If you are running a campaign on Google AdWords, then Quality Score and Ad Rank are important in maximising the performance of your Google AdWords campaign.

In this blog post & video, I’m going to de-mystify some key factors on how Google ranks the ads, calculates your CPC and how you can get higher Ad Rank by paying the least Cost-Per-Click (CPC)!!

There are 3 major metrics you need to understand first.

  1. Quality Score
  2. Ad Rank
  3. CPC

Let’s define each metric first.

What Is A Quality Score?

As per Google AdWords Help Centre, Quality Score is defined as “an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages.”

Quality Score is Google’s rating of the overall user experience that your landing page/s and ad/s gives when users search for your keyword or keyphrase.

The higher the Quality Score, the cheaper the Cost-Per-Click (CPC) and higher Ad Rank you will get.

Each keyword has a Quality Score marked out of 10. 1 being the worst and 10 being the best. You need to aim as high as possible to 10. However, the starting benchmark is 5 and once a campaign starts, you can work on optimising the QS and improve upon it.

The more relevant your landing page and ads are to the visitor, the more likelihood of you getting a higher Quality Score. The CTR (Click-Through-Rate) is also a very important metric in the calculation of the Quality Score.

The following factors affect your Quality Score:

  • Expected CTR: The likelihood of someone clicking your ad when it is served by Google for the keyword/keyphrase.
  • Ad Relevance: Does the ad offer what the searcher was searching for? If someone is searching for ‘red apples’, does your ad show or offer ‘red apples’.
  • Landing Page Experience: Does the landing page correspond to what the ad offered i.e ‘red apple’.

So Quality Score is an aggregated estimate of your overall performance in ad auctions.

To find the Quality Score of a keyword in your AdWords account, go to Campaigns >> Keywords >> Modify Columns.

Google AdWords: What Is Quality Score & Ad Rank?


Then >> Attributes and check the columns you want to show. Click Save and you will see the column for Quality Score in your Dashboard.

Google AdWords: What Is Quality Score & Ad Rank?


What Is Ad Rank

Ad Rank is the position in which your ad shows up. So an ad position of ‘1’ means that your ad is at the top of the page. Ideally, you want your ads to show in the top 2 positions as data suggests the highest CTR occur on them.

However, you must test and see if an ad ranked no.3 or 4 is giving you the highest CTR or even conversions!

Ad Rank determines your ad position in the top 4 positions on Google search page in relation to other ads. The higher your Ad Rank, the higher your ad shows. So to be the no. 1 ranked advertiser, your ad rank needs to be the highest amongst all the advertisers competing for the top 4 ad positions.

There are 2 main components of your Ad Rank. These are bids and the Quality Score of your keyword and your website. Other factors like site extensions, expected CTR are also taken into account.

Ad Rank is always recalculated each time your ad enters an auction and competes against your competitors, so you Ad Rank can fluctuate each time in the auction, depending on the competition at that moment.

To improve your Ad Rank, you can:

  • Increase your bid
  • Improve the quality of the ads
  • Improve the user experience of your desktop & mobile website or landing page.

Here is how to find your Ad Position in AdWords.

Goto Campaign >> Ads & extensions >> Modify Columns

Google AdWords Quality Score & Ad Rank



Then click on Performance and check the  ‘Avg. pos’ & Apply.


Google AdWords: What Is Quality Score & Ad Rank?


Paying attention to your Google AdWords Quality Score will pay great dividends to your campaign ROI. I hope you enjoyed reading this post and the video. Please do connect with me on the social media links below and join the conversation.

About Uzair Kharawala
Uzair Kharawala is the Co-Founder at SF Digital. He is a Certified Google Partner, is a Cricket fanatic and loves Photography.
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