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10 Low Adwords Quality Scores Deadly Impacts

Updated on May 10, 2011

It is amazing how many adwords advertisers neglect the single most important metric that influences their advertising costs. Some people don't even know of the existence of Quality Score.

But why blame them when the column that shows Qual. Score is hidden by default in every new account. Possibly a convenient omission that allows Google to cash in millions on their users ignorance about it.

An even more surprising truth is that most people don't know the ramifications of having low scores.


After reading this hubpage, make sure to read this article on how to improve adwords quality score when you want cheaper clicks from Google.


So without further ado, here are the 10 deadly effects of low adwords quality scores.

Number 1 - High Advertising Costs

The way Google calculates how much they charge advertisers for every click is no mystery:

Actual CPC = (Next advertisers Ad Rank / QS) + $0.01

The important thing to notice is a number called Ad Rank is divided by Quality Score, which means very slight variations of QS result in "exponential" decrease in costs.

Number 2 - Low Positions On

Ad Rank is a metric used to rank ads on Google. The ad with highest Ad Rank gets position 1, the ad with second highest Ad Rank gets position and so forth.

The fomula for Ad Rank is no mystery either:

Ad Rank = max. Bid x QS

Ad Rank depends a whole lot on Quality Score and advertisers with higher Ad Rank get better positions on Google... often at lower costs than the competitors below them. Advertisers with low Quality Scores get lower positions and pay higher costs for them.

Number 3 - High First Page Minimum Bids

Every time you type a search query in Google, an ad auction is ran. A first page minimum bid is the minimum bid required for an advertiser to enter the ad auction and compete for positions on the first page of Google.

Unlike the formulas for Ad Rank and actual CPC , Google has yet to release the official one used one used for first page minimum bids (find the unofficial one in the free Ten Scores book available at

Have low quality score and your ad might never have the chance to be seen by anyone you're trying to reach.

Number 4 - Low Impression Share

Impression Share is a metric that represents the percentage of times your ads were actually shown in relation to the total number of chances your ads could have been shown.

It is a metric that is closely influenced by Ad Rank thus influenced by Quality Score. Increassing Impression Share by the means of higher scores means higher traffic volumes for your keywords.

Low Impressions Share means your ads are not being shown as much as they could.

Number 5 - Low Content Network Exposure

In the Google content network, ads are displayed not on but on other people's websites that participate in the Ad Sense program. An example are all the annoying ads you can see on this hubpage.

Though invisible in accounts at the moment, there's a Google content network quality score. It affects if your ad is eligible to show on a certain website or not.

There might be one website out there that will be a cash cow for you, if you have low quality scores you might never discover it.

Number 6 - No Priviledged Options

There are options that are available for advertisers who have great quality scores and not to others:

  • Top Positions: Some sponsored ads appear in a light orange square just above the natural search results. Those spots are reserved for advertisers who meet certain quality score requirement
  • Site Links: Some advertisers have the ability to have ads containing more than one link to their website. Those links can only be displayed if you have high quality scores.
  • Product images: Usually, ads on are only text. But advertisers who have high quality scores in the UK and USA can have images of their products displayed with their ads. (Unfair?)

Number 7 - Sleepless Nights

My very first profitable adwords campaign was like a blessing to me. I had worked hard on creating a high converting website and life was bliss... I thought my struggles were over and that I finnally had the freedom I always dreamed of.

Until I woke up one day only to find that my traffic had plummeted to ZERO, as well as my revenue and all that because my Quality Score had dropped.

Things went downhill and some days I wondered if I'd find food for the next day. If that ever happens to you (I hope it never does), I can guarantee you'll have a few sleepless nights!

By the way,10 is a great number don't you think?! On some web properties we can settle with 7...


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