Google Ads Optimization Score | What Does It Really Mean?

By Tinuiti Team

Heads up Google Ads users — there is a new Optimization Score that is now viewable in the Recommendations tab of your accounts.

Google first announced plans for including an Optimization Score feature in the new AdWords at the Google Marketing Live event this July.

Here’s a look at what the new Optimization Score means for your Google Ads accounts and how much you should read into it.



It’s a Score Based On Google’s Recommendations

Your Optimization Score is an estimate of your performance based on Google’s recommendations.

Scores range between 0% and 100% depending on your implementation of these suggestions.


optimization score top bar

Your score is calculated on several factors

Google’s optimization support page notes that the score is calculated in real-time and is based on a number of different factors.

Considerations in the optimization score include:


google ads optimization score page example


Google looks at each category and then weighs recommendations believed to improve the performance of your Google Ads campaigns.


Implementing recommendations increases your optimization score

Alongside your score is a list of recommendations from Google, with each recommendation displaying how much it can increase your score.

According to Google’s support page,

“Applying or dismissing these recommendations changes the overall optimization score of your account. Optimization score is available at the Campaign, Account, and Manager Account levels.”

It’s also worth noting that the Optimization Score is still in beta and only displays for Search campaigns.


Clicking each recommendation reveals more details

Each recommendation displays additional details, such as changing bidding strategies, implementing specific ad units, using extensions, etc.

Google also displays the estimated impact of each recommendation if implemented, in addition to the reasoning behind the suggestion in italic text.


google ads recommendations details estimates


It’s an interesting, somewhat elementary analysis of what can be improved from Google’s perspective.

For now, optimization recommendations will only display for Target CPA — likely because the majority of Google’s conversion data comes from lead-gen conversions. It’s possible that they will roll out suggestions for Target ROAS in the future.



-Erick Smith, Senior Paid Search Manager at CPC Strategy


Treat Optimization Recommendations With Scrutiny

While the Optimization Score is a novel addition to the new suite of AdWords features, our Paid Search specialists note that the recommendations aren’t always necessary.

That’s why it’s best to evaluate your recommendations on a case-by-case basis.

This feature can definitely be useful, but you should treat it with heavy scrutiny. Some suggestions make sense while others may not, like placing certain keywords into an ad group that already includes them.


lewis brannon senior retail search manager


Lewis Brannon, Senior Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy


What happens if I don’t implement the recommendations?

You don’t have to implement any of the recommendations, as there’s an option to dismiss them.

If you choose to dismiss a recommendation, it will still count toward your Optimization Score.

Dismissing any of the recommendations will still increase the overall Optimization Score but show up as a grayed out portion in the bar.


chris pezolli senior retail search manager


-Chris Pezolli, Senior Retail Search Manager at CPC Strategy


google ads optimization score dismiss


Want to learn more about the new AdWords?

The AdWords Next Interface | Navigation & New Features

Google’s New Responsive Search Ads | How They Work and Best Practices

What are Google Custom Intent Audiences?

What is Google AdWords’ New Detailed Demographics Feature?

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