What is Quality Score in Google Ads?

December 20, 2018

In this blog I’ll be going over what quality score is, what the three components of quality score are, and historical quality score. It’s important to understand what makes up quality score and how you can improve because it greatly affects your ad’s positions as well as you CPC. With a high quality score you’ll be able to achieve a higher ad rank with a lower CPC, who doesn’t want that?



Quality score is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.

Quality score is measured on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best) and made up of a combination of three different components:

  • Ad relevance
  • Expected clickthrough rate
  • Landing page experience


Each of these three components are given a status; below average, average, or above average to determine their impact on quality score.

Ad Relevance

Ad relevance is the measurement of how closely your keyword relates to your ad. If you have an ad group with keywords all about buying red roses and your ad is about buying red roses your ad relevance status will more than likely be average or above average. On the other hand, if your ad for that same ad group is all about buying yellow tulips, your ad relevance status will more likely be below average.

A below average ad relevance score simply means that your keywords and ads don’t relate closely enough. This also might be a sign that your ad group may cover more than one theme in Google’s eyes.

It’s best to have tightly themed ad groups across your entire Google Ads account. This will make it much easier to keep all your ad relevance statuses at average or above average.


Expected Clickthrough Rate

Expected clickthrough rate is a is a factor of keyword quality score that measures how likely it is that a user will click on your ad that shows for that particular keyword. This measurement does not take into account ad position, extensions, or other ad formats that may affect the visibility of your ad. The expected clickthrough rate that Google shows for a specific keyword is based off of historical performance of that keyword as well as if a user searched for exactly that keyword. During the actual auction, Google  takes many more factors into consideration such as; device, time of day, search terms, etc.

An expected clickthrough rate of average or above average means there are no issues with that keyword in comparison to all other keywords across Google Ads.

An expected clickthrough rate of below average may mean that you should adjust your ad copy to make it more relevant to your keywords. A more relevant ad to a user’s query to higher the clickthrough rate will be.

Landing Page Experience

Landing page experience is the measurement of how useful your landing page will be to a user who clicks on your ad. Landing pages with higher ratings typically have text that relates to the user’s query as well as is organized and follows best practices.


Another form of Quality Score that Google reports on is “Historical Quality Score”

The historical quality score metrics in Google Ads allows you to see quality score segmented by day. This allows you to see how you’ve improved, or worsened, your quality score over time. Google Ads also allows you to see each of the three components historical status.

You can find these metrics by going to the keyword section in your Google Ads account. Then click the columns icon and select modify columns. In the modify columns menu scroll down and click to expand the ‘quality score’ section. This is where you can add the historical data of quality score and all its components.

what is quality score


Once you’ve added these columns in, you can segment by day and see a day over day look at quality score.

quality score segmentation


A use case for this would be if you made some edits to a keyword that had a below average landing page experience. If you made some edits to the landing page in an attempt to improve this you’d be able to see if your efforts made any impact. This is a great way to keep tabs on your Quality Score improvement projects and if they are having the desired effect. You can also use this data to check for decreases to Quality Scores brought by any changes you are making to a campaign or ad group.

Quality score is an important aspect in your Google Ads account. Google does not prefer one of these three elements over another (or at least they don’t say they do) so all three of these elements should be optimized to the best of your abilities.All three components, ad relevance, expected clickthrough rate, and landing page experience, play apart in your keyword’s quality score. A higher quality score will lead to cheaper clicks and better overall account performance.