Woo-hoo! I guess Google must have felt sorry for us after the ad rotation palaver, and decided we needed a bit if cheering up! How about a tool that gives us more insight into the actual ad auction and what our competitors are up to? Brilliant! There’s loads of cool things we want to know!
Sorry, but before you start thinking of competitor’s CPCs and Quality Scores, maybe keep that excitement bottled for the moment. Auction insights should be available to all advertisers at some point this week, but it may be a while before it becomes an invaluable part of your competitor analysis.
what does it do?
Google AdWords Auctions Insights lets users run a report (only for individual keywords at the moment) and view half a dozen metrics against other advertisers. These include impression share, verge position, overlap rate, position above rate and top of page percentage.
the biggest drawback
From my understanding it only shows whose ads are appearing at the same time as yours, not if that advertiser is actually bidding on the same keyword – they might have a similar term on broad match while you’re bidding on exact march, so the data becomes very muddled here.
do we need this competitor data?
Although you should be competitive in nearly all aspects of your business, bidding and ad exposure isn’t really one of them. In truth we all pay the same price – for each impression that is. If your ad gets clicked a lot it’ll seem like you’re paying less on a CPC basis, but as CTR is one of the defining influences on Quality Score, then per impression you’ll probably be paying pretty much the same – remember there isn’t a sales rep at Google taking free lunches off your competitor to give them a lower rate.
On top of that everyone has different margins, and it’s more important to focus on what you need to achieve to be profitable, rather than what your competitors are doing with their different setup.
These insights are interesting but there’s nothing we’re not already seeing in the standard search results, the information is just easier to understand.