I was recently asked what my strategy was on Quality Score.
Unless your Quality Score is really bad, then don’t worry about it.
Quality Score is not even a key performance indicator.
CTR is a good key performance indicator, but even then it’s only an indicator of performance.
Real performance are things like leads, sales, revenue and profit.
IMO, Quality Score is a metric that Google has added in deliberately to muddy the water.
I was on an SEO course years ago and the instructor said that there was something in the Google TOS that you shouldn’t be using their search engine to make money from their organic listings. (Something like that, although I’ve never looked it up.) He said that a company in the UK had a few hundred people taking daily calls one week, and it dried up the next when they dropped off page 1. You can’t go back to Google complaining that you’re out of business if you were listed organically and then suddenly weren’t.
I know I’m simplifying.
It’s a different story if you’re one of Google’s paying customers using AdWords. Google can’t say that you shouldn’t use their search engine to make money. But they need a way to be able to change how the paid results are displayed, without us getting up in arms about it.
So they have this secret-sauce black-box metric that they can amend over time and cause advertisers campaigns to run better or worse… without us being able to complain to them.
We’ve had Google guys in our offices telling us about new features. At the end when they open the floor for questions someone *always* asks about Quality Score. I always laugh watching the Googlers shuffling from foot to foot, looking at each other, and then mumbling on about how it’s an algorithm to reward relevance and promote a good user experience, and that there a sooo many factors involved and that it changes all the time.
I believe them.
But I also think it’s there so we have no comeback on them, even though we’re a paying customer.
Still think Quality Score is a metric to get heated up about? Consider this:
1) Your historical Quality Score is not available in your account. Look at your historical keyword data, and you can see your impressions, clicks, cost, etc. But your Quality Score that will be displayed will be your current Quality Score. That requires EXTRA programming to hide it.
2) They can set your QS to 0, and when you ring your account rep in a panic and they confirm that you’ve made the changes they requested, they can set it back to whatever it was.
3) There’s supposedly a QS for the adgroup, campaign and account level. But they don’t tell us them.
4) A campaign can be a dud in one account, running with abysmal Quality Scores, but you can export the campaign out and import into a different account and it can run fine with average Quality Scores.
My advice… keep an eye on QS, but don’t worry about it.
Worry about stuff that you have more control over, and that allow you to increase your visitor LTV.