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CTR is 10%, Average Position is 2, but the QS is 4/10.
How is this possible?
lucky




msg:4049128
 4:14 am on Dec 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I created a new campaign 2 weeks ago. For most of the keywords, I have a very healthy CTR and the average position of the ads is between 1 - 4.

However, QS of most of the keywords is between 4 - 5. What does this mean? How can Google display an ad on top position when the QS of the keywords are 4/10.

The website in question is a very good ecommerce site. The conversion rate of Adwords traffic is over 10%. The bounce rate is lower than 25% which means the ads are relevant for the users. But I can't explain the low QS? Can someone do?

Is this a bug in the system? Should I contact Google?

 

LucidSW




msg:4049258
 1:43 pm on Dec 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

While QS is strongly influenced by CTR, there is still the keyword relevancy portion. Have you checked them? If a keyword is deemed irrelevant, the most your QS can be is 7.

Second, even if you have a 10% CTR on your keyword, if your competitors have higher rates, your QS will be lower. Maybe your competitors are simply doing better. I know, a 10% CTR would be great in most niches but maybe 20% is the norm in this particular niche.

lucky




msg:4049292
 4:21 pm on Dec 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your response, LucidSW.

For almost all the keywords, there is no relevancy problem. There are also no problems with "Landing Page Quality" and "Landing Page Load Time" which makes the situation difficult to understand.

Regarding the CTR, I have just checked some of the ads which have very high CTR like 50% and over. Even those ads have 4/10 QS. I just don't get it.

As a side note, I have to say, the campaign(s) and ads are very well targeted (Good use of negative keywords, good use of exact, phrase or broad match. The ad copies are really strong as well. That's why the CTR is very high)

We worked very hard to make the campaigns almost perfect. However, it seems that there is something wrong and we don't know what it is.

Do you think it could be history of the campaigns? I mean the campaign(s) and ads are new. Do we have to wait for a couple of weeks to see if the QS will change or not?

P.S. The account in question has no problems at all. The other clients' ads have high QS.

Dlocks




msg:4049400
 9:45 pm on Dec 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

Could be just an error/mistake by the QS algorithm. In the past (?) it happened a lot that a whole adgroup or even a campaign received suddenly a low QS (1/10) for all keywords. In my experience sending an email to support was on most cases enough to get it back at a normal QS (and an apologise from support for the error).

Not sure if the above still works (because of the account banning Google is doing lately).

So in short, it might be a bug or the campaign(s) and ads are not old enough. And yes contact support. Ask support why the QS is low. When you get (most likely) a copy/paste response from support with a link to the landing page QS guidelines/faq you will have to send again an email and say 'thanks for your response...' and mention you are aware of the guidelines/faq and ask the same question again.

LucidSW




msg:4049685
 6:33 pm on Dec 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Since you say it's a new campaign, I'd wait a week or two depending on how fast impressions accumulate. With the numbers you gave, I doubt your QS would stay where it is. But the algorithm is not perfect as Dlocks says so asking Google then to review would be a good idea too that doesn't cost you anything.

netmeg




msg:4049726
 10:09 pm on Dec 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

On average, how many keywords do you have to an ad group?

lucky




msg:4049748
 12:16 am on Dec 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Netmeg,

6 or 12. The keywords in each group are like this:

blue widget
blue widgets
[blue widget]
[blue widgets]
"blue widget"
"blue widgets"

In some cases, in addition to this list, I have these keywords as well:

blue widget delivery
blue widgets delivery
[blue widget delivery]
[blue widgets delivery]
"blue widget delivery"
"blue widgets delivery"

Of course, I also use negative keywords on both campaign and ad group level.

netmeg




msg:4049782
 2:53 am on Dec 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

I realize that these are just sample keywords, but I don't think I'd put two separate concepts such as blue widgets and blue widgets delivery in the same ad group, because they *are* such different concepts, and should probably have different ads.

That's probably where I would look first for possible improvements.

lucky




msg:4049796
 4:23 am on Dec 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks, Netmeg.

