Glossary: Line of Sight

Glossary: Line of Sight


Line of Sight is a phrase you’ll often hear us talking about at Intentional.

The origin of the phrase came from communicating how best to align advertising with the inner workings of the Adwords Search algorithm. Here Google is trying to align the interests of three parties:

  • 1. The Searcher. If Searchers get quality results, they’ll keep using the system
  • 2. The Advertiser. If Advertisers get quality traffic, they’ll keep using the system
  • 3. Google. The more happy Advertisers and Searchers, the greater Google’s revenue

In order to keep these three parties happy, the foundations of the Adwords algorithm is based on relevance: More relevant advertisers are rewarded (charged less, hence get more traffic for the same keywords), whilst bad actors are penalised (the opposite – they are charged more for the same keywords, and eventually priced out of the system).


Relevance & Quality Score

Relevance in Search is broken down to 4 major factors:

  • 1. The Search Query the user typed in to Google
  • 2. The Keyword the advertiser is buying
  • 3. The Ad the advertiser is showing
  • 4. The Landing Page the searcher is taken to

The greater the alignment between these 4 factors, the higher the relevance (also known as, Quality Score per Keyword), the lower the cost per click for Advertisers.

We call this alignment, Line of Sight.


Not just for Search

In 2018, however, Line of Sight isn’t just reserved for Search Ads. Line of Sight is just as relevant for the Ad Creative served to a Facebook or YouTube audience being targeted. And in a similar way, the higher the relevance, the lower the cost for Advertisers.

Lower click costs becomes a virtuous upward spiral for Advertisers focussed on relevance – which is why we place an enormous emphasis on all advertising having a clear Line of Sight.

Ultimately having a clear Line of Sight is about achieving the ultimate purpose of Advertising:

To show the right message to the right person at the right time so they can take the right action

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