The ROI Revolution Blog

Introduction to Google's Ad Auction, Part 2: AdRank and CPC

March 25, 2009

Yesterday, I introduced you to a video released by Google starring their Chief Economist, Hal Varian that explains the Google Ad Auction and Quality Score. In part one of this two part blog series, I reiterated how Google quantifies their formally elusive, Quality Score.

In today's article, I will use the same video and guidance from our Google rep to explain how Google determines your Ad Rank as well as each advertiser's click cost. Some of this post may make you feel like you're back in high school math class, but bear with me. These formulas really do reveal Quality Score's crucial role in the AdWords system and how you can spend less to get more.

AdRank:

AdRank = Max CPC x Quality Score

AdRank is the formula Google uses to assign the position of a keyword targeted ad. It is determined by multiplying the maximum cpc bid that the advertiser is willing to pay by the Quality Score of that advertiser. An ad's position is then determined by the advertiser's AdRank, awarding the highest position to the advertiser with the highest ad rank.

adrank2.JPG

Our example above shows how Quality Score can prohibit advertisers from simply bidding high enough to show in the top position. Even though advertiser Cameron is bidding well above all of his competitors, he will show in the fourth position due to his low Quality Score.

Determining Click Cost:

Actual CPC = (AdRank to beat/Quality Score of Advertiser) + $.01


Each advertiser only pays the minimum amount required to maintain his position.

An advertiser's actual CPC is determined by dividing the AdRank to beat (the AdRank of the competitor below them) by their own Quality Score plus one penny. The lowest positioned ad will only pay the minimum price required by Google to show on the page.
costperclick.JPG

Here our example shows that since Cameron's Quality Score is pretty low, he has to pay a substantial amount more to win the auction against Alison.

The Value of Quality:

If an advertiser increases their Quality Score, you can clearly see using the provided formulas that their AdRank will increase, and they will have to pay less to achieve the same or better positioning. See the example below.


In our example, advertiser Mark increased his Quality Score from 3 to 10, is able to jump to position one, over Mallory, and is able to pay $.24 less than he was paying previously for the higher slot on the page.

I hope you made it through this quick and dirty math lesson on determining AdRank and CPCs without too much of a headache. The main takeaway that I hope you see underneath all these numbers is that keeping a strong Quality Score is the key to lower costs and better positions. Improving CTR, relevance, and quality of your landing pages seems to be the ticket to AdWords success!

Take the next step. Ecommerce retailers spending at least $500/mo. in AdWords qualify for a free 20-minute Google AdWords account review.

Comments

Arun said:

Hello Erin,

I read your post (Part2: Adrank & CPC). I have few doubts and questions.

1) Where can we can get the quality score number. As for as I know, we can get the quality score from the tool which is just beside the keyword. According to that, quality score can be rated in between 1 to 10.

2)About the Actual CPC formula
Can you be more clear on Ad rank to beat.... "Mallory" ad rank is 1.6, then why would he tries to beat the "Mark" ad rank. I guess "Mallory" would try to beat the ad rank which is top on him..the persons who have 1.7 or 1.8

Can you please clarify. Thanks in advance
A

March 30, 2009 3:00 AM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Arun, To answer your questions one at a time:

1) The tool you're using in the UI is the correct place to be checking for your keywords' Quality Score. The 1-10 scale is just a representation of your true QS as Google sees it, which has a broader range of values than 1-10. Keep in mind that the QS you're seeing in the UI is a measure of your quality on Google.com exact match traffic only.

2) The AdRank to Beat is the ad rank of the competitor in the position below you on the results page. An advertiser only has to pay high enough to still win the auction against their nearest competitor. Since Mark has the AdRank just below Mallory, he is her nearest competitor and therefore, the advertiser to "beat".

I hope this answers your questions!

March 30, 2009 1:54 PM

Stephen Pazyra said:

Great info. So how/where can we see the total QS that Google sets for us.
Stephen

April 3, 2009 5:01 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Stephen, Thanks for reading. For now, the only places I know to see your Quality Score is by hovering over the magnifying glass by each keyword in the old interface and by clicking on the small text bubble by each keyword in the new interface. I don't believe Google will publish your true Quality Score, unfortunately.

