What is Quality Score and How Does it Relate to Link Building?

What Is Quality Score?

Quality Score is a rating system utilized by Google Ads to indicate to advertisers how likely their campaigns are to perform well. It is based on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. Quality Score is comprised of three components: expected click-through rate (CTR), ad relevance, and landing page experience. Google uses these components to compare a given ad to other ads that have been running for the same keyword in order to determine a Quality Score. A higher Quality Score leads to a lower cost per click and better ad placement. Quality Score should be viewed as a diagnostic tool and used to improve aspects of an ad such as keywords, ads, and landing pages. This will ultimately increase a campaign’s Ad Rank and improve its performance.

Why Does Google Have Quality Score?

Quality Score is an important tool used by Google Ads to evaluate the relevancy of an advertiser’s campaign. It is calculated on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. The score is determined by assessing three key areas: keywords, ads, and landing pages.

Having a higher Quality Score is important for link building because it signals to Google that your content is relevant and of high quality. This increases your ad rank, which could potentially lead to lower costs per click and better ad placement. When the Quality Score is low, the ad can be less likely to show up in search.

Link building is all about gaining organic traffic to your website, so in order to achieve that, you need to make sure that your content is relevant, of high quality and optimised properly. Quality Score helps you to do this by providing an indication of how Google perceives your ads and content. Improving the Quality Score of your campaign can potentially help lead to more organic traffic and better results from your link building efforts.

How Quality Score Is Calculated

Step 1: Basic Quality Score

Every keyword in your account is assigned a Basic Quality Score of 1. This is the lowest possible score.

Step 2: Expected CTR

Google then evaluates the expected click-through-rate (CTR) of your keyword and assigns it a score of 1.75 for average, 3.5 for above average, and 0.5 for below average.

Step 3: Ad Relevance

Google then evaluates the relevance of your ad to the keyword and assigns it a score of 1 for average, 2 for above average, and 0 for below average.

Step 4: Landing Page Experience

Google then evaluates the quality and user experience of your landing page and assigns it a score of 1 for average, 2 for above average, and 0 for below average.

Step 5: Sum of the Quality Score

Finally, the sum of the Quality Score of your keyword is calculated and rounded to the nearest integer. An average keyword will score 1 + 1.75 + 1 + 1.75 = 5.5, which is rounded to a Quality Score of 6.

Why Quality Score Matters

Entering the Auction

Quality Score is a major factor that determines whether an ad is eligible to enter the ad auction and how it is ranked. The higher the Quality Score, the less an advertiser has to pay for the same click to maintain their position versus their next competitor. If an advertiser has a great Quality Score, the automated bidding process may determine that it can achieve their goal with a lower CPC, which saves them money. On the other hand, if the Quality Score is lower, the automated bidding process may find that keeping the bid higher will result in more conversions. Therefore, Quality Score has a direct impact on an advertiser’s ability to enter an auction and the rate at which they are charged for clicks.

Ad Ranking

Ad Rank is an important metric Google uses to decide how to best place an advertiser’s campaign on search engine results pages (SERP). It is calculated using the bid amount, ad quality (including expected click-through rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience), Ad Rank thresholds, competitiveness of an auction, the context of a user’s search, and the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats. Quality Score is a useful tool for advertisers to improve their campaigns by evaluating their keywords, ads, and landing pages. Quality Score and Ad Rank are related, but not the same, as Ad Rank does not directly take Quality Score into account, although Quality Score does factor into Ad Rank.

CPC Discounting

CPC discounting affects Quality Score by changing the amount an advertiser has to pay for a click. The higher the Quality Score, the less an advertiser has to pay for the same click. This is because a higher Quality Score allows the ad to rank higher in the auction, and thus the advertiser does not have to pay as much to maintain their position versus their next competitor. As a result, advertisers are able to benefit from a higher Quality Score by saving money on the amount they have to pay for a click. Automated bidding also takes into account Quality Scores, so that advertisers can achieve their goal with a lower CPC and save money. However, advertisers should also be aware of their overall business goals when optimizing for Quality Score.

How to Improve Quality Score

Expected Click-Through Rate

Step 1: Analyze past keyword performance. Examine the click-through rate (CTR) of each keyword in your ad group to determine how well it has performed in the past. Use this data to come up with an expected CTR for the keyword.

Step 2: Take into account other factors. Apart from the keyword performance, consider other factors such as the type of device used and other auction factors.

Step 3: Adjust your ad text. If the expected CTR for a particular keyword is below average, consider adjusting your ad text to make it better match the keyword.

Step 4: Link your ad to an appropriate landing page. Ensure that your ad is linked to a landing page that is relevant to the keyword and ad copy, as this will improve the expected CTR.

Step 5: Add ad extensions. If your ad meets the quality thresholds mentioned above, add up to four ad extensions. These will improve the CTR even more.

Step 6: Monitor your CTR. Continuously monitor the CTR of your ads to ensure that it is meeting the Quality Score requirements.

Ad Relevance

Ad relevance is an important factor in determining Quality Score, as it measures how well an ad’s message matches the targeted keywords and corresponding landing page. When ad relevance is above average, it indicates that the ad is more likely to generate a click when the search term is exactly the same as the keyword, which can lead to a higher Quality Score. To improve ad relevance, incorporate the keywords into the ad copy, using dynamic keyword insertion and location insertion to personalize the ad to the user’s search. Additionally, ensure that the landing page is tailored to the offer advertised, as this will create a better user experience. By improving ad relevance, it is possible to improve Quality Score and achieve better results from campaigns.

Landing Page Experience

Step 1: Ensure that the messaging from the ad copy is carried over to the content on the landing page.

Step 2: Make sure the page is organized and easy to navigate.

Step 3: Make sure the page is fast to download on different devices and mobile-friendly. Use this Google tool to show page speed on mobile and mobile friendliness.

Step 4: Keep the conversion ratio to 1:1, use visual hierarchy to guide users to conversion, make sure copy is minimal (on most pages) and skimmable, and use engaging and informational media.

Step 5: Include everything customers need to know about the offer to make a decision.

Step 6: Make sure the page is relevant to the keyword and what customers are searching for.

Step 7: Personalize the page for each audience by factoring in important targeting factors like location and behavior.

The Difference Between Quality Score and Ad Rank

The main difference between Quality Score and Ad Rank is the factors that are taken into account when making a determination. Quality Score is Google’s way of evaluating how relevant a keyword, ad, and landing page are when it comes to a user’s search. It is given on a 1-10 scale and examines the three factors of ads, keywords, and landing page for relevance. Ad Rank, on the other hand, takes into account much more information than Quality Score to determine where an ad will appear on search engine results pages (SERP). This includes not only keyword, ad, and landing page experience, but also the context of the user’s search including their location, device, time of search, the competition, and other user signals and attributes. Quality Score is a helpful self-diagnostic tool for advertisers, but it is not directly taken into account when determining Ad Rank. Ultimately, while Quality Score and Ad Rank are related, they are each evaluated in different ways.