Superbrand Google has made two changes to its AdWords Quality Score and Ad Rank systems programs that will affect the way ads are placed on its search results page.

All ads that go through Google have their own quality score, which is calculated through a complex formula based on a number of factors – the most important being how many times the ad gets clicked (the higher the quality score, the better the chance that the ad will appear near to the top of the Google search results page).

Traditionally it meant that ads that had been clicked more times would appear closer to the top of the page, even though they were more likely to be clicked simply because of that position.

But Google now measures the click-through rate of an ad while taking account of its position at the time it was clicked, which should increase overall quality scores.

The second change affects the way ads are shown in the yellow region above search results. In the past, if the ad with the highest ad rank did not have a high enough quality score, then no ad would appear above the search results.

The company changed the settings so that if an ad in position one does not have a high enough quality score but the ad in position two does, it is possible for ad number two to jump over ad number one and appear above the search results, meaning that more ads will appear on top of Google’s search results.

Google’s third quarter results showed that profits had risen 25 percent from the same time last year – not bad considering the world is widely regarded as being in an economic downturn.