The Essential Google Advertising Glossary of Terms

Digital media shared through digital devices (computers, tablets, mobile) is what makes the internet an ever-expanding galaxy of fantastic information, videos, and black holes. And digital marketing promotes virtually every product sold in the world through social media, blogs, content marketing, and, yes, Google advertising.

While some web surfers bemoan Google’s broad reach, a significant portion of website owners turns to the fifth-largest company in the world to help them with their advertising needs. As such, Google makes more than $200 Billion each year from advertising resources.

Those avenues include YouTube – the second largest search engine – where over a billion videos are viewed each day.

To better understand Google Ads, we’ll help you navigate the Google Ad programs and define the Google Advertising Glossary of Terms.

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Google Ad Programs

Generally, the Google Ad program consists of Google services and Google partners that allow ads to be shown on their apps and websites. Those partners are vetted and rated – you pay only when the cost-per-click price you bid is high enough to rank on their sites and a visitor clicks your link.

Google’s services include Gmail, Google Search, Maps, Discovery, and Google Shopping. YouTube also offers video ads.

You choose precisely the type of advertising – and ad copy – you prefer, from text ads in search to image and banner ads in display ads and product ads in Google Shopping.

You define your ad type and service, set your cost per click and a daily budget, and track the Google Ads site results. Full analytics are available for extensive research of keywords and complete results.

As for navigating and understanding the terms commonly used, keep reading to get your fill.

The Guide You Need to Understand Keyword Match Types in Google Ads

44 Top Google Advertising Glossary of Terms

Understanding the web and Google-specific terms will enhance your ability to navigate Google’s advertising website and improve your marketing success. Here are some top Google Advertising glossary of terms.

Ad Auction

Google Ads uses a bid auction process to choose which keyword ads are displayed. In addition, a quality score is assigned to each ad and campaign based on the quality of the ad. Score quality is enhanced by the ad’s historical performance and the advertiser.

In addition, the relevance of the Google keyword to the ad group and campaign, its relevance to the landing page, and the relevance of the ad to actual user searches.

Ad Copy

The written or text part of an advertisement.

Ad Groups

One or more ads and keywords trigger an ad in an advertising campaign.


The name was given to Google’s network for monetizing mobile apps.

Ads and Extensions

Extensions are additional information to enhance your ad text, make it more relevant, and increase your ranking.

Ad Rank

Google uses a ranking system to place the highest-scoring ads in the highest position: Quality score (QS) times your maximum CPC bid. QS times max CPC bid equals Ad Rank.


The Google Analytics software tool allows a tag placed on your website code to track the traffic visiting all web pages where it’s been installed.

Metrics include traffic sources, audience locations, landing page, demographics, social media traffic, search console, conversion and goals, new vs. returning visitors, engagement (time on site), page views, and mobile devices.


The target market you set by age, gender, and household income. Audience segments may be added to ad groups and campaigns.

Average Position

Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP) shows seven positions. The top of the page refers to the top three positions. Lower positions may not draw the results upper spots do.

Bid Adjustment

Google Ads allows bid adjustment on keywords for specified criteria such as location, devices, and times. For example, setting a higher or lower bid for local customers.

Bid Strategy

Different campaigns call for different strategies to maximize exposure or conversions, even without getting clicks. A bid strategy may increase traffic without specific sales or sell individual items instead of bringing viewers to brands.

Some bid strategies reduce CPA or cost per acquisition or ROAS, return on advertising spend. All strategies increase awareness.

Bounce Rate

A bounce happens when a page visitor leaves without interacting. A bounce rate is bounces divided by total sessions (or clicks). A well-targeted ad leads to a low bounce rate.

Broad Match Keyword

Any keyword that will include similar phrases, synonyms, or spelling variations. A modified broad match keyword is formatted as a plus sign in front of your keyword, meaning similar phrases must include your keyword.

Call To Action

Suggestions for viewers to click or visit your landing page: “contact us,” ‘read more,” and “buy now.”


Overall or top level of an ad account structure, including ad groups, budgets, targeting, and bid totals.

Change History

List all changes you’ve made to an ad campaign, including ads, bidding, budget, keyword, audience, network, status (paused, active), and targeting.


Each time a website visitor taps (clicks) on an ad and is magically transported to your landing page.


All places your ad was shown (placements) and exclusions.

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Cost-Per-Click (CPC)

Bid rate amount to show your ad: Google gives you a suggested amount to reach the top seven search positions. Lower bids may still get ads shown in some areas.

Each click costs you up to the bid amount you set, although you may get shown in some areas at lower rates.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

The number of clicks on an ad is divided by the number of impressions. Your ad copy may be shown on many sites without any clicks.

A CRT of 1% (1 for every 100 views/impressions) is very good. However, very low CTRs may lead Google to show your ad rarely or not at all.

Daily Budget

Your set spending per day and Google won’t exceed this amount. Budgets can also be monthly and designed to be spent quickly or split across your time frame.

Display Ad

A display or banner ad can appear on the Google Display Network. They can be animated or static – increasing in size to accommodate more than simple text.

Display URL

This is the URL shown on your ad – and Google is now enforcing a one-URL cap, so you have to display the URL landing page that the clicker will go to.

Google Display Network (GDN)

Google monetizes websites to take advantage of their traffic to display ads you’ll pay for through Google Ads. Impressions are free – you pay only for actual clicks.


A specific search word you pay for via bids on the GDN and Google search.


The actual showings of an ad are charged on Google Ads for each click-through.


Week over week results of ads and ad campaigns

Landing Page

The page a user lands on after clicking an ad. The landing page’s relevance to the ad plays a vital role in campaign effectiveness.

Mobile Speed Score

Google’s page score is assessed based on mobile display landing page performance.

Negative Keyword

Keywords you choose to exclude from your keyword searches so ads don’t show irrelevant searches. For example, your keyword is San Francisco because you sell a book about San Francisco stories, but you don’t want people searching for “San Francisco hotels.”

Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

Advertising such as Google Ads, where you don’t pay for impressions but for each click (the cost is per click).


Automatic Google suggestions for improving performance include adding keywords, increasing daily spending, and trying other service groups.


A strategy for targeting previous website visitors through a list automatically saved by Google when you define an audience in Google Analytics.


A video metric is essential for YouTube advertising since it measures the percentage of a video each viewer watches.


All 15 available settings for Google Ads from Campaign name through goals, campaign objectives, budget, bidding, and IP exclusions.


Manage your account settings using JavaScript.

Search volume

The total search queries made during a set period.

Shared Budget

A daily spending budget is applied to one or more campaigns.

Smart Bidding

This term covers automated bidding strategies such as Target CPA, Target ROAS, and Enhanced CPC.

Smart Shopping Campaigns

Ads are automatically placed across Google’s advertising networks – available when creating a shopping campaign.


The status of ads in Google Ads – approved and enabled (showing) or paused. Or they disapproved of a quoted policy.

Viewable CPM

Cost Per Thousand Impressions bidding – you pay regardless of how many clicks are achieved.


A view is charged based on any view when a person clicks to start a video.

View-through Conversion

Assisted conversion metric for people who receive an impression of your display ad, don’t click but convert later on your website.

The Wrap for Google Advertising Glossary of Terms

We’ve explained the strength of Google’s search engine and its ability to robotically review billions of website pages and rank them based on their specific analytics. Beyond Google’s scary scope, their advertising programs rule the internet and provide the utmost ease of use and extensive marketing reach.

Our Google Advertising Glossary of Terms should make your use of their advertising programs easier and less intimidating.

To help you get started, check out the top six persuasive advertising techniques to kick off your new ad campaign.

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