Competitive Data Now Available in Performance Max Auction Insights

It’s not a game-changer, but it’s a step in the right direction for the black box that is Google’s Performance Max campaigns: there’s more competitor data available in Auction Insights.

What are the updates, why do they matter, and what do we REALLY want to see for Performance Max updates? Let’s take a look.

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The competitive info and how to use it

Essentially, you can now see how much impression share your competitors are getting (in comparison to what you’re getting), which was previously only available in search campaigns. We can also now see something entirely new to Google’s advertising UI: data for ‘competitors entering and exiting’ the auction. Visibility into this data will allow advertisers to keep tabs on competitors and how they’re spending money, as well as better understand how changes in the auction impacts performance.

You can also use the data as a starting point for competitor research. If a certain competitor is dominating the space or beginning to spend a lot more than before, dig into their strategy: 

  • What do they use for images and ad copy? 
  • Do they emphasize certain value props? 
  • Are they running special offers? 
  • How does their price point compare? 
  • What are they doing that you’re not that could be good to test?

Last, surveying their ads should help you understand your own competitive advantages and give you ideas for how to push those in your campaigns (e.g. comparison ads). And if you see a major competitor exit the market, you should consider seizing the opportunity to scale spend to capture impression (and market) share.


How important is this update?

As I said, it’s not like this is something we’ve all been waiting for with bated breath; it’s not a special key to unlock success. It is, however, a step in the right direction. Any new insight we’re able to get for where or how ads serve and the triggers that cause ads to serve helps us understand more and take action/optimize strategically.

Do you think the new search themes on Performance Max are worth it?


What else do we need from Performance Max?

If Google really wanted to play ball, they’d work on releasing conversion data breakdowns that allow us to understand which users convert on Performance Max ads, on which ads they convert, and how efficient those ads are. 


We’d also get data on:

  • Specific keywords or audience segments that convert off ads (right now we can see ‘search categories’ but not specific terms). Note: it would be helpful to see what irrelevant traffic our ads are showing up for that we could exclude or negate
  • Conversions by placements / devices
  • Which creative assets / headlines are driving conversions

Again, I’m not holding my breath on any of this; Google seems to be just asking advertisers to trust its algorithms and call it a day. But we’ll keep pushing for info that helps us find pockets of growth and efficiency for our clients.



On that note, make sure to subscribe to the JDM blog to stay up to date on releases that can help your campaigns!


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