April 7, 2009 1:24 PM

Jonathan Briggs said:

Very useful post confirming many things. But one question, is there an overall ad group quality score as well as the scores for individual words?

It appears that having a some poorly performing keywords in an ad group is punished by raised prices across the group. Is this observation real?

April 7, 2009 3:18 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Jonathan, According to Google, there is not a separate Quality Score on the ad group level. Poorly performing keywords are not the only thing to cause an ad group to perform poorly as a whole. There are other factors such as poorly performing ads, low landing page quality, or overall low account level performance that could negatively affect an ad group. These factors as a whole could affect all of the keywords in the given ad group, but it isn't the same thing as having a low ad group quality score. I hope this helps!

April 10, 2009 9:28 AM

Craig Danuloff said:

Great review of the facts of Quality Score, and the math surrounding it. Two adds: 1) A plug for ClickEquations which lets you see your quality score for every keyword right in the interface for any time period for every keyword, and 2) some handy charts that show the economic impact of each Quality Score move on your cost-per-click. http://www.clickequations.com/blog/2009/03/the-economics-of-quality-score/

April 16, 2009 12:55 PM

Sahaj said:

Hi Erin

Nice Article. I had written about Quality Score in 2 parts and includes some more details which might be of value to your readers.
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-part-1
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-2

April 17, 2009 1:41 PM

Mark said:

Great posting, but can I check my understanding in the 2nd and 3rd table.
The calculation of CPC for Alison looks wrong and leads to her spending more than her max bid. She should end up at 2 or 3 cents depending on how they round?

April 20, 2009 3:44 AM

Arun said:

Hello Erin,

I read your post (Part2: Adrank & CPC). I have few doubts and questions.

1) Where can we can get the quality score number. As for as I know, we can get the quality score from the tool which is just beside the keyword. According to that, quality score can be rated in between 1 to 10.

2)About the Actual CPC formula
Can you be more clear on Ad rank to beat.... "Mallory" ad rank is 1.6, then why would he tries to beat the "Mark" ad rank. I guess "Mallory" would try to beat the ad rank which is top on him..the persons who have 1.7 or 1.8

Can you please clarify. Thanks in advance
A

March 30, 2009 3:00 AM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Arun, To answer your questions one at a time:

1) The tool you're using in the UI is the correct place to be checking for your keywords' Quality Score. The 1-10 scale is just a representation of your true QS as Google sees it, which has a broader range of values than 1-10. Keep in mind that the QS you're seeing in the UI is a measure of your quality on Google.com exact match traffic only.

2) The AdRank to Beat is the ad rank of the competitor in the position below you on the results page. An advertiser only has to pay high enough to still win the auction against their nearest competitor. Since Mark has the AdRank just below Mallory, he is her nearest competitor and therefore, the advertiser to "beat".

I hope this answers your questions!

March 30, 2009 1:54 PM

Stephen Pazyra said:

Great info. So how/where can we see the total QS that Google sets for us.
Stephen

April 3, 2009 5:01 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Stephen, Thanks for reading. For now, the only places I know to see your Quality Score is by hovering over the magnifying glass by each keyword in the old interface and by clicking on the small text bubble by each keyword in the new interface. I don't believe Google will publish your true Quality Score, unfortunately.

April 7, 2009 1:24 PM

Jonathan Briggs said:

Very useful post confirming many things. But one question, is there an overall ad group quality score as well as the scores for individual words?

It appears that having a some poorly performing keywords in an ad group is punished by raised prices across the group. Is this observation real?

April 7, 2009 3:18 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Jonathan, According to Google, there is not a separate Quality Score on the ad group level. Poorly performing keywords are not the only thing to cause an ad group to perform poorly as a whole. There are other factors such as poorly performing ads, low landing page quality, or overall low account level performance that could negatively affect an ad group. These factors as a whole could affect all of the keywords in the given ad group, but it isn't the same thing as having a low ad group quality score. I hope this helps!

