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Google Ads Glossary of Terms

Google Ads Glossary of Terms

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A/B Split Testing: A practice to set up two ads or landing pages split with equal traffic to see which performs better. One part of the test is the control, and the other part is the test.

Ad Auction: Every time there’s a new search Google starts a new ad auction. The Google Ads algorithms decide which ads to rank and in what position.

Ad Copy: The text part of a text ad. It is also referred as  the ‘ad copy’.

Ad Group: This contains one or more ads with a target set of keywords and/or placements (for Display Network).

Ad Placement: A websites, or on a single page of a website on the Google Display Network where your ad can appear based upon on targeting and relevancy to your ad. 

Ad Preview & Diagnosis: A tool within Google Ads that allows you to test and troubleshoot your ads without accruing any impressions.
TOOLS & SETTINGS > Ad Preview & Diagnosis.

Ad Positioning: The order in which your ad appears. The ad ranking is based on you keyword maximum bid, Quality Score, and ad extensions. 

Ad Rank: A value to determine your ad position (where ads are shown on a page relative to other ads) and whether your ads will show at all.
Ad Rank is calculated using your bid amount, your auction-time ad quality (including expected click-through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience), the Ad Rank thresholds, the competitiveness of an auction, the context of the person’s search (for example, the person’s location, device, time of search, the nature of the search terms, the other ads and search results that show on the page, and other user signals and attributes) and the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats.

Ad Rotation: If you have multiple ads, the ad rotation settings decides  which ads should be showed most often to potential visitors. Google Ads has two ad rotation settings:
– Optimise: Prefer best performing ads. It shows ads that are expected to get more clicks or conversions. This setting is recommended for most advertisers.
Do not optimise: Rotate ads indefinitely. It shows ads more evenly for an indefinite amount of time. When using Smart Bidding, Google Ads will optimise your ad rotation to prefer the best performing ads even if it’s currently set to ‘Rotate indefinitely’.

Ad Scheduling: This is also called ‘Day parting’. Ad scheduling allows you to decide which days and times your ads should run. 

Ad Variations: It allows you to easily create and test variations of your ads across multiple campaigns or your entire account.

AdSense: Publishers or website owners can benefit of the AdSense programme to make money by showing ads placed on their sites.

AdWords API: (Application Programming Interface). API allows you to communicate and make changes to Google Ads through other programs at scale.

Adwords Express: Adwords Express is an ideal solution for those who have no time to manage their ads, bids, keywords, reporting, or need to advertise with a particularly limited budget.

Google Ads Editor: A free, downloadable application that lets you work offline and make bulk changes quickly. Download Google Ads Editor.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): Pages that are designed to load fast. If your business is local, or it has a lot of interaction with mobile phone users, you should test AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages).

Assist Clicks & Impressions: A report showing clicks and impressions that have helped get the last click leading to a conversion.

Assisted Conversions: As per above but showing keywords that have helped to drive the most conversions.

Attribution Modelling: The paths that determines how credit for sales and conversions is assigned to various touch points.

Auction Insights: A report showing which competitors are in the same auctions as you and how you compare against them.

Audience: An audience is a means of segmenting or targeting your display and search campaigns. 

Automated Rules: Rules to make changes in your account automatically, based on chosen settings and conditions.

Automatic Placements: Website automatically chosen by Google in your Display Network campaigns to shoe your ads based on your targeting methods. 

Auto Tagging: A feature that allows Google Ads to communicate with Google Analytics through dynamically generated URL parameters.

Average Cost Per Click (Avg. CPC): This is the average amount of money you pay when someone clicks on your ad. 


Below The Fold:A section of a web page that is only visible after scrolling down. 

Bid Modifier: A feature to change bid percentages depending on certain specifics like time, location, and device. 

Billing Threshold: A set amount that triggers billing for advertising costs: 

Broad Match Keyword: It allows your ad to show to match the widest range of possible keyword searches that are related to your keyword.

