What is the Bid Simulator, and How Does it Work?

The bid simulator enables you to see the advertising results you could get if you used a different maximum CPC bid for your keyword or ad group. The bid simulator doesn’t predict the future, but it estimates the click, cost, and impression data that your ads would have received over the last seven days had you set different bids.

For example, suppose you have a maximum CPC bid of US$1.00 for your keyword, and you wonder what results you’d get with a bid of US$1.50 or US$0.75. The bid simulator shows the clicks, cost, and impressions you would have seen with these other bids over the last seven days.

To generate data, our system analyzes the auctions on Google and the Search Network from the last seven days. The bid simulator uses internal auction data, such as Quality Score information for you and your competitors, to estimate where your ad would appear and how frequently it would have gotten a click. The bid simulator keeps everything the same except for your bids. For example, it uses the same values for your competitors’ bids, traffic on Google, and Quality Score.

The bid simulator only applies to the Search Network (Google search and search partners), not to the Display Network.

How do I view a bid simulation for my ad group or keywords?

To view bid simulator estimates, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab.
  3. Navigate to the Keywords tab or the Ad groups tab.
  4. In the Max. CPC column, click the bid simulator icon Bid simulator icon next to the bid.

Important: The bid simulator doesn’t attempt to predict or estimate future performance. The historical information in the bid simulator can provide insight into how to set your bids. However, if you have reason to believe that next week will be significantly different from the last week, such as for seasonal reasons, then it’s a good idea to incorporate that information when you choose your bids.