April 10, 2009 9:28 AM

Craig Danuloff said:

Great review of the facts of Quality Score, and the math surrounding it. Two adds: 1) A plug for ClickEquations which lets you see your quality score for every keyword right in the interface for any time period for every keyword, and 2) some handy charts that show the economic impact of each Quality Score move on your cost-per-click. http://www.clickequations.com/blog/2009/03/the-economics-of-quality-score/

April 16, 2009 12:55 PM

Sahaj said:

Hi Erin

Nice Article. I had written about Quality Score in 2 parts and includes some more details which might be of value to your readers.
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-part-1
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-2

April 17, 2009 1:41 PM

Mark said:

Great posting, but can I check my understanding in the 2nd and 3rd table.
The calculation of CPC for Alison looks wrong and leads to her spending more than her max bid. She should end up at 2 or 3 cents depending on how they round?

April 20, 2009 3:44 AM

Arun said:

Hello Erin,

I read your post (Part2: Adrank & CPC). I have few doubts and questions.

1) Where can we can get the quality score number. As for as I know, we can get the quality score from the tool which is just beside the keyword. According to that, quality score can be rated in between 1 to 10.

2)About the Actual CPC formula
Can you be more clear on Ad rank to beat.... "Mallory" ad rank is 1.6, then why would he tries to beat the "Mark" ad rank. I guess "Mallory" would try to beat the ad rank which is top on him..the persons who have 1.7 or 1.8

Can you please clarify. Thanks in advance
A

March 30, 2009 3:00 AM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Arun, To answer your questions one at a time:

1) The tool you're using in the UI is the correct place to be checking for your keywords' Quality Score. The 1-10 scale is just a representation of your true QS as Google sees it, which has a broader range of values than 1-10. Keep in mind that the QS you're seeing in the UI is a measure of your quality on Google.com exact match traffic only.

2) The AdRank to Beat is the ad rank of the competitor in the position below you on the results page. An advertiser only has to pay high enough to still win the auction against their nearest competitor. Since Mark has the AdRank just below Mallory, he is her nearest competitor and therefore, the advertiser to "beat".

I hope this answers your questions!

March 30, 2009 1:54 PM

Stephen Pazyra said:

Great info. So how/where can we see the total QS that Google sets for us.
Stephen

April 3, 2009 5:01 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Stephen, Thanks for reading. For now, the only places I know to see your Quality Score is by hovering over the magnifying glass by each keyword in the old interface and by clicking on the small text bubble by each keyword in the new interface. I don't believe Google will publish your true Quality Score, unfortunately.

April 7, 2009 1:24 PM

Jonathan Briggs said:

Very useful post confirming many things. But one question, is there an overall ad group quality score as well as the scores for individual words?

It appears that having a some poorly performing keywords in an ad group is punished by raised prices across the group. Is this observation real?

April 7, 2009 3:18 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Jonathan, According to Google, there is not a separate Quality Score on the ad group level. Poorly performing keywords are not the only thing to cause an ad group to perform poorly as a whole. There are other factors such as poorly performing ads, low landing page quality, or overall low account level performance that could negatively affect an ad group. These factors as a whole could affect all of the keywords in the given ad group, but it isn't the same thing as having a low ad group quality score. I hope this helps!

April 10, 2009 9:28 AM

Craig Danuloff said:

Great review of the facts of Quality Score, and the math surrounding it. Two adds: 1) A plug for ClickEquations which lets you see your quality score for every keyword right in the interface for any time period for every keyword, and 2) some handy charts that show the economic impact of each Quality Score move on your cost-per-click. http://www.clickequations.com/blog/2009/03/the-economics-of-quality-score/

April 16, 2009 12:55 PM

Sahaj said:

Hi Erin

Nice Article. I had written about Quality Score in 2 parts and includes some more details which might be of value to your readers.
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-part-1
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-2

April 17, 2009 1:41 PM

Mark said:

Great posting, but can I check my understanding in the 2nd and 3rd table.
The calculation of CPC for Alison looks wrong and leads to her spending more than her max bid. She should end up at 2 or 3 cents depending on how they round?

