The Ultimate Glossary of Google Ad Terms

Johnathan Dane
Johnathan Dane
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Having a handy dandy notebook with all the possible

Google Ads glossary terms is a must if you're serious about your Google Ads skills.

Whether you’re looking to understand the language of PPC or help train someone else, this

Google Ads glossary should be the most complete one you’ve ever laid your eyes on.

This Google Ads glossary should not only make you smarter, but it should help you get on with your life and be more eloquent when speaking about Google Ads.
The beautiful part about this is that it will help you master all Google Ads definitions and prevent you from falling flat on your face back.

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A/B Split Testing: The comparison of two versions of a landing or web page, app, ad, etc. against each other to see which results in higher conversions. Both versions are used equally and typically the change is minor, for example, a change in CTA or hero image.

Ad Auction: Within Google, the ad auction is used to select the ads that will appear on your pages and determine how much you'll earn from those ads.

Ad Copy: This is the advertising copy of any ad. It is typically composed of three elements: headline, display path, and description. Strong ad copy includes typically includes a CTA.

Ad Delivery: Determines how quickly your ads will show.

Google Ads offers two choices for ad delivery - Accelerated and Standard (default).

Ad Delivery: Within Google, ad delivery is a setting that determines how quickly you want to use your budget each day: You can use it two ways: either spread throughout the day, which is standard or more quickly, known as accelerated.

Ad Extension: An ad option that shows additional information about your brand or business, including phone number, address, store hours, etc.

Ad Group: In Google Ads, it is a group that contains one or more ads with similar targets like keywords, products, services, or bids. Each campaign contains one or more ad groups.

Ad Placement: This is where you choose to allow your display ads to be placed within Google Ads or Facebook Ads. Ad placement options include an entire website, video, mobile app, single web page, etc.

Ad Preview & Diagnosis: Within Google Ads, you have the ability to see what issues your ad may be having and helps you to determine why your ad may not be showing up or why extensions are missing. Additionally, Ad Preview & Diagnosis shows you a preview of a Google search result page for a specific term, helping you to see which ads and extensions are appearing for your keyword.

ad preview and diagnosis

Ad Positioning:
This is the position in which you appear in the Google SERP. The highest position being "1" and the lowest being infinite. Ad position is determined by a formula called Ad Rank- which means even if someone outbids you, you can still be in the number 1 position.

Ad Rank: The value that Google uses to determine which position your ad will sit on the Google SERP. Within Google, your Ad Rank is calculated using auction-time, bid amount, ad quality, the Ad Rank thresholds, auction competition, context of search, and the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats.

Ad Rotation: It is how they choose to deliver your ads on the Search and Display Networks. In the case of more than one ad in an ad group, Google will rotate your ads because only one ad is allowed to be shown at a time.

- Optimize for clicks (default): Shows the ads in the ad group that are the best performing based on click-through rate more often. This will likely receive more impressions and clicks overall since they are more attractive and usually have a better positioning.

- Optimize for conversions: This shows the ads in the ad group with the highest conversion rates more often.

- Rotate evenly: Shows the ads evenly within the ad group for 90 days and then it switches to optimize for clicks.

- Rotate indefinitely: Just like rotate evenly, but doesn’t have a 90-day limit.

Ad Scheduling: Ad scheduling allows you to decide which days and times your ads should run. If you don’t want clicks, calls, or submissions after hours, then you can use ad scheduling to prevent that from happening.

Ad Variations: Ad variation is a tool that allows you to test and create different versions of your ad across your entire account or individual campaigns. You can change copy, CTAs, and headlines to see which perform better and get the most results.

AdSense: A feature in Google Ads which allows website publishers to show Google Ads on their website for compensation.

Assist Clicks & Impressions: This report shows the clicks and impressions that have helped get to the last click that ultimately lead to a conversion.

Assisted Conversions: This report is similar to the one above in that it shows which keywords are helping to drive the most conversions.

Attribution Modeling: The science of understanding which paths a visitor took to convert and how to attribute and weigh the different paths in a manner that produces the highest ROI.

adwords attribution modeling

Auction Insights:
This report lets you compare your share of voice (SOV) compared to your competitors in Google Ads.

