Two weeks ago we discussed click through rates or CTRs and their usefulness and limits as a metric. Today, we discuss a related metric known as quality score.
While that phrase has probably been used to mean dozens of different things in different contexts, our discussion focuses around the idea of quality score encountered in Search Engine Marketing (SEM). SEM is the practice of purchasing keyword targeted ads shown to customers using a search engine.
Most SEM is managed via an auction mechanism - the advertiser states the price they are willing to pay, and in real time, the search engine will serve users advertisements and charge the advertiser.
But how to search engines decide who to show and what price to charge? This is a complicated question requiring a multi-part answer to address completely. In this episode, we focus on one part of that equation, which is the quality score the search engine assigns to the ad in context. This quality score is calculated via several factors including crawling the destination page (also called the landing page) and predicting how applicable the content found there is to the ad itself.