Broad Match Modifier: This match type gives you more control over the search terms you want your ad to appear to compare with broad match.
You add
a ‘+’ (plus sign) in front of the words of  your keyword permutation.

Bounce: When a visitor leaves your website or landing page without going to any other page.

Bulk Edits: Large actions and changes across your entire Google Ads aaccount from campaigns to keywords.

Bulk Uploads: When you upload CSV (Comma-separated value) files to make large-scale changes at once.


Call to Action (CTA): The action you want your visitors to take from your ads or on your landing pages. For example:
Call Now.
Buy Now.
Download Now.
Get More Info.
Open an account.

Call Extensions: An extension to add your phone number to your ads. When searchers see your ads, they can tap or click a button to call your business directly if their device can make calls, or they can tap or click your ad to go to your website.

Callout Extensions: Non-clickable ad text extensions to enrich your text ads.

Call Only Ads: Ads that gives searchers the option of calling you instead of clicking your ads. When a searcher clicks your ad, Google Ads places a call to you from their device. If you have call extension activated in your campaign, you can use the same telephone number.

Call Tracking: A type of conversion tracking showing you how many searchers called your business after seeing or clicking one of your ads.

Campaign: A collection of ad groups. Your ad campaign has its own goal, networks, locations, languages targeting, as well as a budget, bidding, start/end dates, and ad rotation. These settings determine where your ad appears. Campaigns should focus on your products or area of your business.

Campaign Placement Exclusions: A feature to exclude unwanted websites showing your ads for your Display Network campaigns.

Change History: A tool that lists the changes that you’ve made to your account during the past two years.

Click: When a searcher clicks on your ads.

Click share: It shows of how many clicks your ads received out of the total number of times Google estimates your ads could be clicked. Click share is the opposite of Search Lost Impression Share Rank, it helps you to understand user’s engagement.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR): The number of clicks that your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown.

Contextual Targeting: A process used to match keyword-targeted ads (which are also referred to as automatic placements) to sites within the Display Network.

Conversion: When a searcher takes an action that you’ve defined as valuable to your business, such as an online purchase or a call to your business from a mobile phone.

Conversion/Confirmation or Thank you Page: The page you place your conversion code to track successful goals. Normally, it is the page searchers see after they’ve completed a conversion.

Conversion Rate: The number of conversion divided by the number of total ad interactions. For example, if you had 50 conversions from 1,000 interactions, your conversion rate would be 5%, since 50 ÷ 1,000 = 5%.

Conversion Tracking: A tool showing you what happens after a customers interact with your ads.

Cost per Conversion: Your total cost divided the number of conversions.

Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) Bidding: A Smart Bidding strategy. Google Ads manages your bids and tries to get you as many conversions as possible at your target CPA.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC): Cost-per-click (CPC) bidding means that you pay for each click on your ads. For CPC bidding campaigns, you set a maximum cost-per-click bid – or simply ‘max. CPC’ – that’s the highest amount that you’re willing to pay for a click on your ad (unless you’re setting bid adjustments, or using Enhanced CPC).

Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM): A bid where you pay per one thousand (1,000) views on the Google Display Network.

Countdown Timer: A way to let searchers know about sales or special events by adding a countdown to timer based on the current time.

CPM and Viewable CPM: A bid to ensure that you only pay when your ads can be seen. Existing CPM bids will be converted to vCPM automatically, but it’s best to update your bids since viewable impressions are potentially more valuable.

Customer Personas: Fictional representations to help you understand your ideal customers.


Daily Budget: The amount you set for each ad campaign to specify how much, on average, you’d like to spend each day. On the days when your ad is more popular, Google Ads can spend aup to twice your average daily budget so you won’t miss out on those valuable clicks. However, over the course of a month, you won’t be charged more than your average daily budget times the average number of days in a month (30.4).

Day Parting: Another word for ad scheduling

Description Line 1 & 2: Your ads description can be up to 90 characters. However, Description #2 may not always show.

