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Google Ads Terminology for Beginners

Best Google Ads Terminology for advertisers in Manchester

Google Ads is full of acronym, terms and expressions which can be prove difficult to understand for beginners and novice advertisers. In this article, we have tried to condense Google Ads terms and explain them as good as we can for your benefit. Enjoy!



Ads stand for “Advertisement”. Until quite recently, Google Ads was known as Google AdWords (a combination of Advertisement and Words).


Ad Copy

The main text of an ad. Usually the second and third lines of an ad



Google AdSense (or AdSense) is a cost per click advertising programme that enables publishers (webmasters) to earn from publishing Google ads on their website.


Ad Groups

An Ad Group is a collection of similar ads which target common keywords.


Ad Rank

Ad rank is a value assigned to ads in determining whether a particular ad is shown (if at all), based on factors such as bid amount, auction-time ad quality, Ad Rank Thresholds and other factors.


Ad Rank Threshold

The minimum bid necessary to show your ad in any given position.


AdWords Editor

AdWords Editor (better known as AW Editor) is an application for managing your Google Ads on your desktop or laptop. Using the AdWords Editor helps in managing Google Ads campaign in bulk.


Ad Extensions

A feature of Google Ads used to show extra business information such as address, opening times reviews etc.


Ad Position

The position assigned to your ads, relative to other ads. Ad Positions range from 1-4 (top of Search Engine Result Pages) and 3-7 (bottom of Search Engine Result Pages)



An Application Programming Interface (API) which allows applications to interact with the Google Ads platform.


Audience List

An Audience enables an advertiser to create and manage a list of users for remarketing purposes.


Automatic Bidding Strategy

A strategy which is automated to bid on your behalf, based on the likelihood of your ad showing.


Automatic Placement

Placement are locations on the Google Display Network where you ads can appear. With automatic placements, Google decides where your ads appear in contrast to manual placements.



A Google Ads feature that automatically ads a tracking parameter to URL for easy tracking in analytic applications.


Average Position

An Ads’ Average Position gives an indication of how your ad is ranked on page 1, relative to your competitors’ ad. Ads ranked between positions 1-4  implies that your ad appeared at the top of Page 1. Likewise, positions 5-8 implies that your ad appeared at the bottom of page 1. An ad showing an Average Position of 2.5 means that the ad was ranked between positions 1 – 3 on page 1.



A bid is the maximum amount you are willing to pay for your ad to be shown to potential customers. Bids are set at a maximum so that you your ads do not exceed the maximum amount set. As an example, a bid of £20 will ensure that your ads never exceed £20 per click, unless Expanded CPC is selected.


Bid Management

The strategic process of optimising keyword bids to ensure maximum Return on Investment (ROI).


Billing Threshold

The maximum credit limit allowed on an Google Ads account. When the limit is met, it triggers an automatic billing for advertising costs.


Bounce Rate

Bounce Rate is the number of visitors who leave your webpage after visiting only a single page. This is usually expressed in percentage and is calculated by the number of people who leave your website after viewing a single page divided by the total number of visitors.


Branded Search

The results shown when you enter the brand name of any given business.


Broad Match

Broad match is a keyword that allows your ad to show when the keyword (or variations, including plurals) is searched for.


Broad Match Modifier (BMM)

Broad match modifiers are broad match keywords which controls when your ad can be shown for closely related variations of your keywords. BMM keywords are usually prepended with a + e.g. +buy, +blue, +dress



Budget is the total monthly spend allocated to your Ads. Budget is specified at the campaign level however, you can also specify partial budgets which forms part of the total budget for the month. To determine your daily budget, divide your monthly budget by 30.4 (Google works with 30.4 days in a month).


Bid Strategy

Bid strategies are the various techniques available in maximising return on ad spend (ROAS) within Google Ads.


Bid Price

The average price to pay for bidding on a keyword. Price prices can range from pennies to hundreds of pounds.


Call Extensions

A Google Ads feature which allows advertisers to add telephone numbers to the ads for increased CTR.


Callout Extension

Callouts enables advertisers to include extra text to their ads. Callouts can include additional information such as your USP, related products or services. Be aware that Callouts are shown above and below search ads on Google.



A collection of ad groups that share common parameters such as budget, location, targeting etc. Campaigns.


Campaign Type

Campaign type are the various formats of Google Ads available for advertisers to select from. These include Search Network with Display Select, Search Network only, Display Network only, Shopping, Video, Universal app.



Cost per Acquisition or CPA is the term used to describe the amount you pay for a conversion. To calculate your conversion, divide your spend (monthly or weekly) by the number of conversions achieved.



Conversions are the desired actions completed by website visitors. Conversions can range from newsletter signups, social media shares, form completions, completing a purchase or any other desired action you want your visitors to complete while on your website.



CPC is an acronym for Cost per click. CPC is calculated by dividing the price paid for your ads by the total number of clicks achieved. This is also known as the Average CPC.


Converate Rate

Conversion rate is the total percentage of visitors that convert on your website or on a particular web page. The conversion rate is calculated by dividing your total number of visitors who completed a desired action by the total number of visitors to your website within a period.



Cost per mille (or cost per thousand). This is the price advertisers pay for every 1000 impressions of their ad.



CTR stands for Click-through rate (CTR). Click through rate is the percentage of people clicking on your ad out of the total number of people who see your ad (impressions). CTR is calculated by dividing the total number of clicks by the total number of impressions in any given period.



