What is a Quality Score? by:Michael Oxley
A quality score means different things to different people, of course. The use of the phrase as it applies to online searches has a specific definition, and a good grasp of its meaning can be the difference between a successful online ad campaign and a total waste of advertising dollars.
The attention of the online shopper can be difficult to catch, considering the abundance of search engines and methods of link networking that are employed in the virtual marketplace. Resting at the core of online commerce is the accepted unit of exchange known as the keyword.
Search engine providers develop their pricing structures based on the integrity of the keywords that the advertiser uses in their online ad campaigns. This scale of judgment considers the success of the keyword in attracting attention, how relevant it is to the content of the text, and how it appears on the home page or other landing pages.
These criteria are the factors which make up a quality score, which determines how much an advertiser pays for the service as well as how often their websites or web pages appear on the search engine provider’s network.
Exposure is everything in online advertising, and to maximize their exposure the advertiser must try to obtain the highest quality score possible with each and every ad campaign. This will not only increase their presence on the web, but will also allow them to get the most exposure for their money.
A quality score is based on the history of the click-through-rate, or CTR, that the keyword has shown. CTR is the essential element in determining the worthiness of a keyword in attracting hits on a site or a page. In other words, how well a keyword performs in convincing the online searcher to click on a link when they land on a search results page determines the value of the keyword to the search engine provider as well as to the advertiser themselves.
The goal of any advertiser who employs the services of a search engine should be to gain the highest possible ranking on the search registry, thereby attaining the best possible position to attract attention. This ad ranking is in fact obtained by having the highest quality score for a keyword, which also affects how much the advertiser will pay for their ad placement.
Considering the fact that online advertising is rated on a pay-per-click basis, it would only make sense to increase the ways that an online shopper will have access to the advertiser’s website or web pages. Having a high quality score not only increases the possibility of this, but also allows the advertiser the best chance of expanding their reach on the search engine network at a proportionate rate of advertising spending. The better the score, the higher the ranking, the more exposure, the less money spent.
The online advertiser should obviously analyze their own ad campaigns using these criteria, not only to save on advertising costs but to earn that position at the top of the search results page.
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