360 Degree Media Group Blog

YouTube Advertising: Reservation Campaigns, Ad Rank, and the First Position

Posted by Amy Baker on Apr 11, 2015 2:00:00 AM

In YouTube advertising your video ad position is determined by an ad rank formula created by Google AdWords. Here is what you need to know.

Google AdWords for video facilitates the creation of video marketing campaigns on YouTube. The system calculates ad rank in order to determine video ad positions. Still, there are those who would rather buy ad placements on YouTube through a reservation instead of going through the AdWords for video bidding auction where users enter the max cost-per-view (CPV) they are willing to pay.

video marketing with youtube

YouTube Advertising and Ad Position

Ad Position is the order in which your ad appears in relation to other ads. Having an ad position of "1," or first position, means that your ad is the first ad to appear on a search results page, and typically means it will be the first video ad a targeted user will see in a video streaming session.

Your max CPV contributes to ad position. The higher your max CPV, the better your chances for increasing the likelihood your ad will appear in the search results, and the better the chances your ad will appear in a position that is higher than competing ads.


Calculating Ad Rank

Ad Position is determined by a formula called Ad Rank, which gives your video ad a score based on your CPV bid, the quality of your video ads, the website landing page linked to your video, and the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats. As a result, your use of relevant keywords and high quality video ads could help you win a higher ad position even if your competition bids more than you.

One example of how expected impact from ad extensions and other formats, such as site links, can influence ad rank can be seen in two competing ads that have the same max CPV bid. In scenarios such as this, the ad that is predicted to have the better impact based on extensions will generally appear in a higher position than the other.

Using the default CPV bidding system to set your price will cause your video’s ad rank to fluctuate. Each time your video ad is eligible to appear its ad rank will be recalculated and its ad position can change depending on your competition at that moment.


Reservation Campaigns

Reservation video campaigns provide an alternative to those who would rather buy ad placements on YouTube to secure their ad position. Unlike CPV bidding campaigns, reservation campaigns do have a minimum spend requirement.

Reservation video campaign costs are fixed on a cost-per-thousand impressions (CPM) basis. These CPM reservation campaigns need to be booked at least six business days in advance, and video content has to be delivered for implementation at least four business days before the campaign start date.

Choosing to advertise on a reservation basis is best for those businesses looking to promote brand awareness, enter a new market, offer a new product or service, or re-brand their current offerings.


  • Video Ad formats Available Through CPM: Standard In-stream ads: A non-skippable video ad that runs on YouTube. Your video will play before the video content that a user wants to watch on YouTube. This ad format forces the impression. Ads must be at least 15 seconds long with a maximum time of 30 seconds.
  • In-stream Select: A skippable video ad that appears when a user initiates video play in the beginning (pre-roll). The ad can be up to 60 seconds long, and is skippable after 5 seconds. This format keeps track of the number of complete views your video ad gets. However, you still pay on a CPM basis whether the user skips your ad or not.


First Position Targeting With CPM

First position targeting is similar to TV advertising where advertisers pay more to be the first ad during a break for advertisements. In YouTube advertising, first position targeting is available for in-stream ads for an additional charge and allows your ad to be the first a user sees in a viewing session.



Ad Rank and Ad Position can significantly affect the visibility of your YouTube video ad. Thoroughly investigate before committing to a certain type of video campaign and make sure that the campaign will work within your advertising budget. The YouTube ad platform continues to show a significant return on investment when used correctly. Whether you opt to try the more flexible CPV video campaigns or the more secure CPM campaigns you can expect to have the digital marketing power of YouTube and Google AdWords behind you.

Discover the benefits of YouTube advertising for yourself and increase your ad rank and ad position with the help of The 360 Degree Marketing Group. Click the link below to receive 50% off the management fee of your first YouTube campaign.

YouTube Campaign 50% Off

Topics: Advertising on YouTube, YouTube advertising, youtube ad cost