What are Google Search Ads?

Google Search Ads are text ads that appear on the Google search engine results page.  When someone searches for a word or phrase in Google, the ads appear at the top before the actual results.  The reason these ads are effective is that they match the searcher’s intent.  For example, if someone is searching for the phrase “plumber near me”, they probably need a plumber so an ad for a local plumber would match their intent.

Google Search Ads are displayed based on the keywords that you want to appear for.  There are ways to set how broad or specific you want the matching to be.  The key though is the amount you are willing to pay to be displayed.  Google runs an auction for every search to determine which ads will be displayed.  But the position of your ad isn’t only related to the amount your are willing to spend.  It is related to how relevant your ad for what is being searched and how people interact with your ad.

Quality Score

One-way Google determines how relevant an ad is based on something they call Quality Score.  Quality Score is an estimate of ad quality, keywords and the landing page that is displayed after clicking on the ad.  The Quality Score is a number between 1 and 10.  There are number of factors that go into Quality Score.  They are:

  • Expected clickthrough rate
  • Ad relevance
  • Landing page experience


Campaigns are how Google Search Ads are organized.  They are the top-level organizing group.  They contain:

  • Set of Ad groups which contain the ads, keywords and bids
  • Budget
  • Location targeting
  • Language


Keywords are the words or phrases you want your ad to show for.  You can pick one word, or you can pick a number of words.  You can then set a match type for these individual words.  There are a number of match types.  They are:

  • Broad match
  • Broad match modifier
  • Phrase match
  • Exact match

There is also the concept of a negative keyword.  This is a word where you don’t want your ad to show.  For example, if you are a pest control company, you might have an ad campaign about rodents.  You might use a keyword of mouse.  But, you don’t want your ads to show on things related to a “computer mouse” so a negative keyword of “computer” could be added to your campaign.

Ad text

The ad text is a very important part of your ad campaign.  It is what someone sees and what needs to engage them to want to click on your ad.  It has the following components:

  • Final URL – the website page that is displayed when the ad is clicked
  • Headlines
  • Descriptions
  • Display path

The ad text must go through an approval process to confirm it meets Google’s ad guidelines for content and style.

Landing page

The landing page is the website page that is displayed after an ad is clicked.  The experience someone gets on a landing page is important to Google too.  The landing page experience should have:

  • Usefulness
  • Relevance of information
  • Ease of navigation
  • How many links are on the page

Summary about Google Search Ads

Google Search Ads are displayed on the Google search engine result page.  There are a number of parts to a Google Search Ad like campaigns, keywords, ad text and landing page.  The key is your ad relates to the searcher’s intent.  The ad should engage them to want to click to go your landing page and performed the action you want.

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