I know today’s byte is pretty specific to anyone who is interested in Google ads. For others my tip of the day is to sing up for local Groupon http://www.groupon.com/ when planning your vacation – it can help you save bucks while you have great time.
Recently I had someone ask about how to buy Google ads for placement above the search results, rather than the ad sidebar on the right. Over the years they’ve actually changed this process. It used to be that you paid the very big bucks to get placed in the prime above the search results. Now you still pay the pretty big bucks (depending on the keyword phrase) but your ad must also merit top ranking. They use an algorithm based on bid per click and quality of ad to determine which ads go to the top places. Here’s the explanation from the Google Adwords (aka Pay per Click ads) help section…
Google believes strongly in providing high-quality and relevant advertising to our users. On Google search result pages, only the highest ranking AdWords ads are eligible to appear in the top positions above the search results.
Our system does not rank ads solely on cost, so there is no way to guarantee top placement on a search result page. However, by adjusting your keywords’ Quality Scores and CPC bids, you can better control the position of your ad and help improve your ad’s chance to appear higher within search results. Remember: The higher the quality, the lower the CPC, and vice versa.
The above is quoted from http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=6546