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True or False? Five Common Myths About Quality Score

by | Jul 12, 2016 | AdWords | 0 comments

Want to play Detective? One of Google’s greatest mysteries is the Quality Score.

It can be frustrating that Google provides limited information on one of the most important metrics of paid search.

That is why I decided to reveal the truth on five of the most common myths about the Quality Score.

Before we start our investigation, let’s gather the information we already have. Google has revealed that there are three key components that affect Quality Score:

After managing more than 60 AdWords campaigns I have realized that’s not all there is to it. I began to form questions, such as:

  • Why does my top converting keyword have a poor Quality Score?
  • Will DKI automatically improve my Quality Score?
  • Does the Display Network have a Quality Score?
  • How much is my CPC affected by a poor Score?

After continuous research, gathering feedback from team workers, and my personal experience, I have been able to find the truth on the following myths:

1) A Quality Score of 1/10  Increases Your CPC By 600%

I know what you are thinking: 600% it’s way too high and this must be false. Newsflash, this affirmation it’s actually true!

Quality Score has a huge impact on your cost per click; you need to have a Quality Score above 8 to actually save money! Brett Chaters presents a table in his book “Mastering Search Analytics”, with specific percentages on how much our CPC would increase or decrease based on our Quality Score:

myths quality score 1

As you can see in the table a poor Quality Score means paying 6 times the actual cost of that keyword.

2) Higher Quality Score = More Conversions

False! Google revealed that “Quality Score it’s a helpful diagnostic tool not a key performance indicator”, it measures the overall performance from your keywords, ads, landing page experience, and CTR.

It doesn’t take into account the conversion rate since it’s based on consumer experience and relevancy. That is why you might have your top converting keyword with a low Quality Score.

Take into account that if you improve your Quality Score, then it can lower your cost per click. If you decrease your CPC, you can lower your cost per conversion, and by lowering your cost per conversion you will make more money, and who doesn’t like money?

3) Exclamation Points in the Ads Will Improve Your Quality Score

This is true! If you use an exclamation point it’s like the readers can hear your ad louder than the other ones and they are more likely to click your ad. Ads with exclamation points have higher CTR than the ones without.

Google allows one exclamation point per ad. My recommendation, use it!

Some examples: Call Today! Order Now! Call Us! Request a Quote!

myths quality score 2

4) Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI) Will Boost Your Quality Score

How many times have you added DKI for a miscellaneous ad group hoping it will increase the Quality Score right away? Well, if you do, I am sorry to let you know that it’s not the magic feature that will automatically improve your score. This myth is false!

Don’t get me wrong, DKI it’s very helpful, but you also need to craft your ads so they are relevant to your audience. If you have a poor ad and use DKI, it will not automatically boost your Quality Score.

5) Only The Search Network Has A Quality Score

Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. This myth is false. Just like the Search Network, the Display Network also has a Quality Score that depends on what bidding method you are using:

If you are using CPM bidding, Quality Score is mostly based on the relevancy of the landing page since you are paying for impressions, not clicks.

If you are using CPC bidding, Google will consider: topics, keywords, placements, landing pages, and the historical CTR of your ads. The good news is that the Google algorithm is aware that CTR is usually much lower than search network and its taken into account when the Quality Score is measured.

If you are curious for more information, the following explains how Quality Score plays a role in the Display auction:

Why Doesn’t Google Just Open Up to Us?

Well, let’s just say Google likes to keep things a mystery and we will have to keep playing detectives to find more insights.

Until then, we know for sure that if you learn the truths about Quality Score, you will have better control over your AdWords Campaign.

Author: Nora Prego

Nora PregoNora Prego is a Senior PPC Strategist at White Shark Media. She holds a Bachelors of Business Administration and Marketing from Saint Louis University. During her free time she loves traveling and baking-her lemon pie cupcakes are amazing.

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