Is Quality Score Case Sensitive?

Posted by justinfreid 5 Comments

I am in the the process of doing a complete restructuring of a client’s account. In the process of restructuring, in the Adwords Editor bulk sheet, I left one of our head keywords beginning with a upper case letter and it had a major affect on quality score.


‘Keyword one’

instead of

‘keyword one’

A little background info on this keyword. In the original account structure it had a CTR of 4%, was one of our top 5 keywords in terms of clicks and impressions and is an extremely relevant keyword. (Think ‘flowers’ to

When uploaded into Adwords I was initially shocked to see a quality score of 4 for this high volume keyword. I noticed I had accidentally left the first letter capitalized. When I changed the keyword from ‘Keyword one’ to ‘keyword one’ the quality score jumped up to 7.

From this we can see that Google considers ‘Keyword one’ and ‘keyword one’ as different keywords. And when switched to ‘keyword one’ it reverted back to the historic quality score.

The big issue I am curious about is why would there be such a drastic difference in QS just because one letter is upper case. Even without history and being seen as a new keyword the term ‘Flowers’ would have a decent QS when sending traffic to Why would this not occur?

So is quality score case sensitive? What do you think?

Shout out to @ruthburr @HarrisNeifield @dbeltramini and @BryantGarvin for their input via Twitter.

5 Responses to ‘Is Quality Score Case Sensitive?’

  1. Dave B says:

    Thanks for the shout out. I am going to try some experiments here and will let you know what we see.

  2. Mark Kennedy says:

    I just inherited a campaign and some of the keywords were capitalized. I picked two keywords that were lower case and had little impressions, clicks, and q-score. Both were 3’s.

    In one case, the 3 went to a 4, and the history erased. In the other case the 3 stayed a 3. The history erased.

    So Google definitely treats upper and lower case keywords as different terms, at least regarding history and q-score.

    But changing to lowercase may not always improve the score and maybe in some cases going to lower case could decrease it? Haven’t seen it yet, but it’s possible I guess.

    • justinfreid says:

      Thanks for the feedback Mark – I think you are right, upper and low case versions of the keyword are treated as two separate keywords.

      As you mentioned I have also not seen a keyword’s QS decrease when changing from upper to lower case, only increase. But it could definitely be possible. I am in the process of creating a new account for a client and plan on creating two different ad groups that contain upper and lower case versions of a set of keywords. It will be interesting to see which keywords get more impressions, have a higher QS if things like bid and ad text are all consistent.

  3. Andy Smith says:

    I have just experienced this and have been searching Google for answers. Came across this.

    I’ve just had a huge jump in QS from changing the case.

    For using acronyms, and all keywords I usually use lowercase, just for consistency, but I couldn’t work out why the QS for some of my keywords were as low as 3’s and 4’s. Ad Relevancy was spot on and everything else seemed fine. So I changed them to uppercase, and they have jumped to 8,9,and 10’s!

    I will post back if they drop or stay the same. Crazy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *