Why Marketers Must Pay Attention to Google's Quality Score Change
In August 2013, Google changed Quality Score reporting to AdWords by better integrating three sub factors: expected click-through rate, landing page experience and ad relevance. While the way Quality Score is calculated has not changed, the reporting changes can affect relevancy and bid rates. Understanding the effects of these changes will help with using the AdWords report better to assess ad success. Quality Scores Increased After the implantation of these changes, very low scores decreased significantly while high scores increased slightly. The number of “1” ratings decreased 36%, while “10” ratings increased 4%. Retail experienced the most significant decrease of “1” ratings with a decrease of 50%. Industries experiencing the most significant increase in “10” ratings include finance, education, and technology. Do the changes improve ad performance analysis? Some marketers find the focus on the new sub-factors is not as helpful. Advertisers are interested in how the Quality Score reflects performance. With a narrow range of scores, this task is more difficult. While ratings of 1, 2 or 3 strongly indicate a desire to improve, the less committed scores of 4 or 7 appear more often and suggest little. Basically, the feedback appears less useful. Also, since the ceiling for Quality Score is at 10, with more 10s appearing, very superior performance is also hard to gauge.Much of this is considered something to wait out until marketing adapts to the new reporting changes. Expectations Now Consider turning off automated rules tied to Quality Score until you can see the effects to your score. Quality Score can still affect bid rate and your ad’s appearance rate, making this a reasonable precaution. Your score will change and perhaps increase. Second, there are also mixed reviews on whether the changes reflect ad performance. Any in-house data analysis techniques need to be adjusted for the new Quality Score to better predict performance. Finally, if you ran tests to see how the landing page and ad quality affect Quality Score, you will need to run these tests again as the changes will invalidate previous results.