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Higher CTR but lower Ad Position

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# 1
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I have been running an ad in three of my different ad groups.  When testing against another ad, this ad has had a higher click through rate for a week.  This ad doesn't contain keywords in the headline and the other ads do.  When it started out, this ad was a good whole avg position lower than the older ads with the keywords in the headling.

My question is, will Google eventually move this ad into better ad position like my older ad?  It's obviously performing better, with a higher CTR even though it's in a lower position.  I would think this would increase it's rank.  But, how long does it take, if Google will even eventually do this?

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Re: Higher CTR but lower Ad Position

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star
Hi Tommy,

The thing is adding keywords to the ads with help in improving ad relevance which is one of the component of QS on the other hand the CTR is also the another component of QS.
So the situation might be the ad with high CTR is having a good QS overall as compared to the one which is strong in terms of relevance only. Hence, as per your current ad rotation settings, Google is triggering that ad.
Note: CTR plays the most vital Role in the contribution of QS as compared to other components of QS.

Else all depends on your ads rotation settings, please let us know which ad rotation setting you are currently using?

Regards
Archit, AdWords Rising Star, Community Profile
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Re: Higher CTR but lower Ad Position

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hi @Tommy D;

There could be a various reasons for that. Do the ads rotate evenly?

You should remember that the keyword  triggers the ad. Hence, it could be that you have a keyword which performs well (i.e matched frequently to a search query) but, due to competition, QS and a bid, the position is low, but, yet, (the position is)  high enough with a solid ad-copy,  to get  (the ad) clicked.

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Higher CTR but lower Ad Position

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# 4
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The ads are set to rotate evenly. The keywords in this group perform well. I've tested slight variations in ad copy over the years and they always end up in almost exactly the same avg position. I tried a brand new ad copy and, like I said, it's clickthrough is much better, but it's avg position is more than a spot lower. This causes it to be shown less, I'm assuming because it sometimes doesn't even show on first page. Of course, I'd like Google to show this ad in a higher position because it obviously has better copy.

The older ads always ended up around avg position 2.4. This new ad started at 3.8 and is now around 3.1. Can I expect Google's algorithm to realize it has much better clickthrough, thus increasing it's QS? Or, am I stuck with just having to increase bids?

Re: Higher CTR but lower Ad Position

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor
The higher the CTR the higher the QS, since those have a linear effect on each other.
However, do remember, that QS is a relative score. Your QS is relative to the QS of other advertisers bidding on the same KW. Thus, even if the CTR seems to be "high", if it's within the average range (among all other advertisers bidding on the same KW) - the QS will be an "average" (i.e. 5-6)
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Higher CTR but lower Ad Position

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# 6
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I'm not sure if I understand how that is relevant to my situation. If I am getting a higher CTR on one of my ads, compared to another ad in the same ad group, why wouldn't that ad be achieving the same avg position, or actually better, as the lower CTR ads in the same group? I'm guessing Google is determining that the ad which is in a worse ad position is somehow less relevant. That is why Google is placing it in a lower position. But, if it's getting a higher CTR than the other ad, wouldn't Google recognize that it is more relevant?

I can understand how an algorithm might think one ad is less relevant to it's associated keywords because that ad doesn't actually contain one of the keywords. But, if that ad is performing better, ESPECIALLY in a lower position, wouldn't it move that ad to a better position(i.e. give it a better QS)?

Re: Higher CTR but lower Ad Position

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

@Tommy D;

Remember that QS is a metric at the keyword level. There is no QS for ads. Thus, the CTR (which directly affects QS) is measured at the keyword level and not at the ad level. The relevancy is the process of matching  a search query to a keyword -  and NOT matching a query to an  ad.

The ad is triggered by a keyword. If  a keyword triggers  an ad, the system will make a decision which ad to show. (In your case not much is left because the ads rotate evenly). But, again, CTR performance, which is the governing metric for an  ad-rank (ad-rank approximation = QS*bid) is calculated at the keyword level.

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Higher CTR but lower Ad Position

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor

@Tommy D

 

My working assumption is that we are focusing on one single ad group which houses multiple ad copies.

 

>> if it's getting a higher CTR than the other ad, wouldn't Google recognize that it is more relevant?  <<

 

I am fully supportive of @MosheTLV's explanation and adding just a slight side note. When you are adding a new ad copy to an old ad group users often click on the newly created advert for a while out of pure curiosity irrespective of the ad position, hence the algorithm needs to factor in that the better CTR value may be temporary. If it isn't and the good CTR proves consistent, Google will over time recognize that the new copy is more relevant. However, as @MosheTLV also noted, there will not be much room for preferential treatment because the ads are set to rotate evenly. 

 

My 2 cents.

 

Best,

Lakatos

Re: Higher CTR but lower Ad Position

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# 9
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Sorry, I get QS mixed up with ad rank.

Re: Higher CTR but lower Ad Position

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# 10
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Your assumption is correct.

Ok, so as long as the CTR remains consistently higher, it should start to move this ad into the same avg position is the older, lower CTR, ads...correct?

As far as preferential treatment, I'm not really looking for it. It's my understanding that to a/b test properly, they should be set to rotate evenly. Am I mistaken?