Google Auction Insights

May 23, 2012

Google logoGoogle announced yesterday an exciting update to keyword level data. Called auction insights, high volume keywords will now (or in the near future as it rolls out) show data similar to ChannelAdvisor’s competition watch, including who else is showing for that keyword, impression share, top of page % and “above competitors” % numbers.

Here at ChannelAdvisor, we’re excited about this report, but urge our customers to use caution and logic, not emotion, when making decisions based on the metrics you see. For years we’ve used our own competition watch to see where we have opportunities for greater visibility on critical keywords. We’ve also used keyword monitor to monitor affiliate activity and review competitor ads on keywords.

Where we think the Auction Insights report gets tricky is in providing visibility and therefore attention on the “% higher than” and “% top position” numbers. The innocent side to it is this, you know that searching on your own keywords is bad, but you can’t help it. So at the advice of Google, you use the AdPreview tool. But you still toss and turn at night wondering “why does my average position say 1.7 and yet I NEVER see my own ad in the top spots.” Well, now you’ll be able to see that you’re only in top position 70% of the time and rest easy with the understanding that 30% of queries are in lower positions. However, you’re a feisty competitive bunch, ecommerce retailers. So, you know that in the back of your mind you’re saying this “Wait, I’m in top spots 70% of the time. Website “X” is there 83%. That’s not OK. I must, no I WILL end up there 84% of the time.” Insert here a ridiculous bidding war and lower ROI all around.

So, should you check out this report? Absolutely. But, before you change bids, even if it’s top sales driving keyword, remember, ROI is king. You’re way too smart to be tricked into paying more just to be on top. With tools like ChannelAdvisor bid rules you can let our software manage a ROI goal for you. Remember, you want to sell more not spend more!

Blog post by Jackie Jenkins, Global Manager, Search Services