An arrow pointing to Competition (indexed value) in Google Keyword Planner.

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

In Google Ads by Matt Chiera12 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 the Founder and CEO of Ice Nine Online. Since forming the company in 2014, he’s helped Ice Nine Online’s small and mid-size clients generate millions of dollars in sales from digital marketing. Matt taught digital marketing strategy and tactics at the Tribeca School’s Digital Professional Institute. Matt’s book “Digital Marketers Sound Off” has been ranked as the #1 book in the Web Marketing category on Amazon. Matt is currently studying digital marketing and integrated communications at the University of Chicago.

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  1. Hello

    Can I use keywords sourced in Google Keyword Planner to use in a Bing Campaign?

    Thank you

  2. what is the benefit of competition index value when we write a blog , Either we have to chose the higher level or lower level

    1. Author

      You would want a low Competition (indexed value) for keywords your targeting for your blog. Lower Competition typically equates to lower cost-per-click. Note that this is a metric related specifically to Google Ads campaigns.

    1. Author

      If you’re advertising on Google, you want a lower Competition (indexed value) for your target keywords. The lower the number, the fewer advertisers you’re competing against, and therefore the clicks will likely be less expensive.

  3. 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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