DFW stands for Data Feed Watch. DFW is an application for optimising Google Shopping feeds without the need to consult a developer.



DSA stands for Dynamic Search Ads. DSA is a type of Google Ads which does not rely on keywords to be shown to potential customers. DSA works by Google crawling your website and suggesting keywords which your website could potentially rank for and will be relevant for your customers, based on the contents on your website. This is an automated process with no human intervention.


Dynamic Remarketing

Dynamics Remarketing is used in targeting a predefined demographic i.e. potential customers who have visited your website but never converted. Dynamic Remarketing works by showing your products on related web sites when a customer visits your website but does not convert. Dynamic remarketing  works in conjunction with your product feed for Google Shopping.



GA stands for Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a free platform for websites used in collecting, analysing and reporting data from your website.


GDN/Display Network

Google Display Network (GDN) or Display Network (as is known in industry parlance) is a collection of websites and apps used in displaying Google Ads. GDN can include your email provider, your favourite website or news site etc. Display network is often associated with graphic ads however this can also include text only ads.


Google Ads App

Like AdWords Editor, Google Ads App is the mobile app for managing Google Ads campaigns on the go.



GTM stands for Google Tag Manager. Google Tag Manager is used for storing, manipulating and version control of web tracking codes from a variety of tracking platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics, Google Ads and custom tracking codes using JavaScript.



Impressions is when your ad is called from source (not shown) i.e. eligible to be shown to customers. Whether the ad is clicked on or not does not really matter. What matters is your ad was called from source and was eligible to be shown.


Impression Share (IS)

Impressions Share is the number of time customers have seen your ad divided by the number of times where your ad has been eligible to be shown. Eligibility is based on ad metrics such as approval status, bid, conversion goal and Quality Score (QS).



Click is the total number of clicks achieved on the ads shown in a period.



Keyword Planner Tool is the Google Ads keyword research tool. This tool provides information on keywords such as bid volume, average cost and competition and keyword trends.


Landing Page

The destination page an ad directs to, once clicked.


Location Targeting

A form of ad targeting based on the location of the customer demographic.


Low Search Volume

An indication of low activity on keywords selected for ads. Low search volume should not be written off as less profitable keywords in any campaign.


Managed Placement

Managed placements allows for an advertiser to select the website, videos, apps and other Google Display inventory to show ads.


Manual Bidding

Manual bidding is the type of bidding which allows advertisers to specify how much to bid for an ad to show, based on placements, keywords, audiences and time of day in order to maximise return on ad spend (ROAS)



MCC is the Google Ads Manager account (formerly known as My Client Centre). MCC enables an administrator to manage several individual Google Ads accounts from one login.


Merchant Center

Merchant Center is the login portal for managing Google Shopping ads. Merchant Center allows ecommerce shops to integrate their inventory with Google Shopping which are then used in Google ads.


Negative Match

Negative match is a Google Ads matching type which prevents an ad from showing for certain keywords which have been specified in the negative keywords list.



Ad optimisation is the processing of identifying opportunities within the a campaign, in order to maximise returns whiles paying the least possible cost per click. Ad optimisation includes A/B testing of several elements within an ad and fine-tuning the best outcomes for a greater return.



PPC stands for Pay-per-click. PPC is the term given to online advertising models where the advertiser is charged based on clicks an ad receives.


Phrase Match

A match type that triggers ads based on the entirety of the keyword.



The different places on the Google Display Network where an ad can show.


Price Extension

Price extensions enable advertisers add value to their search network text ads by displaying special offer prices for customers to click and be directed to a landing page with the special offer.



Remarketing is a phenomenon of showing your ads to users who have previously visited your website however, did not convert. Remarketing helps to bring back potential customers to your website typically, with an incentive to complete a conversion.



ROI stands for Return on Investment, a finance term used to describe the return on your initial capital employed to achieve a goal.



RSLA is the acronym for Remarketing Lists for Search Ads. With RSLA, advertisers have ability to target a highly engaged audience, as these audiences would have already visited your website and therefore, have become a part of your Remarketing List.



ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) is a metric which helps advertisers measure the return derived from the advertising budget. This is usually measured in percentage. A ROAS of 300% would therefore imply that for every £1 spent on ads, there is a return to the business of £3.


Search Network

Search Network is the Google text only ad platform usually where text ads are displayed e.g.


Search Volume

Search volume provides an estimate of the popularity of keywords and how many times that keyword is searched in any given period.


Shopping Feed

Shopping feed is the term used in describing the interface between your eCommerce shop and the Google Merchant Center account for use on Google Shopping ads. A shopping details product information such as price, stock levels, GTIN codes, product descriptions, images, sizes and other product variables.



Sitelinks are a type of Google Ads features which allows advertisers to show up to 4 links for each ad. Sitelinks can be shown below an ad.


Quality Score (QS)

Quality score is a metric which ranks your ad, based on several factors such as relevancy, landing page experience, keywords, relative to other advertisers. QS is a contributory factor in determining when an ad is eligible to be shown.

Yes, We Speak “Googlish”!

…and we will try to keep this terminology guide updated from time to time. We are fluent in Google Ads and would like to help your business drive growth through Google Ads. Call 0800 699 0054 to speak to one of our Google Ads Specialists today!

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