Google Sheds Light on Ad Quality Score

Ever since Google implemented Quality Score as a criteria for AdWords ad placement, advertisers have been clamoring for more transparency into how Google calculates the score.

In the "good old days," an advertiser could boost an ad's ranking just by bidding more. Now, Google and other search engines incorporate a quality score, which takes into account elements like historical performance of a given keyword, relevance of keyword to ad text, landing page quality, and other factors.

While Google is not eliminating the black box that is the quality score algorithm, it is pulling back the curtain a bit with a new Keyword Analysis page in the AdWords console.

The page will offer advertisers clues about why a keyword is not triggering an ad, and rate the quality score as "Great," "OK," or "Poor." It will also dig deeper and show how the different components that factor into quality score are performing.

About the author

Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.

Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.

With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.