April 20, 2009 3:44 AM

Arun said:

Hello Erin,

I read your post (Part2: Adrank & CPC). I have few doubts and questions.

1) Where can we can get the quality score number. As for as I know, we can get the quality score from the tool which is just beside the keyword. According to that, quality score can be rated in between 1 to 10.

2)About the Actual CPC formula
Can you be more clear on Ad rank to beat.... "Mallory" ad rank is 1.6, then why would he tries to beat the "Mark" ad rank. I guess "Mallory" would try to beat the ad rank which is top on him..the persons who have 1.7 or 1.8

Can you please clarify. Thanks in advance
A

March 30, 2009 3:00 AM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Arun, To answer your questions one at a time:

1) The tool you're using in the UI is the correct place to be checking for your keywords' Quality Score. The 1-10 scale is just a representation of your true QS as Google sees it, which has a broader range of values than 1-10. Keep in mind that the QS you're seeing in the UI is a measure of your quality on Google.com exact match traffic only.

2) The AdRank to Beat is the ad rank of the competitor in the position below you on the results page. An advertiser only has to pay high enough to still win the auction against their nearest competitor. Since Mark has the AdRank just below Mallory, he is her nearest competitor and therefore, the advertiser to "beat".

I hope this answers your questions!

March 30, 2009 1:54 PM

Stephen Pazyra said:

Great info. So how/where can we see the total QS that Google sets for us.
Stephen

April 3, 2009 5:01 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Stephen, Thanks for reading. For now, the only places I know to see your Quality Score is by hovering over the magnifying glass by each keyword in the old interface and by clicking on the small text bubble by each keyword in the new interface. I don't believe Google will publish your true Quality Score, unfortunately.

April 7, 2009 1:24 PM

Jonathan Briggs said:

Very useful post confirming many things. But one question, is there an overall ad group quality score as well as the scores for individual words?

It appears that having a some poorly performing keywords in an ad group is punished by raised prices across the group. Is this observation real?

April 7, 2009 3:18 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Jonathan, According to Google, there is not a separate Quality Score on the ad group level. Poorly performing keywords are not the only thing to cause an ad group to perform poorly as a whole. There are other factors such as poorly performing ads, low landing page quality, or overall low account level performance that could negatively affect an ad group. These factors as a whole could affect all of the keywords in the given ad group, but it isn't the same thing as having a low ad group quality score. I hope this helps!

April 10, 2009 9:28 AM

Craig Danuloff said:

Great review of the facts of Quality Score, and the math surrounding it. Two adds: 1) A plug for ClickEquations which lets you see your quality score for every keyword right in the interface for any time period for every keyword, and 2) some handy charts that show the economic impact of each Quality Score move on your cost-per-click. http://www.clickequations.com/blog/2009/03/the-economics-of-quality-score/

April 16, 2009 12:55 PM

Sahaj said:

Hi Erin

Nice Article. I had written about Quality Score in 2 parts and includes some more details which might be of value to your readers.
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-part-1
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-2

April 17, 2009 1:41 PM

Mark said:

Great posting, but can I check my understanding in the 2nd and 3rd table.
The calculation of CPC for Alison looks wrong and leads to her spending more than her max bid. She should end up at 2 or 3 cents depending on how they round?

April 20, 2009 3:44 AM

Arun said:

Hello Erin,

I read your post (Part2: Adrank & CPC). I have few doubts and questions.

1) Where can we can get the quality score number. As for as I know, we can get the quality score from the tool which is just beside the keyword. According to that, quality score can be rated in between 1 to 10.