Destination URL: The landing page visitors are taken to after they click your ad.

Display URL: The webpage URL address that appears with your ad, It can have up to 15 characters each.

Display Ad: The banner ads you see on advertising-supported websites According to Google, the Display Network reaches over 90% of global internet users expanding across 2 million sites.

Display Network: The Google Display Network is designed to help you find the right audience by showing your ads while they’re browsing their favourite websites, showing a friend a YouTube video, checking their Gmail account or using mobile devices and apps.

Double Serving: If two or more ads from the same company are displayed at the same time and at the same place. Double serving is not allowed.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion: A feature that dynamically updates your ad text to include one of your keywords that matches a customer’s search terms.

Dynamic Search Ads (DSA): It is not a Smart Bidding strategy (although Google recommends to use Smart Bidding with it), but it uses Google’s Machine Learning to show the best ad for every query.


End Date: The date you specify to end a campaign.

Enhanced CPC: A Smart Bidding strategy designed to increase conversions while maintaining the same cost per conversion. Google Ads adjusts bids where it believes a search is likely to convert. Refer to Smart Bidding strategies – Enhanced CPC (Cost per click).

Exact Match Keyword: With your exact match keywords you can show your ads to customers who are searching for your exact keywords, or close variants of your exact keyword. Close variants include searches for keywords with the same meaning as the exact keywords, regardless of spelling or grammar similarities between the query and the keyword.

Experiments: A feature to test changes to your Search and Display campaigns without affecting their performance. You can test a portion of traffic to evaluate the results and impacts of your changes before you apply them to your campaigns.

Extensions: Add-ons to boost your ads and showcase your business.
These extensions are available:
Sitelink extension.
Callout extension.
Structured snippet extension.
Call extension.
Lead form extension (BETA at the moment).
Message extension.
Location extension.
Affiliate location extension.
Price extension.
App extension.
Promotion extension.


Facebook Audience Insight: A tool to help you finding and defining  specific audiences.

First & Last Click Analysis: These are attribution model to evaluate credit to the final touch point. Refer to Attribution Modelling.

First Page Bid (FPB): The estimated minimum bid amount for your ads to display on the first page of Google search.

Frequency: Frequency is the number of times a user sees ads in your Display or Video campaign over a given time period. 

Frequency Capping: A feature that limits the number of times your Display or Video ads appear to the same person. Frequency capping works differently on Display campaigns and Video campaigns.

Funnels: A series of web pages you expect your customers to follow to complete your goals.


Geo-Targeting: A feature to target your ads to people in – or who’ve shown interest in – geographic locations relevant to where you do business.

Google Analytics: Google’s free web analytics service, and one of the most popular digital analytics software. It allows you to analyse in-depth detail about the visitors on your website.

Google Trends: It shows you the interest of your audience and industry trends that are rising or falling.


Headline: Your text ads can have up to three Headlines. Headline #1 appears at the top of your ad. Each headline can contain up to 30 characters.

Home Tab: The dashboard performance of your entire Google Ads account.


Image Ads: A type of ad that includes a graphic to promote your business.

Impression: How often your ad is shown. An impression is counted each time your ad is shown on the Google SERP (Search Engine Result Page) or any website on the Display Network.

Impressions Per Day: The amount of impressions accumulated throughout a day.

Impression Share (IS): Impression share (IS) is the percentage of impressions that your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions that your ads could get.
Impression share = impressions/total eligible impressions.

Interaction Rate: To measures how often people interact with your ad after it’s shown to them. This helps measure your ad’s effectiveness.

Invalid Clicks: The clicks on your ads that Google considers to be illegitimate, for example, unintentional clicks or clicks resulting from spider bots and malicious software.


Keyword: Words or phrases that are used to match your ads with the terms that people are searching for. Selecting high quality, relevant keywords for your advertising campaign helps you to target the right customers.

