First Page Bid Quality Score Formula

March 21, 2009

In our previous post, in which we alleged that the quality score landing page relevancy accounted for only about 5% of the weight…

We are now revising this statement…

  • This is still true for the general Ad Auction formula perhaps, as CTR and Structure are the main components.

However, based on a comment from @richardball :

“Keep in mind there are different Quality Scores for search: ad rank vs min bid… Landing page (relevancy) is a big factor when setting the min bid (now first page bid) but not a factor when calculating the ad rank.”

Based on our experiments, shown below, I agree with Richard.

In our experiment on a brand new account… with no history:


  • Although we had very tight adgroups, ie. good account structure and relevancy to Ads…
  • Keywords were all assigned an initial QS of 2, ie. Poor, along with a high First Page Bid: $5.00

We wanted to test the landing page relevancy as the possible cause of this “slap”…

  • We cloned the poor kws campaign and changed only the display and dest urls..
  • we chose a third party site, that ranked high in the organic listing, ie. very relevant to the kw


Conclusion: We saw a dramatic jump in quality score, from 2 to 5 and 6, and a dramatic drop in First Page Bid, from $5.00 to 30 cents!

This proves that First Page Bid, at least initially, is heavily affected by landing page relevancy, contrary to our previous post’s allegation.

Certainly not only 5% power, as we previously suggested. In this landing page test, we have shown an exponential increase in QS, and a 96% decrease in the First Page Bid price, as a result of ONLY changing the landing page. Landing page relevancy is indeed very heavily weighted in the initial keyword quality score formula, completely counter to our earlier post.





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Anonymous said...

Not sure if you've seen my related article (in which you get a namedrop!)...
First page bid is related to ad/landing page relevancy, but the indicated quality score is not - as I demonstrated with high volume keywords targeted to an irrelevant landing page via relevant/irrelevant ads

Anonymous said...

That explains a lot that is happening in the account I inherited. Thanks.

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