Google Ads

What the Heck is the Auction Insights Report in Google Ads? Tips Included

0 · by Dennis Moons · Updated on 17 April 2023

If you’d like to get in-depth information on your Google Ads campaign performance and see how it compares to the campaigns created by your competitors, you simply have to check out the auction insights tool by Google. 

It will arm you with all kinds of data, and once you start using it, you’ll be hooked forever!

This tool is a real game-changer when it comes to outperforming your competitors’ campaigns, so let’s define it, and cover how to access it, the easiest and best ways to use it, and finally, how to optimize your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns using auction insights. Ready to take a deep dive into the world of auction insights? 

Let’s begin.

Google Ads Auction Insights Report: What Is It?

Аuction insights is a reporting asset that helps you compare the performance of your Google Shopping Ads, Performance Max, and Google Search Ads campaigns with your competitors taking part in the same auctions as you. 

As you can see for yourself, it’s a pretty valuable tool that helps you determine how your ads perform and how often they appear in your selected locations. 

How Do Auction Insights Work? 

Google Ads auction insights report works differently for search, shopping, and performance max campaigns. Let’s see how it works for each of them.

Insight auction report for Google Search Ads campaigns 

There are six statistics that the auction insight report provides for Google Search Ads campaigns: 

  • Outranking share 
  • Impression share 
  • Overlap rate 
  • Position above rate
  • Top of page rate 
  • Absolute top of page rate 

Using auction insights, you can get data reports for the keywords you’re using in your ads, ad campaigns, or ad groups, and get classified data segment results. These reports can help you evaluate how all of your keywords perform in specific timeframes and compare and contrast the results from different periods. 

Google auction insights for Google Shopping campaigns 

There are three statistics provided by the auction insights tool for Google Shopping campaigns: 

  • Overlap rate
  • Impression share
  • Outranking share 

Right now, you can get data on Google Shopping ad campaigns or groups from 2014 up until today, which can be quite useful if you want to compare ad campaigns and keyword trends from different years. 

Just like the report for Google Ads campaign, you can get an auction insight report on shopping campaigns only if they meet the minimum requirement for engagement. 

Google auction insights for Performance Max 

Auction insight data for Performance Max campaigns has been available from late 2021 until today. In this report, you’ll get insights for your campaigns and your account, separated into two different categories: 

  • Search ads
  • Shopping ads

Are Auction Insights Useful for PPC Campaigns? 

Auction insights is certainly one of the most valuable tools you can use to improve your PPC campaigns. 

After all, we’re talking about a tool specifically designed to help merchants get extensive information on how their products are performing.

Auction insights provides various statistics on essential metrics for Google Ads campaigns that you can later assess, evaluate, and modify to improve your advertising strategies. 

By getting in-depth information on your campaigns and how they perform compared to your competitors’ campaigns, you’ll always be one step ahead of your biggest competitors. 

For example, you can find your competitors’ bidding on identical keywords that helped you rank and compare your ranking statistics. Analyzing these types of statistics will help you recreate an improved bidding plan of action. 

You can also identify the device types where specific keywords are more successful than others and modify your target audience that’s using these devices. 

Finally, auction insights helps you evaluate how each keyword is performing, which helps you improve your keyword statistics on unique metrics related to keyword assessment, such as CPA and Quality Score. 

How to Access Auction Insights in Google Ads

Now that we covered the basics of auction insights, let’s see how you can access auction insights in your Google Ads account from scratch. 

Step-by-step guide on how to access auction insights 

Open your Google Ads account and click on one of these options, depending on what type of data you need to get from your auction insights report: 

  • Ad groups 
  • Campaigns 
  • Keywords 

Once you click on one of the three options, you can choose a unique keyword, ad group, or campaign. Keep in mind that you can only choose keywords from one page per report. If you’d like to get a report for all keywords, select “All”. 

Then, click Auction insights, and you’ll be redirected to the report. 

If you’ve selected various campaigns from Shopping, Search, and Performance Max, you must choose “Shopping campaigns” or “Search campaigns”, both of which are available on the menu. The data on Performance Max is segmented either by “Shopping” or “Search” categories. 

What are the metrics in auction insights? 

As we mentioned before, there are various metrics in auction insights and each of them provides different data. Let’s learn more about them. 

