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    You have succeeded in putting up your first campaign in the search network Now you’d like to see how your ads look from a regular user level. So you go to the search engine, type in the keyword you added to the campaign and… nothing. You don’t see your ad creative. You are completely unaware of what this is caused by, and you think your campaign is not working. However, this does not have to be the case at all. After all, several important factors affect the position of Google Ads. Today I will try to introduce them to you. 


    What is a Google Ads auction?

    But let’s start at the beginning, which is how Google Ads works in general and how it displays our ads. It does this, of course, by means of an auction, in which algorithms, when any user types a search term into the search window, decide:

    • whether to display any ads
    • what ads to display and in what order

    In all of this, Google’s main goal is to provide audiences with valuable and relevant results that are best suited to their needs. 

    What influences the position of our Google Ads?

    The position of an ad in Google depends on its main factor – AdRank, or ad ranking. It consists of several elements such as the rate, quality score, ad ranking threshold, competitiveness, user search context or the impact of extensions We will now discuss each of these factors in more detail. 


    When creating a campaign on the search network, we need to set a maximum CPC rate, which determines the highest price we are able to pay per click. If we offer a rate higher than our competitors, we have a better chance of getting our ad displayed.

    Please note, however, that the final cost we will pay per click is calculated based on the ranking threshold, as well as competitiveness. Importantly, it may also be the case that the rate we pay is significantly lower than the one we set as the maximum. 

    Additionally, when planning your activities, it is also worth using a tool such as a rate simulator. Thanks to it, we can check how raising the rate can affect the traffic in the search network (among other things, on the displays of our ad, clicks or conversions). 

    There is no need to use it.

    Quality Score

    The quality score is available for each keyword and is presented on a scale of 1 to 10. It is calculated based on the effectiveness of the following three components:

    • Click-through rate (CTR) — this is the estimated probability with which a user will click on our ad. The higher, the better, as this can lead to more conversions
    • Advertising relevance — this is the degree to which our advertising responds to the user’s query when searching for a given keyword, as well as the match between the advertising message itself and the keyword.
    • Landing Page Quality — this is the degree to which the landing page is relevant and useful to the user who clicks on your ad. The content and its degree of relevance, as well as the convenience and ease of navigation are taken into consideration for evaluation.

    Each of the above components is rated with the status: “Above Average,” “Average,” or “Below Average.” This rating is based on a comparison with other advertisers whose ads have been displayed to users based on a given keyword in the last 90 days. 

    Ad ranking threshold

    This is the minimum amount that allows an ad to be displayed. The threshold value is determined dynamically, during the auction. It is determined based on areas such as:

    • Quality of the ad — the lower the ad’s rating in terms of quality, the higher the threshold for entry into the auction.
    • Ad position — the higher the ad is, the higher the thresholds we face. This means that better ad creatives will display at a higher position.
    • User Signals and Attributes — the threshold value is also affected by factors such as location, type of user device or even time of day.
    • Search subject matter — we have to deal with different thresholds depending on the nature of the search – others will apply to real estate ads, and quite different in the apparel industry.
    • Related auctions — thresholds can also be determined based on other auctions. For example, thresholds for the phrase [home insurance] can be set based on phrases such as [fire insurance] or [mansion insurance].

    Competitive bidding

    In a situation where two or more advertisers are competing for the same position and have a similar ad ranking, they will have similar chances of winning the same position. In a situation where the difference between ads increases, the one ranked higher will win the auction. At the same time, the rate per click may also increase.

    User search context

    During an ad auction, the search context of a given user is also taken into account. His or her location, device, the time of a given search or just the nature of search terms and phrases is taken into account. Google aims to show users those ads that will be able to meet their needs.

    Influence of extensions

    As you probably know, advertising on the search network doesn’t have to consist only of headlines, advertising text and a link taking you to our site. We can add so-called extensions to it, i.e., additional information that will be attractive to the viewer like phone number, links to sub-pages, location, product prices or current promotions. The ad in such a case occupies a larger area of the page, is more visible, and more likely to catch the user’s eye. During a given ad auction, the system evaluates what impact the extensions will have on the potential effectiveness of our ad and whether they are worth displaying, so keep in mind that they will not be visible with your ad creative every time. 

    How to improve the position of Google Ads?

    You can stick to a rather simplistic rule – the better quality your ad has, the more likely it is to rank higher. If the quality score has a “below average” status, it means that you can make improvements. We can improve the ad, and at the same time its position, in several ways:

    • improve its quality — be sure to make an attractive ad text that is also related to the landing page. During subsequent edits of your ads, you may also see prompts that will tell you which headlines and ad texts are worth changing to improve effectiveness.
      Wanting to increase your ad’s CTR, it’s also a good idea to use a call to action in your ad creative, in which you indicate exactly what you want the user to do. Importantly, don’t forget to add extensions that match your business as well.
    • increase relevance — your ad should accurately match users’ search terms. It is worth ensuring that the keywords you use from the ad group also appear in the headlines. It may also prove to be a good solution to break up one ad into several others that will be better tailored under more specific keywords.
    • improve the quality of your landing page — make sure that your website is clear, convenient to navigate, and that it accurately answers your audience’s queries. Remember that site design on mobile devices is just as important as on computers. If your site displays poorly on phones, the chances of it ranking high in ads are greatly reduced.

    You can also improve the position of your ads in Google Ads by increasing the rate It won’t guarantee high positions, but it can make us more competitive among other advertisers.

    It’s a good idea to increase the rate.

    After launching the campaign after a certain period of time, we can also analyze the data obtained on our keywords If any of them had a low quality score, and did not get satisfactory results, it is worth considering whether it fits our business. If not, don’t be afraid to remove unnecessary and ineffective keywords. 

    Other factors, such as industry, can also affect the display of our ad. Some are limited due to the sensitivity of the content or
    advertisements may work with limited effectiveness if we include too few headlines, they are not very distinctive or we don’t use popular keywords in them.

    Learning how to create polished ads may take us a little more time at first, but it brings definite benefits in the long run. The better your ad creation, the more likely it is to rank higher. This, in turn, affects the higher chance of taking part in the auction.

    We should also not forget that a high quality ad also lowers its actual cost per click. As a result, you pay less for the interactions that recipients will take in relation to your ad. Taking care of good ad relevance can also help your ad creatives appear in one of the first positions. 

    Google Ads position – summary

    No matter what product or service you’re advertising or what industry you’re in, it’s important to keep your ads and landing page as high quality as possible. This way, you have the influence to ensure that your ads are displayed to users when they are looking for what you are able to provide. Additionally, yes as we mentioned, high quality ad creative reduces CPC. What this means is that if you set a low rate per click, but your ad is of a high standard, you have a chance to rank higher. 

    It is worth remembering that AdRank alone also determines whether our ad will appear with other elements, i.e., extensions such as location or links to subpages. Therefore, it is worth analyzing and checking all the parameters in our Google Ads account. Systematic updates and improvements will definitely make us more competitive and improve our visibility in the search network.

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    Aleksandra Wrońska
    Aleksandra Wrońska

    She has been involved in internet marketing for two years, but despite her relatively short presence in the industry, she has already conducted advertising campaigns for small and large companies, both on the Polish and foreign markets. He treats digital marketing not only as a job, but also as a passion, which is why he tries to expand his knowledge and skills every day. She joined Up&More in January 2023, where she manages projects in Facebook Ads, Google Ads and Apple Search Ads.