Google’s new Adwords Keyword Auction Insights for Competitor Analysis

Lorna Gill Posted by Lorna Gill

Google Adwords recently released a new reporting feature ‘Auction Insights’ which give advertisers a sneak preview on who are their competitors and how is one particular keyword doing against them. Auction Insights reports on the performance of a particular keyword across your competitors with a few very simple metrics.

As of right now, you can only run this report on a single keyword. To do so you’ll have to  choose a keyword that you want to analyse (I find that looking at your keyword that drives the most clicks or impressions works well) and tick off the checkbox next to it. Then, click on the “Keyword Details” drop-down and select the “Auction Insights” option:

This report will give you the domain URLs of the advertisers that are competing with you on that specific keyword, along with a few other helpful metrics:


● Average position – Average Ad rank compared to other domains / competitors.

● Impression share – % share of impressions the Ads will get as a proportion of the auction in which your ads were also competing.

● Position above rate – % share of how often you’re above your competitor Ads.

● Top of page percent – % share of time your Ad shows in the top block of SERP.

● Overlap rate – % share of how often your Ads overlap with competitor Ads?

Though this tool does give a basic insight into what your competitors are doing but one could already dig all this by performing simple searches on Google and thus lacks anything that would substantially add more to what is not already available to the advertiser.

What AdWords Auction Insight does not tell?

  1. It is only available for high traffic keywords while the data available in it is generated with the lapse of 24 hours.
  2. Adwords Insight does not tell if your competitors are actively bidding on the given keyword, it only shows you metrics for who exactly entered into that auction, meaning it only shows the competitors who’s ads are appearing at the same time as yours.
  3. Google also does not tell what the total impression volume is for a given query; it only shows you information for a particular keyword provided all the campaign options (get-targeting, day parting etc.) are enabled for that keyword.
  4. It will only give you the % of impression share when that keyword was showing actively. If your day parting is between 8:00pm at night till 8:00am in the morning, it will not show the lost impression share.
  5. AdWords Auction Insight does not show what match type triggered a particular impression.  If the answer is more than one, advertisers may be concerned about how impressions share is calculated.
  6. Auction Insight does not provide any information on competitors CPC, Quality Score, Total Share Of Voice or clicks on each keywords for each advertiser.

These insights are interesting and a great start to more transparent keyword bidding but there’s nothing we’re not already seeing in the standard search results, the information is just easier to understand. Adwords Auction Insights are interesting if you are a novice & It while take a while before Adwords Auction becomes an invaluable part of your competitor analysis reports.

About the author

Lorna Gill
Lorna Gill
Lorna is responsible for acquisition marketing at Adthena, communicating their award-winning product and generating demand. She has developed her career in fast-paced, start-up environments, including two tech track 100 companies and is passionate about translating technical information into stories that excite and delight.