn more clicks, appear in a higher position, and bring you the most success.

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