Adwords Quality Score Includes Page Load Time
Google officially announced that page load time would be considered as a factor in Quality score of landing page for Adwords. Google used to base their Adwords quality score mainly on four factors ( landing page relevance, ad text relevance, keyword relevance and CTR), however, they have been considering to include load time as a quality score factor since March and they started to show landing page load time as a metric from May onwards ( you can see it by clicking on the magnifying glass given against each keyword).
Google’s inclusion of landing page load time is therefore not at all an unexpected move, rather, this would actually fall in suitably with one of the base philosophies that Google has always preached – “Fast is better than slow”. Google has always worked towards enhancing user experience on their products as well as in other cases where they could have minimal control. Faster loading landing pages are definitely a step towards better user experience for people who click on Adwords ads.
Google defines landing page load time as the time taken for a user to see the landing page after clicking an ad. Slow servers, interstitial pages, multiple redirects can actually increase this time and lower your quality score in Adwords. Keeping this in mind, we will need to wait and see if advertisers who are using PPC management platforms like DART, Doubleclick for Advertisers, Omniture etc gets a relatively lower quality score than the ones who send the advertisers directly to their website. Though the redirection time required by these platforms are very minimal and almost unnoticeable, going by the load time definition suggested by Google they would probably still be a factor to consider.
For those of you who are having a relatively heavy landing page, might see a fall in quality score and higher minimum CPC requirement, however, Google says that their system reevaluates pages on a regular basis and if you make significant improvement in your landing page load time you are likely to see an improvement in quality score as well as a lower minimum CPC requirement.