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What Is Ad Rank & 3 Ways To Improve It Without Spending More

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What Is Ad Rank & 3 Ways To Improve It Without Spending More

The basic definition of ad rank has not changed over the years.

Ad rank is the value that determines your ad position on Google Search, relative to other ads.

While we all know that ad rank is the main factor in your ad positioning, what exactly are those factors?

What goes into the calculation of ad rank? What can you control to improve your ad rank?

If you’re not sure where to start with ad rank, this is for you.

While ad rank may seem like a simple calculation, it can feel like an uphill battle trying to improve it.

You’ll find out everything you need to know about ad rank, why it matters, and how you can improve it without spending more.

What Exactly Is Ad Rank?

According to Google, the official definition is: “a value that’s used to determine your ad position (where ads are shown on a page relative to other ads) and whether your ads will show at all.”

For example, if your ad shows up in the second position on the page, your ad rank for that particular search is a two.

But, what factors actually impact your ad rank?

Before 2017, ad rank was a more simple calculation involving your max CPC and the number of competitors relative to the search.

Since Google Ads introduced some key changes to the way Ad Rank is calculated, such as thresholds and machine learning, it’s become much more complex.

Simply put, Ad Rank is calculated by:

  • Your bid amount.
  • Auction-time ad quality.
  • Competitiveness of auction.
  • Context of a user’s search.
  • Expected impact of extensions and other ad formats.

Each specific keyword search is analyzed by determining the above factors to give it an Ad Rank.

That means that every search is fundamentally different. That means in one search auction, you could have an Ad Rank of one. But the very next search auction, you could have an Ad Rank of four.

In order to fully understand Ad Rank, let’s dive deeper into each of the factors above.

  • Your bid amount: This is the amount you are willing to pay to show up in a specific position when a user searches a keyword. There are the minimum and maximum thresholds. For example, if you set a maximum CPC of $2 and the next highest bidder has a max CPC of $1.60, you would then pay $1.61 in that auction.
  • User signals and attributes: These signals include things such as location, device type, and time of day. Ad rank thresholds will vary based on these factors.
  • Context of search: Two different people could search the same keyword and have two completely different contexts.
  • Competitiveness of auction: Your ad rank can also depend on the auctions for related but similar searches. For example, [wedding invitations] and [wedding invites] search terms could be informed by each other because they are similar in nature.
  • Expected impact of ad extensions and other formats: Google will look at your ad extensions for the relevancy, CTR, and overall experience with the ad.

Because Google Ads is essentially an auction, it’s often assumed that if you just bid higher, you’ll land the top advertising spot.

In the world of complexity, that is not the case anymore.

You could be bidding significantly less than a competitor of yours in an auction but still, outrank them if your ads are better!

While there are many differences between organic and paid searches, they do function similarly in the fact that Google will favor more relevant information for searchers.

Now that we’ve gone through the basics of ad rank and how it’s calculated, here are three ways you can improve your ad rank – all without spending more money.

1. Improve Your Ad Relevance

Ad relevance is a major component of your ad rank. As mentioned above, ad relevance is one of three components that comprise of ad quality or quality score.

According to Google’s official definition, ad relevance is “how closely your ad matches the intent behind a user’s search.”

So, how do you improve your ad relevance?

Start by auditing your current ad copy and cross-reference the keywords that you’re bidding on.

Do your headlines or descriptions include keywords that a user is searching?

Responsive Search Ads are a great way to test out different copies to determine what resonates best with a user.

Google does give some reporting on headlines and descriptions, including how they rank from “low” to “best” in terms of performance.

If you have found a winning ad copy that performs well, you could also pin your top-performing headline to the top of your ad, ensuring that it always shows up in your ad.

Now, while you should focus on including relevant keywords in your copy that a user is searching, don’t get this confused with keyword stuffing.

Gone are the days of focusing on SKAGs (single keyword ad groups). It used to be easy to have higher ad relevance with SKAGs because you were almost always matching a particular search term with your headline.

With Google’s expansion of Exact match types, advertisers have had to switch away from SKAGs and focus on the holistic picture. Everyone searches differently, and if you’re relying on SKAGs in your account to drill down to a particular level, you could be limiting yourself.

