SERP Features: Ads Top

There are two types of results on Google: search results and ads. Search results appear as links on pages and are not part of Google's advertising programs. Ads appear with an "Ads" or “Sponsored” label and may be placed in several locations around the free search results.

Ads top appear above the search results on desktop and mobile devices. Only up to four ads are eligible to show above the search results. On average, ads that appear on the first page or above the search results get substantially more clicks than ads on other search results pages. 

To help your ads show in these valuable positions, Google Ads provides cost-per-click (CPC) bid estimates you can use when setting your bids.

Here’s what an ad top SERP feature looks like on desktop results: 

What Ad Top looks like on desktop SERPs

And on mobile results:

What Ad Top looks like on mobile devices

How to Rank for Google Ads

The ad's position on the page is determined by the Ad Rank. Ad Rank takes into account the following: 

  • Your bid (the maximum amount you're willing to pay for a click on your ad)
  • The quality of your ads and landing page 
  • The Ad Rank thresholds
  • The competitiveness of an auction
  • The context of the person’s search
  • The expected impact from your ad assets and other ad formats

For more in-depth information about each point above and how you can improve the quality components of your Ad Rank, check out Google’s About Ad Rank

To increase your chance of ranking for a top ad also consider the bid estimate. There are 3 types of bid estimates available to help you get your ads on the first page of search results when a search query matches your keyword exactly.

  • First-page bid estimate: the bid you likely need to set for your ad to be shown anywhere on the first page of search results.
  • Top-of-page bid estimate: the bid you likely need to set for your ad to be shown among the ads at the top of the first page of search results.
  • First position bid estimate: the bid you likely need to set for your ad to be shown in the first position relative to other ads. 

How Semrush Collects Data About Top Ads

  • When we scan a keyword’s SERP, we identify whether or not Google Ads are present at the top of the results page. 
  • If ads are present at the top of the SERP, you’ll see its gray icon in the SF column in Organic Research.
  • If ads are present at the top of the SERP, you’ll see the links, the ads themselves, and other data in the Advertising Research Position Changes report