2)About the Actual CPC formula
Can you be more clear on Ad rank to beat.... "Mallory" ad rank is 1.6, then why would he tries to beat the "Mark" ad rank. I guess "Mallory" would try to beat the ad rank which is top on him..the persons who have 1.7 or 1.8

Can you please clarify. Thanks in advance
A

March 30, 2009 3:00 AM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Arun, To answer your questions one at a time:

1) The tool you're using in the UI is the correct place to be checking for your keywords' Quality Score. The 1-10 scale is just a representation of your true QS as Google sees it, which has a broader range of values than 1-10. Keep in mind that the QS you're seeing in the UI is a measure of your quality on Google.com exact match traffic only.

2) The AdRank to Beat is the ad rank of the competitor in the position below you on the results page. An advertiser only has to pay high enough to still win the auction against their nearest competitor. Since Mark has the AdRank just below Mallory, he is her nearest competitor and therefore, the advertiser to "beat".

I hope this answers your questions!

March 30, 2009 1:54 PM

Stephen Pazyra said:

Great info. So how/where can we see the total QS that Google sets for us.
Stephen

April 3, 2009 5:01 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Stephen, Thanks for reading. For now, the only places I know to see your Quality Score is by hovering over the magnifying glass by each keyword in the old interface and by clicking on the small text bubble by each keyword in the new interface. I don't believe Google will publish your true Quality Score, unfortunately.

April 7, 2009 1:24 PM

Jonathan Briggs said:

Very useful post confirming many things. But one question, is there an overall ad group quality score as well as the scores for individual words?

It appears that having a some poorly performing keywords in an ad group is punished by raised prices across the group. Is this observation real?

April 7, 2009 3:18 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Jonathan, According to Google, there is not a separate Quality Score on the ad group level. Poorly performing keywords are not the only thing to cause an ad group to perform poorly as a whole. There are other factors such as poorly performing ads, low landing page quality, or overall low account level performance that could negatively affect an ad group. These factors as a whole could affect all of the keywords in the given ad group, but it isn't the same thing as having a low ad group quality score. I hope this helps!

April 10, 2009 9:28 AM

Craig Danuloff said:

Great review of the facts of Quality Score, and the math surrounding it. Two adds: 1) A plug for ClickEquations which lets you see your quality score for every keyword right in the interface for any time period for every keyword, and 2) some handy charts that show the economic impact of each Quality Score move on your cost-per-click. http://www.clickequations.com/blog/2009/03/the-economics-of-quality-score/

April 16, 2009 12:55 PM

Sahaj said:

Hi Erin

Nice Article. I had written about Quality Score in 2 parts and includes some more details which might be of value to your readers.
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-part-1
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-2

April 17, 2009 1:41 PM

Mark said:

Great posting, but can I check my understanding in the 2nd and 3rd table.
The calculation of CPC for Alison looks wrong and leads to her spending more than her max bid. She should end up at 2 or 3 cents depending on how they round?

April 20, 2009 3:44 AM

Arun said:

Hello Erin,

I read your post (Part2: Adrank & CPC). I have few doubts and questions.

1) Where can we can get the quality score number. As for as I know, we can get the quality score from the tool which is just beside the keyword. According to that, quality score can be rated in between 1 to 10.

2)About the Actual CPC formula
Can you be more clear on Ad rank to beat.... "Mallory" ad rank is 1.6, then why would he tries to beat the "Mark" ad rank. I guess "Mallory" would try to beat the ad rank which is top on him..the persons who have 1.7 or 1.8

Can you please clarify. Thanks in advance
A

March 30, 2009 3:00 AM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Arun, To answer your questions one at a time:

1) The tool you're using in the UI is the correct place to be checking for your keywords' Quality Score. The 1-10 scale is just a representation of your true QS as Google sees it, which has a broader range of values than 1-10. Keep in mind that the QS you're seeing in the UI is a measure of your quality on Google.com exact match traffic only.

2) The AdRank to Beat is the ad rank of the competitor in the position below you on the results page. An advertiser only has to pay high enough to still win the auction against their nearest competitor. Since Mark has the AdRank just below Mallory, he is her nearest competitor and therefore, the advertiser to "beat".

