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Be a Rebel: Ignore Your Google AdWords Ranking


We all want to be number one.

Our culture values first place above all others, but there’s one area where the number one spot doesn’t actually mean you’re winning: Google AdWords.

Here’s why you should fight the urge to stress about your AdWords ranking: It’s data driven, and data doesn’t care about your feelings. 

We’ve got an emotional connection to first place, but in reality, we can still make a great ROI from a lower position.

Out of your control

A lot of factors determine your position on AdWords.

First up is your quality score, which itself is determined by a number of different data points, like the relevance of your keywords and quality of your landing page. Another factor is your historical AdWords performance, something you initially have little control over.

Google AdWords also looks at your competition.

Yup, your competition. A factor which you have absolutely no control over. 

These variables determine your ad position — not the other way around. You can throw all the money you want at that number one spot, but just know there are some factors that you’ll never be able to change.

Focus on what you can do

This doesn’t mean you should just give up on AdWords. It does mean you should focus all of your energy on those factors you actually can control.

If your ad is high quality, you don’t need to worry about placement. You will still get clicks because there isn’t a correlation between ad rank and conversion rates. With a solid ad, you’ll get the same amount of action in position one or position three.

Really, the one reason you need to “own” that number one spot is if it’s actually doing work for you. If you’re not profiting from it, stop spending.

And if you’re working with a limited budget, you can get more for your money by bidding down.

Get out of your way

You wouldn’t be a good business owner or marketer if you weren’t following up on your AdWords campaigns, but your personal research may not always indicate the true placement of your ad.

AdWords determines relevance partly by using IP addresses. If you’re repeatedly searching for your own business — but not clicking through to the ad — Google thinks you’re uninterested. The search engine stops showing you the ad, but that doesn’t mean actual customers aren’t seeing your content.

Think with your data hat

It takes a lot of time to fully grasp AdWords, but it’s important you approach it without emotion.

As soon as you start making decisions based on data, not the desire to ‘win,’ you’ll see more success with your investment.

Just remember: You’re not number one … but it’s going to be okay. 

Don’t let AdWords get you down. Download our eBook on Google Hacks to make your AdWords experience easier. 


Photo credit: Tim Norris