Get your ads to show on the first page

How do you get your ads to appear on the first page? First it’s important to understand what a first page bid estimate is. Next, it’s helpful to know that even if you meet the first page bid estimate, in some cases your ad may not appear on the first page of results. And finally, we’ll share suggestions about how you can improve your ad rank.

First page bid estimates

The estimated first page bid (Est. first page bid) amount approximates the cost-per-click (CPC) bid needed for your ad to reach the first page of Google search results when a search query exactly matches your keyword. This estimate is based on the Quality Score and current advertiser competition for that keyword.

You can also find your Est. top page bid using the instructions below. It approximates the CPC bid needed for your ad to appear regularly in the top positions above the search results.

These estimates can help you make better bidding decisions. On average, ads that appear on the first page or above the search results tend to get substantially more clicks than ads that appear on other search results pages, or alongside the search results.

To view the estimated first page bid metric in your stats table, just follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Keywords tab and click the Columns button.

  2. Select Customise columns from the drop-down menu.

  3. In the "Attributes" drop-down menu, add Est. first page bid and click Save.
    You can do the same to view your estimated top of page bid (Est. top page bid).

If your first page bid estimate is very high, it may mean that your keyword's Quality Score is poor. You can click the help bubble next to your keyword to find details about the keyword's Quality Score (note that you can customise your columns to always show Quality Score). You can also check out a list of optimisation tips that can help you improve your Quality Scores and lower your costs.

The first page bid estimate is a guide, meant to give you greater insight with which to plan your bidding strategy -- but meeting your first page bid estimate isn’t a guarantee of ad position. Ad position will still depend on Quality Score, your CPC bid, your budget and account settings, and user and advertiser behaviour.

Note: Video instructions are up-to-date, but don't show the latest AdWords design.


First page bid estimates try to estimate the bid needed for your ad to generally reach the top of search results for the device(s) you’re targeting.

If you’re running a campaign that is only serving on a single device, the bid estimate will reflect the bid required to generally reach the top of search results on that device. Otherwise, the estimate will reflect the bid generally required across all devices.

What to do if your ad still doesn’t appear

In some cases, your ad might not appear on the first page of search results, even if you meet the first page bid estimate. Keep in mind that this estimate is a guideline, based on your keyword's Quality Score and recent advertiser competition, and it applies to search queries exactly matching your keyword. It isn’t a guarantee about where your ad will appear.

Below are a few common reasons that your ad might not show on the first page, even when you meet this bid estimate:

  • Other advertiser activity: There could be new competition on your keywords.
  • Search customer activity: The searches customers are performing might not match up exactly with your keywords.
  • Budget changes: If you’ve changed your budget recently and it’s been spent, your ad might not run.

If your ads continue to not appear on the first page of search results when you meet the first page bid estimate, try some of the suggestions in the articles linked below for improving your ranking.

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