Keyword Matching Types: Keyword match types help control which searches can trigger your ad. These include Broad Match, Broad Match Modified, Phrase Match, Exact Match, and Negative keywords.

Keyword Planner: A tool that to get keyword ideas and traffic estimates.
It helps you build a Search Network campaign.


Labels: A feature to organise elements in your account into meaningful groups. With labels you quickly and easily filter and report on the data that is of most interest to you

Landing Page: The web page where people end up after they click your ad. 

Languages: A setting to target your ads to potential customers who use Google products and third-party websites based on the languages those customers understand.

Local campaigns: Campaigns to promote your store locations across Google properties and networks and should help you to increase visits and sales.

Local inventory ads: Google Ads shows your products and store information to shoppers searching on Google nearby your store.

Local Services Ads: When you advertise your business on Google Ads with Local Services ads, you receive leads directly from potential customers. At present Local Services ads are only available in the United States for locksmiths, plumbers, electricians, HVAC, carpet cleaners, house cleaners and garage door services, and in the United Kingdom for locksmiths and plumbers.

Location Extensions: An ad extension to help people find your locations. With location extension, your ads show with your address, a map of your location, and the distance to your business, and may include a call button with your telephone number to facilitate the searchers to call your business.


Maximise Clicks: A Smart Bidding strategy. Google Ads sets your bids to help you get the most conversions within your budget.

Mobile Ad: A type of ad that can appear on web pages and apps viewed on a mobile device like a cell phone or tablet. For Google Ads, ‘mobile’ is defined as where the ad can appear on ‘mobile’ devices. These include high-end mobile devices with smaller screens, such as smartphones.

Multivariate Testing: A testing method using multiple variants and combinations of ad text elements and/or landing page elements to test against each other in order to see which combination works the best.
The more traffic, the faster the results.


Negative Keywords: Search terms excluded from your campaigns and ad groups to help you focus on only the keywords that matter to your customers. 

Negative Keyword List: A list of negative keywords so that you won’t have to manually add the same negative keywords to individual campaigns and ad groups. With your list you can  easily manage future changes. 

Network: The Google network consists of: The Search Network: Google search results pages, other Google sites such as Maps and Shopping, and search sites that partner with Google to show ads.
The Display Network: Google sites like YouTube, Blogger and Gmail, plus thousands of partnering websites across the Internet.


Path Length: The steps through pages customers take or look at before completing a conversion.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC): A business model consisting of placing an advert on a website or a search engines and pay a sum of money each time a searcher clicks on to the advert.

Pay per Conversions: A Smart Bidding strategy. It means that you only pay when someone converts on your ad. You select can Pay per Conversions when using a Smart Display campaign or a standard Display campaign.

Phrase Keyword Match: A keyword setting that shows your ad only when searchers includes the exact phrase of your keyword, or close variations of the exact phrase of your keyword, with additional words before or after.

Placements: Websites on the Display Network where your ad can appear. Examples include relevant websites and apps that partner with Google to show ads. You can choose specific websites by adding managed placements, or let Google choose relevant automatic placements for you based on your keywords or targeting.

Portfolio strategy: A Smart Bidding strategy. Portfolio strategies are applied to several campaigns that share the same goals.

Price extension: It shows more details about your offer. It shows a set of up to 8 cards that searchers can view to see different options and prices and go straight to the items. Price extensions appear below your text ads may show on computers and mobile devices.

Product Listing Ads (PLA) also known as Shopping Ads: A type of ad featuring detailed information about specific products that you sell. Shopping ads can refer to Product Shopping ads, which feature just one product, or Showcase Shopping ads, which feature several related products.

Promotion extension: Searchers are always looking for the best deal, so if you have sales and promotions, you should activate Promotion extension.


Quality Score: The Quality score is an algorithm that scores each of your ads for relevancy. It is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords and landing pages. The Quality Score is reported on a scale of 1-10. The lowest rating is 1, and the highest is 10. Refer to What is the Quality Score?


