Your Keywords And Quality Score

Tuesday, February 8, 2011 | 4:34 PM

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The AdWords system calculates a ‘Quality Score’ for each keyword in your account. It looks at a variety of factors to measure how relevant your keyword is to your ad text and to a user’s search query. A keyword’s Quality Score updates frequently and is closely related to its performance. In fact, a Quality Score is calculated each time your keyword matches a search query or every time your keyword has the potential to trigger an ad. In general, a high Quality Score means that your keyword will trigger ads in a higher position and at a lower cost-per-click (CPC).

Viewing Your Quality Score

You can find representations of your keywords’ Quality Scores in three places: your account statistics, the Keyword Analysis field and via an account report. Please see below for details on each method.

1. To find representation of your keywords’ Quality Scores in your account statistics:
a. Sign in to your AdWords account at
b. Select the appropriate campaign and ad group.
c. Click the Keywords tab.
d. Click Columns at the top of the ad group table.
e. Select Quality Score from the drop-down menu.
f. Click Save when you’re finished. Each keyword’s Quality Score will be measured and displayed on a scale of 1-10.

2. To view the Keyword Analysis field for any keyword, follow these steps:
a. Sign in to your AdWords account at
b. Click on a campaign.
c. Click on an ad group.
d. Select the Keywords tab.
e. Click the icon in the Status column next to any keyword.

3. To view Quality Score via an account report, run a Keyword Performance report and make sure to select the Keyword Quality Score Detail checkbox. This option appears in the Add or Remove Columns section under Advanced Settings.

Moving Your Keywords & Quality Score

A keyword’s Quality Score may change after you move it to another ad group. However, the keyword’s performance history will not change. This is true regardless of whether you delete and re-add the keyword or transfer the keyword using AdWords Editor.

Here are two ways that a keyword’s Quality Score can change after moving to a new ad group:

1. A keyword’s Quality Score is influenced by its relevance to the ads in its ad group. If you move a keyword to an ad group with more relevant ads, therefore, its Quality Score may improve. Similarly, the Quality Score may decrease if the ads are less relevant. For example, if the keyword ‘camp volunteer’ is in an ad group with ads seeking volunteers for camp it is likely to have a higher Quality Score than if the keyword was in an ad group with ads promoting camp registration.

2. In addition, moving a keyword to an ad group with more relevant ads can improve a keyword’s clickthrough rate (CTR) going forward. This, over time, will improve its Quality Score.

Improving Your Quality Score

The best way to improve your keywords’ Quality Scores is by optimizing your account. This entails making sure that each of your ad groups contain descriptive ads all promoting the same thing, and that each keyword in the ad group closely relates to the ad. For more information on optimizing your account check out these tips for success and the AdWords Optimization Center.