Secondly, part of Google’s definition of ad relevance is how much the ad matches a user’s intent.

Say I search for [keyword research tool cost]. I’m clearly looking for how much a tool like that would cost me per month.

Screenshot from search for [keyword research tool cost], Google, June 2022

This example above hits on all the key points of a good ad:

  • The headline aligned with my search query.
  • Good use of sitelink extension to compare plans and pricing.
  • Provides brand authority with over 10 million users.
  • Additional trial period to test out before purchasing.

To sum it up, ad relevance is not just trying to fit keywords as many times into your copy as possible.

Google is focused more on the intent of a user and how well your ad can help that user solve a problem.

2. Focus On Ad Extension Content

Ad extensions are something that can easily be forgotten when setting up new campaigns and ad groups.

While they may seem tedious or unimportant to set up, the contrary is true.

Ad extensions are a vital part of increasing your ad rank on Google. They help increase your CTR, therefore in turn help increase your ad rank.

Why do they help increase CTR? Glad you asked!

Ad extensions allow you to give users additional information about your business that you couldn’t convey in your ad. After all, we are still limited by character count with headlines and descriptions.

However, don’t just add extensions for the sake of adding them.

In fact, if you add extensions to a campaign or ad group that don’t align with the search terms, this could actually lower your ad rank.

So, what should you use ad extensions for?

Well, almost anything! Google continues to produce additional ways that we as advertisers can get our message across to a user to help them solve a problem.

As of now, these are the available ad extensions you can create:

  • Location (and Affiliate Location).
  • Sitelink.
  • Callout.
  • Structured Snippet.
  • Price.
  • App.
  • Image.
  • Lead Form.
  • Promotion.
  • Call.

With all these options, how do you choose which ones to add?

Ideally, you should create ad extensions based on your campaign goal(s).

For example, if you are a local business and trying to drive in-store traffic, you’d benefit from adding location extensions.

If your goal is to drive more web traffic, try adding relevant sitelinks to different areas of your site that can help solve a user’s problem.

If your main goal is lead generation, try adding a lead form extension to your ads – especially if you don’t have a stellar landing page. But, we’ll get more into landing pages in the next section.

To summarize, be specific about the extensions you add to your campaigns. Aligning them with your campaign goals could help significantly increase your ad rank.

3. Create Better Landing Pages

Landing pages are often a forgotten piece of the conversion puzzle.

However, I’d like to argue that this is the most important part to get right in improving your ad rank.

If you’ve ever clicked on a paid ad and were disappointed about your landing page experience, you know how frustrating that can be.

As a searcher, the user experience can make or break whether or not they purchase from you.

Your search query should be a direct indicator of what you expect to see when you get to a website.

Back in the day, many advertisers would consume so much time creating a different landing page for each ad group to ensure that the page had exactly what the user was searching for.

Well, in theory, that’s good, right?

It is good – if you are helping them solve a problem. If you’re creating landing pages with fluff copy just to match the search term, you’ve got it all wrong.

If you haven’t noticed the theme of Google lately, it’s all about intent.

We need to stop worrying about our landing page headline matching exactly what a user searches for and more about what they actually see when they land.

There are many things to consider in creating a good landing page:

  • What device a user is on.
  • How much “white space” (or unnecessary space) there is on the page.
  • Whether there is a clear call-to-action (CTA) before a user has to scroll.
  • How many clicks does it take a user to get their problem solved.
  • How fast the site loads.

The list can go on and on if you get my drift.

The point is, that your landing page experience has to be of quality and consistency in order to improve your ad rank.

So much so that Google even adopted the landing page experience into its Quality Score metric!

By putting in the legwork now on your landing pages, the results will show over time.

Conclusion

When it comes to improving ad rank, are you more apt to manipulate your bids and budgets?

If this has been your go-to strategy, I encourage you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of your campaigns.

There are many factors you can influence in your ads to shift the ad rank metric, all without spending more on campaign budgets.

  • Improve your ad copy to align with a user’s search intent.
  • Increase your ad’s CTR with strong and relevant ad extensions.
  • Focus on improving the landing page experience for higher conversion rates.

Once you’ve put in the work on these pieces, then you can feel comfortable with shifting bids and budgets to dominate the top search position.


Featured Image: Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock

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4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

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4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

In a significant leap in large language model (LLM) development, Mistral AI announced the release of its newest model, Mixtral-8x7B.

What Is Mixtral-8x7B?

Mixtral-8x7B from Mistral AI is a Mixture of Experts (MoE) model designed to enhance how machines understand and generate text.

Imagine it as a team of specialized experts, each skilled in a different area, working together to handle various types of information and tasks.

A report published in June reportedly shed light on the intricacies of OpenAI’s GPT-4, highlighting that it employs a similar approach to MoE, utilizing 16 experts, each with around 111 billion parameters, and routes two experts per forward pass to optimize costs.

This approach allows the model to manage diverse and complex data efficiently, making it helpful in creating content, engaging in conversations, or translating languages.

Mixtral-8x7B Performance Metrics

Mistral AI’s new model, Mixtral-8x7B, represents a significant step forward from its previous model, Mistral-7B-v0.1.

It’s designed to understand better and create text, a key feature for anyone looking to use AI for writing or communication tasks.

This latest addition to the Mistral family promises to revolutionize the AI landscape with its enhanced performance metrics, as shared by OpenCompass.

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

What makes Mixtral-8x7B stand out is not just its improvement over Mistral AI’s previous version, but the way it measures up to models like Llama2-70B and Qwen-72B.

mixtral-8x7b performance metrics compared to llama 2 open source ai modelsmixtral-8x7b performance metrics compared to llama 2 open source ai models

It’s like having an assistant who can understand complex ideas and express them clearly.

One of the key strengths of the Mixtral-8x7B is its ability to handle specialized tasks.

For example, it performed exceptionally well in specific tests designed to evaluate AI models, indicating that it’s good at general text understanding and generation and excels in more niche areas.

This makes it a valuable tool for marketing professionals and SEO experts who need AI that can adapt to different content and technical requirements.

The Mixtral-8x7B’s ability to deal with complex math and coding problems also suggests it can be a helpful ally for those working in more technical aspects of SEO, where understanding and solving algorithmic challenges are crucial.

This new model could become a versatile and intelligent partner for a wide range of digital content and strategy needs.

How To Try Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Demos

You can experiment with Mistral AI’s new model, Mixtral-8x7B, to see how it responds to queries and how it performs compared to other open-source models and OpenAI’s GPT-4.

Please note that, like all generative AI content, platforms running this new model may produce inaccurate information or otherwise unintended results.

User feedback for new models like this one will help companies like Mistral AI improve future versions and models.

1. Perplexity Labs Playground

In Perplexity Labs, you can try Mixtral-8x7B along with Meta AI’s Llama 2, Mistral-7b, and Perplexity’s new online LLMs.

In this example, I ask about the model itself and notice that new instructions are added after the initial response to extend the generated content about my query.

mixtral-8x7b perplexity labs playgroundScreenshot from Perplexity, December 2023mixtral-8x7b perplexity labs playground

While the answer looks correct, it begins to repeat itself.

mixtral-8x7b errorsScreenshot from Perplexity Labs, December 2023mixtral-8x7b errors

The model did provide an over 600-word answer to the question, “What is SEO?”

Again, additional instructions appear as “headers” to seemingly ensure a comprehensive answer.

what is seo by mixtral-8x7bScreenshot from Perplexity Labs, December 2023what is seo by mixtral-8x7b

2. Poe

Poe hosts bots for popular LLMs, including OpenAI’s GPT-4 and DALL·E 3, Meta AI’s Llama 2 and Code Llama, Google’s PaLM 2, Anthropic’s Claude-instant and Claude 2, and StableDiffusionXL.

These bots cover a wide spectrum of capabilities, including text, image, and code generation.

The Mixtral-8x7B-Chat bot is operated by Fireworks AI.

poe bot for mixtral-8x7b firebaseScreenshot from Poe, December 2023poe bot for mixtral-8x7b firebase

It’s worth noting that the Fireworks page specifies it is an “unofficial implementation” that was fine-tuned for chat.

When asked what the best backlinks for SEO are, it provided a valid answer.

mixtral-8x7b poe best backlinks responseScreenshot from Poe, December 2023mixtral-8x7b poe best backlinks response

Compare this to the response offered by Google Bard.

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AIMixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AIScreenshot from Google Bard, December 2023Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

3. Vercel

Vercel offers a demo of Mixtral-8x7B that allows users to compare responses from popular Anthropic, Cohere, Meta AI, and OpenAI models.

vercel mixtral-8x7b demo compare gpt-4Screenshot from Vercel, December 2023vercel mixtral-8x7b demo compare gpt-4

It offers an interesting perspective on how each model interprets and responds to user questions.

mixtral-8x7b vs cohere on best resources for learning seoScreenshot from Vercel, December 2023mixtral-8x7b vs cohere on best resources for learning seo

Like many LLMs, it does occasionally hallucinate.

mixtral-8x7b hallucinationsScreenshot from Vercel, December 2023mixtral-8x7b hallucinations

4. Replicate

The mixtral-8x7b-32 demo on Replicate is based on this source code. It is also noted in the README that “Inference is quite inefficient.”

Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AIScreenshot from Replicate, December 2023Mixtral-8x7B: 4 Ways To Try The New Model From Mistral AI

In the example above, Mixtral-8x7B describes itself as a game.

Conclusion

Mistral AI’s latest release sets a new benchmark in the AI field, offering enhanced performance and versatility. But like many LLMs, it can provide inaccurate and unexpected answers.

As AI continues to evolve, models like the Mixtral-8x7B could become integral in shaping advanced AI tools for marketing and business.


Featured image: T. Schneider/Shutterstock



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OpenAI Investigates ‘Lazy’ GPT-4 Complaints On Google Reviews, X

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OpenAI Investigates 'Lazy' GPT-4 Complaints On Google Reviews, X

OpenAI, the company that launched ChatGPT a little over a year ago, has recently taken to social media to address concerns regarding the “lazy” performance of GPT-4 on social media and Google Reviews.

Screenshot from X, December 2023OpenAI Investigates ‘Lazy’ GPT-4 Complaints On Google Reviews, X

This move comes after growing user feedback online, which even includes a one-star review on the company’s Google Reviews.

OpenAI Gives Insight Into Training Chat Models, Performance Evaluations, And A/B Testing

OpenAI, through its @ChatGPTapp Twitter account, detailed the complexities involved in training chat models.

chatgpt openai a/b testingScreenshot from X, December 2023chatgpt openai a/b testing

The organization highlighted that the process is not a “clean industrial process” and that variations in training runs can lead to noticeable differences in the AI’s personality, creative style, and political bias.

Thorough AI model testing includes offline evaluation metrics and online A/B tests. The final decision to release a new model is based on a data-driven approach to improve the “real” user experience.

OpenAI’s Google Review Score Affected By GPT-4 Performance, Billing Issues

This explanation comes after weeks of user feedback about GPT-4 becoming worse on social media networks like X.

Complaints also appeared in OpenAI’s community forums.

openai community forums gpt-4 user feedbackScreenshot from OpenAI, December 2023openai community forums gpt-4 user feedback

The experience led one user to leave a one-star rating for OpenAI via Google Reviews. Other complaints regarded accounts, billing, and the artificial nature of AI.

openai google reviews star rating Screenshot from Google Reviews, December 2023openai google reviews star rating

A recent user on Product Hunt gave OpenAI a rating that also appears to be related to GPT-4 worsening.

openai reviewsScreenshot from Product Hunt, December 2023openai reviews

GPT-4 isn’t the only issue that local reviewers complain about. On Yelp, OpenAI has a one-star rating for ChatGPT 3.5 performance.

The complaint:

yelp openai chatgpt reviewScreenshot from Yelp, December 2023yelp openai chatgpt review

In related OpenAI news, the review with the most likes aligns with recent rumors about a volatile workplace, alleging that OpenAI is a “Cutthroat environment. Not friendly. Toxic workers.”

google review for openai toxic workersScreenshot from Google Reviews, December 2023google review for openai toxic workers

The reviews voted the most helpful on Glassdoor about OpenAI suggested that employee frustration and product development issues stem from the company’s shift in focus on profits.

openai employee review on glassdooropenai employee review on glassdoor

openai employee reviewsScreenshots from Glassdoor, December 2023openai employee reviews

This incident provides a unique outlook on how customer and employee experiences can impact any business through local reviews and business ratings platforms.

openai inc google business profile local serps google reviewsScreenshot from Google, December 2023openai inc google business profile local serps google reviews

Google SGE Highlights Positive Google Reviews

In addition to occasional complaints, Google reviewers acknowledged the revolutionary impact of OpenAI’s technology on various fields.

