AdWords Broad Match Quality Score Woes

By shanesnow
Published on July 17, 2008

As Search Engine Roundtable reported earlier today, Google AdWords only uses exact match data in order to compute your quality score. So your quality score for broad matches is based on your quality score for the exact match that is searched.

Quoting Search Engine Roundtable:

“So, if you are bidding on [blue shoes] and you get a click from a search on [red shoes], due to broad match – then Google won’t use that click for quality score purposes. Google will only use the exact match of a click, i.e. [blue shoes] search to [blue shoes] keyword ad. It doesn’t mean Google won’t rank your broad or phrase match ads based on your overall quality score. It does mean that your overall quality score is made up of only exact matches.”

While this is true (there is a quality score associated with the exact match of the keyword that broadly matches yours), using the example in the article, ‘blue shoes’ has its quality score, and ‘red shoes’ has its own quality score as far as minimum bids go. If you’re only advertising on the broad match ‘blue shoes’ and the ad displays for ‘red shoes’, you are probably going to pay more for the ‘red shoe’ click because the relevancy is technically lower. Because quality score calculations are dynamic, you will end up paying more for that word because you aren’t advertising on the broad or exact match of that word.

This is why we recommend filtering for those words and redistributing them in their own ad group with their own advertisements if you find that they are converting or transactional keywords.

If ‘red shoes’ isn’t a transactional term for you, add ‘red’ and ‘red shoes’ as negatively matched terms and your quality score problem associated with it will fade away!

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