PPC enthusiasts are buzzing about Google’s latest update to their Quality Score reporting, which took effect on Monday, May 15th, 2017. The update gives campaign managers deeper insights and an easier way to understand their Quality Score in AdWords.
Quality Score is the most searched term on Acquisio’s website. That’s likely because we have done a lot, like I mean a ton, of content about Quality Score. In a former blog post, Acquisio provides a simple run-down of Quality Score:
“a 1 to 10 number that Google, or Bing, assigns to indicate how good an experience a user has with your ads and your landing pages. What’s most important for us marketers, is not necessarily what Quality Score is, but rather how that score influences your rank on a page and what you pay per click and conversion.”
So if your Quality Score is good you pay less money to advertise with AdWords and if your Quality Score is bad you pay more money. It’s that simple because Google doesn’t want to ruin the searcher’s experience by filling it up with low quality and irrelevant ads just because someone paid them to – Google prioritizes quality over profits in their search engine.
Brad Geddes, the father of Quality Score as we like to call him, has explained the three factors that determine how quality score is calculated: Landing page experience, Ad Relevance and Expected CTR. Previously users had to hover over a small icon to get data about these indicators that make up their Quality Score and this was for the current reporting period only, but all of that just changed for the better.
Details About the Quality Score Reporting Update
Quality Score reporting will change in two ways:
New Columns to Reports
Google has added three new columns to the keywords tab of the reports:
- “Exp. CTR”
- “Ad Relevance”
- “Landing Page Exper”
The raison d’etre for these new additions is to give users a way to scale and easily share Quality Score components from the keyword status bubble. To take advantage of these new columns and get greater insights about keyword scores, users can optionally add these to their keyword reports.
Historical Quality Score Data Now Available
To the delight of the pay-per-click community Google has made historical Quality Score data available in AdWords. With this rollout users can understand how changes to their account have impacted their keywords and Quality Score over time. Historical Quality Score data of how keywords have been performing can be viewed in four new columns of the report:
- “Qual. Score (hist.)”
- “Landing page exper. (hist.)”
- “Ad relevance (hist.)”
- “Exp. CTR (hist.)”
There are limitations to the history of the Quality Score data however, reporting can go back only as far as January 22, 2016.
Reporting Historical Quality Score Data by the Day
The report isn’t necessarily straightforward and there are a few things to know. Google provides an example in the screenshot below, where the Quality Score is 3/10, but historically it is 4/10.
Creating a keyword report that applies the “day” segment means that users can compare two scores, one from that day as well as the historical data that will report on the last known Quality Score for the date range set. Google also points out that if the “-” symbol is showing, as it is above for the February 7 and February 8 rows, that represents what’s known as a null Quality Score because there isn’t enough data (clicks, impressions) to determine a score.
Keys to Success: Quality Above All Else
Google’s new update gives PPC advertisers new insights into Quality Score factors, which will provide a greater understanding of what works and what doesn’t for a particular campaign over time. If you made changes to your landing page and your quality went down but aren’t sure why, you will now have historical data clearly laid out in your keyword reports to be able to see those peaks and valleys. Having this historical data will empower marketers to make smarter PPC campaign decisions. While these AdWords reporting changes make it easier to understand why a particular quality score is what it is, the most important part is to continue to create the highest quality ads – the rest is history.
All screenshots by Chandal Nolasco da Silva. Taken May 2017.