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Does Google care about your landing page for Quality Score? Not really.

By   /  September 23, 2014  /  2 Comments

I have something fairly embarrassing to admit.  I was told many, many times by someone much smarter and more experienced than I was that landing pages really don’t have much of an impact on AdWords Quality Scores.  I was told that it was a pass/fail system; unless your landing page was truly awful or you didn’t have contact information or there was no relation to your ad and your page, it was going to get the same score as a stellar landing page.

This was not possible to me!  Landing pages are a huge part of a successful PPC campaign.  And this is true.  Landing pages are important – to your customers.  Google, however, doesn’t really give a whit. (Whatever a “whit” is supposed to be 1).

No, Seriously, I Ran Tests

If you’re shaking your head in disbelief, bear with me.  I decided to test my theory.  I had a few keywords that were real stinkers, with Quality Scores of 3 and 4.  So, I deleted the Ad Groups, created specific landing pages that were tailored for the keywords in question and waited a few days for Google to clear out the keyword histories.  (I left the ads the same, just changed the landing page link in them). The results?  No change.  Nada.  Same Quality Scores.  To quote Kelly Bundy, “the mind wobbles”.

So, What Does Work?

However, I was able to dramatically increase my Quality Scores by following a that the Tenscores platform offered (hint, hint) which were better groupings and I also rewrote my ads for each group.  Previously, I had sort of lumped my two sets of keywords together that were kinda sorta related, which based on my Quality Scores, Google was not amused by.  However, I doubled my Quality Scores to between 5 and 6 with better grouping and more keyword centric ads.  (Obviously, I’ve still got work to do, but this is a lot of progress already.)

So, believe it or not – and I really did not – customers care about your landing page, Google, not so much.


1 In my tiny amount of defense, I live in the Show Me state (Missouri), and I tend to live up to the motto.  I’m the type that has to do things and watch them fail spectacularly on my own to truly believe something.  Previously, for people keeping track at home, I lived in the Sunshine State (Florida), which might have been more accurately named the The Sun Isn’t Always Shining But It Is Definitely Hot Outside state.

About the author

I'm an avid reader of stuff and devour information of all kind. For the past four years, I've been pursuing my passion for writing. When I'm not reading or writing, you'll find me knitting. Follow me on twitter: @MarilynMaupinTS

2 Comments

  1. fred says:

    Hello Marilyn,

    I have a question, maybe it's important to increase QS at 7 minimum. It's a main trick. =)

    On my side, on a small PPC campaign, I actually manage, I see something strange when you decide to add new KW (on automatical suggest) the start QS start at 6 or 7. But the level decrease with time (few days) without change nothing on landing page of campaign.

    I don't think it's about bouncing rate or something like User experience.

    Anyway QS is still very imporant not only about level CPC price.

    Thanks for your Website, so hard to find time to write ;) but you success.

    Regards.

    • Chris says:

      Hi Fred, your quality scores decrease after a few days because google judge your performance against your competitors in regards to CTR, and if your competitors are outperforming you, your quality score will slowly decrease. It’s not a landing page issue. It’s a CTR issue.

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