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11/15/19
Clarification: Do paid ads force out grant ads? 1 Recommended Answer 7 Replies 0 Upvotes
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Numerous places state that Ad Grants ads are placed below paid ads. What I haven't found explicitly stated or clarified (what I suspect is true) is that if there are enough paid ads to fill the ad slots, no Ad Grant ads will be shown. Is this correct?
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11/15/19
Short answer: NO, paid ads and grant ads are in two totally independent auctions.

Longer answer:
 
Question: Do Ad Grants campaigns compete with paid Google Search campaigns?

Answer: No, Ad Grants ads appear only on Google search results pages, either independently or in positions below paid ads.   https://support.google.com/grants/answer/9165968?hl=en&ref_topic=3500091

MYTH: Google Ad Grantees can not invest in a paid Google Ads account because the ads will compete with one another.
 
REALITY: We welcome Ad Grantees to invest in a paid Google Ads account. Paid accounts are a great way to extend impact and access additional features such as remarketing and video ads. Ad Grants and paid accounts will not compete with one another because Ad Grants ads appear only in positions below paid ads. Please note if a nonprofit has a Google Ads account that has payment information associated with it, the account is not eligible to be activated as a Google Ad Grants account.
 
 
Last edited 11/15/19
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11/15/19
Thanks Charlie, I saw that and still find it wanting in precision. 

Basically if they are limiting the number of returned ads to 3 (or whatever number, but currently 3 seems to be the max), and there are 3 paid ads shown, would they include a 4th ad for Google Grants below that, or is it always limited to 3?

Similarly, if there are at least 3 decent paid ads vying for those 3 slots, will the Google Grants ad never be shown, or will it sometimes be rotated into the bottom slot?

These questions don't require the paid and grant ads to compete against each other; they can still be separate systems and technically conform to the language you've cited.
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11/15/19
Thanks guys. It's in the volunteerism space, and I'm just trying to do a deep dive on performance relative to paid. I understand the differences, largely from reading your many helpful posts in other threads. (Thanks!) My main concern is communicating and modulating expectations, both mine and clients. When I managed a couple of very early Google Grants accounts, the performance was markedly better in terms of impressions on competitive keywords, so I suspect that changes both with the new bidding requirements and possibly at other times have shifted it significantly from its early days.
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11/15/19
And it would be really nice if Google's documentation would make this clearer.
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Generally, I find ads related to most aspects of volunteering to be among the least competitive. It's rare to find businesses bidding on those sorts of keywords.

It's difficult to directly compare paid and grant accounts, they get such different results.

There are a lot more advertisers out there than there used to be, including more nonprofits potentially bidding on similar terms.

Also, you have the Ad Grants Quality Filter to content with, which has been suppressing useless impressions for quite a while now.

One thing to avoid, if you use both, is bidding on your brand in both paid and grant, but also not using the grant for other keywords that are unlikely to be bid on by businesses.
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11/18/19
Mostly. I'd love to hear a definitive answer from Google on it. "With X slots available to paid ads, if there are at least X advertisers, will grant ads NOT be shown?" The answer is yes or no. There's a sometimes case that you identify that I call a partial yes: that where they occasionally free up a slot for ad grants. Again, I'm not saying they compete on bids, but do they compete for screen real estate? Absolutely and obviously yes, so I'm trying to gauge if it's a hard and fast rule.
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