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AdWords Quality Score

Anyone else feeling more picked on than before?



2:05 pm on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

We manage PPC accounts for about 50 companies and up until now Quality Scores haven't been a big concern. This past month though we are starting to feel a little victimised as Google is throwing us some low QS marks for seemingly random stuff.

One advert for example is getting a 2/10 for keyword relevance on "blue widget london" even though the ad is like this:

Blue Widget in London
Word word word word
London based Blue Widgets

Seeing similar across a few client sites.

Come on Google, give us a chance.


5:05 pm on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

In some cases I could see they were after "free" offers. Some software companies would put up buttons like "free download" while it was not free but free trial or something like that.


7:00 pm on May 21, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

How about the landing page? Does it have "Blue Widget in London" as H1 tag and is "Blue Widget in London" in the body copy?


9:03 am on May 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The landing pages are pretty well optimised and the quality score pop-out says that it's satisfied with them.

Everytime I see a low QS I'm hoping it's down to landing page load time or relevance as that's an easy fix. When I see it's this weird keyword issue, it drives me nuts!


9:05 pm on May 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Its so funny, I was about to come here and open a thread on this topic and this was at the top of the forum, so I will post here. I have been obsessed with QS the last month and I am really find out some odd things. My company has done alot of trial and error and experimentation on QS.

First off, what we have found may help you Gmorgan. We had a page that was ranking really low for a set of keywords that were totally a high target and they showed on the first page of Google for Organic. Low QS 4 or 5. We add a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service link. All of a sudden, QS jumped up. I would recommend trying that.

But, here is where my questions start. We have determined the best process for getting high keywords on a page is to let Google tell you the keywords the page should be focused on. Using the Suggestion tool and entering your site will give you a list of pages and keywords. Usually these keywords will get you in the right area of the keywords you want, but not always the EXACT keyword you want.

So we started trying different content, H tags, and other optimizations on the page. No luck. What we noticed was something very odd. Pages that were long gone, i mean over a year ago, were still coming up in the suggestion area of Google. So used the Archive.org to visit the pages that have been gone. Sure enough there were the keywords on there google was suggesting. Even thought these pages are not listed in Googles cache, it looks as if they are still stored somewhere in Googles memory.

We are in the process setting up our landing pages on a new domain and seeing if we can take a fresh domain and get a better score.

Any thoughts are appreciated.


9:50 pm on May 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>> We add a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service link

There is nothing Google ever said that doing this will increase QS significantly. In fact, they quite clearly say that your keywords must be relevant (the consensus among pro advertisers is that relevancy accounts for about 25% of the QS, even Google hints at around that figure). If your keywords are relevant, much of the rest of QS is your click rate. Again, the pros and Google hint at about 65%. The other 10% or so is loading time which Google has said is part of QS and other low-weight factors, some of which MAY be a privacy policy.

Not saying to not have a privacy policy and TOS. It help build a relationship with your visitors and a good thing to have. But it won't increase your QS by many points, not when it may represent only a small percentage of the overall QS.

Now, I'll admit I've also seen strange things the last few months. A keyword getting a poor relevancy score when the landing page was filled with that exact keyword and thus getting a QS of 2 or 3. I was told to wait until it got some clicks and sure enough, it worked. Weird? Yes. Frustrating? Yes. But what can you do? Like the space shuttle, it's a big complicated system and things are bound to go wrong once in a while.


10:30 pm on May 22, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I would be interested to see if someone else would try this Privacy policy and report back to here and see if there is a change. I am totally aware of what Google states it takes into consideration, but all things being equal, the only thing we changed was to add a privacy policy and it worked in increasing the QS, I am not sure what else to think.
The premise is that this falls under the "Transparency" part Google requires in your site:

You can read above, basically they state that if you collect info you should have a Privacy policy. One thing to note, this is probably relevant if Google sees a form on your landing page, which we have.


2:00 pm on May 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

tfanelli, your second and last paragraph made me realize something which I had not considered before. If you have a certain kind of page, like yours with a form to collect emails, then a different weight is used and the system basically saying "add a privacy policy, stupid". Another site without a policy but without a form, it doesn't apply as you're not asking for private info.

Maybe Google categorizes pages such as "asks for private info" and "doesn't ask" which is entered into the calculation and a privacy policy would affect the QS. Either that or your QS going up after adding the policy was just coincidence. But I've heard of others in other forums saying the same so now I'm inclined to think it's true. You just worded it in a way that turned on the light for me. Thanks.


6:46 pm on May 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

LucidSW: I was told to wait until it got some clicks and sure enough, it worked. Weird? Yes. Frustrating? Yes. But what can you do?

I wonder if you managed to pull your site up with a search for the same KWs(maybe on SERPs page 50?) and clicked those links a few times, if that would affect the QS?

In other words, maybe an organic SERPs vote for the site might affect QS.


8:00 pm on May 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Ppc_newbie that's an interesting idea. In relation does anyone know why when you use the keyword tool on your site google uses old pages that do not exist anymore to suggest keywords? What I am suggesting is that there is data used in the qs that is not completely apparent to us.
Potential items:
Privacy policy
Organic ctr
Old cached pages in googles index
H tags

Any others?


8:04 pm on May 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Lucid, no problem and you are welcome. I am the last person who subscribes to conspiracy theories. I like to take google at their word And I always refer people back to google documentation as the final word on things but in this case it seems like there is more than meets the eye.

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