Is Google Ads Quality Score just a Scam/Distraction? Is GA worth it?

Forum White Hat SEO PPC Is Google Ads Quality Score just a Scam/Distraction? Is GA worth it?

  • This topic has 7 replies, 1 voice, and was last updated 1 week ago by ryben2k.
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    Wondering if anyone has any advice on Google Ads Quality Score and whether my problems are unique…

    I’m finding that Google’s Quality Score seems to be a complete crapshoot.

    There are keywords I’m bidding on where I have a 25%+ CTR, where the keyword is exact match (so it isn’t triggering irrelevant queries), where the keyword is used in the ad, used in the landing page, and the landing page not only contains original, relevant content (and is ‘transparent’ because it contains contact details etc) but also scores a 90%+ PageSpeed Insights score for mobile and desktop…

    …and Google is giving me a 2/10 Quality Score and saying I have low ‘expected CTR’ and low ‘landing page experience’.

    So I’m getting almost no impression share due to low ad rank.

    I’ve spent *many* hours watching videos, reading blogs, going through courses etc and cannot for the life of me find out what is the reason I’m getting low quality scores.

    Listening to the experts, improving quality score seems like a straightforward (although sometimes tedious) process.

    My experience, though, is that I’ve implemented just about every optimisation process that I’m aware of (STAGs, looking at search query report in Ads and Analytics and ‘negging out’ keywords, using relevant ad extensions, improving my core web vitals etc)…and my quality score is not only low but has actually continued to drop.

    (And, no, I’m not advertising in a niche that Google is known to suppress quality scores for)

    At this point, I’ve also spoken to my ads manager and a different Google support agent.
    They try and encourage me to do things like increase bids (even though my bids aren’t low AND my reports shows the thing suppressing my impressions is low ad rank caused by low quality score and not low CPC bids), use a particular smart bidding strategy, add less relevant keywords and put them on broad match, turn on ‘auto recommendations’ etc…all things which will obviously increase the amount I’m paying to Google but won’t affect my quality score for the relevant keywords I’m trying to bid on.

    When I ask them straight why my quality score is low for a particular keyword and how I can improve it, they haven’t got an answer.

    I’m starting to wonder if I should simply ignore quality score altogether and optimise by looking at the other metrics (making appropriate bid adjustments etc) and just hope it eventually corrects itself (although getting the impressions will take months)…or if the Google Ads system is fundamentally broken and I should expect that any keyword I add is a quality score crapshoot (i.e. regardless of whether it matches the *actual* intent of a searcher, is contained in the ad and the landing page…it may trigger a low quality score and then be VERY expensive)?


    Google Ads is worth it.

    Generally I ignore quality score and focus on business impact. Some keywords (competitor/branded keywords) are impossible to get a high quality score for.

    One thing to think about though, and I see a lot of advertisers get tripped up on this – is the keyword commercial intent or not?

    If it isn’t, and you’re trying to make a sale on it, that may be your issue. Check the first 3-4 organic results for a good idea of what will work.

    Otherwise ignore the quality score and focus on your bottom line metrics 🙂

    Edit: Username checks out. Nice.


    1) QS depends on competitors. If your results are average in the market, you’ll get average QS. So it’s not a “static” metric. That’s why your exp. CTR might be low

    2) For new accounts and new campaigns system needs time to determine QS. In the beginning it uses historical average values from your account or from the market. That’s why your QS might be lower in the beginning

    3) LP exp. QS is determined not only by loading speed. Keywords and basic SEO matters as well.

    QS is supposed to affect your CPC. So ideally you’d want to keep it high. But honestly I don’t see much difference in CPC for 5s and 9s QS keywords. Yet it doesn’t you should ignore QS. Just try to keep higher than 5 and you’ll be fine


    Quality scores are relative to your competition. Therefore it’s generally easy to score 9/10 in a small niche.

    You may also see low-quality scores if you are bidding against a lot of indirect competitors. For example, if you sell apples (the fruit) you will be bidding against a massive number of companies bidding on Apple (the brand).

    Keep in mind that quality scores are based on what Google thinks your CTR is going to be, not what it actually is. And, this will sound stupid, but the keyword match-type has zero affect on quality score. Yep, that’s right, exact and broadmatch will have the same QS.

    In the end, having higher quality scores will lead to being in more auctions and paying a lower average CPC. But who cares as long as you are getting a good ROI?

    We manage accounts where keywords with QS 2/3 are generating massive amounts of quality conversions.

    Don’t stop trying to improve your quality scores, but don’t make that your top priority… always go with conversion data.


    Change exact match with phrase match and you can see the difference


    GA is worth it. If you’re on an automated bidding strategy, I’d say Optimisation score is a far better metric.


    QS can be frustrating but hardly a “crap shoot”. I think your notion on how things are calculated is flawed which is setting you down the wrong path fundamentally.

    Landing page experience for example is not based on the keyword someone searched being on the landing page. It’s about how somebody actually interacts with your site relative to other competitors. If someone searches “running shoes” and clicks on Reebok’s ad then bounces back to Google, clicks roadrunner sports ad then bounces back to Google, then clicks on Nikes ad and buys shoes then goes back to Google and searches for trails instead, Google will give Nike kudos for a good landing page experience and ding Reebok and roadrunner sports. In Google’s eyes, their experience for running shoes wasn’t as good as Nikes since they kept needing to search 3x for the same thing until they stopped searching for it. Page speed and keywords being on there are only a proxy for actual page experience


    One thing I’ve noticed is that if Google doesn’t have a lot of ad data for a given keyword, then it gives you a poor quality score. My guess is they want to suppress ads for new keywords until they have the data to prove that it matches user intent and provides a good user experience.

    You mentioned that there aren’t competitors for the keywords you’re targeting. This means Google doesn’t know what the CTR or landing page experience should be.

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