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How to Analyze Competitors’ Google Ads: 5 Methods

Google Ads
Augustas Pelakauskas

Augustas Pelakauskas

2024-03-017 min read

Google Ads (formerly AdWords) competitor analysis is crucial to gain insights into their strategies and improve your own ad performance. By monitoring competitors' ads, you can identify new keyword opportunities, understand their ad copies, find unique value propositions, and determine target audiences. Such analysis helps develop campaigns with maximized ad effectiveness.

Here are the five ways to do Google Ads competitor analysis. You can:

  1. Check Google search results manually

  2. Use tools provided by Google

  3. Employ third-party software

  4. Build your own monitoring tool

  5. Try Oxylabs API for large-scale monitoring

Read on to grasp the essentials of each approach.

Manual SERP check

Just do a simple SERP (search engine results page) check. Pick some relevant keywords for your business and google them one by one. These keywords should be terms your customers are likely to google when searching for goods and services.

NOTE: Open a private browser window to avoid personalized search results.

For each keyword, review its SERP. Pay attention to Google ads at the top and bottom of the page and analyze organic search results. Take note of the businesses and advertisers running ads for the keyword you searched for.

Notice the ad positioning. Note whether the ads include ad extensions like sitelinks, callouts, or call extensions, as these can impact ad visibility and performance.

Check the ad copy (text) and messaging in competitors’ Google Ads. Analyze headlines, descriptions, and anything provided in ad extensions to grasp how they're positioning the offerings.

Look for patterns and trends in the Google ads you see on a SERP. Note how frequently certain advertisers appear for different keywords and whether their ad messaging changes over time.

Official Google tools

Google provides tools to help you see ad patterns and make better decisions for your ad campaigns.

Google Ads Keyword Planner

Google Ads Keyword Planner gives insights into keyword performance, competition levels, and opportunities for your ad campaigns. You can enter a competitor’s URL or certain keywords. Either way, you’ll get a list of suggested keywords and metrics like average monthly searches, competition level, and suggested bid.

Keywords with high average monthly search represent opportunities to reach a larger audience if you can effectively compete for ad placement.

Competition level indicates how competitive a keyword is in terms of the number of advertisers bidding on it.

The suggested bid for each keyword shows the estimated amount you need to bid to compete for ad placement. Higher suggested bids indicate greater demand for the keyword and good potential on relevant search trends.

It’s all about hunting for high-potential keywords with manageable competition levels to align with your advertising goals and budget.

Google Shopping Merchant Center

Merchant Center focuses on managing product data feeds for Google Shopping ads. You can enter keywords to see what products your competitors are listing. Pay attention to the keywords they are targeting and the unique selling propositions they highlight.


Compare the pricing and promotional offers with your own. Note any discounts, free shipping options, or other incentives to attract customers.


Check if your competitors' products have customer ratings and reviews. Customer feedback underlines the pros and cons you could draw upon.


Observe where your competitors' products appear in the search results. Take note of their positions relative to your products and other competitors.

Visual quality

Evaluate the quality of product images and how your competitors present their products visually. High-quality images and compelling product presentations can impact click-throughs and conversion rates.

Take note of the brands and sellers that consistently appear in Google Shopping results for your target keywords. These are your main competitors in the Google Ads space.

Regularly revisit Google Merchant Center to monitor changes in your competitors' product listings, pricing, offers, and positioning. Stay updated on their advertising strategies and adjust your own accordingly.

CPC simulator

Google Ads' CPC (Cost-Per-Click) simulator estimates how changes in keyword bids impact your performance and costs. Enter a new bid amount for the selected keywords. This bid adjustment represents the amount you’re willing to pay for each click on your ads.

The CPC simulator uses historical data and auction insights to estimate how the specified bid adjustment will impact ad performance metrics such as clicks, impressions, click-through rate (CTR), average position, and cost.

Based on your bid adjustment, the CPC simulator estimates how the ad performance metrics would change. These estimates are typically displayed in a table or graph format.

The CPC simulator provides recommendations based on the simulation results. It might suggest bid adjustments to optimize for specific goals such as maximizing clicks, improving ad position, or achieving a target return on ad spend (ROAS).

You can experiment with different bid adjustments to find the optimal balance between ad performance and cost efficiency.

Third-party tools

Ahrefs and SEMrush are the most popular tools used for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). You can use the tools' features for competitive research, keyword analysis, and PPC (Pay-Per-Click) insights.


Enter a domain

Enter the competitor domain names into Site Explorer. You’ll see details about the backlink profile, paid and organic search traffic, top-performing pages, and other key metrics for the competitor's websites.

You can also enter your own domain and see the "Competing Domains'' report. You’ll see websites that are competing with you in organic search. Here, you can identify potential Google Ads competitors. Look for websites that are in similar industries or target similar keywords.

You can now use Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer to identify high-volume keywords that your competitors target in their Google Ads campaigns. Look for keywords with high search volume, but also consider keyword difficulty and potential traffic value.

Explore organic keywords

Review the organic keywords driving traffic to your competitors' websites. Look for the search terms your competitors are targeting and the topics they're focusing on.

Analyze paid keywords

You can use the organic keywords as a starting point to infer potential paid keywords. Look for keywords with high search volume and commercial intent relevant to your industry.

Evaluate backlink profile

Assess the backlink profile to understand competitors’ link-building strategies and sources of referral traffic. While backlinks are more relevant for SEO, they can indirectly impact the quality score and performance of Google Ads campaigns.

