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Keyword Quality Score Observations

 4:46 pm on Mar 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Some background: we manufacture and sell widgets in a market with low to moderate competition in the U.S. We have no affiliate links and no third party advertising such as AdSense on our site, strictly widgets for sale directly.

Specific widget- (QS, OK .30)
Specific brown widget- (QS, OK .30)
Specific brown top widget- (QS, Poor $1.00)

All keywords were in the same ad group pointing to the same landing page.

We started by creating new landing pages for each keyword:

Landing pages were updated to be keyword specific. Keyword only in title meta tag, keyword twice in description meta tag, keyword only in keyword meta tag. Moderate to heavy keyword use in body with use of h1, h2, and h3 tags. All occurrences of keyword in body BOLDED.

Next we deleted “specific brown widget” and “specific brown top widget” from the ad group. Then we updated the AD for “specific widget” to include keyword in title and description line 1 and pointed ad to keyword specific landing page. NO CHANGE IN QS.

Next we created NEW ad group for “specific brown widget” and NEW ad including keyword in title and description line 1 pointing to this keyword’s landing page. QS CHANGED FROM “OK .30” TO “GREAT .04”

Next we created NEW ad group for “specific brown top widget” and NEW ad pointing to this keyword’s landing page. The keyword was too long to be included in the title of the ad so we used “specific widget” in the title and the keyword in the description line 1. QS CHANGED FROM “OK .30” TO “OK .10”

We then deleted the keyword, ad, and ad group for “specific brown top widget” and created a NEW ad group and NEW ad. Everything was the same except in the title of the ad we used “{KeyWord: specific widget}” and the QS CHANGED FROM “OK .10” TO “GREAT .04”

NEXT DAY: QS for “specific widget” changed from “OK .30” TO “OK .20”. We then deleted the keyword, ad, and ad group for “specific widget”. We changed the name of the landing page from “specific_widget.htm” to “specific-widget.htm” and recreated the ad group and ad pointing to the renamed landing page. QS CHANGED FROM “OK .20” TO “GREAT .03”

Observations / Suggestions:
When naming landing page files use the keyword.
Multi word keywords should be separated by hyphens, not underscore, in the landing page name.
Keyword use on landing pages including use of h1, h2, h3 tags.
Bolding keywords on landing pages.
Keyword in landing page title meta, description meta, and keyword meta tags.
Keyword in ad title and description line.
If the keyword is too long for title line use the {keyword insertion}.
Keyword specific ad groups.

It’s all pretty basic stuff but it seemed to work for us, hope it helps.

[edited by: eWhisper at 3:45 pm (utc) on Mar. 18, 2007]
[edit reason] Please use example.com for sameple links. [/edit]



 9:41 pm on Mar 6, 2007 (gmt 0)

In my experience talking with folks at Google and interactions with Adwords - QS is less about CTR, position, CPC, landing page etc. and has everything to do with providing "Utility for the user" - If you provide it Google will give you a "Great" rating if you don't Google will rate you "Poor". All of the measurements people track are just indications of utility.

Anybody have any idea how Google measures ultility? I have often thought they look at the searcher's behavior. If a user searches for "blue-widget" and they vist ad #1 and quickly hit the 'back button' on their browser then Google may determine ad #1 to have low utility. If the search clicks on ad #2 and stays for an extended period of time or never hit their 'back button' then Google may determine the the site has a high utility and thus a high QS. They could track this using the Google tool bar?

Anybody agree/disagree?


 1:07 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

After 3 days at QS "great .05" the keyword "specific brown top widget" changed to "OK .10"

After reviewing the keyword, ad, and landing page I noticed that the price in the ad and the price of the item on the landing page did not match. Changed the price in the ad to match the price on the landing page and the QS changed to "great .04"


 3:46 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)


All your posts here seem to support the view that if you look deep enough into the specific issues, there are reasonable explanations behind the QS scores and Minimum bid values. What's more, you indicate that once the underlying cause of a problem is identified and rectified, it soon results in a QS and minimum bid improvement.

