Adwords Quality Score Determined- Even Before Activating the Keywords!

Have you ever gone through all the phases of setup with your Google campaigns- geo, bid amounts, daily budgets, etc. and then come to find that your Quality Score has already been assigned? This isn’t the way I originally pictured the Quality Score to work. It should gather data relative to your specific campaign/ adgroup/ keywords/ landing page and then assign a score, right?

One factor that I left out above is the CTR (click-through rate), as that’s one of the most important factors when Google is determining the Quality Score. This led to my curiousity as to why my leywords were assigned a Quality Score, even though they haven’t recieved any impressions yet.
Here’s the key, and here’s how Google assigns a Quality Score (even before keyword activation). Historical data. Other advertisers have used these keywords before, and Google is able to take an estimate from their performance and assign it a ‘starting score’. Being that each account performs differently and according to their own dynamics, chances are that you will not stick with this initial scoring. It is simply the first step to your Quality Score.
So, lets say that you load your keywords and come to find that your starting Quality Scores are pretty low. This can be useful information for you. Google is indicating that these keywords have been used in the past, and there wasn’t much success with them. Of course, this doesn’t mean to ‘scrap’ them, it simply means to keep an eye on them. On the other hand, if you see that your keywords are starting off with high scoring, Google is indicating that these keywords have had good performance in the past. Focus on these to perform well, and you can even go so far as to seperate them into their own ad groups. It’s always a good idea to get your campaigns off to the best start possible!

One factor that I left out above is the CTR (click-through rate), as that’s one of the most important factors when Google is determining the Quality Score. This led to my curiosity as to why my keywords were assigned a Quality Score, even though they haven’t received any impressions yet.
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Here’s the key, and here’s how Google assigns a Quality Score (even before keyword activation). Historical data. Other advertisers have used these keywords before, and Google is able to take an estimate from their performance and assign it a ‘starting score’. Being that each account performs differently and according to their own dynamics, it’s likely that you will not stick with this initial scoring. It is simply the first step to your Quality Score.

So, lets say that you load your keywords and come to find that your starting Quality Scores are pretty low. This can be useful information for you. Google is indicating that these keywords have been used in the past, and there wasn’t much success with them. Of course, this doesn’t mean to ‘scrap’ them, it simply means to keep an eye on them. On the other hand, if you see that your keywords are starting off with high scoring, Google is indicating that these keywords have had good performance in the past. Focus on these to perform well, and you can even go so far as to separate them into their own ad groups. It’s always a good idea to get your campaigns off to the best start possible!



  • Also, quality score & SEO factors seem to matter quite a bit.

  • That's cool! Of course, the past is not always a predictor of the future performance of these keywords, especially since no two sites are the same, but it does give you an idea of what the majority of people are looking for.

  • I've found that the initial quality score given is a good indicator for what keywords will convert more efficiently. John, You do make a good point about the evolution of the quality score in regards to your landing page ect.