Has week-over-week performance of your account(s) been lackluster as of late? Looking for another way to boost incremental gains and squeeze out some wins? Do you have room in your budget to push additional volume or conversions?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, pulling a Top vs. Other Report may very well be the [exact match] to your search query.

Let’s discuss why!

What and Why is Top vs. Other?

A Top vs. Other Report gives insight on the frequency of where an ad is located on the SERP, either in the top area above the search results or in other areas (side/bottom) on the SERP, for a given keyword, ad group, or campaign. In this report, we add in the formula for impression share, which Google defines as the “number of impressions you’ve received divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive,” and use it to shed light on the percentage of ads shown on the side/bottom areas.

Utilizing the data from a Top vs. Other Report can prove beneficial to your account because it is a granular way to look at where exactly you can adjust bids based on your ad’s location. Typically, everyone wants to be in the number one position in the top area, above the search results, because it normally yields the highest CTR and CVR. The Top vs. Other report helps to identify specific keywords and ad groups where you can push bids to gain incremental volume and conversions (or to reach a desired ad position).

How Do I Do this?

First, let’s pull a keyword report with the segment titled “Top vs Other” (lookback periods will vary depending based on preference).


*Note: You can pull a report for a specific campaign or for the account as a whole on the keyword, ad group, or campaign level.

As a quick housecleaning measure, let’s delete the ‘Total’ rows located at the bottom of the report so the totals don’t mix into our data.


Next, let’s add in a blank column titled ‘Google vs. SP.’ Apply a filter for column A and filter for the word ‘Google.’ Type in the word ‘Google’ in column B and populate. Repeat this process for the term ‘Search Partners.’ Doing this step will help us when we want to aggregate data and attribute it to either Google or Search Partners.


Then, run a pivot table using the data in your raw data tab. Select these three fields and place in the following areas: Google vs SP (Report Filter), Keyword (Row Labels), and Sum of Impressions (Values). From there, filter for ‘Google’ and paste the data into a new tab titled ‘Google Total.’ Repeat this process for ‘Search Partners’ and title the new tab ‘SP Total.’


After you’ve done that, return back to the original ‘Raw Data’ tab and filter for ‘Google Search: Other’ in column A. Then copy the data and paste it into a new tab titled ‘Google Other’. Repeat this process for ‘Search Partners: Other’ and likewise, place the filtered data into a new tab titled ‘SP Other’.


At this point, you should have the following five tabs in your report: Raw Data, Google Other, SP Other, Google Total, and SP Total.

Still with me? Awesome! Now, we want to go to our ‘Google Other’ and ‘SP Other’ tabs and add in two columns next to impressions, change the term ‘Impressions’ in column J to ‘Other Impressions’ (as these are the impressions from your ads on the side or bottom area in the SERP), and title the new columns: Total Impressions and Other Impressions Share.


Finally, you want to run a Vlookup formula back into the ‘Google Total’ tab to get the amount of Total Impressions.

Then, for the ‘Other Impression Share’ formula, divide ‘Other Impressions’ by ‘Total Impressions’ and sort high to low for the ‘Other Impression Share’ column to pinpoint the amount of keywords you will need to bid up.

That’s it. Following these steps will ensure that you are maximizing the potential of your account(s) and impacting week-over-week performance. While this report can be highly beneficial for some, it may not make sense for others because it really depends on the state of your account(s) to know how effective this report can be. For example, if the state of your account is volatile in that performance exceedingly fluctuates week-over-week, implementing these sweeping bid changes may not be the best strategy. It also would not make much sense for account(s) that lack flexibility in budget or are right around or above your budget goals.

Another cool thing to note is that as a result of utilizing this report into your recurring task lists, you should see the ‘Other Impression Share’ metric decrease every time you run the report and implement bids, so be on the lookout for timely results and own your changes.

Hope this helps in your optimization efforts and provides some big wins. Feel free to leave any comments in the section below, and happy bidding!

1 Comment

  1. Zach Shearer June 5th, 2014

    Jonathan, let me know if I missed something here with my reply.

    This article was somewhat confusing. Instead of filtering your data and applying a new tag, just separate the tags that you have already with the “Text to Columns” function located at Data>>Text to Columns.

    1. Insert a column between columns A and B and give your new column B a header, ‘Top vs. Other’ seems appropriate–rename column A to ‘Google vs. Search Partners’
    2. Select column A
    3. Select Text to Columns
    4. Choose ‘Delimited’
    5. Checkmark Other and use the prompt to type a colon (:)
    6. Click finish

    Now your single row has become two rows, split by the colon.

    I think you are better off keeping your data in one pivot. Why segment the raw data into separate data tabs?

    Create a single pivot table with the following fields in corresponding areas

    Filter: None
    Row Labels: Keyword
    Column Labels (Top to Bottom): Google vs. Search Partners, Top vs. Other
    Values: Impressions

    1. Click on the “Sum of Impressions” in your Values area in the field list pane on the right.
    2. Select “Value Field Settings”
    3. Click on the “Show Values As” tab
    4. Select % of Row Total.
    5. Get rid of the Grand Total column as it is now worthless–it should show 100% on every row.

    Now you should have a pivot table that shows percent of impressions by keyword, segmented four ways,

    Google Search > Top
    Google Search > Other
    Search Partners > Top
    Search Partners > Other

    Bonus: Click on the impressions field and drag it down (yes, again) to the values area to add a second impressions column. Now you can see the number of impressions as well as the percentage of total impressions per keyword. This makes for easy sorting by number of impressions so you can look at your most active keywords.

    Extra bonus: Add some conditional formatting to whichever columns you find valuable. Make sure to modify the conditional formatting rule to make sense of the data.

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Jonathan Oei
Jonathan Oei joined 3Q Digital in December of 2012 and is a proud graduate of the Internship Program. Before entering the marketing industry, Jonathan learned the value of providing over-the-top service to clients while serving as a real estate agent in the San Francisco Bay Area. He likes to write songs on his acoustic guitar in his spare time and is a lifelong Warriors and SF Giants fan.