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Google Bid Simulator: Let’s take a look at what you could’ve won!

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

I’m not entirely sure how long the option has been visible but I’ve noticed in one of my accounts today that Google has given me the ability to use their new ‘Bid simulator’ tool on some high volume keywords. I thought it would be worthwhile to share my findings so that if people haven’t seen the icon it doesn’t confuse/ scare them if/when it suddenly appears in their accounts.

Keyword status

The bid simulator enables you to see the advertising results from the last 7 days had you used a different max CPC bid. The tool only works on the search network and as ever Google warn you that the tool is unable to predict the future but it does highlight some interesting data which you can (or not) use when setting CPC bids in the future.

Bid simulator

After seeing the historical results I compared the same keyword (which I’ve anonymised) using Google Traffic Estimator and the results proved quite interesting. The tool suggests that to be in positions 1-3 the estimated average CPC would only need to be £1.78 - £2.41 & that I could expect to see around 2-3 clicks per day. This surprised me as I was expecting the estimated bid amounts to be a lot higher than the simulator due to the tool not taking into account the quality score of the term (which in this case was 10/10).

Traffic est

This begs the question: Where is the traffic estimator getting its data from & should we really be using it when estimating how much potential traffic there is for new keywords?



Wow, we knew the traffic estimator data was inaccurate, but that's a huge difference!

Its also estimating a flippin good CTR for the term... i assume its not brand related?
Why the heck is the traffic estimator (which must use similar impression data, but estimate a much lower CTR to get those results) predicting such different bids.

Can't wait to get testing this on some big high volume keywords! :)


Expensive, waste of money.


karl: huh? its a free tool. What are you talking about? Did you lose your shirt advertising on google or something?

mac cosmetics bags

nice post and i like it very much~thanku for sharing it~it's so useful~

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