Last updated: February 19, 2023
It's a grading system used by Google to decide whether an ad is good enough to be shown in the sponsored space of the search results, at what position it will be shown and how much to charge an advertiser for each click.
It compares competing ads across different user experience metrics for a specific ad auction, then rewards advertisers that provide a better user experience while punishing those that don't.
Your ad's cost-per-click (CPC) depends on it, as shown in the formula:
Your ad's position (Ad Rank) on Google's search results depends on Quality Score. The higher the Ad Rank, the better the position. The first ad on Google is always the one that has the highest Ad Rank.
Although both concepts might appear similar on-page, in reality, they are not.
Quality Score is a parameter provided by Google that allows advertisers to monitor the quality of their ads. Google calculates Quality Scores using CTR, Ad Relevance, Landing Page Experience and other factors. Advertisers use the score to determine whether or not their campaign needs optimization.
Ad Rank, on the other hand, is not provided by Google but is a hidden value that their algorithm uses to rank the ads on search results. The ad with the higher Ad Rank gets the first position, and so forth.
From the formula above, it can be seen that Ad Rank and Quality Score are directly correlated. A higher Quality Score can increase your Ad Rank and reduce your ad costs.
Apart from the quality score, there are other factors that influence Ad Rank. Additional factors include your bid amount, ad quality (CTR, Ad Relevance and Landing Page Experience), Ad Rank thresholds, auction competitiveness, the context of search, nature of search term, etc. You can check out all the factors shared by Google itself here.
Hence, we can see that Ad Rank does take into account the factors from which Quality Score is calculated but there are other factors too that Google uses to rank and display the ads to the users which not only depends upon the ad quality but also on the searcher's context (location, query, other user signals and attributes).
In campaigns that are targeted on Google Search, each keyword has a Quality Score. But it is hidden by default. Here's how to add quality scores column in your Google Ads account:
You should now have a Quality Score column in your data as shown below.
In theory, the main factors that go into the calculation of Quality Score are:
That is a simplifed view of quality score components and they can be seen in your Google Ads account.
In practice, there's a better way to think about Quality Score factors towards optimizing it effectively.
"Relevance" and "Landing Page Experience" can be combined under the umbrella of User Experience. They simply mean that the user finds what was promised in the ad, and that they have a good experience when they reach your website.
Keywords, ads and landing pages must be related to each other.
Your landing pages should provide a good user experience by providing what was promised in the ad, by making it easy to find out more about your business and by being explicit about how their information is used.
Historical click-through-rates have an overwhelming impact on Quality Score. Users vote on the quality of your ads with their clicks. If you have a proven history of getting better CTR than others in your market, you get the best score.
Google.com and other country specific such as google.ca, google.ru, etc
Sites such as AOL.com, Google Images, etc