Improving Ad Rank to show more relevant ad extensions and formats

When people use Google to research and buy things, they're interested in the most relevant and useful results. Ad extensions help by providing more information to potential customers and additional ways for them to respond. For example, they can call your business number, see your business location on a map, or choose an even more relevant landing page that you're promoting with sitelinks. Ad extensions typically improve clickthrough rate and overall campaign performance because they make ads more useful.

Today, we're announcing improvements in the AdWords auction that let us more consistently show more relevant ad extensions and formats.

Ad Rank improvements

Our system for ordering ads on search results pages uses a calculation called Ad Rank. Previously, Ad Rank was calculated using your max CPC bid and your Quality Score. With this update, Ad Rank will also take into account a third component: the expected impact from your ad extensions and formats. In addition, we've increased the importance of Ad Rank in determining whether your ad is eligible to be displayed with extensions and formats.

Here are some more details and implications of these changes:

  • Ad extensions and formats can now influence the position of your ad on the search results page. If two competing ads have the same bid and quality, then the ad with the more positive expected impact from extensions will generally appear in a higher position than the other.
  • When estimating the expected impact of extensions and ad formats, we consider such factors as the relevance, clickthrough rates, and the prominence of the extensions or formats on the search results page.
  • Because Ad Rank is now more important in determining whether your ad is shown with extensions and formats, you might need to increase your Quality Score, bid, or both for extensions and formats to appear. 
  • In each auction, we'll generally show your highest performing and most useful combination of extensions and formats among those eligible. So there's no need to try to guess which extensions will help improve your clickthrough rate the most. 
  • 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.
  • For now, this update only affects search ads appearing on Google Search.

We've updated our Help Center articles on topics including ad extensions and how we rank ads to reflect these important changes.

Recommendations for using extensions

Extensions make your ads more useful and can improve your campaign performance. So you should add extensions that make sense for your business type and campaign goals. With these improvements to AdRank, our systems will do even more to automatically serve extensions in the contexts when they're most beneficial.

For example, consider someone downtown searching on a mobile phone for "auto repair." In this example, the user might be most likely to respond to your ad when they can click to call a phone number or tap a link to get directions to visit in person. So we may show a combination of call and location extensions with your mobile search ad.

Now imagine if someone were searching for "auto repair" on a laptop computer in the suburbs. Say your ad earned the 3rd ad position above the organic results in this auction. We might show your seller rating and sitelinks because that's the highest performing and most useful combination of extensions that could be shown with your ad in this particular auction and ad position.

We're always looking for ways to make ads more relevant to a user's intent and context. After months of testing, we're confident that these AdRank changes help achieve that goal by more consistently showing people the most useful combination of extensions and formats.

Posted by Chris Roat, Staff Software Engineer

Review extensions: The new 'Don't take our word for it' tool for your search ads

Richer information about your business can help potential customers understand why your product or service is right for them. Advertisers have long found it valuable to show positive reviews, awards, or accolades in their ads. Today, we're bringing this capability to your search ads. With review extensions (beta), you can show accolades from reputable third parties right in your search ads.

You can submit either a direct quote or a summary of a key point from a review, as shown above.

It's important, both for you and for users, that the reviews provided be high-quality:
  • Content displayed in review extensions must come from a reputable 3rd party source, and must comply with standard AdWords policies.  
  • It’s your responsibility to ensure that you’re allowed to use a specific review in your ads.  
  • To protect users and other businesses from deceptive claims, we use automated and human-based systems to confirm the validity and policy compliance of all review extensions.  
Currently, review extensions are available globally in English only.  Please stay tuned for updates as we expand to other languages.  We're looking for more advertisers to participate and soon we'll be adding support for review extensions in the AdWords interface. If you would like to participate in the beta, please contact your AdWords representative.

Posted by Lakshmi Kumar Dabbiru, Software Engineer, AdWords

New Image Extensions Enable You to “Show” and “Tell” with Search Ads

Advertisers understand that sometimes it's easier to 'show' rather than 'tell' when promoting a business. As search ads continue to evolve, we want to make it easier for you to do both. Today we're announcing the beta launch of image extensions, which will allow you to add new visual elements to your search ads.  We’ve added many extensions to search ads to help you be more relevant to users.  Image extensions enable you to more accurately convey the body style of a car, the cut of a pair of jeans, or a particular shade of eyeshadow, making your ads richer and more informative so they stand out in a crowded marketplace.

As the web evolves, Google users expect richer and more diverse content. More than one in six searches on Google today provide results with visual content. Image extensions will show in some cases when we determine that a search is likely for visual content. For example, it is more likely that your image extensions will show for a query like luxury car designs than locations of nearby car dealerships.

You can choose the images that you want displayed with your search ads and send them to us for review.  You must have the necessary rights to the the images you wish to display with your ads.  We encourage you to submit your images as we continue to experiment with and improve our visual ad formats.

Image extensions are currently running in English globally.  If you are interested in participating in the image extensions beta, contact your account manager or fill out this form.

Posted by Awaneesh Verma, Product Manager, Ad Formats