Google Ads determines which ads should show with a lightning-fast ad auction, which takes place every time someone searches on Google or visits a site that shows ads.
There are five 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 that 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 assets 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 additions are called ad assets. Google Ads estimates how assets and other ad formats you use will impact your ad's performance. So even if your competition has higher bids, you can still win a higher position at a lower price by using highly relevant keywords, ads and assets.
- Your Ad Rank: To help ensure high-quality ads, we set minimum quality thresholds that an ad must achieve in order to show in a particular ad position.
- The context of your ad: With the ad auction, context matters. When calculating Ad Rank, we look at the search terms that the person has entered, the person’s location at the time of the search, the type of device that they’re using (for example, mobile or desktop), the time of the search, the nature of the search terms, other ads and search results that show on the page and other user signals and attributes.
Together, these five factors determine when and if your ad will appear to potential customers.
Learn more about how adjusting your keyword bids can help you create a cost-effective campaign.
Sign up for a Google Ads account today and follow along with this guide.