How Does Google Ads Quality Score Work?

Google Ads Quality Score is a pivotal factor influencing the performance and cost-effectiveness of your Google advertising campaigns. Understanding how it works and how to optimize it can significantly impact your ad placements, costs, and overall success in reaching your target audience. This comprehensive guide will delve into the intricacies of Google Ads Quality Score, providing insights, tips, and strategies to help you maximize your ad performance.


What is Google Ads Quality Score?

Google Ads Quality Score is a metric that measures the relevance and quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. It ranges from 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest possible score. A higher Quality Score indicates that your ad and landing page are more relevant to the user's search query, leading to better ad placements and lower costs. Achieving a higher quality score should be a priority for everyone running Google Ads campaigns; it helps us understand where our focus should be to improve our results easily.

The Quality Score score is assigned to each of your keywords on the campaigns, which means you could improve it for all of them.


Key Factors Affecting Quality Score

Ad Relevance

Ad relevance measures how closely your ad matches the intent behind the user's search query. Ensuring your ad copy closely aligns with your target keywords can help improve your Quality Score.

If the user is looking on Google Search for a red car and we show a green car ad copy on the search, the user's intent and our ad don't align, and the score will be lower. Different would be showing a red car on the headline and an image of it, aligning the intent with the copy.


Landing Page Experience

Google evaluates the quality and relevance of your landing page. A well-designed, user-friendly landing page that provides valuable content and a seamless user experience can enhance your Quality Score.

Google Ads doesn't provide much information about how this is calculated, but in our experience, a page that is lower than 1.5 seconds and does not contain the keyword the user searches on Google worsens your Quality Score.


Expected Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The expected click-through rate (CTR) estimates the likelihood of your ad being clicked when shown. Ads with a higher CTR are considered more relevant and are rewarded with a higher Quality Score. This factor is calculated by Google, and we don't have any inheritance.


How Google Ads Quality Score is Calculated

Google calculates Quality Score based on historical performance data and real-time user interactions. The main components include:

  • Historical CTR: The past performance of your ads regarding click-through rates.
  • Ad and Keyword Relevance: The alignment between your ad copy, keywords, and the user's search intent.
  • Landing Page Quality: Your landing page's relevance, loading speed, and overall user experience.

The sum of them gives the keyword a 1 to 10 Quality Score; all three are equally important.


Importance of Quality Score in Google Ads

Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

A higher Quality Score leads to a lower cost-per-click, meaning you pay less for each click on your ad. This can make your advertising budget more efficient and allow you to reach more potential customers for the same cost.


Ad Position

Quality Score determines your ad's position on the search results page. Higher Quality Scores lead to better ad placements, increasing visibility, and the likelihood of user engagement.


Ad Auction

During the ad auction process, Google uses Quality Score and your bid amount to determine your ad's eligibility and position. A higher Quality Score can give you an advantage over competitors with similar bids.


Tips to Improve Your Google Ads Quality Score

Keyword Research and Optimization

Conduct thorough keyword research to identify relevant and high-performing keywords. Use these keywords strategically in your ad copy and landing pages to enhance relevance and CTR.


Craft Compelling Ad Copy

Craft compelling and relevant ad copy that deeply resonates with your target audience. Emphasize your product or service's unique selling points, and make sure to include a clear and impactful call to action that encourages immediate engagement and drives clicks.


Enhance Landing Page Experience

Optimizing your landing page is crucial for providing a top-notch user experience. It's imperative to prioritize fast loading times and mobile-friendliness and ensure the presence of relevant, high-quality content that aligns with the intent of your ad. By doing so, you can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your landing page."


Use Ad Extensions

Ad extensions provide additional information and can improve your ad's visibility and CTR. To enhance your ad performance, utilize various ad extensions, such as sitelinks, callouts, and structured snippets.


Quality Score in the Google Search Real-Time Auction Process

Each time a search occurs on Google, the Google algorithm chooses which ad should appear in which position. The metric being calculated in real-time in this process is the Ad Rank. The higher the Ad Rank, the higher you appear; the equation to calculate this is really simple:


Ad Rank = Quality Score * Max Cost per Click


Let's say a user is searching for a "Digital Marketing Agency" on Google. iVirtual is competing with another agency to appear, and the keyword Quality Score is five for both of us. iVirtual is willing to spend $100 for the spot, while the competitor is only bidding a maximum of $50. iVirtual's Ad Rank would be 500, while our competitor would be 250. In this case, iVirtual's Ad would appear in the first position. 

Here's where it gets interesting: if iVirtual's Quality Score for the keyword was 10 while the competitor's is 5, we could be bidding $50 each for the same spot, but our Ad Rank would still be 500, while theirs would still be 250.

That's why Google Ads Quality Score is so important. The higher the score you get on your keywords, the less you spend to appear first.



Understanding how Google Ads Quality Score works and implementing strategies to improve it can significantly enhance your ad performance and cost efficiency. By focusing on ad relevance, expected CTR, and landing page experience, you can achieve higher Quality Scores, leading to better ad placements and reduced costs. Regular monitoring, testing, and optimization are key to maintaining and improving your Quality Score over time.

Contact us if you want to know the Quality Score of your Google Ads campaigns.



What is a good Quality Score in Google Ads?

Achieving a Quality Score of 7 or higher is a significant milestone in online advertising. It signifies that your ad resonates with your target audience and drives meaningful results. However, reaching scores of 8, 9, or even 10 elevates your ad campaign to a new level of excellence. This indicates relevance and exceptional performance, ensuring that your ad stands out from the competition and delivers outstanding ROI. Keep striving for those top scores to maximize the impact of your advertising efforts.

How often is Quality Score updated?

Quality Score is updated almost in real-time based on the performance of your ads, keywords, and landing pages. Regular monitoring and optimization are essential for maintaining a high score.

Can a high Quality Score reduce my ad costs?

By improving your Quality Score, you lower your cost-per-click and increase the overall effectiveness of your advertising campaigns. This means you can reach more potential customers for less money, ultimately maximizing your return on investment. So, investing time and effort into optimizing your Quality Score can pay off in the long run.

What factors can negatively impact Quality Score?

It is crucial to ensure that your ads are relevant to your target audience, as this will increase the likelihood of users clicking through to your website. Additionally, a high expected click-through rate is a key factor in determining your Quality Score, so optimizing your ad copy and targeting is essential to improve this metric. Furthermore, the landing page experience plays a crucial role in determining the overall quality of your ad campaign. A subpar landing page can lead to high bounce rates and lower conversion rates, ultimately impacting your Quality Score negatively. By improving ad relevance, click-through rates, and landing page experience, you can boost your Quality Score and drive better results for your advertising efforts.

How does ad format affect Quality Score?

Ad format doesn't directly affect Quality Score, but using appropriate ad extensions can improve your ad's visibility and CTR, positively influencing your score.

Is Quality Score the same for all keywords in a campaign?

Quality Score evaluates the relevance and performance of each specific keyword in your campaigns. It is crucial to understand that Quality Score is not a one-size-fits-all measure but rather a personalized rating for each keyword based on its individual performance and relevance. By focusing on optimizing each keyword's Quality Score, we can improve their overall campaign performance and ultimately drive better results.