How AdSense Determines Which Ads to Show Where – Ad Rank Explained

Inside AdSense has a useful post on how AdSense determines what order ads will appear on your site. While the price an advertiser is willing to pay per click is definitely a factor it’s not the only one. There is a complex algorithm behind it which they attempt to explain by writing:

‘So, you ask, how is Ad Rank determined? While bid price (the price advertisers are willing to pay for each click per thousand impressions) is obviously an important factor, we also calculate advertiser Quality Score to make sure the best performing ads will always appear on your site. Quality Score takes into account factors such as an ad’s relevancy and click-through rate (CTR) (i.e. how likely users are to click on a given ad) because a higher CTR sometimes outweighs the benefits of a higher bid price. This ensures that your site always displays the ads representing the highest revenue potential for you.’

They also attempt to clear up a commonly asked question about image ads and how they determine when to show them or not.

You might also wonder: “But image ads usually take up multiple ad slots — does this limit the amount of money that I can make?” Good question, but no — for an image ad to appear on your site, it has to produce an effective CPM greater than the sum of the individual text ads.’

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. runs on the Genesis Framework

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  1. mark says:

    I never new about “Quality Score”.

    I heard that adveristers ads when shown on SERPs would show up less often on the front page (no matter how high they bid) if they didn’t get an high enough CTR, but I didn’t realize this for AdSense. Thanks for pointing it out. :)

  2. Thanks for posting that. “Blog Tips at ProBlogger” comes before “Inside AdSense” in my reader. :)

  3. JLT says:

    This sounds good. I hope YPN catched up!

  4. butlimous says:

    Adsense is a very good technology introduced by Google. However, I dislike the fact that it is very easy for someone to take my pub-id, put it on a porn site, and get my account banned for nothing!


  1. […] Darren at ProBlogger has an article posted on his site that comments on how Google works to feed your site the highest pay advertsizing based on CTR experience and your sites content. It does not really explain what I am looking for, but it a very good read none the less. The pay rate does not always seem to be based on the value of the Keywords…In my experience. Technorati Tags: Adsense, Chitika, Affiliate Programs, Internet Marketing, Blogs […]