Why do some of the Google search results do not have any ads?

Ever wondered as to why do some Google search results have no ads? Here’s the answer:

Google aims to show the right ads to the right user(s) at the right time. And to be consistent with this philosophy, which is related more to the relevance of Google’s result pages to the users’ queries, Google may sometimes choose not to show ads for certain search queries. It won’t show any ad to the users when the available ads from advertisers are not relevant to users’ queries.

Now let’s understand the technical aspect of it.

Google has an Ad Rank Threshold for every auction it runs on AdWords. Advertisers willing to show ads on Google need to have an ad rank above this threshold to be eligible to show ads on Google.

Ad Rank is the product of your bid amount, the maximum you are willing to pay for a click,  and the quality score of your ad. It is very important to understand here that the quality score which is used for the calculation of the ad rank is not the one you see in your AdWords keyword report. Google analyses the real-time quality scores of ads in the auction every time a user searches something on Google and an auction is run.

The auction time quality score is ascertained on the basis of several factors and signals which include – the device user is searching on, the browser being used, the location the user is searching from, and operating system of the device, the language of the user’s Google interface, the component of quality score and a few other signals.

Does it mean that if an advertiser increases its bid generously to a higher amount, the ad will start triggering for the search term which had no ad earlier?

In general, yes. The ads will start triggering if the said advertiser’s ad gets a higher ad rank, above the minimum threshold. However, if the ads in the auction do not meet the quality standards, the ads will not trigger.

What does that mean? Does that mean Google has a threshold for quality standards as well?

Yes, there’s a minimum threshold for ads’ quality standard as well. And that must be related to the Auction Time Quality of an ad. While calculating the ad-rank of an ad, Google calculates the auction time quality of ads in the auction, this is where every winning ad have to pass both the quality standard threshold and ad rank threshold to show ads.

That’s how Google maintains the quality of its search result page, always relevant to users’ queries. And, this is the reason you may sometimes not see an ad on Google for a search query.

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