What is Google Ad Rank and How to Improve it ?
Like how Google plays a vital role in daily life, Google Ads is the most prominent one that digital marketers rely on. So, if you’re a digital marketer trying to sell your product/service online through Google Ads, then Google Ad rank is the ultimate formula.
We’ve all seen an ad appear on Google search while we search. However, how is the ad ordered, and how does Google decide which order to display ads? The ad position is the one that Google uses as the determining factor to decide the ad position. What is the factor, and how can it be improved? You’ll find that in this article.
Although, it’s not simple and straightforward as you think! It can feel like an uphill battle. In this article, you can find everything about Google Ad Rank, why it’s important and how to improve it.
So, What is Ad Rank?
Ad rank is the value that determines the company’s ad position in the search engine and also determines whether your ad will show at all. Ad Rank is calculated based on the bid amount and other factors such as Auctions determine the order of ads within the SERP. The winner of an auction is not always the highest bidder, as with many other auctions. The amount you bid in the Google Ad auction is not the only factor that determines your overall Ad Rank. The Ad Rank score determines the Ad Rank of ads in search results.
So, even though a PPC ad may be the first listing on the SERP, it won’t always have the highest bidding, but it will have a high Ad Rank.
Highest ad positions usually deliver the most clicks. This is why it’s important to get your ads ranked as high as possible.
Learn how Ad Rank works and how you can increase your Ad Rank on Google Ads.
How does Ad Rank work?
Before 2017, Ad Rank is a simple calculation which involves the maximum CPC and the number of competitors relative to the particular search. After Google rolled out some changes in the algorithm such as machine learning, it became much more complex to calculate.
But to explain it simply, your Ad rank can be calculated and determined by
- Bid Amount
- Context of users’ Search
- Competitiveness of Auction
- Ad Quality of Auction Time
- Expected Impact of Extensions & Other Ad Formats
- Landing Page Experience
Still, Google hasn’t confirmed the exact Ad rank formula. But it’s practically determined that the keys mentioned above are the critical factors determining where your ad sits on the search engine result page.
Each keyword search is analyzed by determining the factors to grasp a hotspot. That means each and every search is totally different. That results in one search auction; you may get an Ad rank one. It could fall during another auction. So, it’s crucial to understand the factors mentioned deeply to get a higher Ad Rank.
It represents the amount you’re willing to pay for a single click on a specific keyword. There are minimum and maximum thresholds available to choose from. For instance, if you set a maximum cost per click of $2 and the next bidder has a CPC of $1.60, you have to pay $1.61 in that auction.
Context of Users’ Search:
For the same keyword, two different people could search and have two different contexts.
Competitiveness of the Auction:
Ad Rank can also depend on the auction for related but similar searches.
Auction Time Ad Quality:
These factors will determine the position of your ad on the page and how much you’ll pay. Each of these factors will be discussed in greater detail later.
We can hear you asking, “What about Quality Score?”
What does Quality Score mean and how does it affect Ad Rank?
This is where things get a bit tricky. Google says that it does not consider quality as a ranking factor and concludes that it takes the overall performance of the ad that includes quality score in Google Ads. .
Quality Score in Google Ads refers to the 1-10 score in the Google Ads account, which is an aggregated estimate about the overall performance in ad-auctions. Google says that it is a historical grading for past ad performance and cannot be used at auction to determine Ad Rank.
Google describes this Quality Score as an estimate of your expected click through rate, ad relevancy, landing page experience, and ad relevance. Google also confirmed that high-quality ads are more likely to be placed in the best ad spots and have lower prices.
Quality Score is a separate calculation that is not part of the Ad Rank formula. However, Ad Rank is affected by the same factors. Although they are not exactly the same thing but should be considered, increasing one should also increase the other. This is why “quality score” is a popular term used to describe the set of quality factors Google uses to rank ads.
This is how the Google Ad Rank calculation looks:
Let’s now examine each of these contributing Ads Rank factors in more detail.
Google Ads Ranking Criteria
Your bid is the maximum price per click (CPC), you are willing and able to pay. Google will most likely assign more weight to a higher CPC in the Ad Rank calculation. However, we have seen that it is not the only factor.