Audience: In all PPC platforms it's the group of people who you wish to target to purchase your product or become a lead. Audiences can be defined by things like age, location, interest, level of schooling, etc.

Automated Rules: It allows you to automatically change rules like ad status, budget, and bids based on the settings and conditions you choose.

Automatic Placements: In Facebook, this is the setting that gets you the highest conversions for your ad placements. It places your ad in the widest range of areas to drive the most conversions.

Auto-Tagging: This is a feature for tracking offline conversions and ad performance by automatically adding a parameter to your URL. "Auto-tagging will attach the “Google Click Identifier” (GCLID) parameter to the URL your customers click, and that will help you tell which ad was clicked for each visit to your site."

Average Cost Per Click (Avg. CPC): This is the average amount of money it costs you when someone clicks on your ad. Google averages out the cost per click and displays them at all levels (account, campaign, ad group, keyword, etc) within your Google Ads account.

Average Position (Avg. Pos.): This shows you the average ad position you have since you may rank low and may rank high sometimes depending on the competitive circumstances.


Below The Fold: This is the part of a web page or landing where you have to scroll down to see what’s beneath.

Bid Modifier: This allows you to change bid percentages depending on certain specifics like time, location, and device. You can for example bid up 30% on mobile devices or decrease bids 10% in the city of Los Angeles.

Billing Threshold: It is the dollar amount that you set that triggers a bill to be sent to you. Google bills every $500 unless set otherwise by you.

Broad Keyword Match: This keyword match type is also the scariest of all the match types. It allows your ad to appear for searches on similar phrases, synonyms, variations, and anything Google deems relevant when it comes to the search network. You could be selling black leather couches, but for some reason, Google could show your ad for the search term: leather, snuggie, and/or black beans.

Bounce: The qualifier for when someone goes to your website and leaves immediately without visiting another page.

Bulk Edits: Within Google Ads Editor you can make a series of edits in one go, instead of on individual ads, this is called bulk editing.

Bulk Uploads: Uploading CVS files for a large number of edits you wish to make for your account- it can be keywords, locations, negative keywords, etc.


Call to Action (CTA): This is a specific written action you want visitors to do from your ads or on your landing pages. Common CTAs like:

Call Now
Buy Now
Get Pricing & More Info

Are all in relation to what you want to person act upon so that you as the advertiser can achieve your goals.

Call Extensions: This is simply an extension to your text ad that allows you to have a phone number alongside it.

Callout Extensions: The copy which appears below your main ad headline and description in a Google Ad. It is a great place to include amenities, services, and additional information.

callout extensions

Call Only Campaigns: 
Type of ad campaign that allows you to only give your visitors the option of calling and not clicking through to your landing page.

Call Tracking: This is the method of tracking which PPC campaigns are driving phone calls so you can measure the ROI against your ad spend.

Campaign: This is the second-highest level of settings after the account level. The campaign is where you specify all networks, geographic locations, budgets, languages, ad scheduling, bid strategy, and more. These house all ad groups, along with keywords, text ads, display ads, and display targeting.

Campaign Placement Exclusions: This allows you to create a list of unwanted website placement targets for your display network campaign(s).

Change History: This is a Google Ads report that lets you see timestamps of different actions that have happened within your

Google Ads account.

Click: This happens when a person clicks on your ads. Pretty self-explanatory. Why did you even read this?

Click-Through-Rate (CTR): This is the number of clicks an ad has gotten divided by the number of impressions (ad loading on a page) that the same ad has received. CTR = # of Clicks / # of Impressions.

Contextual Targeting: This is a display network targeting setting that matches ads that use keyword, topic, or interest targeting to relevant and related sites on the Google Display Network.

Conversion: This is the successful action that is your end goal with your

Google Ads campaigns. If a visitor has converted, it means they’ve either filled out a form, called, chatted, bought, downloaded, or visited a key page. You decide on what you want to track.

Conversion/Confirmation Page: This is the page where your conversion code is on to track successful goals. It is usually the page people see right after they’ve completed a conversion.

Conversion Rate: The number of conversions (defined by you) divided by the total interactions which have taken place on your ad.

