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Anna Lewis

Google Reveal Auction Insights in AdWords

24th May 2012 Paid Search, Google AdWords 2 minutes to read


If you’ve ever wondered who you’re bidding against in AdWords and how your ads are performing comparatively, you may be in luck. Google are now offering an insight into the auction process at keyword-level, enabling advertisers to see how their campaigns are weighing up.

The new data includes average positions, impression share and top of page percentage as explained by Google in their recent announcement. Unfortunately it doesn’t extend to more sensitive data, such as quality score or bids; however, this may be asking slightly too much.

Below you can see how this data is shown within AdWords, I’ve highlighted the pieces of data that are useful to know in this example:

We can see that our impression share is very high, who we overlap most with and who is at the top most often.

So how will this help advertisers?

I asked members of the Koozai team what they thought about the latest update and here’s what Dean had to say:

“If this information is accurate, I believe it could help both marketers and clients adjust their campaigns for the better in order to gain a significant advantage over specific competition. The Overlap rate and Position above rate are particularly useful in identifying which competitor you may be losing out to for a given keyword.”

For agencies, this may also prove to be useful when encouraging clients to increase bids or budgets to optimise AdWords performance. With the evidence of existing account data along with competitor information, it should become much easier to see where a little extra effort may have the biggest impact.

Of course, on the flipside, if you are already appearing at the top with monotonous regularity, your competitors will be able to see what it is that they’re up against. All of this creates extra competition and could have a knock-on effect – particularly if they decide to up their bids or work on improving quality score as a matter of urgency.

Whilst having a window into the world of AdWords auctions is a long-overdue blessing, cynics may be inclined to believe that it is just another way of encouraging advertisers to spend more. After all, if you know you have a good quality score but find that you’re always playing second fiddle to another company, there’s a good chance that spending a little more on clicks could make all the difference. Whilst added conversions will potentially provide a strong ROI, Google will still be benefitting most.

How do I find the competitors data in AdWords?

You can access this new data through the “Keyword details” section and selecting “Auction Insights”. It is available to all AdWords advertisers to use right now, so why not take a look and let us know what you think?

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Anna Lewis
About the author

Anna Lewis

Anna is unbelievably attuned to anything analytical and can fill you in on all the latest news, tips and advice to get ahead in this evolving market.

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