It’s been a busy year at Google with all of the changes made to both organic and paid search algorithms. The most recent change involves its AdRank platform, which determines where your paid search ad will appear on a search engine results page (SERP). With this update, it’s now more important than ever to know some Quality Score basics and what the update means for you.

What is Quality Score?

Quality Score is a number from one through 10 that Google assigns to the keywords you are bidding via the AdWords advertising platform. This score is used as part of a formula that determines how much you’ll pay when an online consumer clicks your search ad, or cost-per-click (CPC) for that keyword. It’s also used to determine where your paid search ad appears on a SERP. Higher Quality Scores can lower your CPC and help your ad rank higher on the sponsored section of the SERP.

What Makes Up a Quality Score

Three components make up a Quality Score: the keyword you’re bidding on, your landing page, and your online text ad. When calculating your Quality Score, Google determines how well these components work together and how relevant they are to your users’ online search.


Google looks at how relevant your keywords are to the landing page or web page you’re sending search traffic to. Keyword click-through-rate (CTR) and a keyword’s competitiveness are also evaluated in determining your Quality Score number. When your messaging closely matches what your online audience is looking for, the keyword tends to have higher click-through and conversion rates. And, the more your ad is clicked on, the higher your Quality Score can go.

Landing Page

The second factor in determining Quality Score is the landing page. One tactic to raising your Quality Score is to ensure your landing page contains the same keywords that you’re bidding on in AdWords. Google sees this as a plus because you’re providing a relevant search experience for online consumers. The landing page’s load time is also a factor in determining landing page quality.

Text Ad

The text ad is the third factor. It’s important that your text ad contains the keyword(s) you’re bidding on. Doing so provides your online audience with a relevant and helpful search experience, which Google highly values and rewards with higher placement and lower cost per click. When your text ad also contains the same keywords as your landing page, this is also a plus that can raise your quality score.

Ad Extensions in Text Ads

Google recently announced that ad extensions would be used as one of the factors to determine a text ad’s placement on the SERP. Previously, only the CPC bid and your Quality Score were used to determine an ad’s rank.

So what are ad extensions? They’re the additional information included in a text ad; they extend out the amount of information an ad contains (thus the name, ad extensions). Your phone number, business address, and/or site links are all examples of ad extensions. You create them in AdWords platform.

Ad extensions are a reliable way to increase an ad’s CTR. The more consumers click on your ad, the more your Quality Score can improve. And when your Quality Score goes up, your ad can appear higher and more often on a SERP. So it’s a win for both you and for online consumers. If your online text ads don’t include ad extensions, now’s the time to add them. It’s an investment that can lower your CPC, as well as have positive affect on your overall Quality Score. Without ad extensions, your online ad might now drop from SERP’s top spots.

Have you taken steps to improve your Quality Score? Let us know with a comment!