Video: Life With Adwords Quality Score

At SMX last week I also participated on a great panel called Up Close With Google AdWords Quality Score. smxw_55Panelist this time were Addie Conner (Director of Search Marketing, Course Advisor Inc.) and Nicholas Fox (Business Product Management Director, AdWords, Google Inc.). Our moderator again was Matt Van Wagner (President, Find Me Faster) Nick from Google presented first, and I must say made me a little nervous. After all, most Google Quality Score information is less than well documented, and my fear was that Nick (having the advantage of actual knowledge and facts) would say and show things that proved my own pending presentation less than accurate. His presentation was very good and informative, both confirming and shedding additional light on what we know about Quality Score. (And thankfully, not contradicting my slides! Whew.) A few of Nick’s points I found particularly interesting:

  • Nick confirmed that Quality Score is primarily CTR driven. He used a ‘wisdom of the crowds’ analogy to say that people vote with their clicks and overall they tell Google if an ad and landing page are appropriate for a given keyword.
  • He also explained that landing page problems – like a page full of adwords ads or promises of ‘free’ items that aren’t really free – do result in extremely low quality score regardless of CTR. And that these pages or ads aren’t banned, but would have to bid extremely high to overcome their quality score and be shown.
  • In what I thought was a revealing organization on a slide, he showed that good made four separate decisions about an ad: showing, rank, top (vs left) and price. I’ll write more on this later but the idea that these were separate decisions and not rolled into one process surprised me.

Addie played a Truth/Myth game with the audience, having handed out voting signs earlier. Her questions were deep, and she clearly has made a deep study of the subject. I’m not sure anyone in the audience got 100% correct. My presentation included:

  • An overview of the role Quality Score plays for search advertisers
  • A summary of how Impression Share lets you see the cost of poor Quality Score
  • Some statistical analysis of Quality Score we’ve done using ClickEquations Analyst

This 10-minute presentation is now available via YouTube: httpv://

More on Quality Score:



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