Google Adwords: more than an auction

Market IQ manages pay per click(PPC) campaigns for many different clients in many different industries. Inevitably, the question is "how much will it cost when a potential customer clicks the link?"

There is no easy answer.

Google Adwords is sort of an auction. However, the Adwords "auction" has several unique characteristics.

PPC keywords and terms are bid on with the goal to achieve one or more three outcomes. These include:

  • Ad placement on a specific particular search results page.
  • Where or how high on the page the ad appears.
  • How much the advertiser will pay for the click relative to the page and position placement.

Up until recently, landing on page one was mostly straightforward: if the bid is highest and the keywords, geographic location and time of day match account settings, preferences and requirements. There are as many as 15 ad spaces available on a page. The highest bids claimed the top three spots immediately above the organic search results.

The highest bidder no longer claims page one, position one.

Ad Rank was added to the mix. Purportedly to improve the user experience by returning more useful and meaningful results, Ad Rank is calculated by multiplying the advertiser’s maximum bid by their Quality Score (QS). Google then ranks the ads from highest to lowest based on Ad Rank.

Advertisera with the best quality score pays the least amount. In some instances, advertisers with better quality scores can pay less than other advertisers to have advertisements appear higher up on the page.

Google AdWords success requires more than simply outbidding the competition in an online auction. It is important improve Quality Score and Ad Rank for both economic and performance reasons. As a website developmentcompany and Internet marketing company, Market IQ and other similar companies are tasked with continually producing quality content both within the Adwords sphere and on the client websites and pages. Simply setting and forgetting PPC accounts costs money and opportunity.


Market IQ is a website development, graphic design, publishing and marketing agency in Victoria, B.C. Canada. Market IQ is focused on delivering results for valued clients both online and in print. All images, text, software, documentation, electronic text and image files, audio and video files and clips, and other materials on this website are protected by copyright laws and may be covered by other restrictions as well.