As an addition to last year’s Auction Insights Report update, Google AdWords now gives search engine marketers the ability to run reports on multiple keywords instead of just a single keyword. If you are unfamiliar with the Auction Insights Report, this report allows advertisers to compare their performance against the performance of other auction participants. You can find the Auction Insights Report within the “Details” button from the campaign, ad group, or keyword tabs. Using this report can provide strategic insights into how your ads and keywords are performing in comparison to other participants, and provide various competitive auction data and statistics.

The Auction Insights Report provides competitive auction data and statistics on:

•    Groups of Keywords
•    Individual or Multiple Ad Groups
•    Individual or Multiple Campaigns

Depicted below is the Auction Insights Report before the recent update and also after the update. From the “Details” dropdown menu, advertisers can now choose to run a report on “Selected” Keywords or on “All” Keywords. This feature also applies to Campaigns and Ad groups, depending on how granular you want to be.

Auction Insight Pre Update
Auction Insight Post Update


The Auction Insights Report provides valuable statistics on impression share, average position, overlap rate, position above rate, and top of page rate:

•    Impression Share: The impression share is the number of impressions received, divided by the number of impressions that you were eligible to receive. The Auction Insights Report will show you the impression share of other auction participants as a proportion of the auctions in which you competed alongside them in.

•    Average Position: The average position statistic tells you how your ads are being ranked in comparison to other participants’ ads that are competing in the same auction. An advertiser may leverage this statistic by seeing where they rank in comparison to the other participants and identifying ways in which they can either maintain or improve their average position.

•    Overlap Rate: Overlap rate is how often a participant’s ad showed or received an impression at the same time that your ad was receiving an impression. For instance, if you have an overlap rate of 70%, then 7 out of every 10 times that your ad showed, a competitor’s ad also showed. This feature can be helpful for knowing which ads are your highest competing ads. One way an advertiser may choose to leverage this data is identifying which ads have the highest overlap rates and writing more tailored, specific, or unique ads to set them apart from their competition.

•    Position Above Rate: Position above rate is how often a participant’s ad appeared above yours when both of your ads showed at the same time. For instance, if another advertiser within the Auction Insights Report is showing a 20% position above rate, then this means that their ad is showing in a position above yours 20 out of every 100 times that your ad showed at the same time.

•    Top of Page Rate: The top of page rate tells you how often your ad, or another auction participant’s ad, was shown at the top of the page above the unpaid, organic search results.

Auction Insight Statistics

So how can an advertiser leverage the data and statistics presented in the Auction Insights Report? There are countless ways an advertiser may choose to do this. The data can help advertisers make strategic decisions regarding bids, budgets, or keyword choices by providing an overview of where you may be succeeding and where you may be missing out on opportunities.

Several ways advertisers can use the data from the Auction Insights Report are:

1)    One great thing about this reporting feature is that it shows you other auction participants within the “Display url domain” column. Therefore, advertisers can also use this report to identify any other potential competitors that they were unaware of, thus potentially providing them with greater insights into other keywords to bid on.

2)    If you run auction insights reports on a consistent basis, you may be able to learn certain thing about your competition. You can see if competitor position remains constant from month to month, or if it’s improving. If a competitor’s position happens to be improving from month to month, it may be a good idea to look into their ads to see what may be working for them and possibly using similar ad formats.

3)    Advertisers can identify the potential traction of certain keywords. By running a report on a keywords or groups of keywords, advertisers can identify the competition for those keywords. If there is a great deal of competition for those keywords, you may want to consider adjusting bid prices accordingly.

The various ways that advertisers can choose to leverage this data, listed above, are simply suggestions. Depending on your needs, you may choose to leverage the data differently than other advertisers.

Although the auction insights report is a great feature that provides a helpful overview on the auction market and the advertising playing field, there are a few things advertisers should note:

•    While this report may provide information on other advertisers or competitors who participated in the same auctions as you, it does not necessarily indicate that the other participants have the same keywords, match types, or settings that you have.
•    The report will not display the other auction participants’ keywords, quality scores, or other settings.
•    You must have a minimum threshold of activity in order to run the auction insights report.

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