Don’t Believe Everything You Read – How Quality Scores Impact Adwords Campaigns. Part 1

Over the last couple months, I’ve seen several articles, from various sources, alluding to or even bluntly stating that the Google Adwords QS (Quality Score) should be completely ignored because it was meaningless. Since I strongly disagree with this sentiment and the logic behind the writers’ opinions did not make any rational sense, I simply dismissed these articles and went on with my day.

Recently, however, someone whom I greatly admire as an extremely intelligent business person forwarded me one such article and requested my thoughts. That made me realize these articles can be misleading and this type of information could result in the most savvy business people potentially making bad decisions.The purposes of this article is to provide you with suggestions on how to critically evaluate the logic in articles pertaining to Adwords QS using a recent example of an article from Search Engine Watch. In my next article, I will talk about how you can help to ensure, you are receiving high Quality Scores.

Let me start by saying, I’m not in total disagreement with everything I’ve been reading regarding the QS. There were some great points. The problem is that the supporting data and reasoning behind the points was flawed.

In the most recent article referenced above, the writer stated “Advertisers spend way too much time and energy trying one trick after another to increase their quality score in the hopes of reducing cost per click.” I agree that this is often the case.

The writer then stated, “There are no tricks that will get you a better quality score.” This is another statement where I am in agreement.

The issue, as I mentioned earlier, is that the examples the writer used are meaningless and flawed without more information, especially considering the context behind the writer’s thoughts. Here are some examples:

1. The writer was supposedly comparing two exact lists of keywords although stated that the only difference was who was being targeted. Changing who you are targeting, completely changes the playing field so you can’t use the metrics as direct comparisons.

2. Although the writer claims that these are two identical lists, the number of keywords in each list is different. How can these be identical lists when the first image has 9 keywords and the second image has 11 keywords?

3. The amount you are willing to bid has a direct impact on what you are paying and your ad positioning. Your ad positioning is determined by your QS and what you are willing to pay. Therefore, the CPC bid amount must be taken into consideration when comparing the impact of QS on the ad position.

Here’s the truth about Google’s Quality Scores:

1. Quality Scores are important, but they should not be the main focus for advertisers. Instead, advertisers should focus on overall campaign quality. It definitely is important, but shouldn’t be obsessed over.

2. There are no “tricks” to increasing the Quality Score. As the quality of the campaign increases, the QS will increase.

3. The QS shouldn’t be looked at as the magic pill that will lower the cost of a click for the same ad position, but as a leading indicator of potential red flags or that you are moving in the right direction.

In summary, when it comes to Google’s algorithms when determining Quality Scores, there are no tricks or black and white answers. There are many facets that are involved. The take away from this article is that there is a lot of inaccurate information pertaining to Adwords. And, to be successful, the advertiser must look at all the information with a critical eye and determine for him or herself, what information will help them to become successful. As always, if you have questions or need help, we at LocalDirective are here.

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Author: Kim Figor

Kim Figor has over 13 years’ experience in a plethora of marketing disciplines that encompass SEO & Paid Search Online Marketing, Loyalty Marketing, Marketing Communications, and Project Management. Her educational background includes a BABM and MBA in Marketing as well as Certifications in AdCenter, Adwords and Market Motive (Paid Search, Display, SEO, and Conversions). In addition to working at Google, where she assisted thousands of companies succeed online, Kim has been a key player in the start-up and growth of several technology and marketing companies. Kim’s exceptional analytical skills relating to online marketing has proven to be instrumental in the success of online campaigns for companies in all industries and sizes.