Despite being something advertisers are keen to track over time – to show the benefits of landing page or ad copy tweaks – Quality Score has always remained particularly difficult to monitor.

AdWords has historically classed Quality Score as an attribute rather than a metric, only allowing you to see the current value with no historic reporting. Savvy advertisers have worked around this and resorted to solutions, such as Google Scripts and Google Sheets, to log and analyse changes in Quality Score over time.

Accessing this data via the API also granted the benefit of analysis of Quality Score by its component factors. PostClickQualityScore, CreativeQualityScore and SearchPredictedCTR have all been keyword attributes available via the AdWords API since mid-2016, and allowed for interesting analysis on where to focus your optimisation efforts for the best results. For example, poor ad/landing page relevance across a specific set of keywords, flagging a page or ads in need of improvement.

These component factors can also be surfaced through a keyword level hover-over in the UI, however we wouldn’t recommend attempting to carry out any sort of bulk analysis that way.

This all changed last Tuesday with the announcement of some long-requested improvements to Quality Score reporting. Whilst this doesn’t fundamentally change the landscape, all advertisers can now:

  • Add additional UI columns breaking down how well a keyword performs across the three main components of quality score
    • Expected CTR
    • Ad Relevance
    • Landing Page Relevance
  • Add new historical Quality Score columns, allowing you to report back on Quality Score changes from 22nd January 2016 onwards
    • This is both at a top line level and by individual components above

Quality Score reporting

After adding in these new columns, everything seems to work as expected. Segmentation by day is as expected, and week and month seem to work as well, seemingly using the most common value for that period.

This is particularly good news for smaller advertisers, who may not have the time nor inclination to setup scripts and sheets to track Quality Score over time, and who may not previously have been able to access Quality Score split by component factor in bulk.

For agencies and larger clients, whilst this is unlikely to be completely new data, this should massively speed up the process of pulling and analysing this data, changing this from a planned-out piece of analysis (setup scripts and sheets, grouping and analysing performance etc.) to something that’s just a few clicks away.

Have no doubt this is also a win for Google Sheets, which will have borne the brunt of advertisers regularly dropping Quality Score data for later analysis!

As with any of Google’s proprietary algorithms (such as that used for organic search), Quality Score has always attracted plenty of good advice alongside plenty of suspect, or just plain incorrect advice. From setting abnormally high bids to campaign and ad group naming conventions, credulity knows no bounds. Surfacing this sort of data to all advertisers for analysis and review can only help eliminate these myths for good.

We’re looking forward to this speeding up our analysis. Let us know what you think by tweeting us @RocketMill.