Fush And Clicks

A Blog On All Things Digital (And Not).

Google AdWords Auction Insights Reveals Competition

on May 23, 2012

Google have just announced on their blog a new report designed to “empower advertisers to make better informed optimisation decisions” by revealing who competes in the same auctions and comparing their performance. This report shows often the ads rank higher than that of advertisers as well as comparing the level of impressions they receive. This information would be crucial in making decisions about bidding, budgets and keyword choices. For example, we may want to avoid using heavily competitive terms or the data could perhaps be used to illustrate if additional budget would be valuable.

The AdWords ad auction has long been lacking transparency but these new metrics will allow us to develop some understanding of how the process works and provide a basis of making changes for better performance. It doesn’t reveal everything with statistics like geo-targeting, match type, CPC bidding or quality score still hidden. It only knows that an ad has been triggered by a given search term, to the same effect that a user could see when performing a search themselves. It aggregates the data of all auctions over the time period selected.

The Auction Insights report provides data at the keyword-level, and provides five different statistics: impression share, average position, overlap rate, position above rate, and top of page percent as below. It shows the display URL domain of the advertisers that have competed in the same auction. The five statistics explained below:

  • Impression share: percentage of time an ad appearing for the given keyword query
  • Average position: average ad rank on the search engine results page for a given keyword query
  • Overlap: percentage of time that the competing advertiser appears in the same auction
  • Position above range: percentage of time the other advertiser ranked higher in the search results
  • Top of page percent: percentage of time the advertiser appeared at the top of the page

Reports can be generated for one keyword at a time, and data is only available for keywords that meet a minimum threshold of activity for the time period specified. If you see this icon () to the left of a keyword in your statistics table on the Keyword tab, you’ll know that the Auction insights report is available for that keyword.


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