Recommended Daily Budget: Google Ads estimated lowest budget amount at which you wouldn’t lose any impressions due to budget constraints.

Relevance: How closely the elements of your ad campaign match what a searchers is looking for.

Remarketing or Retargeting: A way to connect with people who previously interacted with your website or mobile app. With Remarketing, you can strategically position your ads in front of these audiences as they browse Google or its partner websites.

RSLA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads): It lets you change your bids, messaging and keywords based on the site visitors that are the most valuable to you. At a basic level, target all visitors to your website and add a RSLA to all your campaigns or ad groups.

Responsive search ads (RSA): It is not a Smart Bidding strategy, but it leverages Google’s Machine Learning to match the right message to the right user at the right bid.

ROAS (Return On Ad Spend): A Smart Bidding strategy. Google Ads manages your bids to get your ROAS (Return on ad spend).


Search Intent: Search Intent answers to the why behind a search query.Why people search? Are they looking to learn something? Are they looking to buy? Are they looking for a particular website?

Search Partners: Sites that partner with Google to show ads. Search partners extend the reach of Google Search ads to hundreds of non-Google websites, as well as YouTube and other Google sites.  On search partners sites, your ads can appear on search results pages, on site directory pages, or on other pages related to a person’s search.

Search Terms or Search Queries: A list of search terms that searchers have typed in before they clicked your ads. 

Search Term Report: A report to see which words or phrases searchers have typed in before they clicked your ads. Run a report to refine your keywords so that only the right searches show your ads

Scripts: Scripts let you make automated changes in your Google Ads account. Using JavaScript code, you can change bids, pause ad groups, add keywords and many others. Scripts can save you time instead of having to manually do your changes. 

SERP: Search Engine Results Page. SERP are the pages displayed by search engines in response to a query by a user. 

Shared Budget: It is used to allocate budget across multiple campaigns. A shared budget is ideal if you don’t have a lot of time to spend setting up and monitoring individual campaign budgets, but would still like to get the most clicks possible for your ads within a set budget. Shared budgets don’t work with campaigns that are part of an Experiment.

Shared Library: It is used to manage Audience manager, Bid strategies, Negative keyword lists, Shared budgets, Placement exclusion lists.

SKAG (Single Keyword Ad Groups): Ad groups that contain only one keyword, that’s it one keyword per ad group.

Smart Bidding: A subset of automated bid strategies using machine learning and contextual signals to optimise bids, conversions and conversion value in each and every auction.

Shopping Campaigns: Campaigns for retailers or e-commerce website to promote online and local inventory, boost traffic to their websites or local shops and find better qualified leads.

Sitelinks: Ad Extensions that take people to specific pages on your site, for example, a specific product, a special offer, shop hours, etc. Sitelinks are used to enhance your ads.


Target CPA (Cost per acquisition): A Smart Bidding strategy. Google Ads manages your bids and tries to get you as many conversions as possible at your target CPA.

Target impression share: A Smart Bidding strategy. It is designed to maximise your reach and your brand awareness. Google Ads automatically set bids to achieve your shared goal.

Target Search Page Location: A Smart Bidding strategy. Starting in late June 2019, advertisers will no longer be able to add a new Target Search Page Location strategy.

Target Outranking share: A Smart Bidding strategy. Starting in late June 2019, advertisers will no longer be able to add a new Target Outranking share strategy.

Text Ad: On the Search Network text ads show above and below Google search results. Text ads have three parts: Headline text, Display URL, and description text.
Headlines: 3 headlines (30 character max.)
Description lines: 2 description lines (90 max. characters for each description line)

Time Lag Path: It shows how many days searchers take to convert after the first clicked on your ads.

Top Conversion Path: In Google Analytics, the Top Conversion Path shows you how channels interact along a conversion path.


URLs: Uniform Resource Locator is a way of identifying the location of a file on the internet. It is the address of a website or a web page.



Extract from my Book ‘Making Google Ads Work’.
Read it FREE online (blog posts)