What is Google Quality Score and Why Does it Matter?

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What is Quality Score?

Quality Score is defined by Google as an estimate of the quality of your ads. It is reported for each of your keywords based on the quality of the ads and the landing pages that triggered them. Quality Score is an aggregated estimate of how well a keyword has performed overall in past ad auctions.

You can view Quality Score in Google Ads at the keyword level by adding it as a column:

Quality Score Columns

How is Quality Score calculated

Google calculates Quality Score using machine learning paired with the immense data it has access to. Google is able to determine how users interact with search results to ensure the most relevant ad is served.

There are three main elements that Google takes into account when determining Quality Score:

If you would like to improve your Quality Score, you should start by reviewing these elements. You should look at these at a keyword level to determine patterns and key areas for improvement.

Why does Quality Score matter

Now that you understand what Quality Score is, you might be asking why does this matter? By understanding what it is, you now have important insights into the Google Ads auction.

Entering the Google Ads Auction

Google uses Quality Score to ensure they are showing the most relevant ads to users every time a search happens. This is to ensure that users continue to find the ads interesting and useful and therefore continue to click on them.

You may find that if you have a very low Quality Score, your ad may not even enter into the auction. Whereas having a higher Quality Score increases your ads eligibility to participate and show in more ad auctions.

Ranking in the Ad Auction

Once your ad is determined to be relevant and entered into an ad auction, it is then ranked against the other ads (ad rank) that are eligible for position on the search results page.

Each ad in the auction is ranked based on how much they are bidding (max cpc (cost per click), how relevant the ad is (Quality Score) along with other factors such as the context of the individuals search and expected impact of extensions and other ad formats. The higher you are ranked, the higher you will show on the search results page and therefore the higher chance of getting traffic to your site (clicks).

Lower Cost Per Click

The cost per click (CPC) that an advertiser pays is calculated based on the minimum requirement to clear the ad rank thresholds and beat the ad rank of the ad (competitor) immediately below you.

The higher your quality scores, the more you will be rewarded. This is because you will pay less to maintain the same position (ad rank) in the auction.


It is important for advertisers to understand Quality Score and the insights it can provide. Higher Quality Scores lead to higher ad ranks, lower cost per click and is likely to result in higher quality leads to the website.

Optimising low Quality Scores can lead to lower costs and therefore improved performance. However, it is important to always keep the underlying business goal in mind and ensure that you are not sacrificing this just to improve Quality Score on underperforming, and possibly irrelevant, keywords.

What is Google Quality Score and Why Does it Matter?

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