Recently, Google announced a new Adwords feature that provides better understanding into the Adwords auction process. The Auction Insights Tool allows advertisers to see who is competing with them at the keyword level. For now, you can only run this report at the keyword level and you can only run it for one keyword at a time. To run the report, check the keyword you want to analyze. Go to keyword details and scroll down to auction insights. The report is separated into the following columns:
Display URL domain: These are the advertisers that are competing with you for that specific keyword
Impression Share: this is the percentage of times your ad appeared. This can be described as the reach of that keyword.
Average Position: the average position of the ad for that particular advertiser
Overlap Rate: how often an advertiser received an impression at the same time you did
Position above Rate: how often a competing ad showed up in a higher position than you
Top of Page Rate: how often an ad appeared above the organic search results
The best use of this report is to know who your competitors are if you don’t have that information and to then figure out how they are doing compared to you. You can segment data by position above rate and see who is ranking higher than you.
If you are not a top competitor, you may want to look at advertisers ranking higher than you and figure out if their landing page is running better promotions or if they have more compelling ad copy. Remember, this report doesn’t take into consideration metrics like match type or quality score, but it is good to see who the big spenders in your vertical are if you are not one of them. Even though this report is only available at the keyword level, it is a major step from Google to shed some light into their auction system.