What is the Difference between Ad Position and Ad Rank?

Getting your business listed at the top of search engine results can take a lot of search engine optimization (SEO) effort which can be difficult for many companies to achieve. Another option is Google Adwords which allows you to bid on keywords used for searches related to your business. You might think that the highest bidder will always get the top spot on paid ads in search results. But that is not always true, and here is why.

Paid search results on Google operate similarly to organic search results, and although a high keyword bid might offer you better odds to get the first position, Google also takes into account other factors. These factors can include whether your web page is relevant to the searcher’s needs and also whether it answers the question asked by the search request. This is accomplished by ad rank and ad position.

Ad Position

Ad position uses a combination of factors to determine where your ad will fall on search result paid ads. 

The Bid — You determine the maximum you will pay for any keyword in your Google AdWords profile. You might pay less, but the maximum will be a factor on whether your ad is listed at the top.

The quality of the Ad and Landing Page — Google assesses the quality of your ad and the landing page from that ad to determine whether your page answers the searcher’s needs. Google uses a quality score that assesses the ad and landing page quality — the better the quality score, the lower your ad click costs.

Threshold — Google places a minimum threshold for keyword bids for your ad to be shown. For example, your ad won’t be shown if you bid less than the $1.00 a search term requires.

Competitive Position — Two companies offering identical products will have equal opportunities for search result positions. However, as one company becomes more relevant or shows higher search results, they will be given a favorable search position although they will pay a higher cost.

Ad Rank

Ad ranking is based highly on context. Each search request is analyzed for its content and Google determines what the searcher is looking for and what ads give the best results. Each search is different because Google is constantly analyzing both the current request and past search behavior, therefore ad ranking changes constantly. Ad Rank considers the keyword request, location of the searcher (think “find something near me” requests), the type of device being used for the search, other ads on the search result page, and more. All of these factors create a search result with the most relevant paid ads at the top. 

Formats and Extensions — Ad Rank is also affected by extensions and formats. Ad including a phone number or links to pages for connecting to you can improve your rank. These are called ad extensions and they must work and be relevant. You don’t want a “call us today” statement and not include a working phone number. This will hurt your ad ranking.

Landing Page Quality — Your rank will also be determined by the quality of your landing page, how easily viewers can navigate through it, and whether it is relevant to the keywords you have specified for it.

Ad position and ad rank are important metrics that need constant attention to keep your company on top of search ads you are paying for. If you need assistance with optimizing your website or ad programs contact DigiSphere Marketing and let us offer solutions to get your website noticed by your key prospects. Call us for more information at 800-807-4079.

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