Google Ads Transparency Center – How to Use it for SaaS Competitor Research


Imagine possessing a spy tool that allows you to sneak a peek at your competitors’ ads – when and where they are shown, which ones are hitting the bullseye, and which ones are shooting blanks. 

Does it sound like something out of a James Bond movie? Well, it’s very much a reality, and it comes in the form of the new Google Ads Transparency Center

Google discreetly launched this fantastic tool in March, and despite a few quirks, it’s a tool you should be excited about!

Screenshot of the Google Ads transparency center tool

The Quirks and Features

The tool allows you to navigate through time and according to Google, their data stretches back to 2018. But don’t let this fool you. 

Digging for older ads can be akin to finding a needle in a haystack. 

However, my gut tells me Google isn’t done with their cataloging. 

Expect to see their ad library beef up over time, making retrospective searches a breeze in the future.

The Complementary Nature of the Tool

The Google Ads Transparency Center is not a standalone solution but works wonderfully in tandem with other software. 

A shining example is PPC Adler, a brainchild of Rob Warner, which helps you keep a close watch on your competitors’ activities within Google ads. 

It all started with political ads, but now you can search by an advertiser or website name.

How It Works

Imagine you search for a specific advertiser and bingo! You’re rewarded with a plethora of results showing different ads they’ve run, the destination URLs, and even their bonus site links. 

An interesting find was the revelation that any activity from the advertiser’s account pops up in their ads. 

A word of caution here: this could backfire for an advertiser, so exercise restraint while managing your accounts.

Insights into Big Spenders

A great perk of the Google Ads Transparency Center is the insights it provides into big spenders’ strategies, like Geico.

If you’re stepping into the insurance market or targeting the same consumer base, you’ll glean invaluable insights on how to craft your ads. 

While the tool doesn’t bare all, it does shine a light on ads that are garnering the most attention.

Optimizing the Tool’s Use

Suppose you’re about to pull the trigger on a new business, product, or offer, or you just want to stay one step ahead of your competitors. 

Here’s what you do: search for your product type, identify companies advertising it, then jump to the ad transparency center and search for the company. 

You’ll see all the ads that the company has ever run. 

This treasure trove of data can give you an insight into their most successful strategies. 

Selling the same product? Model your ads on the successful ones, and you’re off to a great start!


In summary, while the Ads Transparency Center isn’t the definitive guide to advertisements, it’s an impressive research tool that deserves a place in your toolbox. 

Whether you’re keeping an eye on competitors, launching a new product, or simply wanting to stay in the vanguard, this tool will serve up some juicy insights. 

Don’t overlook this tool – make it part of your strategy, and watch your business bloom.

If you want to keep learning about Google Ads, check out our guide on device targeting optimization.


What is the Google Ads Transparency Center?

The Google Ads Transparency Center is a tool launched by Google, which offers insights into advertisements run by various advertisers across Google properties, such as search, display, Gmail, and YouTube.

When was the Ads Transparency Center launched?

It was discreetly launched by Google in March 2023.

How can the Ads Transparency Center be used for competitor research?

The tool allows users to search for a specific advertiser. Once an advertiser is searched, you can view different ads they’ve run, the destination URLs, their site links, and more. This can be particularly useful in understanding a competitor’s ad strategies.

What does the Google Ads Transparency Center’s data include?

It includes search, display, Gmail, and YouTube ads that are currently active or have been delivered in the last 30 days. Moreover, the site displays political ads that have been run in the last 7 years.

Can I see all advertisers on the new Ads Transparency Center?

No. The center doesn’t list unverified advertisers or show paid content from them. Advertisers need to complete Google’s advertiser verification program to appear in the transparency center.

Are there any limitations to the Ads Transparency Center?

Yes, the Google Ads Transparency Center has some quirks. For instance, finding older ads can be challenging. The tool is also limited in showing the differentiation between test versions of ads and independent ads.

Michael Schroder

Michael Schroder

Michael Schroder is a Google Ads and SaaS marketing consultant. Grow your SaaS with his support today!