How AdRank impacts your Cost-Per-Click rate and position in the SERP

"AdRank formula"

How Does AdRank Work?

The desire to be number one is ubiquitous. It is also the essential problem Google has tried to solve with the introduction of AdRank. In any given keyword search, there are normally hundreds of millions of websites that want to rank at the top.

Human intelligence alone is not sufficient to select a winner among the search results; it takes a brain of algorithm to assign weights to the ridiculously large number of inputs involved and make a rational decision that best serves the searcher.

When people ask me, “How Does AdRank Work?” I have a difficult time answering that question without recommending a course in data analytics.

Fortunately, most Google Ad buyers don’t care how it works as long as they can reach their preferred audience at the best price and bring in more revenues. I personally find the challenge of reverse engineering Google’s algorithms exhilarating, but I expect business owners to have other priorities on their minds.

What most people really want to know is:

  • How does AdRank impact my Cost-Per-Click rate and position in the SERP?
  • Can you recommend tips and tools to pump up my AdRank?
  • Should I even waste time worrying about AdRank?

Here are some basic, practical answers and advice on where to go next.

1. AdRank and Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

After you set up a campaign, Google assigns you an AdRank based on three criteria: the amount of your CPC bid, the site’s Quality Score, and the Ad Extensions, which are now required. The higher your Quality Score, the lower you have to pay in CPC to rank at the top of the SERP. Quality Score depends on your click through rate (CTR) along with subjective metrics, especially the user experience of your landing page and how relevant your page is to the keywords you’ve chosen. Each component mentioned above, along with strategies to improve your score, deserves its own webinar.

"how does adrank work"

adrank example

2. Tips and Tools

Keyword Tool – You don’t have to use Google’s Keyword Planner and you don’t even have to limit your advertising to Google. This free automatic keyword generator for the biggest search engines has you covered.

FreshKey – This isn’t free but it is well worth the investment. This keyword analyzer gives you insights into trending phrases and offers original suggestions where you can dominate the vertical. This software includes data pulled from Amazon to see what people are actually buying at the moment.

LongTailPro – This is another paid service that earns its price by assigning a Keyword Competitive score. That score indicates how hard it will be to rank in the top 10 for that search.

3. Why Worry?

Google algorithms are constantly evolving and many businesses have given up trying to hit a moving SEO target. Some are now in a holding pattern, hoping that AdRank will fade away like the keyword stuffing schemes that died with Google’s Hummingbird update. However, AdRank is not like that. No matter how the criteria for website ranking changes in the future, ranking itself will remain integral to assessment of advertising rates.

More Answers

Clearly, each question opens a rabbit hole that I and everyone here at Quarizmi would love to go down with you. If results are all you really want, though, there’s no need for you to waste your time learning a new software or attend any training courses. Our AI agents automatically adjust, deploy, monitor and tune-up your campaigns to give the best possible results for your advertising investment. Sometimes, it takes an algorithm to understand an algorithm. 🙂

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Cara Walsh
Content Crafter at

Though sometimes it seems like navel-gazing, Cara has written many blog posts about online marketing for small businesses, B2B marketing and using SEO to drive traffic and now she is writing them for Quarizmi.


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