The Highest Bidder in AdWords Will Always Rank First- Fact or Fiction?

A very prevalent Search Marketing myth, and misconception, is that the top paying advertiser will always Rank #1. This just isn’t true. In this post we’ll run you through why, and how the smart guy can do as well as the rich guy.

Google's Ad Rank

Your “bid” is the amount you’re willing to pay, per click to your website, via the paid search Ad. When someone searches a term you are bidding on, Google works out in a fraction of a second which accounts get their Ads where in the ranking order. People mostly think that paying more will get you more. And if you pay the most, you will be ranked at the top Ad spot. However, rather than your bid amount, it’s actually your “Ad Rank” that determines where you’ll appear. Your “Ad Rank” is a value determined by Google which takes into account not only bid amount, but also the quality of your adverts and the website being promoted with these ads, as well as any expected impact of ad formats and ad extensions within search results.

Creating successful ads

Google isn’t only interested in the money. Or rather, it is, but via user satisfaction. Google’s users get nothing from terrible quality ads winning out, just because they’ve bid the most. Google is consistent about wanting to surface the best, most accurate results and ads to people using their search engine. So whilst you might think you can only get that top spot by spending a fortune, look to maximise all aspects of your paid search campaigns. Have consistent messaging, landing pages and links. Make sure that anyone clicking your ads is getting what they expect. This cuts both ways; you could be trying to spend the most, but not winning out – because of these other factors. Or you could feel defeated because you imagine you can’t match the bigger budgets of your competitors. Either way; improving the quality of your advertising will help your business. Ad Rank is recalculated each time an ad is eligible to appear within AdWords search results, so ad positions can fluctuate regularly depending on what you (and your competition) are doing at that particular moment on your site. To stay ahead of the competition and improve the quality of your website and AdWords campaigns, simply contact the search experts at AdPilot.