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What Are Auction Insights In Google Ads?

November 1, 2022
8 min read

Auction insights in Google Ads are a set of performance indicators that can help you understand how your ad is performing in the auction. These metrics include Impressions, Clicks, Spending, Average CPC, and Conversion Rate. Understanding these key performance indicators allows you to adjust your campaign accordingly to improve your results. 

If you notice that your conversion rate is low but impressions are strong, it may be due to competition for those impressions. You could raise your max CPC bid or decrease the number of keywords targeted to increase visibility. On the other hand, if clicks are high but conversion rates are low, it may be because people aren’t clicking on ads as often anymore or there isn’t enough interest in what you offer. 

In this case, decreasing bids and targeting more specific keywords would be helpful. In conclusion, auction insights provide essential information about how your Google Search campaign performs, so take a look at them regularly!

What KPIs Does A Marketer Need To Track For Auction Insights?

Every marketer needs to track a few key performance indicators (KPIs) when it comes to auction insights in Google Ads. These include

  • Impression share: 

Impression share is the percentage of impressions your ad receives compared to the total number of available impressions. If you have a high impression share, your ad is shown more often than other ads. In this case, even if you're paying less per click because your ads are being shown more often and generating clicks at a higher rate, you may see better results from an auction perspective.

It's essential to keep in mind that while impression share will give you an idea of how many times your ad has been shown versus all the times that it could have been shown during the same period, this data doesn't tell you how many times users clicked on your ad as opposed to another one.

  • Average position: 

Generally, you want your average position to be as high as possible. A higher average position means your ad is being shown more often, leading to more clicks and conversions. That being said, there is no such thing as being too high in the auction insights, which can lead to your ad being less effective. For example, if you are consistently at the top of all ads on the page, people may feel like they've seen your ad before. If this happens for an extended period, it could cause your conversions to decrease.

  • Overlap rate: 

If you're looking at your Auction Insights and see a high overlap rate, it might be time to reconsider your keyword strategy. A high overlap rate means that your ad appears alongside many other ads for the same keyword, resulting in lower click-through rates and higher costs per click. Many factors could lead to an increased overlap rate, but one of the most common causes is running too many variants of your Ads with similar keywords. Instead, take some time to think about how to diversify your keyword list by including more distinct and related keywords so that each ad has less competition.

  • Outranking share: 

If you're looking to improve your performance in Google Ads, one area you can focus on is your outranking share. Outranking share is the percentage of auctions where your ad is shown in a higher position than a competitor's ad. It's important to note that even if you have an outranking share of 100%, this doesn't mean that you always appear first for every search term (although it does happen).

An important consideration for this metric is which keywords generate traffic for your business. For example, if your ads generate the most traffic from keywords with high competition scores, your chances of ranking above competitors will be lower and vice versa.

  • Conversion rates: 

One of the best things about Auction Insights is that it gives you data on your conversion rates. This data is critical for understanding your ads' performance and where you can improve. The higher your conversion rate, the more likely you'll pay less per click because fewer people will click on your ad. On the other hand, if your conversion rate is low, you will have a lot of competition because many advertisers are bidding on keywords similar to yours. In this case, you might pay a high amount per click but get lots of traffic that convert into leads or sales.

  • Position above rate (Search campaigns only)

The position above rate is the percentage of your ad impressions that are shown in a higher position than your average ad position. A higher position means that your ad is more likely to be seen and clicked on by users. Auction insights can help you understand how you're performing about other advertisers in the same auction. You can compare your performance across different campaigns, devices, individual keywords, or ad groups. If you see an advertiser with a high cost per conversion but a low position above rate, it might mean they're bidding aggressively for top spots and have lower relevance scores. The data from Auction Insights will let you make better decisions about where to focus your optimization efforts or what type of bid strategy might work best for your business.

  • Top of page rate (Search campaigns only)

The top-of-page rate is the percentage of time your ad appears at the top of the page, above all other ads. This metric is only available for search campaigns.

