<< by on April 10th, 2007
The most relevant session of the day for what I’ve been dealing with lately for our clients was titled “Ads in a Quality Score World”. Quality Score, particularly Google’s Quality Score, came up in other sessions I attended and seemed to be on everyone’s lips in hallway conversation.
Presenter Joshua Stylman, from Reprise Media, had some very interesting data showing an instance of how they improved a client’s Quality Score and lowered cost per click, but in doing so really negatively affected the conversion rate. This was obviously a matter of what was relevant to the client not being relevant to the Quality Score Algorithm.
• The more historical click-through-rate data available to the search engine, the more stable Quality Scores tend to be. Starting from scratch with no ad history can have a negative impact early;
• Brands, trademarked terms, and peoples names are susceptible to lower Quality Score;
• Theoretically, other user behaviors besides Click-through-rate and possibly fast abandonment on landing pages might be a factor contributing to a Quality Score.
• More granular keyword choices tend to be more relevant to searches and have better Quality Scores;
• Removing Google Adsense Ads from your site can improve your Quality Score.
Presenter, Jonathan Mendez, from OTTO Digital, took a different approach philosophically about Quality Score. His belief is, “Ignore the Score” and just focus on relevance and it will all be fine. I agree with him in theory, unfortunately a few glitches in how Quality Score is currently working don’t make that always practical…
Jonathan’s data also showed some potential conflicts in Conversion Rates and Quality Score. Some potential remedies to improve your relevance would be having more keyword customized Ad Groups. If you have a set of keywords that you are “stemming” with words like “information”. You should have an AdGroup for those keywords with ad copy and titles using the word “information”. Using dynamic headlines that re-iterate the search terms used to find the ad are also very helpful for improving Google Quality Score.
The most revealing part of the presentation was the short response to the presentations by Google’s Nick Fox. I actually got to ask Nick two questions in the session and it proved to reveal nice information.
• There are definitely two different Quality Scores used by Google. The first determines minimum bids; the other determines ad position on the page. They are similar algorithms, but are not the same.
• Quality Score for determining minimum bids is determined from aggregate data and is less volatile than the Quality Score determining ad positions;
• Quality Score for ad positions does not take landing pages into consideration, Quality Score for minimum bids does consider landing pages;
• Quality Score for ad positions is much more accurate than ad position for minimum bids.
• It’s currently not possible to merge the two Quality Scores together because time of day and bid volatility factors too much into the ad positioning. Although, Google is working on making them more similar.
• Match types don’t impact Quality Score on Google, but typically the more specific the keyword the higher the Quality Score.
• Quality Scores for Ad Positions can be very different than the Quality Scores for bids displayed on Google Adwords display of keyword data.
Lastly, I asked Nick to either “Confirm or Deny” Andy Goodman’s earlier mentioned theory that quick landing page abandonment is a factor in determining Quality Score. He hesitated… and said that Google does look at quick page abandonment, but not specifically for Quality Score. Which for some reason made me think that it is a factor, despite his sort of denial – which I think Andy Goodman also thought too.
It was a pretty good session, with good timely information that a lot of people have been waiting to get reliable information on.