Google AdWords just got even more competitive. Hang on, I know I say that every few months, but really, Google is forcing the pace a bit. In an announcement last month, the company said that it was making changes to its “Ad Rank” formula. That’s the method it uses to decide where your ads appear in relation to your competitors. In the past, your “Ad Rank” has been a combination of your cost-per-click bid and your ad’s “Quality Score”. So the better your ad is “rated” by Google (Quality Score) and the more you’re willing to pay, the higher up the page you’d get. However, a third element is now being brought into the mix: “the expected impact from your ad extensions and formats”. In other words, the more you bling up your ads with Google’s optional add-ons, the more they’ll favour you.
There’s little in the way of detail, as usual. I don’t know if they’re offering credit for using the “click to call” extension, for example. I hope not, as I just don’t think that’s relevant for B2B products, and I don’t want to be forced to use it. I’m confident that using “sitelinks” (the additional links below top-of-page ads, as shown below) will help. We make sure all of our clients have a full armoury of these, as they work well for clickthroughs and brilliantly for branding. We shall have to wait and see.