Biz Blab: Google AdWords Search Network Terms

Marketing terms

Biz Blab: Google AdWords Search Network Terms

When I first started getting into Google AdWords it struck me just how much terminology one has to know to understand what’s going on. Loaded words and phrases like “Max cost-per-click” and “negative keywords” are tossed around like old hats. Although AdWords can seem uncompassionate to those just trying to gain a general comprehension of the subject, it is in fact merciful. This is because there are definitions to everything! And what could possibly be better than having them neatly arranged right here?

Happy Friday and happy reading, all.

(To ensure you don’t have to slog through something the size of a novel, this list just includes Search Network advertising terms. We’ll get into other topics like Display Network marketing some other time.)

Ad Delivery (Accelerated and Standard)

This refers to the speed at which Google displays ads throughout the day. If you enable accelerated delivery, your ads will be pushed out as quickly as possible each day, which will, in effect, eat up your budget pretty quickly. On the other hand, standard delivery allows your ads to be shown gradually in a 24-hour period, using up your budget more slowly.

Ad Extensions

Located at the bottom of your search ad, extensions include additional information about your business, such as its address, phone number, and links to your site. You can include automated and manual extensions in your ad.

Bid Adjustment

AdWords allows you automatically increase or decrease your bid based on certain conditions. For example, if you own a restaurant and you want more customers for lunch, you can set your bids to increase by 40% from 11:00 AM- 1:00 PM. You can adjust your bid based on user location, device, day of the week, and more.

Billing Threshold

The maximum amount of costs you can acquire during a billing cycle. If exceeded, Google will charge you for any additional expenses. This only applies to automatic payment plans.

Broad Match

This is a keyword setting that gives your ad vast online exposure. It will be triggered when similar phrases, keywords, or synonyms are typed into Google Search. On the other hand, your ad is less likely to garner clicks because it is not aimed at a specific client base.

For instance, if your ad is about “Baseball jerseys for men,” it would appear any time someone searches for jerseys for women, children, and pets as well.

Broad Match Modifier

This setting lets you direct your ads to more specific groups of people. By adding a “+” in front of certain keywords or phrases, Google knows to only display your ad when these words are typed into a search.

Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

The number of people who proceed to click on your ad once they view it, expressed as a percentage. To determine your CTR, divide the number of clicks by the number of impressions your ad receives.


Is what happens when a customer takes a desired courses of action based on your ad. These can include signing up for a newsletter, purchasing something online, or making a phone call to your company.


The amount you pay Google whenever someone clicks on your ad.

Description Text

Two lines of text located below your headline and above your URL in a Search ad. These describe the product or service you’re selling and can be a max of 70 characters in total.

Exact Match

A setting that enables your ad to appear only when someone types in precise keyword phrases associated with it. Using this method can limit the number of impressions you receive. However, it also means you’re more likely to draw in active customers.

Flexible Bid Strategy

A primary bid plan that automates how your budget is divided between campaigns, ad groups, and keywords. Google determines the best way for your money to be spent based on your business goals.


The first and boldest line of text in your Search ad. Ideally, it should concisely describe what you’re promoting and catch readers’ attentions, since it’s the first thing they’ll see.


This metric lets you see how often your ad has been shown on the Search and Display networks.


This metric informs you how often viewers engage with your ad. In the case of Search ads, a click is the most popular type of interaction.


Words or phrases that define your products and services. When someone types these into Google Search, your ad will be displayed accordingly.

Keyword Planner

This tool allows you to test the potential effectiveness of your keywords to see if they would be helpful in a real campaign.

Landing Page

The webpage the URL in your ad leads to when people click on it.

Language Targeting

This option lets you aim your ad at people based on their language. It’s important – scratch that – necessary to write your ad in the language you’re addressing, or else it probably won’t be translated properly.

Location Targeting

This option lets you show your ads to people based on their geographical location. You can also highlight the areas you want to avoid. Quite handy.

Manual Bidding

A strategy that allows you to personally define how much you can spend on clicks. Once you’ve established your cost-per-click bid for an ad group you can place bids on keywords and placements as well.

Negative Keywords

A sort of inverse-match type method preventing your ad from being shown when certain terms are typed into Google. This is especially helpful for those who wish to refine their broad match strategies.

Organic Search Results

The results that naturally appear on Google Search results pages.


This lovely feature lets you advertise to people who have already visited your site.

Search Term

As you can probably guess by now, these are the words or phrases people type into Google when looking for something. Advertisers associate select terms with keywords so their ads will appear when they are typed in.

Top-of-Page Bid Estimate

The hypothetical amount you’d need to spend on your ad to make sure it would appear at the top of search result pages. Specifically, your ad’s placement would be determined by its quality (for keywords, layout, and the website it’s associated with) and by how it compares to other ads targeting the same products and services.

You should now have a decent understanding of Search Network marketing terminology. Having a working knowledge of how Google AdWords will help you, whether you’re doing your own advertising or hiring an agency.

Look out for our next Biz Blab blog, where we’ll be talking about Display Network terms.

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