Landing Page Relevancy is Only 5% of Quality Score?

March 13, 2009


Live from the Googleplex, Hal Varian explains, the Google Ads Auction.

This is a must-see, even if Hal isn’t deserving of an Oscar…

Do you think the pie chart of Quality score is accurate?

  • 60% CTR (“user feedback”)
  • 30% Adwords Account Architecture (“relevancy”)
  • 10% Landing Page Factors (that’s all? -WTF)
Assuming Hal’s pie chart is accurate…..

Landing Page Factors (only 10%) includes: relevancy of landing page, original content, easy navigation, transparent ie. privacy policy page, load time, contact us page, little use of pop ups/unders, and more? Relevancy of the landing page is only one of many components of the landing page formula, did you catch that? We don’t know exactly how much power this carries, but my guess is 30-50%.

If that is true…

Landing page relevancy influence over overall Quality Score accounts for only 5% of Quality Score?!

March 21 2009 Update:

Richard Ball commented: "Keep in mind there are different Quality Scores for search: ad rank vs min bid. The landing page is only used periodically for the latter. The pie chart must have been a "blended" QS. IOW, landing page is a big factor when setting the min bid (now first page bid) but not a factor when calculating the ad rank.

See: http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=10215

See the Quality Score Formulas section. They should have done a different pie chart for the 2 different Quality Scores, IMHO."

Look for the newer post about this issue, with our experiment and screenshots.





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6 comments:

prashant.joshi said...

Look at it from Google's perspective. What does Google want - relevant ads for users so that it maintains its market dominance and earn money. I believe that the later part is what Google is focusing on - making money.

I am not PPC expert but if I understand correctly the higher the quality score the higher the ad is placed. By giving CTR more weight in quality score, Ads with higher CTR are more likely to to occupy top position. This would drastically increase the CTR further and allow Google to earn more money.

Stuff related to landing page can not their headache since they do not directly benefit from whether a user performs the intended action or not. Hence lower importance in the total quality score.

Correct me if I am wrong.

Joshua said...

In comment to Prashant above, I'd like to interject that stuff related to the landing page can actually really affect Google - indirectly.

While Google may not directly benefit from the user performing any action on the advertiser's page, they do benefit from the user finding something of relevance on the page the user goes to. If people eventually find less relevant results & information on landing pages advertised in paid search than they do in the organic results, they'll consistently have less people clicking on ads, and less revenue, no matter how relevant the ads themselves are to the search query.

This has been the primary reason for many of the "Google slaps" that have taken place over the last few years... so I'm personally quite surprised to see that landing page relevancy is such a small piece.

I'm wondering if there's some other catch - maybe landing page relevancy is only 10% of the quality score but if that area is 0, it ends up negatively effecting the overall chance the ad will be shown by more than 10%? Great post, and very interesting observation!

OldMatt said...

Very interesting. And i've just proved relevancy has seemingly NO impact on visible quality score within the interface: http://www.search-engine-war.co.uk/2009/03/visible-quality-score-has-nothing-to-do-with-relevancy-at-least-initially.html is my followup research to the discussion we had about initial QS over at PPCHero

Richard Ball said...

Keep in mind there are different Quality Scores for search: ad rank vs min bid. The landing page is only used periodically for the latter. The pie chart must have been a "blended" QS. IOW, landing page is a big factor when setting the min bid (now first page bid) but not a factor when calculating the ad rank.

See:
http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=10215

See the Quality Score Formulas section. They should have done a different pie chart for the 2 different Quality Scores, IMHO.

Yefi Gureni said...

Hi Dan,

I agree with your math, but not fully agree with your bottom line...

Let's assume that I have high CTR and bad landing page relevancy -
I will get many clicks, BUT eventually I will lose money and stop/minimize my campaign.

I think that even if the share of page relevancy in QS formula is low, indirectly it is much higher (and important).

Best wishes,
Yefi

Dan PPCPROZ said...

Prashant: there has been an upgade in the way Adwords ranks... ads w/ lower ranks receive a qs boost to compensate for their lower position.

Joshua: although I agree with your conclusion, that crappy landing pages will discourage surfers...don't forget that these advertisers will likely "foreclose" soon anyway, as they will not be converting.

Richard: Excellent point, well taken. I'd be interested to hear more opinions on this.

Yefi (PPCBully): Perhaps an advertiser with "deep pockets" can continue with a losing campaign, BUT, Adwords is happy play along as long as their bills are paid, along with a good quality score.

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