360 Degree Media Group Blog

How Does Google Adwords Work?

Posted by Jodie Dimmock on Sep 28, 2015 11:00:00 AM

Google Adwords, along with other programmatic bidding systems, are complex platforms that can take some time to master and understand. So today, we are going to walk you through the main elements that affect where ads are placed, as well as how quickly you can achieve a high rank with your advertising.



When a person searches for information on Google, they type in what we refer to as keywords. These keywords form a big part of your Adwords campaign and are what trigger your advertisements to appear in front of relevant users. It is important to make sure these key words are relevant to your business offering while being specific. This helps to ensure that your ads will appear only to those that are most interested in your products or services.


Ad Placement

Google Adwords can occur across a number of different platforms. These include:

  • The search network, which is where you would generally Google to find information

  • The display network, which consists of more premium websites that image ads can be served

  • Partner sites such as Youtube which can also serve image or video based advertising.

Where your ads appear outside of the search network, is again influenced by the keywords you have chosen.



Where your advertisement sit in relation to others in search results is called Adrank and is determined based on your bidding, ad and website quality, and the expected impact from elements such as ad extensions and other ad formats. While you have no direct influence on the final placement of your ad (because your competition changes constantly), these three key elements are ones which can be optimised to ensure a higher Adrank.


Bidding & Auction

As we have just mentioned, what you bid for your ads will affect where they appear in search results. This gives you the flexibility to bid at an amount you feel comfortable with, but also means that you won’t necessarily pay this amount every time your ad is served or clicked (depending on which bid strategy you use). Your bid and quality score just need to be greater than those of your competition, but in the end you will generally pay less than the maximum amount you originally bid.

We have shown this video in one of our previous blog posts, but we feel it is quite good at explaining this bidding and auction process. 

The below infographic should also help explain the processes involved in Adwords that gets your advertisements showing in search results.

How does Google AdWords work? - infographic

Infographic by Pulpmedia Online Marketing

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Topics: sem, How Does Google Adwords Work, search engine marketing, Google Adwords