HomeBlogHow Does the Google Ads Auction Work? [Infographic]

How Does the Google Ads Auction Work? [Infographic]

Author: Elisa Gabbert
Last Updated: February 21, 2022 | Paid Search Marketing

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 Does Google Ads Work?

Since there are so many people out there who don’t really know how the Google Ads auction works and are wondering what is PPC, we thought it would be helpful to illustrate it. Below you’ll find our latest infographic, which illustrates how exactly the Google Ads auction works, including:

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

View the image below or check out our full explanation of it here: How Does Google Ads Work? The Complete, Visual Guide.

how does google ads work - infographic of google ads auction

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Meet The Author

Elisa Gabbert

Elisa Gabbert is WordStream’s Director of Content and SEO. Likes include wine, karaoke, poker, ping-pong, perfume, and poetry.


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