Chapter 4: Why Google has Quality Score (pt2)

This post continues Chapter 4, which began in the previous post. In that post we discussed how Google uses Quality Score to rate keywords and ads on their performance and relevance. We looked at the first of three reasons why they have Quality Score, which as to make it harder for bad guys to run bad ads. Today we examine the other two reasons. Quality Score as Preferred CustomerProgram Just as it’s in Google’s interest to prevent or penalize bad advertisers, it’s in their interest to promote good ones. High Quality Score advertisers have proven their ability to get high CTRs on both a keyword-level and in overall account averages. They buy more clicks from Google, albeit at a slightly reduced CPC, and have proven their ability to build, manage, and grow their accounts. And they’ve proven that they can satisfy searchers. It’s entirely in Google’s interest to keep these advertisers – big spenders who by definition are satisfying searchers – happy and active. By getting high Quality Scores these advertisers get a discount on their CPC (more on that later) and an edge – the benefit of the doubt if you will – when they run new ads or enter new keyword categories. Quality Score as Secret Sauce The fact that Quality Score is a secret formula which has so much influence over the performance of your paid search account is a clear advantage to Google. Suppose you’re dissatisfied with how frequently your ads are run, or their average position, or the price you’re paying per click. On just about any other advertising or marketing platform, this would be grounds for a serious conversation with your vendor. But on Adwords there is no need for such a conversation, because all of the above problems are your fault; your keywords didn’t earn sufficient Quality Score to have more impressions, better position, or a lower CPC. So it is your responsibility to figure out how to improve your Quality Score. The lack of clarity as to how to go about this (hence the need for this book) is you’re problem. To help make clear how amazing and unusual this is, imagine Google’s rules applied in another situation. Suppose your monthly mortgage statement had variable pricing (no I’m not talking about your ARM) that was based on the ‘Quality Score’ your home received for the prior month, based on a list that included the attractiveness of your yard, the cleanliness of your home, the desirability of your neighborhood, and ‘other desirability factors’. Would it bother you when you went to write that check that you weren’t allowed to see your score on any of these attributes, and weren’t provided any specific information about the way they were judged or calculated? Can you imagine signing a mortgage and agreement to make those payments with those terms and conditions? Imaging Being Google Better yet, imagine yourself the owner of a company with a large national client base. With customers who had agreed to buy from you on a regular ongoing basis, despite the fact that you were going to change the particulars of the service you provided to them, and the amount that you charged them, on a regular basis. And you were going to make these changes based on proprietary formulas of which they only had limited knowledge, and were given no fore-warning of the outcome – they were committed to paying regardless of the actual service or actual fees (with some basic range limits in place). Wouldn’t that be great? ============= About This Post This series of blog posts did eventually become a book about quality score – in June 2011 ‘Quality Score in High Resolution‘ will be released. More details and ordering information can be found here. Other Posted Chapters:

  1. Preface: Quality Score in High Resolution
  2. Chapter 1: Quality Score in High Resolution
  3. Chapter 3: Reviewing Official Google Quality Score Information.
  4. Chapter 4: Why Google Has Quality Score (Pt 1 and Pt 2)


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