Factors Determining Google PPC Ad Rank

PPC ad rank is a crucial aspect of any Google Ads campaign. As an advertiser, your ultimate goal is to have your ads displayed at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) and generate as many clicks as possible. However, achieving a high PPC ad rank is easier said than done. Your ad’s position on the SERP depends on a complex algorithm that takes into account various factors. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the key factors that determine your PPC ad rank and how you can optimize them to improve your ad’s visibility and drive more traffic to your website. So, let’s explore PPC ad rank and how it works together!

What Is PPC Ad Rank?

PPC ad rank is a metric used to determine the position of your Google Ads on the search engine results page (SERP). It is calculated based on several factors, including your bid amount, ad relevance, landing page experience, and expected click-through rate (CTR). The higher your ad rank, the more likely it is to appear at the top of the SERP, which can increase your chances of getting clicks and conversions.

Therefore, it is not necessary that a PPC ad at the top of the SERP has made the highest bid to score that position.

Higher ad positions typically translate to higher number of clicks, which makes it important for your ads to rank as high as possible. Here is a complete guide on how Ad Rank is calculated and how you can increase it for your Google Ads.

How is PPC Ad Rank calculated?

Various marketers who want to learn about ad rank as “How is ppc ad rank calculated?” PPC ad rank is calculated by Google’s Ad Rank algorithm, which takes several factors into account to determine the position of your ad on the search engine results page (SERP). The Ad Rank algorithm uses a real-time auction system that considers both the bid amount and the quality of your ad to determine your ad rank. Here’s a breakdown of how the calculation works:

  1. Bid Amount: This is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for each click on your ad. The higher your bid, the more likely you are to win the auction and get a higher ad rank.
  2. Quality Score: Google assesses the relevance and quality of your ad, keywords, and landing page. A higher quality score can improve your ad’s position on the SERP, even if your bid is lower than your competitors.
  3. Expected Click-Through Rate (CTR): This metric predicts how likely it is that your ad will be clicked, based on its relevance and other factors.
  4. Ad Relevance: Google considers how relevant your ad is to the user’s search query and how well it matches their search intent.
  5. Landing Page Experience: Your landing page should provide a smooth and relevant user experience, with content that aligns with your ad and delivers what the user is looking for.

By focusing on these factors and optimizing your ad campaigns accordingly, you can improve your PPC ad rank and increase your chances of getting clicks and conversions.

What Is Quality Score And How Does It Impact PPC Ad Rank?

PPC ad rank is an essential metric for any advertiser looking to run a successful PPC campaign. It determines where your ad appears in the search engine results page (SERP) and how much you pay for each click. One of the key factors that influence your ad rank is your Quality Score.

Quality Score is Google’s way of measuring the relevance and usefulness of your ad to the searcher. It takes into account several factors, including your ad’s relevance, landing page experience, and expected click-through rate. The higher your Quality Score, the better your ad rank will be, and the lower you will pay per click.

So, how does Quality Score impact PPC ad rank? Simply put, the higher your Quality Score, the better your ad rank will be, and the more likely your ad will appear at the top of the SERP. This is because Google wants to provide the best possible experience for its users, and by ensuring that ads are relevant and useful, they can achieve this goal.

However, Google says:

“Quality Score is an aggregated estimate of your overall performance in ad auctions, and is not used at auction to determine PPC Ad Rank.” 

Source: Google Ads Help

So why the confusion?

In the given context, Quality Score is specifically a score, an aggregated estimate of your overall performance in ad auctions, between 1-10, which is shown in your Google Ads account.

The reason why Google says that this can not be used at auction time to determine Ad Rank is because it’s a historical grading of previous ad performance.

Although this Quality Score is not used to determine PPC Ad Rank, it is important to have a good score as Google describes it as an estimate of your expected CTR, ad relevance, and landing page experience. In fact, as per Google’s statement, higher-quality ads can ensure lower ad prices and better ad positions.

The reason why Quality Score is such a popular term among people as a factor that Google uses for the Ad Rank is that it encompasses the same factors that impact Ad Rank. So, despite the fact that it is a separate calculation, it is a general belief that raising one should raise the other. 

With this in mind, the Google PPC Ad Rank calculation looks a little more like this:

Now that we have discussed this let’s dive deep into each of the contributing Ads Rank factors.

Google Ads Ranking Factors

The bid

A bid is a maximum cost per click (CPC) you are willing to pay. And unlike popular belief, this does not hold as much weightage as people think it does. As per Google’s Ad Rank calculation, there are several other factors that come into play.

As discussed earlier, a bid is not the amount you will pay; rather it is the maximum amount that you are willing to pay because, in most cases, the amount charged would be less than your actual bid.

