What is the Google AdWords Ranking Algorithm?

Google’s AdWords Ranking Algorithm is a mathematical calculation that uses a variety of different factors to ultimately determine your AdWords ad position. It’s a value that is used by Google to determine exactly where your ads are shown on a particular page and, in many cases, whether your ads will appear in front of your target audience at all.


AdWords ranking factors currently used by Google to determine your AdWords ad position include things like the following:

  • Bid Amount

    The maximum amount you’re willing to pay for someone to click on your ad.

  • Quality Score Components

    Including things like Click-Through Rate, Ad Relevance, Landing Page Experience and more.

  • Impact of Extensions

    The expected impact of extensions and other ad formats on your overall campaign success.

Understanding your AdRank calculation puts you in a better position to fix small problems that could be having huge impacts on the overall effectiveness of your Pay-per-click Adwords campaigns moving forward.


By considering factors like relevance, click-through rates and even the prominence of extensions on a search results page, Google uses your AdRank calculation to determine which audience is the right fit for your messaging at a given moment. By following all of these rules it’s possible to win a higher position on a search results page at a lower price, especially if your keywords and ad content are more relevant than the competition – even if competitors have higher bids. (IE the higher the quality score, the lower the CPC,)


While there is no “quick fix, magic bullet” solution for improving AdRank, there are some optimizations to improve Quality Score. As Quality Score is a fundamental element in the overall Google AdWords ranking algorithm, this can help improve your rank sooner rather than later. Review Quality score improvement tips.


Remember to make use of geo-targeting to have your campaign success increase in the specific regions that you’re targeting.

Use device targeting to help optimize how your ads display on different devices like a smartphone versus a desktop.

Always try to make sure that your ad copy is as relevant to a searcher’s query as possible.

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