Impression share 

Impression share directly shows the number of impressions a merchant receives divided by an approximate amount they were allowed to get. Merchants’ eligibility is evaluated through quality scores, approval status, and advertisement settings.

Additionally, this metric shows the impression shares that other competitors have in the same auctions both merchants are allowed to show. 

Overlap rate

Overlap rate is a metric that shows how many times your competitor’s advertisement got impressions in the same auction where your advertisements also got an impression. 

Let’s say your competitor has 70% under the metric “Overlap rate.” That tells us that seven out of ten times your advertisement appeared somewhere, another person’s advertisement also showed. 

Outranking share

This metric helps merchants find out how many times their advertisement ranked on a higher level than their competitor’s and whether their ad showed up when a competitor’s ad did not. 

If you notice in the data report that there are, for example, 30% under “Outranking share,” that tells you that your advertisement was more successful than your competitor’s ad since it showed up for three out of 10 different impressions. 

Position above rate 

This metric is available only for search campaigns, and it shows how many times a competitor’s advertisement showed up in comparison to another merchant and whether both advertisements popped up simultaneously. 

Top of page rate 

Top of page rate is another metric that’s only available for search campaigns. It tells merchants how many times their ad or their competitor’s ad popped up at the top of the page in search results, even above the organic search results. 

Absolute top of page rate 

The last metric is also only available for search campaigns. As the name suggests, it shows how many times an advertisement was at the absolute top of the page in search results, above the organic results. 

What’s the Best Way to Use Auction Insights to Your Advantage? 

Using auction insights regularly can help you improve your Google Ads campaigns, and it’s extremely useful when it comes to identifying market opportunities. With the data it provides, you’ll be able to determine the most critical aspects of your ad campaigns you need to focus on to improve their performance and outrank your competitors. On top of it all, It will also help you find out which keywords can help you increase your profit and vice versa. 

Using auction insights helps you stay ahead of your competitors since it provides specific data metrics about the performance of their advertisements compared to yours. You will always be one step ahead of them with the valuable insight and data on their performance that the auction insights report provides. 

How to Optimize Your PPC Campaigns With Auction Insights

As we already said, auction insights is a valuable tool that can help you optimize your PPC campaigns. Let’s see how you can do that. 

Use the auction insight tool to search for one keyword 

A common mistake that Google Ads beginners make is using auction insights to check out the performance metrics of a significant number of keywords. If you do this, you’ll probably get misleading data since the reports are entirely based on statistical impressions. To learn how keywords perform, use auction insight for one keyword or just a couple of your most used keywords.

Find out who are your biggest competitors 

Auction insight can help you discover your biggest competitors. By analyzing the metrics “Overlap Rate” and “Position Above Rate,” you’ll get in-depth answers about your biggest competitors and learn whether you need to tweak your ads to outperform theirs. If they’re already performing better, you might not need to make any changes. 

Compare and contrast how one keyword performs at various timeframes 

By comparing how one or more popular keywords perform in different time intervals, you’ll be able to troubleshoot cost-per-action if necessary. You’ll discover if there are sudden ups or downs in the CPA with specific keywords by using auction insights to discover their performance in different timeframes. 

Is Using Auction Insights Worth a Shot? 

The short answer is pretty simple — yes, it’s definitely worth it! Regularly checking how your ads are performing with the help of the auction insights report is essential for any merchant using Google Ads, so there’s really nothing to lose (but a lot to gain) if you start using this tool.

By showing you real-life data about how your ads and your competitors’ ads are performing, this tool can help you improve your marketing strategy, leading to your business flourishing and your profit expanding. 

Also, by analyzing the results from the auction insights report, you’ll always be ahead of the game and keep track of the aspects you need to tweak and improve. So, stop second-guessing yourself and start using this amazing tool!
If you’re a total Google Ads rookie who’s looking for more helpful information about the platform, you can start your journey by reading our articles on Google Ads campaigns or Google Ads for eCommerce.

Dennis Moons

Dennis Moons is the founder and lead instructor at Store Growers.

He's a Google Ads expert with over 12 years of experience in running Google Ads campaigns.

During this time he has managed more than $5 million in ad spend and worked with clients ranging from small businesses to global brands. His goal is to provide advice that allows you to compete effectively in Google Ads.

Follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn.


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