Expected Click-Through Rate (CTR)

The expected CTR is another factor that Google takes into account to determine an ad’s ranking. This is basically an estimate of how likely it is that users will click on your ad, calculated on the basis of your chosen keyword and its performance historically.

Ad Relevance

We can’t emphasize enough how much Ad relevance is important to rank as Google’s top priority is to provide users with the most valuable content. So to ensure that the keywords you are bidding on match the message in your ads, it is important that you ask yourself, “Is my ad relevant for the people searching for this keyword?”.

This practice is what will give your ad copy the right direction.

Landing Page Experience

Google’s approach is very user-centric and hence gives significant consideration to the user experience. Therefore your ad’s major focus should be aligned with that approach, too.

To calculate the usefulness of your landing page, Google uses a combination of automated analyses and human evaluation. However, there are a few factors you should keep in check to improve your landing page experience:

  • Content should be relevant, useful, and original.
  • Your brand needs to be transparent and trustworthy
  • It should be mobile and computer friendly
  • Faster load time

Expected Impact of Ad Formats & Extensions

Through their algorithms, Google Ads estimates how different ad formats and extensions such as text, image, responsive, app promotion, in-stream video, Product Shopping, Showcase Shopping, and call-only ads will impact your ad’s performance when calculating your Ad Rank.

Other Factors Impacting Ad Positioning

Search Context

To understand the search context, Google takes several factors into consideration and then decides if your ad provides value to a specific user.

These factors include:

  • Exact search term
  • User’s location
  • The time of the search
  • The device used

Apart from analysing your ad, Google also considers other ads and search results appearing for the same keyword to determine whether your ad is the most relevant or not.

Ad Rank Threshold

To ensure the best user experience and relevance, Google also has an Ad Rank threshold to determine whether your ad is eligible to show or not. Although Google has never disclosed any information about the threshold, there are several factors that are commonly known, including:

  • Ad quality
  • Ad position
  • User signals and attributes
  • The topic & nature of the search
  • Related auctions

Best Ways to Improve PPC Ad Rank

1. Improve Ad Relevance

Ad relevance is important for your ad rank. It’s one of three things that make up your quality score, which is how good your ad is. Ad relevance means how well your ad matches what someone is searching for on Google.

To make your ad more relevant, check your ad copy and see if it has the keywords people are searching for. You can try out different versions of your ad using Responsive Search Ads to see what works best. Google gives you some information about how your ad is doing.

If you find an ad that’s doing well, you can keep the best headline at the top of your ad all the time. Make sure it hit all the following points:

  • The headline should match with user’s search query
  • Make sure you use sitelink extensions to show pricing and plans
  • It established brand authority with over 10 million users

2. Make Sure Your Landing Pages Are Perfect

Landing pages are very important because they can make people either buy from you or leave your website. When you click on an ad and the landing page is not good, it can be frustrating.

There are many things to think about when creating a good landing page, such as making sure it loads quickly, having a clear call-to-action, and making it easy for people to find what they need without clicking around too much.

Consider the following factors to create a perfect landing page:

  • How much unnecessary space is on the page
  • Make sure there is a clear CTA – Call-to-action to push users take an action
  • Keep everything simple so a user can get their problems easily solved
  • Which device your users use the most
  • The site loading speed is perfect

Consider Ad Extension Content

Ad extensions are important for improving your Google ad rank. They give people more information about your business and increase the chances of them clicking on your ad.

Ad extensions can show extra information such as your phone number, location, or links to other pages on your website. This is helpful because the main part of your ad has a limited amount of space.

You can create the following available ad extensions:

  • Sitelink
  • Structured Snippet
  • Location
  • Lead Form
  • Promotion
  • Image
  • Call
  • Callout
  • App
  • Price

Other Tips To Improve Your PPC Ad Rank

ere are some ways to improve your Google PPC ad rank:

  • Keep track of search terms related to your keywords and use them in your ads.
  • Make sure your ads are high-quality and meet Google’s ad rank formula.
  • Create ads that are relevant to your target audience.
  • Improve your website’s user experience, especially for mobile users.
  • Use Google Keyword Planner to find new keywords to target.
  • Make sure your landing pages are well-designed and easy to use.
  • Use your primary keywords in the meta title and description of your website.


If your goal is to take your ad to the highest ad rank, your focus needs to be on all the factors discussed earlier. The entire focus of your campaign should revolve around relevance and the user experience. 

And yes, we do realize that understanding the fundamentals of paid search advertising can be challenging and could result in draining a lot of money. This is why working with an expert PPC agency could be a good call. They can get the most out of your campaign on a budget by effectively designing, managing, and launching your PPC campaigns while guaranteeing ROI.
You can contact AdRush Digital to schedule a FREE Consultation today to discuss and seek assistance in your PPC campaign.