Example: If 100 visitors come to your site and 32 sign up for your monthly newsletter than your conversion rate would be 32%.

Screen Shot 2015-02-22 at 4.32.56 PM

Conversion Tracking: This allows you to track various actions that you deem relevant and important to the success of your

Google Ads campaigns.

Converted Clicks: This is the unique count for all customer conversions. One ad click can max result in one conversion. This won’t count multiple conversions from the same visitor.

Conversions: This is the successful action that is your end goal with your

Google Ads campaigns. If a visitor has converted, it means they’ve either filled out a form, called, chatted, bought, downloaded, or visited a key page. You decide on what you want to track.

Cost/Conversion: This shows the average cost per conversion. Total cost / # of conversions.

Cost-Per-Acquisition (CPA) Bidding: This is a bidding model that tries to achieve your set goal cost per action. Let’s say you only want to pay $10 a conversion, Google will automatically try to do that for you.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC): This is the currency amount that you will pay for a click on your ad.

Cost-Per-Click (CPC) Bid: This is the maximum amount you’re willing to spend on a click on your ad. This doesn’t mean that you will always pay that exact amount. It will vary but never average higher than what you set it to be.

Cost-Per-Thousand Impressions (CPM): This is a display network bidding model where instead of CPC bidding, you can pay for every 1000 impressions. This is usually good for branding or getting more eyeballs on your ads.

Countdown Timer: A way to have your ad automatically count down towards the end of a sale or the beginning of an event. Simply type in {= in your ad to set up it. 


Daily Budget: This is the currency amount you’re willing to max spend per day from your clicks. Note that it can go above 20% but will never average out more over the month of an average of 30.4 days.

Day Parting: Another word for ad scheduling. This allows you to decide what days and times you want your ads to show.

Description Line 1 & 2: These two lines are part of your text and fall between your headline and display URL. They total 70 characters.

Destination URL: This is the URL a visitor will be taken to after they click your ad.

Display URL: This is the URL that is shown with your text ad so that people know where they’re going before clicking on your ad. The root domain ( has to match the root domain from the destination URL, but nothing else has to match.

Display Ad: These are specific-sized image ads that are either static or animated that are created for the display network. These are also known as banner ads.

Display Network: The Google Display Network is the biggest content network that allows you to advertise your image and text ads on various placements around the entire interwebs.

Display Planner: A tool within

Google Ads that allows you to figure out which display placements would work best for your goals.

adwords display planner

Double Serving:
This is when two or more ads are displayed from the same company, at the same time, at the same place. This usually only happens on the display network.

Dynamic Keyword Insertion: Shortcut way to write ad text that allows Google to automatically input your keyword, into the ad headline, description lines, or display URL. 


End Date: This is a campaign-level setting in which you can have a certain end date for a campaign. Specifically useful for certain sales or promotions that are time-sensitive.

Enhanced CPC (ECPC): Bidding strategy that allows Google to bid 30% more than your CPC bid in order to achieve a conversion.

Exact Keyword Match: This keyword match type only shows your ad if the searcher typed in the exact term. This is the most restrictive keyword match types but allows for the most control. 


First & Last Click Analysis: This report shows the difference between weighing conversion stats on the first time a person clicks your ad vs. the last time they click your ad, and then to a conversion. This is similar to assisted clicks.

Frequency: The average number of times an individual has seen your ad per day. This is only for the display network.

Frequency Capping: This display network setting allows you to set a limit on the number of times an individual can see your ad per day. Specifically useful for remarketing. 


Geo-Targeting: Also known as location targeting, this is where you decide what geographic areas can see your ad. Google determines geographic location based on the device's location and IP address.

Google Ads API: Formerly called "AdWords API" is a type of programmatic interface for Google Ads users. Developed for developers to work directly with the platform with the goal of efficiently managing large or complex Google Ads accounts and campaigns.

Google Ads Editor: Formerly Called "AdWords Editor." This is Google’s free bulk editing program that allows you to mass change bids, keywords, ads, settings, and other things that you can’t easily do within the regular Google Ads interface. You can get it here.


