Ad Rank Thresholds Update

Since early May Google has been quickly rolling out new Ad Rank thresholds. These threshold changes can have a serious impact on accounts CPC’s and Average Position. Edufficient’s expert Search Team and knowledgeable support staff are working hard to ensure that we stay on top of all AdWords changes that could directly affect our Accounts. This POV will outline those changes and how Edufficient plans to take caution. Ad Rank is a value that’s used to determine what position a Paid Search ad serves on the results page. Ad Rank is determined by bid amount, Quality Score and the impact of extensions and other ad formats. Quality score is calculated by expected click-through rate (CTR), ad relevance and landing page experience. Bid amount is a crucial component of the Ad Rank formula. It is also the variable that an advertiser has the most control of. An advertiser’s ad rank is recalculated each time an ad is eligible for auction meaning that ad rank fluctuates depending on the competition.

How The Thresholds Update Impacts Higher Ed

The most notable changes to Ad Rank calculation is the addition of query category and adjusting the bid weight based on query category.  The category of the query that the user inputs into the engine will change the ad rank threshold. Bidding will be affected because bids will be weighed heavily or less if they fall into the query category. What is a query category? For example, if a user searches “nursing online school” then they are put in an “online school” query category.  All advertisers that are not advertising “online school” will have to pay a higher CPC because they do not fall into that category.

Edufficient predicts that two potential changes to advertisers account performance:

  • Advertisers will likely see some keywords lose impression volume due to bids not being high enough because of the new Ad Rank formula.
  • Impression Share Could Be Lost due to Ad Rank. Advertisers will likely see some keywords lose impression volume due to bids not being high enough because of the new Ad Rank formula.

The Edufficient team will continue to monitor and manage keywords, bids and ad extensions to ensure that we are combating any potential CPC increases, decrease in positioning and potential loss in share of voice. It’s important that we continue to focus on the quality of the campaigns and a positive experience for our audience. Please do not forget that although these updates will impact your campaign in some way it is just a small portion of your overall strategy.

Google Adwords POV

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