Calculating AdWords Account Level Quality Score

Kid using abacus to calculate quality score


Have you ever noticed that every new keyword you add to an AdWords account has a default quality score of 6? Only after being live for at least a day and receiving some impressions will it change. This is because in July 2015, Google implemented an update to the way they report quality scores for keywords.

Adwords statement

Before this announcement, Google would assign a quality score based on the overall account level quality score. This was a hint to marketers on their AdWords account health.

The update didn’t alter Google’s process of calculating account level quality score; it just made it more difficult for marketers to get an approximation of it.


How to Calculate Account Level Quality Score


Disclaimer: This method works best for search network accounts with keyword based campaigns. Display, video, dynamic and PLA campaigns are assigned quality scores by Google but they are not visible.


Ok, firstly you will need to download the data which is made simple with the AdWords interface.


  1. Set the date range as ‘Last 30 Days’, this will ensure the account quality score is up to date
  2. At the All Campaign level, click to the Keywords tab.
  3. Ensure you are showing all but removed keywords.
  4. Click on the Columns drop down and Modify Columns…
  5. Ensure Quality Score and Impressions are added to the set of columns
  6. Click the Download Report button (the arrow)
  7. Download report as Excel.csv and open
Setting Up Account Level Quality Score Report
Setting Up the AdWords interface columns for a report download


Download Quality Score Report
Downloading the report


Now you have data from the last 30 days for every keyword in your account. Account level quality score is a weighted average based on the number impressions for each keyword. This means the more times a keyword has been shown the more it will affect the account level quality score.


It is simple do the calculation for a huge number of keywords with Excel.

  1. Delete every column except Impressions and Quality Score
  2. Create a new column Impressions x Quality Score
  3. The sum of Impressions x Quality Score column divided by the sum of all the Impressions gives the account quality score


Keywords Impressions Quality Score Imp x QS
xyz 1007 7 7049
xyz 1617 7 11319
xyz 766 10 7660
xyz 1131 8 9048
xyz 1712 8 13696
xyz 757 7 5299
xyz 456 7 3192
xyz 4568 8 36544
xyz 345 8 2760
xyz 254 10 2540
xyz 678 6 4068
xyz 1224 10 12240
xyz 65 9 585
xyz 33 8 264
xyz 452 7 3164
Total 15065 119428
Account Q.S 7.93


So, after a quick 10-15 minutes you can easily evaluate the overall quality of your AdWords account!


Why is Quality Score Important?


Google calculates a keyword’s quality score by its CTR, relevance of keyword to ad group, landing page experience and relevance, ad copy relevance and the historical account level quality score.


QS compartments


Quality score is of vital importance for two AdWords metrics:


Ad Position

Any keyword’s Ad Position is determined by Ad Rank. Ad Rank is calculated by the keyword’s Max CPC bid multiplied by its Quality Score.


Ad Position Quality Score


As shown above, the keyword with the higher quality score will receive a higher Ad Position and greater ad exposure.



Another factor influenced by Quality Score is cost per click. Ensuring your keywords are running at a high quality score will help to potentially save money compared to your competitors. For example, in the competitive catering industry: The Catering Company with the highest quality score will attract cheaper paid traffic > lower cost per lead > competitive advantage.


Quality Score affects CPC


As quality score increases, the amount you pay per click reduces.


Quality Score affects your CPC


How to Improve Account Level Quality Score


Get Rid of Low Quality Score Keywords

If you have keywords with a quality score of 5 or below that receive low impressions and conversion rates then make sure you remove them from the account.


Use Brand Keywords

Someone searching for your brand is very likely to click on an ad for your brand – it’s common sense but this will result in a high CTR and therefore high quality score. This will give your whole account a boost!


Continually Optimise

Like vinyl records, AdWords accounts will deteriorate over time if not taken care of. AdWords takes regular tweaking to ensure your account is running at an optimal level. Even 30 minutes a week dedicated to smart PPC optimisation will have a great effect.





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