There’s been lots of debate about what affects Quality Score within AdWords.
To dispel misconceptions, Google has just published a new whitepaper: “Settling the (Quality) Score“.
Google describes Quality Score being like a “warning light in a car’s engine” as opposed to being a “detailed metric that should be the focus of account management.”
In other words, it’s a signal not a KPI. It’s a combination of expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience & the score displayed represents overall performance in the auctions.
The most important section to read is “Six Things That Matter (and Don’t) When it Comes to Quality,” on page 9 which addresses some misconceptions about Quality Score.
Among them: Device? It matters. Account structure? It doesn’t matter. That said, moving a keyword to an ad group with different ad copy can affect that keyword’s quality score because the user experience may change.
Bottom line, Google says, “chasing the number” shouldn’t be the focus of your efforts, but what’s best for your users.