How to View Your Web Marketing Quality Score in Google AdWords - dummies

How to View Your Web Marketing Quality Score in Google AdWords

By John Arnold, Michael Becker, Marty Dickinson, Ian Lurie, Elizabeth Marsten

Quality Score is a secret algorithm that Google uses to “score” each keyword relative to your web marketing account, the keywords in the ad group, the ad text, the landing page, your bid amount, and several other factors, some known and some not.

Quality Score is also applied to other areas of your account, like ads and the account itself, but the keyword level is the most visible and the easiest for you to make changes to in order to help yourself.

Quality Score is one of the factors that determines what your CPC will be for a single keyword, and if you want to lower a high CPC, you need to raise your Quality Score. Your score also influences where your ad shows up on a search results page and establishes what your minimum CPC bid has to be to show up on a first page of search results.

To see your Quality Score in your keyword list, you first need to add a column for it. Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Open the ad group and keyword list that you want to view your scores on.

  2. Click the Columns button and select Customize Columns from its menu.

    The Customize Columns page opens.

  3. Click Add next to Qual. Score in the Attributes section.

  4. Click the Save button.

    Now, when you look at your keyword list, you find a column devoted to the Quality Score.


You’re looking at your Quality Score and you’re probably wondering what that number means. If you see a 7, you’re above average and at a good place to be. If you’re in the 2–5 range, you want to work on increasing your score to help with your overall CPC and relevancy to searchers clicking on your ads.

A Quality Score of 2 or lower will often garner a Rarely shown due to low quality score warning in the Status column of your keyword list. This means that Google is finding that this particular keyword isn’t relevant to the ad group, the other keywords, the ad, the landing page, or even the behavior of the users utilizing this term for search.


For example, someone who searches on a broadly generic term like doctor may not be looking to book an appointment, but instead the definition of one, how to become one, or the name of a location or a school that certifies doctors. When terms like this come up, Google often discourages advertisers from blindly bidding on them and suggests refining their keyword lists and targeting an action or behavior .

When considering your Quality Score, you need to focus on its relevancy. If your ad group has keywords that are closely related to one another, your ad copy matches, and when you take visitors to a related page on your site, you will see better Quality Scores.

As it pertains to your keyword list, the best you can do to increase your Quality Scores is to delete poor-performing keywords and keywords with Quality Scores of less than 5.

Quality Score isn’t everything. Google won’t stop showing your ads altogether if you have a poor Quality Score. You just won’t show as often as you’d probably like.