Is Quality Score some sort of pseudoscientific Google voodoo? Debatable.
Is it important for AdWords users attempting to gauge their PPC success at a granular level? Mm-hhhm.
Did something important happen recently with Quality Score or something? You betcha.
That’s right: Google just updated its reporting on Quality Score.
The new Quality Score reporting in AdWords
You see, back in the day (yesterday), if you wanted to learn more about why your Quality Scores were sucking or soaring, you had to rely on a silly little floating bubble. It was inconvenient, and without the aid of scripts and external spreadsheets, gleaning, well, anything useful was a chore.
Operative word: was. Yesterday, Google announced some changes to Quality Score reporting, changes that will afford you a more compelete understanding of the elusive QS metric and allow you to act on new insights with ease.
Let’s dig into the details.
Quality Score Reporting Update: Constituent Components Can Stand Alone
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the silly little floating bubble mentioned above…
Quality Score reporting: old version
As you can see, previously, Google would show you whether you were performing above or below average in three areas.
Now, in their announcement, Google acknowledged that these three bits of information (expected CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience) are crucial for advertisers. If one is out of whack, it can detrimentally impact performance (or, in some cases, put a stop to impressions entirely).
To make your life easier (woo!), Google has decided to add three new status columns to the Keywords tab reflecting—you guessed it—the individual components of a given keyword’s Quality Score.
The aim here, from Google’s point of view, is to give you “a comprehensive snapshot of your keywords’ current scores.” This will make it much easier for you to identify low-hanging fruit (improving ad relevance en masse by injecting targeted keywords into generic ad copy, for example) and complex issues (landing page and ECTR issues) that might be blocking your path to PPC success.
In addition, the new and improved Quality Score reporting gives you four columns' worth of historical data to work with.
Historical Performance Is of the Utmost Importance
For Quality Score-obsessed advertisers out there (and I’m certain you’re out there somewhere), historical data is everything. Piecing this data together by either manually comparing change history with changes to Quality Score over time has long been prohibitively difficult.
Now that Google has decided to make historical Quality Score data accessible via columns in the Keywords tab, your life’s about to get easier.
These new columns will allow you to better understand how ad and landing page optimizations are impacting Quality Score (and subsequently everything from average CPC to CVR).
Now, there are three important things to know about these columns:
- They reflect the last known score for the date range selected.
- Historical data won’t be available for dates earlier than January 22, 2016.
- Applying the "Day" segment to your Keyword reports will show daily values that reflect scores at the end of each day.
To help you understand what this looks like, let’s look at an example.
Let’s say it’s May 15 and you want to see what the Quality Score was for your keyword “Google AdWords” from March. 17 to April. 9. You navigate over to the Keywords tab, alter your date range to reflect the right timeframe, and pull in two columns: Qual. Score and Qual. Score (hist.).
By pulling in the Quality Score column (the one you’re familiar with) you can see how your Quality Score looks today. The Quality Scores (hist.) column, on the other hand, will show you what the Quality Score the chosen keyword was during the selected period (in this case, 3/17/2017-4/9/2017).
Note that if there aren’t enough impressions or clicks to accurately determine a keyword’s Quality Score for the historical date range you’ve chosen, you’ll see a null Quality Score (“—”).
New Quality Score Reporting: The Bottom Line
As you well know, Quality Score matters. A lot. And this new and improved reporting means you can use past (and current) performance to ensure future success.
If used correctly, this new QS data should make it simple for you to uncover specific areas within your account where, say, landing page experience needs some love. This means you don’t need to waste time guessing and potentially optimizing for the wrong Quality Score components, freeing up both time and money.
About the Author
Allen Finn is a content marketing specialist and the reigning fantasy football champion at WordStream. He enjoys couth menswear, dank eats, and the dulcet tones of the Wu-Tang Clan. If you know what's good for you, you'll follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.