Ask ClickEquations Your Quality Score Questions

Hey, this is Alex.  If you follow the ClickEquations Twitter account, you know we’ve been talking about Quality Score and trying to dispel some of the myths and bad information out there.


Well, we decided to put the question directly to you: What do you want to know about Quality Score?


We’re trying out Google Moderator to let people submit and vote their most burning Quality Score questions.  Ask us yours by

  • Submitting your questions directly at Google Moderator
  • Leave a comment on this blog post and I’ll add it in
  • Email your question to me and I’ll add it,

We’re starting with our first reader question about position adjusted Quality Score below.


Question: How Does Position Adjusted Clickthrough-Rate Affect Quality Score?


Dear Craig,

I recently attended a major search marketing seminar and asked some of the speakers about the strategy of starting out aiming for position 7 on the page, which is supposed to have a few benefits:

  • Less smart competitors
  • Easier to win
  • Less cost of course…

BUT every single one of them I asked all came back with the old advice of ‘ya gotta bid high when starting out & get a high CTR or you’re dead’ line… I’m wondering if you can give me more specific advice:

Is ad position taken into account when deciding what a good CTR & a bad CTR is?

That is, does Google recognize that, if say 5% in position 1 and 1% in position 7 is ‘normal’ for that kw, then 10% in position 1 & 2% in position 7 is a good result (relatively) and therefore give you a good Quality Score for that position 7 ad and associated keywords? I was told that that bidding for position 7 will create a low CTR, the argument in a nutshell is:

  • We know CTR is a big chunk of the QS calculation
  • Bid x QS = AdRank, will be lower because you have a low CTR, because you went for position 7

Intuitively this doesn’t make sense. Surely Google’s smart enough to see what’s ‘good’ & ‘bad’ for each keyword… Cheers, Mike

Answer: Yes, Google Does Factor in Position

Hi Mike, Thanks for your note. You are right. Google does take position into account when judging the CTR of an ad for Quality Score. Here is their own admission of such: Not sure I get the target POS 7 thing, but that’s another matter. Because of the way bid and QS and Rank and neighbors are mixed in, targeting any position via the one variable (bid) that you directly control is a bit tricky. We’ll be expanding on this in a future blog post. But in any case, a low POS does not mean a low QS. Best of luck, -Craig



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