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Website Design Articles :: Google Adwords

Adwords: How are Ads Ranked?

Keyword-targeted ads are ranked on Google's search results pages based on a combination of their maximum cost-per-click (CPC) and their Quality Score.

The Quality Score is determined by the keyword's clickthrough rate (CTR), the relevance of the ad text to its associated keywords, historical keyword performance ie how well it has performed in the past, and other factors which Google naturally declines to share!

In other words, using the following formula:

Ad Rank = Max CPC x Quality Score

For the top two positions - those appearing at the top of the results page rather than on the right hand side Google uses the actual CPC.

Having relevant keywords and ad text, a high CPC, and a strong CTR will result in a higher position for your ad.

In Google's own words, "Because this ranking system rewards well-targeted, relevant ads, you cannot be locked out of the top position as you would be in a ranking system based solely on price."

When you choose a maximum CPC for your keywords, Google's Traffic Estimator gives you the estimated average ad position per keyword. This estimate is based on your maximum CPC and the estimated Quality Score for each of the keywords and ads you have chosen.

For more see Google's optimisation page to learn more about account optimisation, including how to maximise performance for your keyword-targeted ad and improve your ad's position without having to raise your maximum CPC. You can also learn about how to optimise ad serving for your ads.

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