I hope this answers your questions!

March 30, 2009 1:54 PM

Stephen Pazyra said:

Great info. So how/where can we see the total QS that Google sets for us.
Stephen

April 3, 2009 5:01 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Stephen, Thanks for reading. For now, the only places I know to see your Quality Score is by hovering over the magnifying glass by each keyword in the old interface and by clicking on the small text bubble by each keyword in the new interface. I don't believe Google will publish your true Quality Score, unfortunately.

April 7, 2009 1:24 PM

Jonathan Briggs said:

Very useful post confirming many things. But one question, is there an overall ad group quality score as well as the scores for individual words?

It appears that having a some poorly performing keywords in an ad group is punished by raised prices across the group. Is this observation real?

April 7, 2009 3:18 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Jonathan, According to Google, there is not a separate Quality Score on the ad group level. Poorly performing keywords are not the only thing to cause an ad group to perform poorly as a whole. There are other factors such as poorly performing ads, low landing page quality, or overall low account level performance that could negatively affect an ad group. These factors as a whole could affect all of the keywords in the given ad group, but it isn't the same thing as having a low ad group quality score. I hope this helps!

April 10, 2009 9:28 AM

Craig Danuloff said:

Great review of the facts of Quality Score, and the math surrounding it. Two adds: 1) A plug for ClickEquations which lets you see your quality score for every keyword right in the interface for any time period for every keyword, and 2) some handy charts that show the economic impact of each Quality Score move on your cost-per-click. http://www.clickequations.com/blog/2009/03/the-economics-of-quality-score/

April 16, 2009 12:55 PM

Sahaj said:

Hi Erin

Nice Article. I had written about Quality Score in 2 parts and includes some more details which might be of value to your readers.
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-part-1
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-2

April 17, 2009 1:41 PM

Mark said:

Great posting, but can I check my understanding in the 2nd and 3rd table.
The calculation of CPC for Alison looks wrong and leads to her spending more than her max bid. She should end up at 2 or 3 cents depending on how they round?

April 20, 2009 3:44 AM

Arun said:

Hello Erin,

I read your post (Part2: Adrank & CPC). I have few doubts and questions.

1) Where can we can get the quality score number. As for as I know, we can get the quality score from the tool which is just beside the keyword. According to that, quality score can be rated in between 1 to 10.

2)About the Actual CPC formula
Can you be more clear on Ad rank to beat.... "Mallory" ad rank is 1.6, then why would he tries to beat the "Mark" ad rank. I guess "Mallory" would try to beat the ad rank which is top on him..the persons who have 1.7 or 1.8

Can you please clarify. Thanks in advance
A

March 30, 2009 3:00 AM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Arun, To answer your questions one at a time:

1) The tool you're using in the UI is the correct place to be checking for your keywords' Quality Score. The 1-10 scale is just a representation of your true QS as Google sees it, which has a broader range of values than 1-10. Keep in mind that the QS you're seeing in the UI is a measure of your quality on Google.com exact match traffic only.

2) The AdRank to Beat is the ad rank of the competitor in the position below you on the results page. An advertiser only has to pay high enough to still win the auction against their nearest competitor. Since Mark has the AdRank just below Mallory, he is her nearest competitor and therefore, the advertiser to "beat".

I hope this answers your questions!

March 30, 2009 1:54 PM

Stephen Pazyra said:

Great info. So how/where can we see the total QS that Google sets for us.
Stephen

April 3, 2009 5:01 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Stephen, Thanks for reading. For now, the only places I know to see your Quality Score is by hovering over the magnifying glass by each keyword in the old interface and by clicking on the small text bubble by each keyword in the new interface. I don't believe Google will publish your true Quality Score, unfortunately.

April 7, 2009 1:24 PM

Jonathan Briggs said:

Very useful post confirming many things. But one question, is there an overall ad group quality score as well as the scores for individual words?

It appears that having a some poorly performing keywords in an ad group is punished by raised prices across the group. Is this observation real?

