Bid on keywords in the Google Ads auction

Google Ads determines which ads should show with a lightning-fast ad auction, which takes place every time that someone searches on Google or visits a site that shows ads.

AdWords ad auction

There are 3 main factors in the ad auction that determine which ads appear, and in what order:

  • Your bid – When you set your bid, you're telling Google Ads the maximum amount that you're willing to pay for a click on your ad. How much you actually end up paying is often less, and you can change your bid at any time.
  • The quality of your ads – Google Ads also looks at how relevant and useful your ad and the website it links to are to the person who'll see it. Our assessment of the quality of your ad is summarised in your Quality Score, which you can monitor – and work to improve – in your Google Ads account.
  • The expected impact from your ad extensions and other ad formats – When you create your ad, you have the option to add additional information to your ad, such as a phone number, or more links to specific pages on your site. These are called ad extensions. Google Ads estimates how extensions and other ad formats that you use will impact your ad's performance. So even if your competition has higher bids than yours, you can still win a higher position at a lower price by using highly relevant keywords, ads and extensions.

Together, these 3 factors determine when and if your ad will appear to potential customers.

Learn more about how bidding on keywords can help you create a cost-effective campaign.

Sign up for a Google Ads account today and follow along with this guide.

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