Incipia blog

Google Adwords App Install Campaigns Quality Score Issue

Gabe Kwakyi | June 2, 2017

Adwords quality score – love it or hate it, it's an important vital sign that indicates the ability for your Adwords campaigns to scale, sustainably from a cost perspective.

As a brief reminder, quality score is a 1-10 score metric made up of 3 main components and one additional factor (which does not factor into app install campaigns):

  1. Landing page experience – query-to-landing page relevance
  2. Ad relevance – query-to-ad relevance
  3. Expected CTR – position-normalized CTR of your app vs other ads for a query
  4. Ad formats/extensions

Keep in mind that quality score does not determine what your ad rank is, but is more of an overall health metric that informs you how well your ad stacks up to the competition, and as such your chances of getting into future auctions and winning them. With that in mind, you will generally see higher quality scores correlated with better ad performance, and vice versa, but QS is not the causal factor of that performance.

If you want more detail, Google's chief economist, Hal Varian offers a great youtube video explanation of the auction, ad rank, and quality score.

While landing page relevance for app install campaigns is built based on the App Store/Play Store listing, our Google rep told us that it was a factor of lesser importance, and that it was more important to focus on expected CTR and ad relevance via description lines 1 and 2.

So if you've seen a terrible quality score in your campaigns, check to see whether the issue stems from ad relevance/expected CTR (higher priority) or landing page experience (lower priority) before setting your hair on fire.


On a related note, Adwords has recently rolled out an interesting adjustment to how your ads are shown and has implications for any Adwords advertiser:

  • Adwords will now segment queries into categories, such as products vs news-type searches.
  • Bid will factor more heavily into your ad rank depending on the query category.


The Bottom Line: Adwords has recently rolled out changes algorithmically reducing advertiser control over keyword impression share (vis-a-vis reducing the effectiveness of the bid lever) while also increasing the potential quality of search traffic (vis-a-vis reducing the bid lever weight for lower relevance query categories). Additionally, landing page relevance is reportedly a factor of lesser importance for mobile app install campaigns.


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Incipia is a mobile app development and marketing agency that builds and markets apps for companies, with a specialty in high-quality, stable app development and keyword-based marketing strategy, such as App Store Optimization and Apple Search Ads. For post topics, feedback or business inquiries please contact us, or send an inquiry to