A top-of-page rate above average could indicate that your ad may be eligible to serve at a higher position. If your ad has a low top-of-page rate, it might not be getting enough visibility or clicks at a high position. Try increasing your bids and targeting new keywords with specific bid adjustments to improve this. You can also increase the budget allocated to these keywords.

  • Absolute top-of-the-page rate (Search campaigns only)

In any given auction, your ad competes with other ads for a spot on the page. It tells you how often your ad (or another advertiser's ad, depending on which row you're viewing) was shown at the very top of the page with a commanding view. One hundred percent means that it's always in the top position. 0% means it never reached the top of the page. If you're getting tons of impressions but no clicks. In that case, this could indicate that people are distracted by something else before they get to your ad. 

  • Frequency (Search campaigns only) in Auction Insights: 

How often does this advertisement show up? 100% means it shows up every time someone searches for the keyword or phrase. 0% means not at all. The higher this number goes, the more likely people are to click on it because they know what they'll find when they do so! However, don't be alarmed if your rate is low--it could just mean you need to refresh your keywords and phrases and make sure you're using terms people will use when searching for something.

How Can I Improve My Google Ad Performance Using Auction Insight KPIs?

To improve your Google Ads performance, you should pay attention to three key auction insights metrics: 

  1. Quality Score

One of the essential factors in your Google Ads success is Quality Score. It measures how relevant and useful your ad, keyword, and landing page are to a user. A high-Quality Score means your ad is more likely to be shown, and you'll pay less per click. A quality score is a number between 1-10 that reflects the relevance and usefulness of your ads, keywords, and landing pages to users. 

Advertisers with higher quality scores will get more exposure on Google Search results pages.  With each auction, we use two different quality scores: auction-time quality score (q), which applies at the time of bidding for clicks, and account-level quality score (aQ), which takes into account bidding history from all active campaigns. Your account level q will be an average of individual campaign q’s weighted by spend or budget share within that campaign.

  1. Ad Rank

is one of the most critical factors in determining your position and CPC in the Google Ads auction. Ad Rank is based on your max CPC bid and your ad and landing page quality. The higher your Ad Rank, the more likely you are to appear in a higher position on the search engine results page (SERP). In addition, since the higher your Ad Rank, the lower your CPC will be; this means that if you have an Ad Rank that is high enough for a given keyword or phrase, then bidding on it will be less expensive than other keywords or phrases with lower bids.

  1. Impressions Share. 

If you're unfamiliar with impression share, it's a metric that tells you the percentage of times customers saw your ad compared to the total number of times ads were eligible to be shown. In other words, it shows you how often your ad is displayed relative to other ads in the same auction. The higher the impression share, the more often your ad will show on mobile devices. 

The lower it is, the less often your ad appears on mobile devices. When someone clicks on one of your keywords and sees an AdWords search result page, for example, or when they click on an advert for one of your products or services (such as one displayed on a partner site), this does not count as an impression from AdWords point-of-view.

Thus, By improving your quality score, you can increase ad rank and improve your chances of appearing in the top positions on the SERP. Additionally, by increasing your ad rank, you can enhance your impressions share (the percentage of times your ad is shown on the SERP), which will result in more clicks and conversions. 

The best way to do this is by adding negative keywords to your campaign’s ad group or keyword-level campaigns. For example, if you are running a campaign for shoes but don’t want to show up for searches related to running shoes, then add running as a negative keyword at the appropriate level of your campaign structure. 


If you see that there are still too many other words that cause your ads to show up less often than desired, then use broader-level negative keywords such as -men's shoes or -women's shoes. You can also create new broad match campaign settings and create new ad groups with negative keywords. 

You should aim to have at least 1% impression share per search term and 0% for any search terms where you have added a negative keyword. However, ensure not to add too many negatives so as not to restrict your reach overly.