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How Google is Using Ad Extensions to Calculate Ad Rank

3 MINUTE READ | December 18, 2013

How Google is Using Ad Extensions to Calculate Ad Rank

It’s a given, when searching for products or information on Google, we are all looking for the most relevant results to our search, and Google wants to provide us with that. Having a well-written ad copy is an excellent start, however, ad extensions play a huge role when it comes to being relevant. Sitelink extensions will provide different landing pages options other than the one you are promoting which could be more relevant to the search query, a location extension will provide the address to your business, making it extremely relevant for someone that is trying to find your store and a call extension will enable customers to reach out to you without actually having to visit your site.  Ad extensions for the most part will always increase your CTR and improve overall campaign performance.

Until recently, Google used a somewhat simple formula to calculate Ad Rank, that formula was max CPC and Quality Score. There’s a lot that goes into Quality Score, so maybe it’s not that simple but we’ll leave that conversation for another time. With Google’s latest update on Ad Rank, ad extensions will now be taken into account in the formula.

How these changes will impact your ad and extensions:

  • The type of ad extensions and its format will play a big part when comes to ranking your ad. If two ads with the exact same bid are competing for the same position, the ad with the extension expected to yield a more positive impact will generally win the auction for the higher position.

  • To estimate which ad extension will have a more positive impact, several factors will be used such as CTR, relevancy and the format of the extension.

  • Since ad extension now has a higher weight when it comes to deciding whether or not your ad extensions will show, you might need to work on increasing your quality score and/or bids.

  • No need to waste time trying to figure out which ad extension combination is the most relevant. Google will choose it for you based on historical performance.


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If you are already using ad extensions to increase ad copy relevancy and CTR, you will most likely only see positive results from this change. If you are not using ad extensions or not keeping them updated to make sure it will provide the user with the most relevant search experience, just about now would be a great time to start. Not paying attention to ad extensions could cost you a few points on your Quality Score, lower CTRs and consequently higher CPCs. Not to mention ranking behind your competitor for the same search query.  “Ain’t no one got time to rank behind competitors for the same search query” right?

Posted by Carlos Navarro

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