April 7, 2009 3:18 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Jonathan, According to Google, there is not a separate Quality Score on the ad group level. Poorly performing keywords are not the only thing to cause an ad group to perform poorly as a whole. There are other factors such as poorly performing ads, low landing page quality, or overall low account level performance that could negatively affect an ad group. These factors as a whole could affect all of the keywords in the given ad group, but it isn't the same thing as having a low ad group quality score. I hope this helps!

April 10, 2009 9:28 AM

Craig Danuloff said:

Great review of the facts of Quality Score, and the math surrounding it. Two adds: 1) A plug for ClickEquations which lets you see your quality score for every keyword right in the interface for any time period for every keyword, and 2) some handy charts that show the economic impact of each Quality Score move on your cost-per-click. http://www.clickequations.com/blog/2009/03/the-economics-of-quality-score/

April 16, 2009 12:55 PM

Sahaj said:

Hi Erin

Nice Article. I had written about Quality Score in 2 parts and includes some more details which might be of value to your readers.
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-part-1
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-2

April 17, 2009 1:41 PM

Mark said:

Great posting, but can I check my understanding in the 2nd and 3rd table.
The calculation of CPC for Alison looks wrong and leads to her spending more than her max bid. She should end up at 2 or 3 cents depending on how they round?

April 20, 2009 3:44 AM

Arun said:

Hello Erin,

I read your post (Part2: Adrank & CPC). I have few doubts and questions.

1) Where can we can get the quality score number. As for as I know, we can get the quality score from the tool which is just beside the keyword. According to that, quality score can be rated in between 1 to 10.

2)About the Actual CPC formula
Can you be more clear on Ad rank to beat.... "Mallory" ad rank is 1.6, then why would he tries to beat the "Mark" ad rank. I guess "Mallory" would try to beat the ad rank which is top on him..the persons who have 1.7 or 1.8

Can you please clarify. Thanks in advance
A

March 30, 2009 3:00 AM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Arun, To answer your questions one at a time:

1) The tool you're using in the UI is the correct place to be checking for your keywords' Quality Score. The 1-10 scale is just a representation of your true QS as Google sees it, which has a broader range of values than 1-10. Keep in mind that the QS you're seeing in the UI is a measure of your quality on Google.com exact match traffic only.

2) The AdRank to Beat is the ad rank of the competitor in the position below you on the results page. An advertiser only has to pay high enough to still win the auction against their nearest competitor. Since Mark has the AdRank just below Mallory, he is her nearest competitor and therefore, the advertiser to "beat".

I hope this answers your questions!

March 30, 2009 1:54 PM

Stephen Pazyra said:

Great info. So how/where can we see the total QS that Google sets for us.
Stephen

April 3, 2009 5:01 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Stephen, Thanks for reading. For now, the only places I know to see your Quality Score is by hovering over the magnifying glass by each keyword in the old interface and by clicking on the small text bubble by each keyword in the new interface. I don't believe Google will publish your true Quality Score, unfortunately.

April 7, 2009 1:24 PM

Jonathan Briggs said:

Very useful post confirming many things. But one question, is there an overall ad group quality score as well as the scores for individual words?

It appears that having a some poorly performing keywords in an ad group is punished by raised prices across the group. Is this observation real?

April 7, 2009 3:18 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Jonathan, According to Google, there is not a separate Quality Score on the ad group level. Poorly performing keywords are not the only thing to cause an ad group to perform poorly as a whole. There are other factors such as poorly performing ads, low landing page quality, or overall low account level performance that could negatively affect an ad group. These factors as a whole could affect all of the keywords in the given ad group, but it isn't the same thing as having a low ad group quality score. I hope this helps!

