Just as Google came up with a way to present searchers with better results when they performed a search, they also an algorithm to improve the ads they displayed. This is Ad Rank and it displays ads based on Quality Score and maximum bid. The idea is to show the ads that people will likely click on higher on a page, sometimes over advertisers willing to pay more.
Most of my clients seem to know what Quality Score is, as it is displayed with their keywords in Google AdWords. Yet, this is just one element to be concerned about. If you have a high Quality Score, but your bid is below the first page bid, you're likely not to be seen.
If your keyword phrase has a low Ad Rank, it will negatively impact your ad’s position. You’ll have to bid higher for phrases and even then you’re not guaranteed a top listing. Google’s philosophy is that if searchers aren’t clicking on your ad, they’re not making money. So they’ll bump up the ads that will get clicks.
How Google AdRank is changing.
This past month Google announced a major change to Ad Rank. Now they would be factoring in site links into their algorithm. Site links were one of the key elements of Google Enhanced and include extensions for phone, location, even reviews.
Here is what the Google AdWords blog said about the change. “Ad extensions and formats can now influence the position of your ad on the search results page. If two competing ads have the same bid and quality, then the ad with the more positive expected impact from extensions will generally appear in a higher position than the other.”
There is a variety of ideas as to why this is occurring. Some suggest that it’s Google’s way of making more money and this does make sense. Often site links don’t appear unless ads are in the top 3 positions. Yet, even if the intentions might be motivated by profit, advertisers do benefit from extensions. I’ve seen click through rates for my clients increase dramatically through their use.
Extensions expand a listing and provide prospects with more information. They also benefit people using their mobile devices to look for products and services. Whatever the motivation for the change, the main thing to consider is that adding them will lower your cost per click.
There is a lot to creating a successful Google campaign. If you're struggling, then consider hiring a Google AdWords Consultant.