What is “Competition (indexed value)” in Google Keyword Planner?

In Google Ads by Matt Chiera2 Comments

I’ve found some conflicting information about this online. Some people seem to think this has to do with how difficult it is to rank organically in Google for that keyword, however, it’s actually a metric to gauge competition in Google Ads for that keyword on Google’s Search Network.

So basically, it’s a scale from 0-100, “0” being very low search advertiser competition and “100” being very high search advertiser competition.

Here’s the math used by Google to calculate Competition (indexed value):

Number of ad slots filled / the total number of ad slots available

This is the definition directly from Google:

“Competition (indexed value)” shows how competitive ad placement is for a keyword, specific to the location and Search Network targeting options that you’ve selected. The level of competition from 0-100 is determined by the number of ad slots filled divided by the total number of ad slots available. If not enough data is available, you’ll see a dash (-)”

About the Author

Matt Chiera


Matt Chiera is CEO of Ice Nine Online, an award-winning full service digital marketing agency in Chicago. Matt is also Digital Director (contract) for enterprise advertising agency The Well and former Head of Business Development for award-winning search marketing agency Perfect Search Media. He's the author of the bestselling book "Digital Marketers Sound Off," published June 2018.

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  1. This content was really helpful, i was confused on what the term meant while trying to submit a keyword research report i conducted for a real estate client . thanks

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