On Aug. 12, 2016, Google AdWords shared on its Google+ page plans for more transparent Quality Score reporting. Then, on August 15, the Google Ads Developer blog went into greater detail about the change.
As a reminder, your Quality Score is meant to give you a sense of the quality of your ads, and is determined by expected click through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience. The result is that each keyword gets a Quality Score on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the high score), reflecting the quality of the ads and their associated landing pages.
Because Quality Scores are based on past data, new keywords and those without recent clicks and data currently receive a Quality Score of 6. This “average” rating may change after a few days of use, or the system may determine that 6 is the actual Quality Score and keep it there.
The current default was set up in 2015, and only affects reporting—ad serving and rank are not impacted. Google emphasized at the time that the default also simplified things behind the scenes, allowing developers to focus on reporting accuracy.
However, that default is about to change. Soon, performance reports will return a null Quality Score for keywords without past data, representing it with a “–” instead of a numeral. Google believes this will be clearer than a score of 6 for these keywords.
The null Quality Score will not be shown for those using reports or automated rules with filters on the Quality Score column. A simple click in filter options will change this, and make the null score visible.
In its Google+ announcement, AdWords suggests reviewing filters, reports, scripts and rules related to and reliant on Quality Scores to ensure they’ll work properly in the coming months.
Oh, and you can also post questions about these changes at any time in the developer forum.
The implementation of null Quality Scores rolls out on Sept. 12, 2016. In the meantime, check your associated reports, filters, scripts and rules to be fully functional by this fall!