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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 on 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 information that it provides.

Ways the top movers report can help you

  • You have noticed that your overall account metrics have changed 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 https://adwords.google.co.uk.
  2. Under Campaigns, navigate to the Dimensions tab.
  3. Click on the “View” drop-down menu, and choose “Top movers”.
  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 over the same length of time.
  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 28 February will use 1 to 14 Feb for the first period and 15 to 28 Feb for the second period. (It’s not possible to compare two non-adjacent periods, such as the first week in January compared to the first week in February.)

Each day's report will be available by 6.00 p.m. 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 organises 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”, then it means the numbers reported are for that segment only. 

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

Example

Let’s say that you run multiple campaigns, and that each campaign has multiple ad groups. Tracking the performance of all these campaigns and ad groups can be a complex task, so you have pulled up your top movers report for a quick summary. A glance 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 tell 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 at the campaign or ad group level.

Bear 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, then the second campaign would be considered to have had bigger changes than the first campaign, even though the percentage 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, then 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 that 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, then you won’t see one.

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