I was working in an account recently when I noticed a difference in the quality scores, and a couple minutes of digging later, I saw that Google made an update to their reporting of the quality scores, even though they are calculated the same way as before. It’s only the reporting that has changed.
From any keyword in your Keywords tab, you will see a Status column, where you can mouse over and get a
pop up dialog like this:
Google Adwords Quality Score Dialog Box
This shows you 3 factors on your quality score; Expected Clickthrough Rate, Ad relevance and Landing Page Experience, with one of the 3 possible statuses you can get for each: above average, average, below average. The idea of the update is that your numeric quality score (1-10) is now closely tied to these three factors. In the past it might happen that you have a below average factor and still have a QS of say 5, while the next keyword is all average and also QS of 5. Perhaps this update will take care of that.
Even if your overall quality score is good, looking at these three factors can help you identify ways to improve it.
How to track your quality score over time?
You can’t log into your Google Adwords account, and see your quality score history. Google is constantly calculating your quality scores. If you want to see how much your QS have changed over time, you have to download a keyword report and save it. Now comparing a keyword report for each keyword might be long and tedious, and difficult to understand if you really are improving.
Impression weighted average Quality Score
One way of coming up with one number to reflect your quality score throughout your account is the impression weighted average quality score
How to calculate impression weighted quality score
By multiplying each keywords impressions by it’s quality score, we get an impression weight like in this case the ‘super rare keyword’ has 7 impressions and a QS of 5, 5×7 = 35. Now add those all up, and divide by the total number of impressions. In chart above, the impression weighted average quality score was 7.2. Now you have a number to try and improve each month.
You also then have a metric that could tip you off to major changes.