Google Releases An Update To The AdWords Ad Rank Algorithm

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Google quietly released an update to their AdWords Ad Rank algorithm yesterday with the most notable change being the inclusion of ad extensions as a factor in their ad positioning decisions.

Google announced this update yesterday in a blog post that details the change was made to take into account some of the new features they have come out with this year, like ad extensions.

With this update ad extensions can now affect the positioning of ads in Google search results. Google illustrates this by giving an example that if two identical ads were to appear with the same bid and quality score, the ad with the ad extensions most likely to perform would appear in the higher ad position.

A higher Quality Score, higher bid, or combination of the two will result in a greater likelihood of extensions appearing. In addition, Ad Rank will also factor in to whether or not extensions appear for ads.

Chris Roat, Staff Software Engineer at Google, says that ads with extensions Google expects to perform well may see a lower cost per click and higher click-through rate:

“You may see lower or higher average CPCs in your account. You may see lower CPCs if your extensions and formats are highly relevant, and we expect a large positive performance impact relative to other competitors in the auction. In other cases, you may see higher CPCs because of an improvement in ad position or increased competition from other ads with a high expected impact from formats.”

Now that Ad Rank is impacted by ad extensions Google is pushing for more advertisers to use them. If you’re an AdWords customer who hasn’t already added extensions it is suggested that you look into incorporating them into your next campaign.

What do you think about this new update to the AdWords algorithm? Let me know in the comments section.

Matt Southern

Matt Southern

Lead News Writer
Matt Southern is the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides.
Matt Southern
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  • OKay Marketing

    Made sure to add any missing ones earlier today 🙂 I’m curious though how this will affect people who have custom scheduled call extensions? Say for example, if you have your call extension scheduled not to run from 5pm to 8am, could this actually now harm your ad rank? I don’t have custom call extension scheduling implemented, but was just about to do some testing with it. Maybe I will hold off now.

    What are your thoughts?

  • NIk

    If extensions are to have a greater impact, more people will be suing them. Obviously. So stands to reason that G need to make the creation of said extenions a simpler process. Sitelinks are an unutterable scrum at the moment, and the news that the are to give greater credence to ad group level SLs only highlights the need for a cleaner interface here.

    Implementing the functionality within Editor would be an absolute godsend.