Dennis Yu

Google AdWords Bid Simulator-- observations

The new Bid Simulator, which you’ll see in the keywords tab, forecasts how many clicks and impressions you’ll see at different bid levels.  It only shows the simulator for some of the keywords– not sure what logic is used to choose which ones.  It certainly isn’t search volume, since some of the lowest volume terms in our campaigns have the Bid Simulator icon.

Important to note that the Google AdWords Bid Simulator doesn’t predict the future— rather, it estimates what would have happened in the last week had everything else stayed the same except for your bid.  Google explains it here.

In this first screenshot, you see that we’d get nearly the same traffic at any bid price for this keyword.  Note that the estimated impressions are the same.  By bidding higher, we move to a better position.  We are currently bidding $3 a click to get 63 clicks, but if we drop our bids to $1.01 (a third of the price), we get only 3 clicks less (a 5% reduction).  Thus, a 200% bid drop for only a 5% click volume drop– for you economics students out there, that’s significantly inelastic.

Why?  At some point, you’re already in the first position, so bidding higher won’t matter.  Google’s AdWords bidding auction, as clearly explained by Hal Varian (Google’s Chief Economist and the author of my undergrad Econ textbooks) in this video, shows that our price is based upon an increment of the next highest ranked bidder and your Quality Score.  P1 = B2Q2/Q1.  In other words, the price you pay to be in position 1 (P1) is the AdRank of the advertiser in position 2 (Bid of Advertiser 2 x the Quality Score of Advertiser 2)– then divided by your Quality Score.

On high-volume, highly competitive terms, you would expect to see a more gradual fall-off in this bid curve.  Normally, you’ll get hit with the double whammy of more clicks at a higher cost per click— if clicks and CPC are both increasing by 50%, then you’re hit with an overall cost increase of 1.5 squared, which is 225%.

What I think Google may have neglected to include in their Bid Simulator is the impact of site links in position 1, which give a tremendous boost to position 1 advertiser.  This estimation would be hard to do, given that the feature is not in wide release– though BlitzMetrics is fortunate enough to have enough accounts that we have a few of them with this beta feature enabled.

Here is an example of a Bid Simulator shown when there is hardly any data— on a tail term with phrase match on.  Were there enough ad data, we’d be able to calculate the Incremental Cost per Click (ICC).  Don’t make fun– the ICC is the term that Google uses to describe this concept– namely, the additional price you pay for incremental clicks, measured by the change in cost divided by the change in clicks.  If you’re bidding up, your ICC is significantly higher than your average CPC, which averages in all lower click costs.

Overall, I find the AdWords Bid Simulator partially helpful.  Looking at the average position I believe is nearly as good, since Google won’t tell you the bids and Quality Scores of the other advertisers anyway. It also doesn’t appear to take into account the effects of negative keywords, dayparting, geo-targeting, and other settings (at least based on their internal PowerPoint showing the actual data used versus estimated for Bid Simulator.

The next step for Google is to make recommendations on how to increase profit based on the simulation.  If I raise my bid to get more traffic, then I’m also decreasing my profit per click.  Google should tell me what bid makes the most of this trade-off.  Currently, all of Google’s recommendations seem to be to increase bids, add keywords, and increase the budget, so not sure if they’re going to do this any time soon.

However, it is true that if you use Conversion Optimizer, you can’t use Bid Simulator and that using Conversion Optimizer is effectively maximizing profit if you know the right CPA target.  Love to hear about anyone’s experiences here with Bid Simulator, ICC, Conversion Optimizer, and other estimation tools.

Dennis Yu

Dennis Yu is co-author of the #1 best selling book on Amazon in social media, The Definitive Guide to TikTok Ads. He has spent a billion dollars on Facebook ads across his agencies and agencies he advises. Mr. Yu is the "million jobs" guy-- on a mission to create one million jobs via hands-on social media training, partnering with universities and professional organizations. You can find him quoted in major publications and on television such as CNN, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, NPR, and LA Times. Clients have included Nike, Red Bull, the Golden State Warriors, Ashley Furniture, Quiznos-- down to local service businesses like real estate agents and dentists. He's spoken at over 750 conferences in 20 countries, having flown over 6 million miles in the last 30 years to train up young adults and business owners. He speaks for free as long as the organization believes in the job-creation mission and covers business class travel. You can find him hiking tall mountains, eating chicken wings, and taking Kaqun oxygen baths-- likely in a city near you.
I'm a member of Blitzmetrics Academy and a friend of Dennis to boot. Not only is Dennis highly intelligent and full of great and creative ideas, he's also incredibly generous with both his knowledge and his time. Success couldn't come to a better guy. Thank you for all that you do for the world, Dennis! 🙏

Michael Pacheco


Thanks 🙏 for being shining light in this industry. Love what your building for works overseas too network for jobs so innovative. Dennis helped me navigate having bad experiences with marketing agencies and doing dollar a day marketing which has helped my personal brand tremendously. Highly recommend.

Eric Skeldon

Founder at Kingdom Broker

Working with Dennis has been a delightful experience. After meeting him in 2015 I got to collaborate with him on countless occasions. His understanding for state-of-the-art marketing, his implementation, and his leadership put him into the top 0.01% of marketers and mentors.

Jan Koch

Ihr kompetenter Partner für innovative KI-Strategien.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dennis for my podcast in 2021 and since then we have maintained a friendship that grows with each interaction. I have seen Dennis' devotion to his friends and clients firsthand, and our conversations often result in us talking about how we can provide more value to the people around us. He is someone whom I can ask questions on a technical level, and look to on a personal level. If you have any hesitancy about hiring him, get over yourself and do it!

Isaac Mashman

Help scaling personal brands.

Geez, where do I start recommending Dennis? First, he is an absolutely brilliant marketer who understands where marketing is today and where it's going tomorrow. He also has an incredible passion for the International Worker community. The lessons he has taught me from his almost 20 years of experience hiring International Workers have been immense. Most importantly though. Dennis Yu is someone who wants the absolute best for you and is willing to tell you the truth. Dennis sat with me at a point in my business where I was floundering but did not want to admit it. He asked some very straight forward questions to get me to admit my issues, highlighted the issues, and then helped me create a roadmap to success.

Atiba de Souza

International Keynote Speaker | Video Content Superman | Superconnector |

Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will notr regret Dennis, which I had the pleasure of working with is one of the most giving, honest and tell you as it is person I ever know. The knowledge this man has is remarkable and he just gives it out freely. He is not pretentious and always entertain anyone big or small in the industry always willing to help. If you ever get a golden opportunity to work with him or mentored by him say YES!. You will not regret

Nixon Lee

The PR Whisperer

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