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4 min read

Does this AdWords ‘glitch’ leave any Quality Score clues?

This article was updated on: 30.01.2023

Over the Easter weekend one of our PPC managers managed to catch a little glimpse of an AdWords ‘glitch’ in the Keywords tab. As you can see from the image below, in the AdWords UI, a little code was exposed in a new untitled row on the far right.

We didn’t manage to grab the source code of the page, but we did get a copy of some of the strings that appeared on the page. From initial viewing, it only looks like a comma separated string of data.

Check them out below, and let us know what you make of it.


What we do know is that we can pull out some of those attributes and look into them a little further. From any of the below, can we work towards improving our knowledge of what contributes to a keyword’s Quality Score?

The string variables


As we didn’t get a value here, we’re not too sure what this might usually contain. The keyword for the row that the data was output wasn’t a new keyword so perhaps we should have expected to see some historical data here.


This sounds almost self explanatory. Are we closely matching keywords with relevant ads in granular Ad Groups? This value looks like a boolean in the code above, but we wonder whether there’s a sliding scale happening in the background that we weren’t exposed to.


Again, a boolean value, and similar principles to the above. Are we matching closely keywords and landing pages? We all know that landing page relevancy is important. Do we think this could also be on a hidden sliding scale rather than just true/false?


In our code, we didn’t get a value for this value. Perhaps this is new? Or perhaps this hasn’t yet been decided for this keyword. Either way, we can now confirm that we’ve seen an example of this being factored into the algorithm “in the wild”. We think it’s interesting that landing page latency appears to be assessed on a keyword level.

It’s likely that the following three values are just used to build the UI. It might actually (unfortunately) be the case that the above variables are only used for this too, but it shouldn’t make this blog post any less useful for those trying to understand quality score and how it’s calculated, as you can see that the AdWords developers have labelled them slightly differently, which is mode indicative of what they are looking for. It’s a shame we didn’t get an insight into the algorithms behind these values as that would have been really valuable.

You can see where this data is factored into the UI below;


How well are your ads paired with the keywords in your account? Read more about: Ad relevance.


This is looking at the experience Google expects users to have on your website once they land. Are they likely to bounce? Is your page structured well? Read more about: Landing page experience.


This is looking at the expected click through rate of your advert when shown to users. Read more about: Expected clickthrough rate.


And this is the output… Unfortunately there’s no clear way to translate the values above into a 0-10 metric for Quality Score, as this value is clearly just provided to the UI in this comma separated sting.


We’ve had a chat internally and would really like to open the conversation a little wider to the PPC and wider community.

  • Have we seen anything here that’s new to anyone?
  • Has this behaviour been experienced by anyone else before?
  • Does anyone have any page latency vs. Quality Score data? (Should we create some??)

All thoughts would be appreciated in the comments below!