Click through, quality score and getting position

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Google’s Quality Score is like their search algorithm. No-one knows for sure how Google does it, and it is in the search engine’s interest to keep it that way. In Adwords, even the actual effect of Average Position is very opaque. Despite this metric’s unclear nature (See Search Agents, Average Position is a really perverse metric), its relationship to clicks can be demonstrated.

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Position to Click Through

Quality Score and the bid are two of the main factors that decide what the Average Position for a keyword or placement will be, but where does click-through sit in this? Click-through is a key metric in determining Quality Score, though it is not the only one.  But does click-through have an effect outside of this measure?

Using three months’ worth of campaign information, I decided to have a closer look at these relationships.  Here are my findings.

Between adgroups with a similar average Quality Score, there were differences in Average Position that seemed to be related to their respective click-through rates. The adgroups with a relatively high Quality Score are marked with a colour on both graphs.

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Quality score, Click through and Position

The sample used in this example is flawed. By using Adwords data at adgroup level, this graph does not account for any variance between keywords within the groups sampled.

In this small group of keywords though, the trend is continued. When their Quality Score is the same, click-through is the best predictor for relative position.

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Keyword Quality Score and Position

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Keyword Quality Score and Click Through

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