Understanding Google Adwords Ranking

Understanding Google Adwords Ranking

If you are setting up a Google Adwords advertising campaign for the first time I strongly suggest watching this video, (and hiring me…)

It is too easy to watch your budget disappear quickly in Adwords without it providing a good return on your investment, therefore no matter the size of your budget it is worthwhile taking the time to setup your advertising campaign to get the highest return. Depending on your current knowledge this could take only a few hours or a few days.

Ad Rank

Ad Rank is the formula that Google use to rank adverts, the formula includes: bid amount, quality of your advert, quality of your landing page, expected impact of any extensions and ad format. These are used to score every ad that Google displays.

Quality of Advert

Essentially your advert has to include the words or phrase that you are using to show the advert. For example if you want to show an advert for Accountant in Dublin – it will be necessary to have accountant in the advert text, and it will also help if Dublin is included.

Quality of Landing Page

Just as you need the phrase in the advert you also need the phrase in your page copy. This of course makes sense; if I ran an advert for SEO in Dublin and then SEO was not on the page this would mean the page did not talk about SEO and Google wants all adverts to be relevant to users.

Google’s advice becomes quite specific when it comes to the quality of the landing page, which is also relevant for SEO purposes. They say the page should have relevant and original content that helps the user complete their task, be easy to navigate, should answer the query, and should be transparent about the business.

It is possible to run adverts without both of the above being true however the cost of your advert in Adwords will be higher. It also helps if the page is correctly optimised for the query that triggers the advert.

Bid Amount

It is possible to be the number one advert for a query without being the highest bid on that key phrase. However your bid will still have to be above a set minimum. Using bid only to achieve number one position is a blunt instrument that will lower your return.

If you bid €2.50 it does not mean that every click will cost you that amount. Each click will cost you the amount required to beat the advert just below you in monetary terms, before the ads are sorted using Ad Rank, this is know as a second price auction.

Ad Format Impact

When setting up an advert in Adwords you can choose to add extra information within your advert. This extra information can include a telephone number, an address and site links. This creates an advert that is larger on the page and therefore is more likely to be clicked, and Google wants to serve adverts that are going to be clicked.


As can be seen from the above video and hopefully my explanation there are three main areas that will determine where your advert appears: Bid Amount, Quality, Advert Impact – you have control over all of these and can therefore reduce your ad costs while beating the competition in Advert position.

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Comments (2)

  • Brian (@bbrian017) Reply

    I have been considering adwords to help market bog engage. I have tried it in the past but I think the main issue with that was I didn’t have a big enough budget to really try it out on different levels and keywords.I heard it works great but is also very costly.

    October 27, 2014 at 3:20 pm
    • admin Reply

      Personally I think you are doing a great job organically. Thanks for the tweet.

      October 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm

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