Study top pages

Check the top-performing pages on your competitors' websites to understand the content that resonates with their audience. This information will help you tailor ad messaging and landing page content to suit your target audience better.

Monitor changes over time

Regularly monitor your competitors' websites in Ahrefs to track changes in their SEO strategy, content updates, or promotional activities. Any shifts will indicate how to adjust your Google Ads campaigns.

While Ahrefs may not provide direct data on Google Ads campaigns, it still offers insights into your competitors' online presence, search visibility, and content strategy.


Enter domains

Enter competitor domain names into the Domain Analytics or Advertising Research tool to see details for organic and paid searches. You’ll get insights into your competitors' Google Ads campaigns, including their top keywords, ad copies, ad positions, and more.

Analyze competitor ads

The Advertising Research tool lets you view competitors' ad copies, targeted keywords, and ad positions. Pay attention to trends or patterns you notice in ad placements.

Explore competitor keywords

With Keyword Magic Tool, review the keywords your competitors target in their Google Ads campaigns. See data on the keywords your competitors are bidding on, their estimated search volume, difficulty, Cost-Per-Click, and competition level.

Assess ad position and performance

Analyze your competitors' ad positions and performance metrics, such as impressions, clicks, CTR (Click-Through Rate), and conversion rate. You’ll know how successful their ad campaigns are and where they're investing their budget.

Study ad copy and messaging

Examine the ad copies and messaging intent. Look for unique selling propositions (USPs), calls-to-action (CTAs), or promotional offers they're highlighting to attract customers.

Track changes over time

Monitor updates to competitor ad copies, keywords, landing pages, and promotional strategies to stay informed about shifts.

Building your own ad monitoring tool

To monitor competitor ads on Google, you can build your own tool (a web scraper) using a preferred programming language along with dedicated web scraping libraries. However, taking care of fundamentals as challenging as they already are, such as HTTP(S) requests, data extraction, data parsing, storage, and continuous monitoring at scale, may not be enough. 

Most websites use anti-bot mechanisms to improve user experience and repulse undesirable non-organic traffic. Websites have developed numerous strategies to detect whether the visiting device is a bot or an organic user (a person).

Consequently, they often block IP addresses that use automated data extraction tools. To ensure successful data extraction, you’ll need to use proxies and create a custom digital fingerprint.

Ultimately, the Google Ads monitoring infrastructure you choose to set up could be a purely hands-on approach, a completely automated solution, or a combination of both.

An automated approach, such as our own Google Ads API, would alleviate some of the more time-consuming steps and processes.

Oxylabs Google Ads API

As you might have noticed, the last point in each approach suggests continuous monitoring. While often necessary, it’s tedious and time-consuming, especially if you want to build your own tool and monitor changes at scale and in real-time.
With Oxylabs Google Ads API, you can automate the bulk of the aforementioned processes and focus on analysis instead of data gathering.

Google Ads API offers the whole data extraction infrastructure that we manage on your behalf, giving you numerous benefits:

  • Automation of web scraping processes

  • Proxy management 

  • AI-driven fingerprinting

  • Ease of scalability 

  • No need for extra coding

  • 100% return rates per successful requests

  • Built-in tools (Custom Parser, job Scheduler, Headless Browser)

  • CAPTCHA bypass

  • 24/7 technical support

Get a free trial

Try Google Ads API for free with 5K results for a week.

  • Continuous scroll support
  • Coordinate-level targeting
  • Conclusion

    The essence is to benchmark your Google Ads performance against the competition. How you do it is a personal preference – there is no wrong approach. Just look for opportunities to refine your ad strategy and optimize your Google Ads campaigns based on insights gained from competitive analysis. Rinse and repeat until you see trends and patterns.

    Google Ads competitor analysis, like any part of competitive intelligence, is to help you stay relevant and reach your target audience effectively.

    If you have any questions or objections, please contact us via the live chat or at

    Frequently asked questions

    What are competitor Google Ads?

    Competitor Google Ads are ads on Google SERPs posted by businesses closely related to your own business profile. They and you share an overlapping customer audience.

    Can you see your competitors on Google Ads?

    Yes, you can simply Google the most relevant search terms associated with your business offerings, and you’ll see plenty of Google Ads on SERPs or non-Google websites.

    How do I analyze competitors on Google Ads?

    For more in-depth insights, you can use Google’s tools and third-party solutions or build your own web scraper to automate data gathering for Google Ads competitor analysis.

    To make the most of automation for data gathering, check how to collect SERP data with Oxylabs SERP Scraper API.

    About the author

    Augustas Pelakauskas

    Augustas Pelakauskas

    Senior Copywriter

    Augustas Pelakauskas is a Senior Copywriter at Oxylabs. Coming from an artistic background, he is deeply invested in various creative ventures - the most recent one being writing. After testing his abilities in the field of freelance journalism, he transitioned to tech content creation. When at ease, he enjoys sunny outdoors and active recreation. As it turns out, his bicycle is his fourth best friend.

    All information on Oxylabs Blog is provided on an "as is" basis and for informational purposes only. We make no representation and disclaim all liability with respect to your use of any information contained on Oxylabs Blog or any third-party websites that may be linked therein. Before engaging in scraping activities of any kind you should consult your legal advisors and carefully read the particular website's terms of service or receive a scraping license.

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    • Manual SERP check

    • Official Google tools

    • Third-party tools

    • Building your own ad monitoring tool

    • Oxylabs Google Ads API

    • Conclusion

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    Choose Oxylabs' advanced web intelligence collection solutions to gather real-time public data hassle-free.

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