Chapter 1 » Section 3
First Page Minimum Bids, Impression Share & Display Network Quality Score

Do you have the required adwords first page bid
Do you have the required first page bid?

So far you’ve learned how quality score affects Ad Rank (position) on the search results and most importantly, advertising costs.

A slight increase or decrease in QS can go a very long way. Imagine getting a 1000 clicks a day. Paying $0.10 more per click means $100 more in daily advertising expenses. On the other hand lowering your costs-per-click by $0.10 only, means $100 in daily savings.

But that’s just the tip of the ice-berg, quality score  impacts go far beyond.

In our example, John and Tom’s Ad Ranks where too low to enter the auction. In reality, it is the auction on the first page of that their ads are not eligible to show.

Just like the natural search results, there can be many pages for sponsored results. If an advertiser’s Ad Rank is too low, his ad will still be displayed but not on the first page.

Which brings us to the third main thing quality score influences, which is: first page min bid.

First Page Minimum Bid

A low or high Quality Score can determine whether your ad ever reaches the first page of Google’s sponsored results.

Our example in Fig 2 shows that there’s a min Ad Rank an advertiser  must have to enter the auction, which is Chris’s Ad Rank of 4.5. John and Tom are left out of the first page because they don’t have the required Ad Rank to compete with other players.

From the formula of Ad Rank (2) can be derived a formula for minimum ad rank, from which we get a formula for minimum bid:

* Note: This formulas- unlike the ones for Ad Rank and Actual CPC – has not been officially confirmed by Google. The actual formula for minimum bid might be slightly different.

Again, do not worry about the math if it isn’t your thing.

A minimum Ad Rank is specific to each ad auction and a minimum bid is specific to each advertiser. The minimum bid depends on the competition and your Quality Score. You have no control on competition, you have a large degree of control on Quality Score.

Table 1 shows the the humongous difference between John and Tom’s minimum bids in the same ad auction with their respective Quality Scores.

John only needs to raise his bid to $0.56 to enter the auction while Tom would need to bid a whooping $4.5  just to get the last ad spot.

You do not want to be Tom.

And being John isn’t the absolute best scenario either. If John managed to increase his Quality Score to 10, his first page bid would be around $0.45.

Quick recap, Quality Score controls:

  • Your ad’s position through Ad Rank
  • Your advertising costs through Actual CPC
  • If your ad ever shows through first page min. bid

Those are the 3 main areas touched by it.

Here are more…

Impression Share

Impression share is the percentage of times your ad is shown for all queries that could trigger it.  Go to appendix A to learn how to view it in your account, you’ll be able to see your current Impression Share and where you’ve been loosing some of that exposure (budget or ad rank).

Impression share is directly influenced by Ad Rank and indirectly influenced by Quality Score since Ad Rank depends on Quality Score.

Increasing Quality Score increases Ad Rank which increases Impression Share which increases the number of clicks you receive, which means more traffic which means more revenue.

Display Network Quality Score

The discussion above has been about Quality Score on the search network, which is the home page of and Google’s search partners (AOL, Youtube,, and other search engines).

There is a Quality Score for content network sites (non-search sites).

Unlike the search Quality Score, content network Quality Score is not viewable anywhere in your account (Google likes to keep secrets). However, it has very much the same impacts on your advertising as has the search Quality Score.

In addition to your ad’s position, your cost-per-click and Impression Share on the content network, Quality Score controls:

  • If your ad is eligible to show on a keyword-targeted content network page.
  • If your ad is eligible to show on a placement-targeted page.

Other Facts About Quality Score

As if that wasn’t enough, this little metric also determines:

  • Top Spots: QS determines if your ad is eligible to be shown in the top spots just above the search results. There’s a threshold for those spots and even advertisers who boost their Ad Rank by bidding high will not get them unless they meet the Quality Score requirements.
  • Product Extensions: QS determines whether product extensions can be displayed with your ad. Did you know your search ad can contain images of your products along with other information? Sorry, not if your Quality Score is too low.
  • Site Links: QS determines whether site links can be displayed with your ad or not. Did you know your ad could be shown with various links to different pages of your website? Sorry, not if your Quality Score is too low.

Conclusion About Quality Score?

Don’t mess with it!

Hopefully that has sank deep within you and you’re ready to pay close and focused attention to the pages that follow.

On any keyword or content site that has proven to make you money, it is not enough to just have good Quality Scores…

… you must have above average scores, 7/10 at the least, 10/10 if possible. And that’s what the next pages are all about!

16 thoughts on “Chapter 1 » Section 3
First Page Minimum Bids, Impression Share & Display Network Quality Score

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *