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How do keywords trigger ads?

How do keywords trigger ads?

How do keywords trigger ads?

GLOBAL DIGITAL TIMES | Keywords play a fundamental role in triggering ads within online advertising platforms like Microsoft Ads and Google Ads. When users perform a search query, the search engine evaluates the keywords in the search query and matches them with the keywords targeted by advertisers in their ad campaigns. The process of how keywords trigger ads can be broken down into several steps:

1. Keyword Selection by Advertisers:

Advertisers using online advertising platforms select specific keywords that they believe are relevant to their products, services, or target audience. These keywords are essential as they determine when and where their ads will be displayed.

2. User Search Query:

When a user performs a search on a search engine, such as Bing or Google, they enter a query consisting of one or more words or phrases. This search query contains the information the user is looking for.

3. Keyword Match Types:

Each keyword selected by advertisers can have a specific match type, which determines how closely the user's search query must match the keyword to trigger the ad. Common match types include:

  • a. Broad Match: The ad may be triggered by variations, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant phrases, even if they are not identical to the keyword.
  • b. Phrase Match: The ad may be triggered when the user's search query contains the keyword in the same order, with additional words before or after it.
  • c. Exact Match: The ad is triggered only when the user's search query exactly matches the keyword, without any additional words.

4. Ad Auction and Ad Rank:

When a user's search query matches the keywords targeted by multiple advertisers, an ad auction takes place. In the ad auction, the search engine determines which ads will be shown and in what order. Advertisers' bids, ad quality, and ad extensions all contribute to their ad rank, which is used to determine the ad's position on the search results page.

5. Displaying the Ad:

If an advertiser's ad is eligible and wins the ad auction, it is displayed on the search results page when a user performs a search that matches the targeted keyword and its match type. The ad appears alongside or above the organic search results, labeled as an advertisement.

6. User Interaction:

When users see the ad, they have the option to click on it if they find it relevant to their search query. Clicking on the ad takes users to the advertiser's landing page, where they can learn more about the product or service and potentially complete a desired action, such as making a purchase or filling out a form.


In summary, keywords trigger ads by being selected by advertisers and matched with the search queries performed by users. The ad auction process and ad rank determine which ads will be displayed and their position on the search results page. By strategically selecting relevant keywords and optimizing ad campaigns, advertisers can ensure their ads are triggered for relevant searches and reach their target audience effectively.