Headline: The first part of your text ad that people read. Comprised of only 25 characters.

Headline (Extended): A nifty little trick that allows you to extend your ad's headline (if it shows in the top 3 ad positions above the organic results on desktops) by adding a period at the end of description line 1.

Home Tab: The dashboard of your entire

Google Ads account’s performance. 


Image Ads: These are static and/or animated ads that you can use for the display network. There are many different pixel dimensions and file sizes to consider depending on your channels and goals.

Impression: This is when an ad is loaded on a page. It doesn’t mean that a person has to see it since it could be below the fold.

Impressions Per Day: The number of impressions that have accumulated throughout a day.

Impression Share (IS): This report is determined by the number of impressions you’ve received divided by the total amount of impressions available for the keywords you're bidding on. The higher this is, the more your taking advantage of what’s available.

Interaction Rate: A calculation of the number of times people interact with your ad divided by its total impressions.

Invalid Clicks: This is the number of clicks Google has determined to be close to fraudulent clicks due to the same IP address or other factors that are clicking your ads. You get that cost removed from your bill before it accumulates.


Keyword: This is the word or grouping of words you’re bidding on to show an ad for.

Keyword Diagnosis: A Google Ads tool that allows you to see if your keywords are showing for ads or not and what the reasons are if they aren’t.

Keyword Matching Options: These are different ways you can be restrictive or non-restrictive with the keywords you’re bidding on. These include Broad Match, Phrase Match, Exact Match, and negative keywords.

Keyword Mining: The act of researching for new keywords to target or add as negative keywords.

Keyword Mining (Broad Match Style): The act of using broad match keywords as automatic keyword mining tools to then explicitly bid on in the future once they’re uncovered with more restrictive keyword match types.

Keyword Planner: A tool within Google Ads that allows you to see keyword differences based on search volume, getting new keyword ideas, and traffic forecasts.

adwords keyword planner


Labels: This allows you to group certain Google Ads accounts, campaigns, ad groups, ads, or keywords together to track collective performance.

Landing Page: This is a specific page you’ve created to appear more attractive to the visitor so he/she converts at a higher rate after they've clicked on your ad.

Languages: This allows you to target certain people who speak certain languages coupled with your geographic targeting settings.

Location Extensions: This allows you to add your address to your ads to take up more real estate space on Only for the search network.


Maximize Clicks: A campaign bid setting that tries to get the most clicks within your budget.

Mobile Preferred Ad: This is a checkbox setting you can set to mostly show that ad to your mobile audience so you can see how desktop and mobile visitors differentiate in performance.

Mouseover Rate: This is the percentage of time users mouse over an ad for one second or longer divided by the impressions.

Multivariate Testing: A testing method that allows you to use multiple variants and combinations of ad text elements and/or landing page elements to test against each other to see which combination works the best. The more traffic you have, the faster you’ll see results.


Negative Keyword: This is a word or phrase that you do not want your ads to show for. You can find negative keywords to add from your search term report and add them at the campaign level, ad group level, or a list.

Negative Keyword List: This is a simple to use list found in your ad account shared library, that houses all the negative keywords that you can then apply to one, multiple, or all of your campaigns.

Networks: Within Google Ads, you have the power to advertise on the search network ( and other partner search engines) and/or the display network and its enormous amount of publisher websites.


Opportunities Tab: A tab within your

Google Ads interface that comes with automated ideas to help improve the performance of your campaigns.


Path Length: This is a report that gives you an inside view of the steps your new customers take or the pages they look at before completing a conversion.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC): The sport of Google Ads. Also known as Paid Search, Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and simply, paid ads.

Phrase Keyword Match: This keyword match type only shows your ad when that key phrase is searched with words in the specified order within the quotation marks. Ads will appear in searches with the phrase plus words before or after it. If your phrase match keyword was "yellow shoes", your ad would appear for searches like "leather yellow shoes" or "blue and yellow shoes", but not for searches like "yellow leather shoes" or "shoes with yellow laces" because the phrase was broken.

Placements: These are specific website placements where your ads have or where you want your ads to appear within the Google Display Network.

