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Understand Google's advertising policies, including ad approval status and account suspension
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how can an ad be at the #1 position daily

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# 1
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If google rotate ads how can someones ad be at the #1 position all day every day?

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Marked as Best Answer.
Accepted by topic author Donald W
September 2015

Re: how can an ad be at the #1 position daily

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# 2
Top Contributor
Hi Donald,

Google don't actually "rotate" ads... what they do is, they run an "auction" each time a search query is entered and then decide which ad should be listed first.

The "other" advertiser is winning the auction - but - and this is important - the auction is loaded in a number of ways.

Firstly, there is the element of quality score - if the other advertiser has a QS of 10/10 it will cost them much (much) less than you to win the auction for the same keyword if your QS for the same keyword is 5/10....

Then there is the question of what the other advertiser might be doing to reach you as someone who has (probably) visited their site before - if they are running as using RLSA - Remarketing Lists for Search Ads - then you might well be on their list and they would (normally) be bidding even more aggressively for your visit.

It's hard to compete with someone in these circumstances - almost as hard as it is frustrating.

What to do? First - take a deep breath - you're not going to beat them for the top spot straight away - accept that.

Then look at their ads and look at the landing page the ad takes you to - please only do this the one time as it costs them money . and that's not really fair to do. How well does the landing page reflect the search term - my guess is, pretty well. Look at the title of the page, the h tags (the headlines and sub headlines), etc. If the LP clearly speak to the search query then their QS is probably quite high - what id your QS for the same search term? 5, 6? work on that.

And look to see what your visitors are searching for - don't go head to head with the competitor - look for related or extended search terms... and bid on those.

It's a little David & Goliath - and, believe me, you don't want your money on David. But there are ways to make a good living picking up the bits they leave behind - chip away - work on your QS (especially through your LP experience) and carve out a slightly bigger chunk of the traffic little by little.

Good luck!

Re: how can an ad be at the #1 position daily

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# 3
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Short answer is, you can't guarantee that.  It used to be that you could set position preference, but even then, it was only a  guarantee that your ad would NOT show up unless in a certain position.  


Adwords is an auction, so even if you get the top spot by bidding higher, someone (with deeper pockets?) can come back and out-bid you and throw you down.  


To attempt to get a consistent #1 spot you need to bid higher than competition and also you'll want a good quality score, which could take some testing of ad copy:keyword:landing page combo.  If quality score is poor, it'll be ever more expensive for that spot.  

Re: how can an ad be at the #1 position daily

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor
I have had some success using automated scripts to raise and lower bids to keep ads within a position range.

One script will raise bids daily (by 5% - but this is arbitrary) if the ad position is worse than 3 the previous day, and another will lower the bids (in most cases also by 5% - although playing with these two amounts up and down will find the sweet spot) if the position is better than 2 - this could be higher in which case the increases will be more aggressive - and this has managed to get ads running in the 2-3 positions quite quickly. It also helps if you trim off those keywords that have noticeably poor positions...

Remember to keep a close eye on things and also remember to set a limit to the increases, otherwise you can turn around two weeks later and discover you are paying a lot for clicks.

I have found this particularly useful for clients where position is a more significant factor in the click and conversion rates.