In our Quality Score Webinar with Bryan Eisenberg (If you missed it, you can now watch the replay) there were way too many questions to answer during the event.
This is the first of several posts in which these questions will be answered. We’ll split the answers between here and TheGrok.com, but keep linking to more as they’re posted.
Have more? Put ‘em in the comments. Disagree with any of the answers. Comment please!
Q: What does ‘removing ads from the bottom’ mean?
A: I think the point you’re referring to was part of the discussion of text-ads. Since most people run 2-4 versions of their ad to test for better CTR and conversion rate, it’s a good idea to regularly remove the ads getting lower CTR (and/or Conv Rate) and add new ones in an attempt to create a new ‘kind of the hill’.
Q: What about long tail keywords?
A: The only thing that matters about keywords relative to Quality Score is the CTR they generate and their relevance to the ads, queries, and landing page. The concepts of head and tail don’t factor in.
Q: How does Google determine if a landing page is relevant? Someone might actually find the page useful but still bounce back to Google to click another ad.
A: The primary determinant of relevance is semantic – do the words on the page match the words in the query and keyword purchase, either literally or at least contextually. Bryan mentioned the idea of Google measuring bounce rates and using the fact that someone came back and did another search or clicked another ad as one of their clues, but that is likely less significant. If a page has good relevance but many users bounce that’s better than if it has no relevance and users bounce.
Q: Is there a way to check the Quality Score of your competition?
A: No you can’t see their score on an individual keyword basis, or figure out their CTR(s). But you can certainly assess the relevance of their text ads and landing pages. Finding keywords that have low relevance – because they tend to be broad matched and lumped into a more general group – and then tightening up your relevance to that exact word/topic, would be a way to get an advantage.
Q: What’s a good click-through-rate?
A: As we mentioned in the Webinar, their is no real answer for this given the wide range of keywords, queries, ads, and situations. Long ago Google wouldn’t run ads with less than 1% CTR for very long, and while that is no longer true it is rare that less than 1% is a very good CTR. For brand-terms on the other hand I’ve seen 30-40% common in some cases. Just depends is the real answer. Testing some reasonably broad types of text-ads should help you find the range for any keyword. But writing good text-ads is pretty hard for many people.
Q: Does the Quality Score of one account in My Client Center effect the other accounts in that Client Center?
A: No. All Quality Score issues are constrained on one Google Account.
Q: If QS suffers when keyword and query aren’t tightly aligned, should you use Exact and Phrase match early in a campaign and delay Broad until a good QS is established?
A: No because QS is only calculated ‘as if’ all keywords were exact match. Not sure exactly how this works but it suggest Google is trying to not penalize you because they match a broader set of queries to your keywords.
TIP FROM PARTIPANT: Quality Score is in the Keyword/Placement Report in Google. I had said it was only under the pop-up in the management window.
Q: If you have two ads in an AgGroup, does the QS as displayed reflect the lower of the two? Should you just run one until ‘established’?
A: Probably not, more likely an average. Running one wouldn’t help because as soon as you ad another you’re in the same situation (although you may have some good history built up, but that probably counts much less than whatever is currently running.)
Q: Do the other search engine use a Quality Score?
A: There are other search engines? Hm. Actually you’ve stumpeded me. Comments?
Q: Does testing ads frequently reduce Quality Score?
A: In theory this makes sense – as you’re restarting the history and calculation, but my guess is that if a keyword in an AdGroup has a good history, you get the benefit of the doubt for a while until a new text-ad proves lousy. Google wants to encourage testing. I would never recommend a full new set of text-ads, rather leave known winners and fold new ones into the mix until they prove themselves.
UPDATE II: And the final Q&A Installment.