17 May Moving Forwards by Going Back: Why Historic Quality Score Data is So Exciting
– 17 May 2017 –
Google Adds the Historic Quality Score Column
In a recent update to AdWords, Google have added seven new reporting columns regarding quality score which not only enhances the visibility of some data, but also provides exciting possibilities for how quality score can be monitored.
The first three columns of note are the Expected CTR, Ad relevance and Landing page experience ratings. These were available previously, but only by hovering over the speech bubble next to your keyword’s status. Not only are these new columns a much more convenient way to see this data, but it also allows you to sort and filter keywords by these attributes. This data has been available in the AdWords API since February 2016, and at the time Google was hesitant to add the data to the AdWords interface, but that view has obviously changed.
The other four columns, however, are the more interesting ones. These provide you with historic data for all three of the previously described columns, along with the quality score, for your selected date range (there is no data for dates before 22 January 2016). Unlike the other columns, this data was not previously available in AdWords, where you could only see a keywords current quality score regardless of the date range you selected.
This is an important indication of policy change for Google, who have always been very cautious when handing out quality score data, and it is interesting that they would release the feature now, instead of alongside the new AdWords interface which is in development. Scripts in the API have been able to produce similar data to this by populating a spreadsheet with the quality score values each day, and maybe Google decided that, if the data was already accessible, they might as well make it easier to find.
Historical Quality Score Data; A Game Changer
The potential usefulness of this data in terms of experimentation Is incredible. Previously, the way that ads effected the quality score of their keywords could only be analysed by manually extracting the data from AdWords, either with a script or by yourself. However, this data is now at your fingertips, and with Google’s promise that this data will soon be usable in the report editor we also have the possibility of being able to produce visualisations of the change in quality score over time.
Since an easy way to create visualisations of the data is not available yet, we have found segmenting your data by day a great way to quickly track how a quality score has changed over time. At the moment quality score data is not available in Google Data Studio, so you will have to wait before you can add this data to your reports there.
Actionable Takeaways from the Historical Quality Score Data
Now we know how we can visualise the data, the possibilities for testing are expansive. You can now track how your changes affect not only the quality score itself, but also all three contributing attributes. This means that you can track exactly what changes in quality score your experiments are causing. Why not try some of these tests, and see if the new data enhances your results:
- In focused ad groups with few keywords, you can try placing keywords into your ad text in different places, and see how this affects the ad relevance.
- Similarly, changes in landing pages are now much easier to evaluate, as you can simply track the historical changes in ad relevance and landing page experience, along with the overall quality score.
- Finally, the effects of using dynamic ad text, along with keyword insertion, can be tracked beyond simply how they affect performance, and we can start to see just how well targeted these ads can be to your keywords.
As more and more of Google’s services, such as Report Editor and Data Studio, get access to the historic quality score data, the ease at which we can use this data to track performance at all levels should receive a major boost. The possible optimisation methods this data provides is exciting, and we are eager to begin our own tests in the near future.