Advertisers will typically pay less than the maximum amount. You will pay less if you have the highest Ad Rank than the CPC for the second-ranked ad.
You should still be willing to pay the price, especially if you bid on a highly competitive search term. Don’t overprice your bid to get noticed if your business cannot afford it.
Expected click through rate (CTR)
Click-through rates (CTR) are the percentage of users who click through an ad to a landing site.
The expected CTR (cost-to-click ratio) is an estimation of the likelihood that users will click on an advertisement when it is shown.
Google uses historical performance to calculate this likelihood, and also considers the position of your ad.
Relevance in advertising is the degree to which the keywords you bid on match your message.
Ask yourself the following question: “If someone searches this keyword, will my advertisement be relevant?”
You will need to rewrite the ad copy if it is not.
The ad text should match the searcher’s requirements. It should be appealing enough to get clicks. If your landing page is not compatible, don’t modify your ad copy.
Landing page experience
Google is very conscious of the user experience with ads.
Google Ads will evaluate how well the link in your ad provides users with the information they are looking for. Your landing page’s usefulness is determined by a combination automated analysis and human evaluation.
Google suggests that you improve the experience on your landing pages by:
- Providing original, relevant and useful content: Your ad should be followed logically by your landing page. If your ad promotes a product, users shouldn’t land on your homepage. If your ad is for general keywords, don’t direct them to a specific place.
- Promoting transparency and trustworthiness on your website: Users must know who you really are and why you should be trusted. Users should be able to locate your contact information easily. Also, it is important to explain why you ask customers for their personal information.
- Making mobile and computer navigation simple: It is essential to provide a great overall user experience (UX). Your landing page should be accessible to customers regardless of their device. Be aware of any pop-ups that may be annoying.
- Reduce your landing page loading times: Make sure your landing page loads quickly. Your landing page could be transformed into an Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP).
- Speed up your entire site: Think beyond your landing page. Google looks at the overall speed of your website.
These steps can be used to improve your website, not just for running an advertisement.
Expected Impact of Ad Formats and Extensions
Google Ads calculates your Ad Rank based on the impact of extensions and formats.
Google Ads offers a variety of formats, including text, image and responsive ads. These automatically adjust to fit the ad space. App promotion, product shopping, onstream video, showcase shopping, call-only ads, and in-stream video. Each of these formats serves a different purpose and Google will evaluate how they fit with your ad. These are just a few of the many options available.
Extensions: It lets you add elements to your ads such as a phone number, or links to specific pages within your site.
Other Factors that Impact Ad Positioning
There are other factors than Ad Rank that can influence the visibility of your ad in search results.
Google considers many factors when determining the intent of a searcher and how relevant your advertisement is to this context.
These are some of the factors:
• The exact search term of the user
• Search time
• Device used (e.g., mobile or desktop or tablet)
Google considers search results and ads appearing on the same page as yours, along with other user signals and attributes. Your ad will not appear if Google believes it is not relevant in the search context.
Ad Rank threshold
The threshold is the minimum Ad Rank score required for your ad in order to be shown.
Your ad will not be allowed to appear if you do not meet the threshold.
Google doesn’t disclose the threshold information, but it depends on many factors including:
• Ad quality – Low-quality ads must meet higher thresholds in order to ensure that Google provides a high-quality user experience.
• Ad position – Ads that appear higher on the SERP will have higher thresholds than ads lower down the page.
• User signals and attributes- such as device and location. Thresholds can vary from one country to another, or between mobile and desktop.
• The topic or nature of the search- The nature and intent of the search query. Targeting people who are looking for a car will likely have a higher threshold than advertising local dancing classes.
• Similar Thresholds: Thresholds may also be dependent on auctions for similar queries.
How to increase your Google Ad Rank?
You can increase your Google Ad Rank by taking note of these factors and implementing a strategy to address them. Need a Best Ad Strategy for your business? TBA can help you with Google Ads and Digital Marketing Strategy.
Richard Kevin is a content manager and SEO copywriter at Texas Business Analytics with a zone of 50% creativity and 50% strategy. Richard is passionate and obsessed with delivering quality work, creating efficient pieces of content, and discipline to achieve success for the organization.