Microsoft adCenter Quality Score: How Quality Score Works on Bing & Yahoo

January 20, 2017

The Microsoft adCenter platform offers its own answer to AdWords Quality Score, but as with negative keywords in adCenter, Quality Scores in adCenter function somewhat differently than they do in Google AdWords.

You can easily see your keyword-level Quality Scores in adCenter, similar to the way that you can drill down to the keyword level in AdWords:

adCenter Quality Score

The way that Quality Score is calculated, however, is slightly different in adCenter.

How Quality Score Is Calculated in adCenter

The biggest difference is that adCenter Quality Score doesn’t actually impact your cost per click and ad rank, ad position, or keyword eligibility. It’s designed to be a metric that indicates how generally competitive your keyword is in the adCenter marketplace as compared to other advertisers’ keywords. The overall score is broken down into three components:

  • Keyword Relevance
  • Landing Page Relevance
  • Landing Page User Experience

You can hover over a specific keyword and get a report on each of these components individually:

Check adCenter Quality Score

The adCenter help materials offer information about each of these different more granular measurements (click to enlarge):

And Microsoft offers guidance on what each of these scores means:

Score     Description

7-10       The keyword is very competitive in the marketplace. Your ads are eligible to be served in response to search queries that contain this keyword.

6              The keyword's performance in the marketplace is average. Your ads are eligible to be served in response to search queries that contain this keyword.

1-5          The keyword is underperforming in the marketplace. Your ads will be much less likely to appear on Bing and Yahoo! search results pages when people search for that keyword.

-              There's not enough data over the last 30 days to calculate a score. For example, the match type for the keyword you're bidding on may be displayed primarily or solely on a syndicated website, such as PC World. Quality scores don't use data from traffic on syndicated websites.

If your ad has been active for 30 days or more and you do not have a score, consider addressing some of the measures described above, which might in turn allow your ad to be served often enough to calculate a score.

While the adCenter Quality Score won’t impact your actual CPCs, it can be a very helpful metric for diagnosing issues within your campaigns – finding low Quality Score keywords and understanding whether it’s the keyword’s relevance, the landing page relevance, or the landing page user experience that is problematic can tell you what you need to improve on high-volume keywords. This will help get more exposure within auctions and have certain keywords better positioned to get maximum exposure on Yahoo and Bing.

Tom Demers

Tom Demers

Tom Demers is Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Measured SEM and Cornerstone Content.

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