If this is generally the case, it looks to me as if Google has done and good job, and there is hope for those who are willing to work at finding the necessary fixes.


 10:09 pm on Mar 9, 2007 (gmt 0)


I agree, the system is "usable" if you want to put in the effort. It seems to me that AdWords is becoming SEO, simply replacing link building with PPC. Great move by Google if their intent is to do away with most organic listings and replace with relevant paid listings.


 1:41 pm on Mar 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Finally got an answer from G about discrepancies in new Quality Score vs min bid vs Spy Glass.

You can have a 'Great' quality score and have a low min but and still have the spy glass tell you that the keyword QS sux and you are below the min bid.

How can this happen? it is all based on Googles history of the keyword (or lack of). If the keyword has low performance statistics - such as rarely search for - then the keyword will be 'suspended' and will never be shown unless the history of the keyword changes. i guess a good example of this might be 'Microsoft Access 2007'. 3 years ago nobody would be searching for this keyword and I suspect it would be suspended. Now lots of folks would be searching for it and it would not be suspended.

I bet this same sort of thing happens when you have your URL or Company name as a keyword.


 2:24 pm on Mar 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

discrepancies in new Quality Score vs min bid vs Spy Glass.

I haven’t noticed any "discrepancies", I have noticed that when the ad is not being shown on the first serp the spyglass will notify that the ad may not be showing.
When you have a discrepancy between the QS and the spyglass does the ad show?


 2:38 pm on Mar 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

"When you have a discrepancy between the QS and the spyglass does the ad show? "

Depends on what the discrepancy is. I notice that if I pause one of 3 ad texts the spyglass will tell me I have no active ads therefore keyword will not show. In this case the keyword will show and the spyglass is wrong.

G continues to hide the true status of keywords. They need something added to Active/Inactive such as Suspended and SNAFU and Restricted


 3:58 pm on Mar 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sounds like a "soup sandwich"; it almost sounds like there is a bug in the script that communicates between the modules in your account. Hopefully G is looking into it for you.


 6:15 pm on Mar 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have bunch of keywords showing as "inactive", but i see plenty of clicks and impressions with inactive keywords. Google's system is really messed up!


 6:57 pm on Mar 11, 2007 (gmt 0)

Are they impressions and clicks on the Content networh possibly? If not, count your self lucky - you probably should not have them.


 8:40 am on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Wow thats' actually the real workout.
I know I am a bit late in finding out this 1quality score column to be so relevant... as my campaigns were fine so I didnt kept checking and tried working on NEW YSM Platform...

But Hey this sounds damn intersting I would love to trydoing something to check on these scores and I will reply you all back and join u actively.




 8:51 am on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

This is what Google says:


The formula of Quality Score:
Quality Score = (keyword's CTR, ad text relevance, keyword relevance, landing page relevance)


 12:20 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

A week ago I changed my landing page to include specific usage of one of my better 3-word phrases. "Better" to me, but apparently not to Google, as it had gone inactive with a poor rating and a minimum bid of .40. Previously the main 2-word phrase appeared separately from the third word. The resulting text still makes sense (IHMO) and describes an actual service related closely to the phrase.

So anyway, the only result of my experiment is that the phrase is still rated "poor" but the minimum bid has now gone up to .50.


 11:07 pm on Mar 12, 2007 (gmt 0)

Anybody else seeing any success with optimization? From what people are telling me they’re experiencing keywords kicked up in price when they try optimizing. Apparently Google sees the term optimization primarily as upping your bids.

Saw your message Debvh.


 9:19 pm on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is it legal to create new ad campaigns just to get a better QS rate? I had a campaign that was asking for $1 a word. I couldnt wait for Google to reevaluate ( assuming they do once in a while ). So I just created another campaign with the same keywords. Rates actually lowered on the new one.


 9:56 pm on Mar 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't believe that’s against any Google laws as long as you've done something to improve your QS other than just a new campaign.

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