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How Does the AdWords Auction Work? [Infographic]

July 27, 2018

If you work in the search marketing industry, you may have found yourself having a conversation somewhat like this one (the same conversation I have every time I tell a "regular person" what I do):

Regular Person: So, what do you do?

Me: I work as a writer for a software startup.

Regular Person: What kind of software?

Me: Um, search marketing software?

Regular Person: So ... like Google?

Me: Well, yeah, sort of. We make software that helps people advertise on Google.

If this regular person is curious enough to know more (rare), I usually find it helpful to explain that Google advertising functions similarly to an auction. In the off chance that they tell me advertising on Google does not work, I tell them that our whole company exists because it does work.

How Quality Score Works

How Does Google AdWords Work?

Since there are so many people out there who don't really know how this "AdWords auction" works and are wondering what is PPC, we thought it would be helpful to illustrate it. Below you'll find our latest infographic, "How Does the AdWords Auction Work?" This infographic illustrates how exactly the AdWords auction works, including:

  • What gets entered into each “auction”
  • How Google determines which ads are shown where
  • How Google determines what advertisers pay

And lots more interesting tidbits about how Google AdWords works. Click the image to see for yourself and learn Google AdWords. You might also be interested in our article answering the question, "Does Google AdWords Work?"

How AdWords Works

Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert is WordStream's Sr. Manager of Content Marketing and SEO. Likes include wine, karaoke, poker, ping-pong, perfume, and poetry.