How Google search results differ from ads

When people search on Google for something they want, they find two types of results: search results and ads. Search results appear as links on search results pages and aren't part of Google's advertising programs. Ads appear under an "Ads" label and may be placed in several locations around the free search results.

Highlighting ads and search results on Google

*1 = Ads , 2 = Search results


  • Where they appear: Ads typically appear along the edge of the page (like the top, side, or bottom).
  • How they’re matched: Google matches ads to a person’s search based on how closely the search matches your keywords and campaign settings.
  • How they’re ordered: Ads are ordered based on a combination of cost-per-click (CPC) bid and relevance.

If you're not already an advertiser but would like to show ads here, you can sign up on the Google Ads homepage.

Search results

  • Where they appear: Search results usually appear in the middle of the page.
  • How they’re matched: Google matches sites to a person’s search using information like text on the page and links to that page.
  • How they’re ordered: Results are ordered on the page based on things like relevance to the search term and popularity.

In addition to links to webpages, you may also see relevant results on a map that lists local business locations, contact information, and driving directions. Google’s search results are independent of Google’s advertising programs.

Next steps

Was this helpful?

How can we improve it?
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center