What is the ad position in AdWords

Google AdWords ad rank

What is the Google AdWords ad rank?

The Google AdWords ad rank or Google Ads Rank denotes a value that affects the ad position of a Google ad. It is influenced by various factors such as the quality factor and the bid. The calculation is possible with a rule of thumb.

The higher the ad rank, the better the ad position. A high ad position, in turn, is important to the success of the ad because the higher the ad position, the more likely the click.

Influencing ad rank

The Google Ads ad rank is not a fixed value, it is recalculated every time an ad can be shown. The following factors have an effect:

  • Bid amount
  • Value that should be output for a maximum of one click
  • Quality factor: The quality factor or the ad quality is measured according to the relevance of the ad and the associated website for the user.
  • Thresholds for the ad quality: Only if the ad meets certain minimum requirements can it reach certain positions on the Google search results page. Ads that are of insufficient quality are automatically removed from the auction.
  • Expected impact of extensions and ad formats: Google AdWords ad rank can also be influenced by ad extensions. This is small additional information in the display, e.g. a telephone number.
  • Context of the search queries: Context refers to the search terms used, the type of device with which the search is carried out, the time of the search, other advertisements that are delivered for the search term and various user signals.

Calculate ad rank

Despite these 5 influencing factors, there is a relatively simple formula for calculating ad rank:

Google AdWords ad rank = max.CPC x quality score

So here the two most important factors are used to determine the Google AdWords ad rank.

Determination of the AdWords ad position with the ad rank - this is how it works

The position in which an advertisement ends up is always decided in the form of an auction. Several steps are run through to ultimately determine which ad is positioned where. First, it is checked to what extent the keywords of the ad match the user search query. The system then sorts out ads with a very low ad rank, e.g. because they do not meet certain quality criteria. The remaining ads are presented to the user, their ad position in turn being based on the ad rank.

Since Google treads this “path” every time, the influencing factors can vary each time. For example, the Google AdWords ad rank and thus the ad position can fluctuate because the new search query matches the keyword better.

How do you improve your ad rank?

The most important levers for improving the ad rank are the ad quality / ad relevance (again strongly related to the user experience - the content of the ad must match the target landing page, the target landing page must meet user needs) and the maximum CPC. Therefore, the simplified formula for calculating Google Ads ad rank is also based on these two factors.

Optimization of the maximum CPC

With a high quality factor, the max.CPC generally decreases. This can save quite a bit of budget. It also doesn't always make sense to bid on the first ad position. Often the CPC costs in position 2 are much lower and achieve more conversions than position 1. This is an easy way to save budget or bring more users to the site.

Improve AdWords Quality Score

Since the quality factor is influenced by the click rate, the user experience with the landing page and the relevance of the ad, it is important to check these factors when improving the AdWords quality factor and make adjustments if necessary.

In detail this means:

  1. Click through rate - percentage of the number of clicks the ad is clicked on relative to its appearance in search results

Improvements are possible here by adapting the ad texts and clean keyword lists. Also take advantage of the various ad extensions.

  1. User experience with the landing page

As an advertiser, you should make sure that you only enter keywords that really match the offer on your landing page. The better they fit the content of the page, the better the user experience. However, many other factors of the target landing page also play a role here, e.g. simple navigation, good user guidance, correctly positioned call-to-action, etc. Here you can also create your own AdWords landing pages in order to adapt them more precisely to the stored keywords.

  1. Relevance of the ad

The stored keywords must appear in the ads. The keywords corresponding to the search query are bolded in the ad and thus catch the searcher's eye better. The click is therefore more likely.

Visible results of the optimization

Until 2019, the average position was the main metric for optimizing decisions regarding position measurement in Google Ads ads. Since September 2019, the average position is no longer available for evaluation in the Ads account, instead it is optimized for the top and top position.

The two values ​​are given in percent and describe the frequency of switching to the top position or the top three positions.

An example:

With 50 percent placement in the top positions, your ad will appear on average every second placement in the top area of ​​the Google results page.

If the value for the top position is also 50 percent, 25 percent of all of your displayed ads will be displayed at the top.