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Target Outranking Share

Target Outranking Share



AdWords - Target Outranking Share

This guide is a detailed look at Target Outranking Share bidding, if you are unfamiliar with this bidding technique or bidding strategies in general; you may want to read our introduction to bidding strategies first.

Target Outranking Share is an automated bid strategy that essentially allows you to outrank ad from a competitor that you specify.

What Are Auctions?

Before we explore CPC Bidding in more detail it is first worth explaining a little bit about how auctions work and what they are. The auction is the process that occurs with each search performed in Google (the display network works slightly differently to this).

Automated Bidding

Automated bidding strategies allow Google to control your bidding through algorithms and automated computing systems in order to achieve a target. All automated bid strategies are goal orientated bidding systems, meaning that they are designed to help the advertiser achieve their goals.

There are typically two flavours for most automated bidding strategies, but for this particular strategy you must create a portfolio bid strategy or use an existing one… There is no ‘standard’ version of this bid strategy available.

Portfolio / Flexible Bid Strategy

Portfolio bid strategies can be applied to multiple campaigns and they work across all of these campaigns to achieve targets. In the case of ‘Target Outranking Share’, this will apply a target spend across all of the campaigns to which it is applied… meaning that some campaigns may under target and some may be over target, but in total the target should be met (when aggregating across all of the campaigns).

What is Target Outranking Share Bidding?

Outranking share is a percentage that is defined as:

The No. of times your ad ranked better than competitor’s ad, plus the number of times your ad showed when theirs did not, divided by the total number of ad auctions you participated in. If you have a competitor that consistently outranks you or is regularly in the top three positions; you may benefit from using this flexible bid strategy.

You really do need a specific competitor and a strong reason to use this bidding strategy in order to implement it across any of your campaigns. This strategy does not guarantee that you will outrank a competitor and the end result is not being driven by anything particularly strategic… You can target a search page location using another bid strategy that will help you to achieve a specific location in the SERPS.

Target Outranking Share Settings

As the image below shows, there are several fields to complete when creating this portfolio strategy:

Target Outranking Share Settings

Pros and Cons of Target Outranking Share Bidding

To some extent many of the pros and cons of this automated bid strategy are the same as using any automated bid strategy, such as less control vs less work… however, we have limited the pros and cons here to those relating to this specific bidding method.


  • Targeted method for improving search visibility over a specific competitor
  • Good for taking market share away from a specific competitor


  • Can be a very expensive strategy (as auctions still consider QS / Quality Score)
  • Not targeted towards more traditional business goals, such as conversions, revenue, etc
  • Only relevant for a small group of advertisers with niche requirements

How Does Target Outranking Share Bidding Work?

How Does Target Outranking Share Bidding Work?

As the image above shows, there are a number of parameters to explain within this bidding strategy that we describe below. Like all Portfolio bid strategies, Target Outranking Share automates your bids in order to achieve its target, which is defined within the strategy.

Benchmark Domain

The benchmark domain is the specific domain of the competitor that you would like to outrank, this is taken form the auction insights report but you can also manually enter any domain if you so wish.

Target Outranking Share

Here you can specify the percentage of auctions in which you would like to outrank the specified competitor domain. This can become very costly the higher the percentage specified.

Max CPC Limit

Here you can specify a maximum cost per click for the strategy that will be applied to all keywords that the strategy is applied to. This prevents the strategy from running wild with CPC’s.

Bid Automation – Automatic

This option allows Google to set and adjust bids in order to outrank the specified competitor’s ads.

Bid Automation – Manual

Although this option allows you to set the bids, Google still has control over adjusting them to raise or lower your ad position to beat the specified competitor’s ads.

Low Quality Keywords

“Low Quality” keywords refer to keywords with a low QS (Quality Score) … Trying to up bid these can cost a lot of money… In fact, the reason for the low position of keywords with a low QS is linked to the low QS. It is highly recommended that this be left on the default setting, which is “don’t raise bids on low quality keywords”.


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