Yes, they are just sample keywords. But, in this niche, people who type in "blue widget" are also looking for "blue widget delivery" info/service as well. In searchers' mind there is no difference between the two.

netmeg




msg:4049894
 2:25 pm on Dec 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

Maybe (although I admit I am doubtful) But even so, it still might be too fine a point for an algorithm to figure out QS for.

pdivi




msg:4050067
 1:02 am on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Follow the money. If the top bidder is bidding disproportionately more than you are bidding, and if you are good at writing high CTR ads that pull clicks away from this bidder, there might be a clear economic incentive to get rid of you....not because you are worse, but because you are BETTER at what you do than the type of advertiser that Google prefers. It just makes sense that Google would want to squash great optimizers if they represent a drag on revenue.

lucky




msg:4050321
 3:43 pm on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Pdivi,

You may be right. If you are better than the competition (good campaign structure, good ads, very targeted keywords) your bid will be lower than theirs. This doesn't help Google to make more money.

I checked some of our ads again today. In some cases, the CTR of a specific keyword is 100%. The quality score of this keyword is 5/10. If this is not a joke, I don't know what it is.

netmeg




msg:4050350
 4:50 pm on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Because quality score is not just CTR.

I would at least try separating the keywords and writing ads specifically for them. Multiple ads, set to rotate evenly so you can test.

lucky




msg:4050370
 5:25 pm on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Netmeg,

Of course, QS is not just CTR. I have multiple ads and they rotate evenly.

The system tells me there are no problems with the keyword relevancy, landing page and the landing page load time.

And for some keywords, I have extremely high CTR (over 50%). When this is the case, how can these keywords have 4/10 QS? Do I have to have 500% CTR in order to have a healthy QS? This situation is so absurd.

Contacting Adwords support is no help at all. I did it and got a generic email telling me to check the help section as if I started using Adwords 2 days ago.

A good Adwords Representative can easily look into the problem in 10 minutes and provide more info to us. But they just don't do it. They think the system works brilliantly and algorithm has no problems at all. Then they send us a simple email that says nothing.

Dlocks




msg:4050415
 6:51 pm on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Contacting Adwords support is no help at all. I did it and got a generic email telling me to check the help section as if I started using Adwords 2 days ago.
Did you reply to the standard email you received?

And yes contact support. Ask support why the QS is low. When you get (most likely) a copy/paste response from support with a link to the landing page QS guidelines/faq you will have to send again an email and say 'thanks for your response...' and mention you are aware of the guidelines/faq and ask the same question again.

You almost always have to reply to the standard answer you receive before they will actually look into it.

netmeg




msg:4050422
 7:04 pm on Dec 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

Ok, well, good luck.

Rehan




msg:4050641
 4:28 am on Dec 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

How can Google display an ad on top position when the QS of the keywords are 4/10.

That's because the quality score shown in the AdWords interface is not the same one as used for calculating ad rank. The ad ranking algorithm ignores landing page, for example (read this [adwords.google.com]). So maybe it's the landing page quality that's bringing down the shown QS for the keywords.

I mean the campaign(s) and ads are new. Do we have to wait for a couple of weeks to see if the QS will change or not?

If it's a site that hasn't been advertised on AdWords before then yes you'll probably have to wait a while. The higher the impression volume the sooner the QS will adjust.

If you want to check the theory that ad group organization or the age of the campaign is responsible for the low QS, pause one of your ad groups and then create a new ad group in that campaign with the same keywords and an ad that is exactly the same as one of your larger competitors' ads -- use all the same ad text, display URL, destination URL, etc.. If you see higher QS then the problem is not with ad group organization or age of campaign (and it is probably with the lack of history Google has for your domain). You should pause the ad group right after you see the quality scores, so that you don't pay for sending traffic to the competitor.

chadhenry




msg:4050921
 5:56 pm on Dec 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Lucky,

Has your QS always been this low or has the QS changed since the beginning of the campaign? Google has been doing some really weird things over the past month with Adwords. I've been seeing strange things in all my accounts...

I would agree with what other people are saying and give it a few more weeks to see if anything changes for the better.

lucky




msg:4051105
 1:28 am on Dec 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

Rehan,

Thanks for your interesting recommendation. I will give it a try.

Chadhenry,

It seems that some keywords that had low QS (4/10) have better QS now (5/10 or 6/10). Hopefully, this trend will continue.

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