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Understanding the top movers report

See which campaigns and ad groups have experienced the biggest changes in clicks, costs, and conversions, and view details about those changes. Knowing at a glance which campaigns and ad groups are your account’s top movers allows you to take action to ensure you’re getting the most out of your AdWords investment. In this article, we’ll explain how to find and configure your top movers report, and how to understand and use the the information it provides.

Ways the top movers report can help you

  • You notice that your overall account metrics have moved in an unexpected way. Maybe your costs are up, or your clicks are down, and you want to know why.
  • You want to keep regular tabs on what’s changing in your account on a weekly or monthly basis, even if your overall performance metrics don’t appear to be changing much.

Viewing the top movers report

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at
  2. Under Campaigns, navigate to the Dimensions tab.
  3. Click the “View” drop-down menu, and choose “Top movers.”View Drop Down Menu
  4. Select a comparison period from the drop-down menu: 7-day, 14-day, or 28-day. The top movers report will compare recent performance against the previous period of the same length of time.Comparison period
  5. Then select a comparison ending date (up to 90 days in the past). For example, the 14-day report with a comparison ending date of February 28th will use Feb 1-14th for the first period and Feb 15-28th for the second period. (It’s not possible to compare two non-adjacent periods, like the first week in January compared to the first week in February.)

Each day's report will be available by 6pm Pacific time on the following day. However, a report will not be produced if the account has seen fewer than 100 clicks (in total) over the previous 7 days. Top movers reports will be available for up to 90 days.

Understanding your top movers data

Top movers are campaigns and ad groups which have experienced the biggest changes (increases or decreases) for the following metrics: clicks, costs, and conversions.  (Note: before you can see your top movers for conversions, you must first set up conversion tracking.) 

The metric selector at the top of the report organizes your top movers by metric, and shows a total change and top change for each. Selecting a metric will display the associated top movers. For example, clicking on “Cost” will show the top movers for cost. 

If the top mover has a subscript, like “Desktop” or “Google search,” it means the numbers reported are for that segment only. 

The top movers below the metric selector show key statistics for the campaign or ad group during the time periods selected. A full set of statistics, including impressions, clickthrough rate (CTR), average position, and average cost-per-click (CPC), can be found by clicking “Details” below the key statistics for each top mover. And if we think a change made in your account helps to explain the change in performance, this is given under “Possible causes."

Top movers


Let’s say you run multiple campaigns, and each campaign has multiple ad groups. Tracking the performance of all these campaigns and ad groups can be a complex task, so you pull up your top movers report for a quick summary. One look at the metric selector at the top of the page doesn’t reveal a major change in total clicks. The top movers below the metric selector tells a slightly different story, showing a significant increase in clicks for one campaign, and a major drop in clicks for another. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on both the metric selector at the top of the page and the top movers displayed belowsometimes what appears to be a small change on the surface disguises more significant shifts taking place on the campaign or ad group level.

Keep in mind

  1. Size of change: Top movers are the campaigns and ad groups (up to 10) that saw the largest change up or down as measured primarily by size of the changenot percentage change. For example, if you had one campaign that went from one click to two clicks, and a second campaign that went from 10 to 15 clicks, the second campaign would be considered to have had larger changes than the first campaign, even though the percent change is smaller.
  2. No double counting: Changes will only be attributed once. For example, if a campaign has only one ad group, and that ad group sees a huge increase in clicks, the campaign will, too. However, only the ad group will show in the report as a top mover. 

Important note about possible causes

Changes in performance are the result of one or more of these 3 things: 

  1. Changes your competitors made, such as bid increases or decreases.
  2. Changes in search traffic patterns, such as people searching more or less for your high or low cost keywords due to seasonality, brand perception, or other outside influences.
  3. Changes to your account such as a budget increase or decrease, or keyword additions or removals.

Possible causes only considers changes made within your account (#3 above) and doesn’t consider changes from competitors or traffic patterns. Therefore, a “possible cause” is indeed just that.

Because a minimum amount of data is needed to determine a possible cause, if the campaign or ad group hasn’t received several hundred clicks over the report period, you won’t see one.

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