Learning from the AdWords Auction Insights Report

Andrea Hamilton - December 18, 2014

The Google AdWords auction environment is extremely competitive and constantly changing for every business that chooses to compete for the coveted “click.” Knowing where you rank amongst your competition is important to anyone responsible for tracking the effectiveness of your ad spend within Google AdWords.  While some large companies choose to invest in competitive data tools, for many that’s simply not an option. If you are wondering how to strategically plan for and execute your paid search initiatives with an eye on the competition, this tool may be just what you are looking for.

While this is not a new tool, it is a free tool for AdWords account holders! The Google Auction Insight Report allows you to compare your keyword performance with other advertisers who are participating in the same auctions. You can see how often your ads outrank others in search results and how your share of total possible impressions compares. This information allows you to make strategic decisions about bids, budgets and keyword choices you are showing up for along with missed opportunities for improved performance.

The report provides five different statistics: impression share, average position, overlap rate, position above rate, and top of page rate. In addition, you can generate a report based on keywords, ad groups, and campaigns and segment by time and device.

Here’s a quick overview of what you will find in the Auction Insights Report:

  • Average position: this allows you to see how high your ads rank compared with other advertisers in the same auctions. This essentially determines the order of the ads on the search engine results page.
  • Impression share: the percentage of impressions you received compared to the total impressions that were available.
  • Overlap rate: this is how often another participant’s ad received an impression when your ad also received an impression.
  • Position above rate: this represents how often the other participant’s ad was shown in a higher position that yours when both your ads were shown at the same time.
  • Top of page rate: this tells you how often your ad was shown at the top of the page.


Keep in mind, if you have a new AdWords account, it’ll take a few weeks to collect enough data to generate this report. The information available in the Auction Insights Report will be helpful in identifying opportunities for growth and assist you in keeping an eye on your competition in the auction environment.

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