The most positive review mentions about the company appear in Google SGE (Search Generative Experience).

Google SGE response on OpenAIScreenshot from Google SGE, December 2023Google SGE response on OpenAI

Conclusion

OpenAI’s recent insights into training chat models and response to public feedback about GPT-4 performance illustrate AI technology’s dynamic and evolving nature and its impact on those who depend on the AI platform.

Especially the people who just received an invitation to join ChatGPT Plus after being waitlisted while OpenAI paused new subscriptions and upgrades. Or those developing GPTs for the upcoming GPT Store launch.

As AI advances, professionals in these fields must remain agile, informed, and responsive to technological developments and the public’s reception of these advancements.


Featured image: Tada Images/Shutterstock



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ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

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ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

ChatGPT Plus subscriptions and upgrades remain paused after a surge in demand for new features created outages.

Some users who signed up for the waitlist have received invites to join ChatGPT Plus.

Screenshot from Gmail, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

This has resulted in a few shares of the link that is accessible for everyone. For now.

RELATED: GPT Store Set To Launch In 2024 After ‘Unexpected’ Delays

In addition to the invites, signs that more people are getting access to GPTs include an introductory screen popping up on free ChatGPT accounts.

ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive InvitesScreenshot from ChatGPT, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

Unfortunately, they still aren’t accessible without a Plus subscription.

chatgpt plus subscriptions upgrades paused waitlistScreenshot from ChatGPT, December 2023chatgpt plus subscriptions upgrades paused waitlist

You can sign up for the waitlist by clicking on the option to upgrade in the left sidebar of ChatGPT on a desktop browser.

ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive InvitesScreenshot from ChatGPT, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

OpenAI also suggests ChatGPT Enterprise for those who need more capabilities, as outlined in the pricing plans below.

ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive InvitesScreenshot from OpenAI, December 2023ChatGPT Plus Upgrades Paused; Waitlisted Users Receive Invites

Why Are ChatGPT Plus Subscriptions Paused?

According to a post on X by OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman, the recent surge in usage following the DevDay developers conference has led to capacity challenges, resulting in the decision to pause ChatGPT Plus signups.

The decision to pause new ChatGPT signups follows a week where OpenAI services – including ChatGPT and the API – experienced a series of outages related to high-demand and DDoS attacks.

Demand for ChatGPT Plus resulted in eBay listings supposedly offering one or more months of the premium subscription.

When Will ChatGPT Plus Subscriptions Resume?

So far, we don’t have any official word on when ChatGPT Plus subscriptions will resume. We know the GPT Store is set to open early next year after recent boardroom drama led to “unexpected delays.”

Therefore, we hope that OpenAI will onboard waitlisted users in time to try out all of the GPTs created by OpenAI and community builders.

What Are GPTs?

GPTs allow users to create one or more personalized ChatGPT experiences based on a specific set of instructions, knowledge files, and actions.

Search marketers with ChatGPT Plus can try GPTs for helpful content assessment and learning SEO.

There are also GPTs for analyzing Google Search Console data.

And GPTs that will let you chat with analytics data from 20 platforms, including Google Ads, GA4, and Facebook.

Google search has indexed hundreds of public GPTs. According to an alleged list of GPT statistics in a GitHub repository, DALL-E, the top GPT from OpenAI, has received 5,620,981 visits since its launch last month. Included in the top 20 GPTs is Canva, with 291,349 views.

 

Weighing The Benefits Of The Pause

Ideally, this means that developers working on building GPTs and using the API should encounter fewer issues (like being unable to save GPT drafts).

But it could also mean a temporary decrease in new users of GPTs since they are only available to Plus subscribers – including the ones I tested for learning about ranking factors and gaining insights on E-E-A-T from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines.

custom gpts for seoScreenshot from ChatGPT, November 2023custom gpts for seo

Featured image: Robert Way/Shutterstock



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