New Google AdWords Feature: Auction Insights

By Chad Rhodes | May 29, 2012
More Articles by Chad

Google AdWords released a new reporting feature earlier this week called Auction Insights. This new tool gives advertisers a peek inside the keyword auction so they can see how their performance on specific keywords stacks up against the competition across a few simple metrics. This post will help walk you through the basics of Auction Insights so you can start making the most of this new feature.

To find this report, simply go to the Keywords tab and check the box next to a keyword that has three grey bar symbol next to it. The symbol, seen below, just means there is enough data to provide an Auction Insights report for that word. Next, click the keyword details drop down menu, and select Auction Insights. You may need to expand your date range in order to have enough data, depending on how many impressions and clicks your words receive.

The performance metrics available in this new report include average position, impression share, overlap rate, position above rate, and top of page rate. Here is a brief overview of the metrics available through Auction Insights.

Average Position

This is the same old average position statistic you are used to seeing for your own campaigns in the normal AdWords interface. However, it is very interesting to see which domains you are consistently ranking above or below.

Impression Share

Impression share statistics for Auction Insights let you see how often your ad appears for a particular keyword. The competitor data is based on how often a competing domain’s ads appeared in those same auctions along with your own ads.

Overlap Rate

How often your ad and those of another advertiser show up for the same search query is represented by Overlap Rate in the Auction Insights report.


Position Above Rate

The position above rate statistic shows you what percentage of the time another advertiser’s ad ranked in a higher position than yours for auctions where both ads received impressions.

Top of Page Rate

Finally, the top of page rate column represents the percentage of time that your ad, or a competitor’s ad, appeared above natural search results at the top of the page.

With some advertisers already worrying about their competitors seeing data about their ad performance, Google was quick to note that all of this information could be gathered simply by performing searches on Google.

It is important to note that all of the data from other advertisers within the new Auction Insights report is only based on auctions where your ad was also eligible to appear. So in other words, if your campaigns are schedule to run only from 8am to 8pm, that is the only timeframe that statistics for other advertisers will be available.

The Auction Insights report is also limited to showing data for one keyword at a time. In addition to that, a minimum amount of data that must be available for each keyword in order for them to be eligible to show statistics in the report.

Like Google said, you probably could collect all of this data on your own, but who has time for that? I have to admit it is nice to see all of these statistics laid out in a simple, easy to understand format. While all of this information is interesting to look at, I don’t really see this data being taken into account during day-to-day optimization of accounts at this point.

Check out your own statistics and see what you find. Who knows, you might be surprised who else is bidding on your keywords. You can also read more about this new release on the Google AdWords Help Page.

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