Quality Score (QS) has been used as a helpful perfor­mance metric in Google Adwords to deter­mine ad rele­vancy for years but last month’s rollout of Microsoft adCenter’s perfor­mance measure of the same name begged the ques­tions, “What is the real differ­ences between Google and Bing’s Quality Score?” and, “How can we lever­age Bing’s new Quality Score to manage our campaigns most effec­tively?”

Quality Score Defined

Quality Score (SQ) is a measure of how rela­tive paid adver­tis­ing is for users in the compet­i­tive market­place.  In both Bing and Google, the QS of a keyword is rated between 1 and 10 with a one indi­cat­ing a poor quality keyword and a ten indi­cat­ing a keyword of the highest quality.

QS is measured by past perfor­mance history (CTR), keyword rele­vance, and landing page rele­vancy & quality.  Rele­vancy measures include how well a keyword matches users’ search queries, how well the keyword matches the ad text, and how well the ad matches the search queries.  Several factors such as page load time and site navi­ga­bil­ity are used to deter­mine a rele­vant landing page.

How is Quality Score Displayed?

We begin to see a differ­ence between Bing and Google QS in how each is displayed within its respec­tive UI.  Each engine displays a column for quality score but while Google requires a 210 or less to display a status of Poor for keyword rele­vancy, Bing’s can be as high as a 510 for the same status.

Addi­tion­ally, while Google will give a keyword and landing page rele­vancy or landing page user expe­ri­ence status of No prob­lems even when the score is as high as 1010, Bing will display a status of *Good *if the score is a 910 or higher.

Impact of Quality Score

For both Bing and Google, quality score is recal­cu­lated each time a keyword matches a query and indi­cates the degree to which the ads are eligi­ble to be served in response to the keyword’s search query.  A low quality score will limit the ad’s expo­sure.   In Google, a message is displayed in the status column to alert that the ad is rarely shown due to low quality score if the score is 210 or less.  In Bing, however, ads are limited only when the quality score is *Poor *(meaning as high as 510).

Most impor­tantly is the impact of quality score on the rank of keywords.  In Google, QS has a large impact on how ads will be ranked.  High QS leads to a higher bid going into the ad auction.

Whereas, in Bing, quality score is not used to calcu­late ad posi­tion directly and there­fore has less overall impact on perfor­mance.

Bing Quality Score Best Prac­tices

Keyword Rele­vance:

-          Write compelling ads and remove under­per­form­ing ads to improve overall rele­vance and quality of ads

-          Ensure keywords are rele­vant to search queries by using appro­pri­ate match types and delete under­per­form­ing or irrel­e­vant keywords

-          Utilize nega­tive keywords

Landing Page Guide­lines:

-          Make site content rele­vant by using the same keywords across page and ad group as well as orga­niz­ing ad groups in a way that groups keywords specific to landing pages.