What Is a Quality Score in AdWords?

March 3, 2024

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Managing a Google Ads account takes a lot of work and that is true regardless if you are a PPC expert or a novice. With all the many variables that you need to keep in mind at all times, it can be easy to overlook some of the factors or put them close to the bottom of your priority list. But, the truth is that, when it comes to Google Ads, everything is interconnected. So, you might think that you need to pay close attention to budget optimisation and focus less on other factors including the Quality Score. But, a poor Quality Score can affect how your ads are shown on the search engine results page and impact your budget too.

We could probably write a thick book if we were to talk about all the elements that could impact the success of your Google ads. So, for now, we are going to focus on the Quality Score and try to help you better understand what it is and what its role in this equation is.

What Is a Quality Score in Google Ads?

The Quality Score is a rating that shows how well your ads are performing. It’s a metric that is calculated in real-time, every time your keywords are compatible with a search query performed by an internet user. So, when someone types one of your target keywords in Google search, Google will examine your ads based on a few factors, give them a score and determine your ad rank.

What does a high-quality score mean? Well, a good score can influence your keywords’ cost-per-click or it can impact the result of the ad auction that takes place when a user enters a search term into a search engine, determining whether or not a keyword can participate in that auction. If it can take part, it will also determine where your ad will be placed.

What Factors Can Influence the Quality Score

Quite a few factors can influence your Quality Score, including:

  • Expected Click-through rate (CTR;)
  • The relevance of the keywords used;
  • The account history;
  • Landing page experience;
  • Landing page load time;
  • The type of device used;
  • The historical click-through rate of the display URLs;
  • Keywords ad groups

Let’s take a close look at some of them to understand them better.

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The expected click-through rate is Google’s estimation of how often users will view and click on your ad. Google will calculate your expected CTR based on how well your keywords have performed historically and your ad position. Based on these factors, Google will give your target keyword a certain rating.

One of the best ways to increase your expected CTR (and improve your quality score at the same time,) is to make sure that your ads are relevant to your audience’s needs. That means looking not only at the target keywords, but the ad text too as well as the user experience and how your ads perform overall.

  • Relevance of the Keyword to the Ad Copy

Ads perform better when the keywords in the ad group you use are correlated with the ads you represent. The more often your keywords are repeated in your ad, the more effective they are. That doesn’t mean that you should stuff your ads with keywords, but use them in key areas, such as the ad text, the CTA, and the URL slug.

  • Account History

Not too many people know that Google takes your entire account history into account when calculating the CTR. Don’t try to tweak your account now to improve your odds of getting a higher Quality Score as that can backfire. Instead, focus on creating and delivering more meaningful and relevant ads to your target audience.

  • Historical CTR of Display URLs

This factor takes into account the URL link that is distributed in the ad, not the one to which the user is redirected after clicking on the link in the ad.

This element must also be correlated with the keywords you use.

  • Ads and landing pages

Ad relevancy and user experience can have a tremendous impact on your Quality Score. If a user clicks on your ad hoping to find a solution to their problem but is redirected to a page that has nothing to do with what interests them, then the ad is not really relevant to their query. Moreover, if the ad directs them to a page where they can find the type of product or service they need, but the user experience is terrible, then they will probably exit without taking any action.

To make sure your landing page provides a superior user experience, you should pay attention to:

  • Ease of navigation
  • Transparency
  • Quality and original content


  • Load Times and Device Used

We live in a mobile world, where consumers are used to getting instant access to almost any type of information that interests them. If your landing page takes too long to load or is not compatible with various screen types, your target audience will likely bounce and look for an answer to their problems somewhere else. Of course, that will translate into a negative user experience and that can impact your Quality Score.

  • Consistency Is Paramount

If you want to improve your Quality Score, then all the elements on your page must be consistent:

  1. Your keyword ad and landing page;
  2. Ad title;
  3. Ad copy;
  4. The URL displayed in the ad;
  5. The URL where the ad will redistribute to the visitor who clicks on it;

How Is the Quality Score Classified?

If you get a score from 1 to 3, then that it’s an extremely low ranking and your ad will probably not be displayed.

On the other hand, a score of 9 or 10 is perfect and, quite frankly, impossible to achieve by most advertisers.

You should probably aim for a score of 7 or 8 since that’s a more realistic number. You should also keep in mind that these scores and not linear and can differ from industry to industry. Look at your own industry benchmarks to determine what is good Quality Score for your business.

Over to You

The Quality Score is an essential ingredient in Google’s computing recipe in deciding which ads should be displayed and how to rank them.

A smart and safe way to make sure your Quality Score is always high is to constantly monitor your ads and act quickly when you notice a dip in performance.

Don’t forget that the most important contributing factor to a high Quality Score is relevance, meaning that all the elements on your page must be correlated with each other for the best results.

Of course, with so many other things requiring your attention, it can be difficult to find the time to monitor your Google Ads campaign like a hawk. Fortunately, you can find a partner in Australian Internet Advertising. We are experts when it comes to PPC advertising and know what it takes to create Google Ads that will perform well, and generate clicks and revenue.

Contact us now to learn more!


Billy P.

About The Author

William Polson founded Australian Internet Advertising in 2013 and has over 12 years of experience immersed in Digital Marketing.

With an in-depth level of digital marketing knowledge, William has been sort after by and worked for, many large national brands including Subaru, Blooms The Chemist, and Nova 96.9.

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