Quality Score in Adwords gains more Landing Page Importance - Will SEO efforts improve this?

Chris Sams, October 14, 2011

Google recently announced that it will be adding more “weigh” to relevance of a site and its landing page when calculating Quality Score.  Depending on the significance of this “weigh(t)” it could have a marked effect on what Adwords users are paying for each click to their website.  Let’s not even consider for a moment that the algorithm used to generate organic results is being utilized in this new formula.  The imaginary wall, (more real than we may realize)  that separates Google Algorithm engineers and the rest of the word is assumed to be strictly enforced by this author.

The new “weigh(t)” given to relevance and the landing page must certainly be taken away from the biggest quality score factor of all, click-through-rate (CTR).   So this ends up being a shift deeper into a three step process: Step 1 – a visitor enters a query into Googles home page, Step 2 – the visitor reviews a results page finding the PPC ad or organic listing that in his/her mind seems most relevant for his/her purpose, Step 3 – the visitor ends up on landing page which is immediately assessed.   This poses a few problems for those who have spent a lot of time building out their keyword lists in Adwords.  If you have thousands of long tail keywords going to a single landing page, there is no way that you can optimize a page for all of them.  Chances are that your quality score may improve for the words you have structured your SEO strategy around.  But your quality scores may go down for the long tail keywords that you may have been bidding on.

With that in mind, the theory is that this recent change is quality score calculation will most likely benefit those who have less developed Adwords accounts, and a strong on-page SEO strategy.  Only time will tell what effect, if any this change will have.  But those Adwords users who have spent painstaking hours developing their strategies may consider separating their key SEO keywords into separate campaigns and Adgroups to track any changes in Quality Score between the two.

And so continues the march towards relevancy for Google.  The march that is second only to profitability.


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