April 10, 2009 9:28 AM

Craig Danuloff said:

Great review of the facts of Quality Score, and the math surrounding it. Two adds: 1) A plug for ClickEquations which lets you see your quality score for every keyword right in the interface for any time period for every keyword, and 2) some handy charts that show the economic impact of each Quality Score move on your cost-per-click. http://www.clickequations.com/blog/2009/03/the-economics-of-quality-score/

April 16, 2009 12:55 PM

Sahaj said:

Hi Erin

Nice Article. I had written about Quality Score in 2 parts and includes some more details which might be of value to your readers.
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-part-1
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-2

April 17, 2009 1:41 PM

Mark said:

Great posting, but can I check my understanding in the 2nd and 3rd table.
The calculation of CPC for Alison looks wrong and leads to her spending more than her max bid. She should end up at 2 or 3 cents depending on how they round?

April 20, 2009 3:44 AM

Arun said:

Hello Erin,

I read your post (Part2: Adrank & CPC). I have few doubts and questions.

1) Where can we can get the quality score number. As for as I know, we can get the quality score from the tool which is just beside the keyword. According to that, quality score can be rated in between 1 to 10.

2)About the Actual CPC formula
Can you be more clear on Ad rank to beat.... "Mallory" ad rank is 1.6, then why would he tries to beat the "Mark" ad rank. I guess "Mallory" would try to beat the ad rank which is top on him..the persons who have 1.7 or 1.8

Can you please clarify. Thanks in advance
A

March 30, 2009 3:00 AM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Arun, To answer your questions one at a time:

1) The tool you're using in the UI is the correct place to be checking for your keywords' Quality Score. The 1-10 scale is just a representation of your true QS as Google sees it, which has a broader range of values than 1-10. Keep in mind that the QS you're seeing in the UI is a measure of your quality on Google.com exact match traffic only.

2) The AdRank to Beat is the ad rank of the competitor in the position below you on the results page. An advertiser only has to pay high enough to still win the auction against their nearest competitor. Since Mark has the AdRank just below Mallory, he is her nearest competitor and therefore, the advertiser to "beat".

I hope this answers your questions!

March 30, 2009 1:54 PM

Stephen Pazyra said:

Great info. So how/where can we see the total QS that Google sets for us.
Stephen

April 3, 2009 5:01 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Stephen, Thanks for reading. For now, the only places I know to see your Quality Score is by hovering over the magnifying glass by each keyword in the old interface and by clicking on the small text bubble by each keyword in the new interface. I don't believe Google will publish your true Quality Score, unfortunately.

April 7, 2009 1:24 PM

Jonathan Briggs said:

Very useful post confirming many things. But one question, is there an overall ad group quality score as well as the scores for individual words?

It appears that having a some poorly performing keywords in an ad group is punished by raised prices across the group. Is this observation real?

April 7, 2009 3:18 PM

Erin Ewasyshyn, Strategy Manager - Paid Search Marketing Author Profile Page said:

@Jonathan, According to Google, there is not a separate Quality Score on the ad group level. Poorly performing keywords are not the only thing to cause an ad group to perform poorly as a whole. There are other factors such as poorly performing ads, low landing page quality, or overall low account level performance that could negatively affect an ad group. These factors as a whole could affect all of the keywords in the given ad group, but it isn't the same thing as having a low ad group quality score. I hope this helps!

April 10, 2009 9:28 AM

Craig Danuloff said:

Great review of the facts of Quality Score, and the math surrounding it. Two adds: 1) A plug for ClickEquations which lets you see your quality score for every keyword right in the interface for any time period for every keyword, and 2) some handy charts that show the economic impact of each Quality Score move on your cost-per-click. http://www.clickequations.com/blog/2009/03/the-economics-of-quality-score/

April 16, 2009 12:55 PM

Sahaj said:

Hi Erin

Nice Article. I had written about Quality Score in 2 parts and includes some more details which might be of value to your readers.
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-part-1
http://www.pitstopmedia.com/sem/google-adwords-quality-score-2

April 17, 2009 1:41 PM

Mark said:

Great posting, but can I check my understanding in the 2nd and 3rd table.
The calculation of CPC for Alison looks wrong and leads to her spending more than her max bid. She should end up at 2 or 3 cents depending on how they round?

April 20, 2009 3:44 AM

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