Product Listing Ads (PLA): These ads are set up as Google Merchant Center feeds that allow eCommerce products (not services) to be shown with pictures in the search results on the search network.

Now known as shopping campaigns.


Quality Score: This is a numerical keyword score between 1 - 10 that is determined by an ad's CTR, keyword relevance, landing page relevance and other factors. The higher your quality score, the better. This will help lower your cost per click and increase your ad rank.


Recommended Daily Budget: This is a specific budget that Google recommends you use to capture more/fewer clicks depending on the impressions of keywords you're bidding on.

Relevance: A hard-to-measure score that shows how accurate and good your ad and landing page experience is to a person searching.

Remarketing: Also known as retargeting, this is a strategy used to have ads follow people who have previously been on your site or landing page.

ROAS (Return On Ad Spend): Automatic bidding model that allows you to set certain return goal percentages where Google then automatically determines which bids will achieve those goals. You have to set conversion value tracking in order for this to work. Mostly used for eCommerce transactions and not lead generation campaigns.


Search Funnels: Tool within the conversions dashboard that shows you how people are converting.

Search Partners: These are other search engines that Google has partnered with where your text ads can show. The search partners usually have a cheaper cost per click and are home to older demographics. Unfortunately, you can’t target these search partners directly through

Google Ads. They are made up of,, and others.

Search Term: Also known as a search query, this is the actual word or phrase a person typed into Google for your ad to appear. This is sometimes similar to your keyword, but most of the time, not exact.

Search Term Report: This is a report used to see which words or phrases people have typed in to see your ad.

Search Query Report (SQR): Same as search term report.

Scripts: Automatic JavaScript codes that programmatically control your Google Ads account.

SERP: Also known as the search engine results page, which is basically the 1st page of Google.

Shared Budget: A common budget that you can share among different campaigns.

adwords shared budget

Shared Library:
A place within your Ad account that houses collective ads, bid strategies, negative keyword lists, audiences, and budgets, and more.

Shopping Campaigns: The eCommerce feed ads that you use to showcase image ads on Google for physical products. Once known as product listing ads.

Sitelinks: These are additional links that accompany your search network text ad so that people can dive right into other pages within your site. They also take up more real estate space for your ad.

Split Testing: Science of testing different messages and tactics to see what resonates best with the audience. Split testing is used to improve performance.

Social Extensions: This is another ad extension that allows you to showcase your social followings along with your text ads on the search network.


Target CPA: A bid setting that tries to get the most conversions possible while staying within your average cost per acquisition (CPA) range.

Target Search Page Location: A bid setting that adjusts bids to your ads to the top of the page or the first page of the search results.

Text Ad: These are the only ad formats you’re allowed to use on the search network along with shopping campaign ads. They are comprised of text only.

Time Lag Path: This is the amount of time it takes for a person from the time they see or click your ad to actually convert.

Top Conversion Path: A report that shows the unique conversion parts (interacting channels like search, then display, then search again) that lead to conversions.

Top Paths: This report shows you the most common paths your visitors are taking to complete a conversion.


Upgraded URLs: These types of URLs allow you to set a root URL (aka Final URL - where a visitor goes after they've clicked your ad) and a tracking URL that you use for tracking purposes. The great thing about upgraded URLs is that your data won't reset if you need to just change your URL tracking parameters.


Website Call Conversions: These are calls generated from your site or landing page that is tracking within Google Ads. With the help of a JavaScript code, Google will swap out the number on your site with a trackable one to show you which keywords and ads produced that call. 


Zoo: What some people will call a Google Ads account when they see one for the first time. And because we really wanted to have a word that starts with "Z".

Did I miss any Google Ads glossary terms that you could think of? Let me know!

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Chapter 1:
Google Ads Fundamentals

What You’ll Learn: Dive deep into what’s possible, the best way to set things up, ensure tracking is correct, and everything else needed to have a strong foundation.

Chapter 2:
Google Search Ads

What You’ll Learn: Learn about keywords, match types, search terms, and quality scores so you can dominate search in no time.

Chapter 3:
Google Display Ads

What You’ll Learn: Take advantage of cheaper clicks with unknown strategies many people don’t use when it comes to the Google Ads Display Network.