Navigating the Keyword Ad History Report

The ad/keyword combinations tested by past and current advertisers reveal the biggest hits and misses that you can turn into higher ROI right off the bat.

When you put Keyword Ad History to work, easy-to-read patterns point you to higher-performing ad copy as well as the advertisers that believe most in that keyword’s performance.

By having that information, you can take cues from the domains with stronger track records on that term instead of following a temporary experiment that flopped. Plus, collect related terms from those same advertisers, triggering strong converting ads for your own.

Immediately, your ROI is stronger for two reasons:

  1. You combine those keywords with tested ad copy that converts.
  2. You invest in keywords from an authoritative source, stretching your budget beyond trial and error.

Now that you understand what you can accomplish, see for yourself how to get started.

Ad History at work

In this example, we’re looking at those who have advertised on the term “photography.” The extended lines in the chart belong to the domains that have been in this game the longest— and

SpyFu Ad History tool for Ad history research

Their history tells us that they have advertised on the keyword consistently month after month, but have not necessarily kept the same ads. That’s an important distinction. We’ll dive into that further.

Again, long history boosts their importance as a strong player to emulate. It’s like how having a bigger sample size means improved accuracy. The advertiser at the top of the chart,, might be very good at what they do, but with only a couple of months in, they aren’t as tested as their two rivals.

Patterns mean ad changes

Notice the color change between June and July for (pink boxes) in the screenshot? By clicking on the month, we open the ad copy snapshots toward the bottom and can spot the changes. In this case, changed “request information” to “request free information.”

SpyFu Ad History tool for Ad History research on photography

Since the light pink color stays unchanged for the next few months (and they stick with that copy through the most recent update), you can draw the conclusion that offering “free” information in the ad produced better results for So how quickly will you add “request free information” to your photography school ad copy?

The next row down,’s ad change gives us a look at that concept from a different perspective.

The single light purple box is a one-time trial with new copy. An apparent attempt to address gas price pains shows up in the last line: “Learn From Home – Save $ On Gas!”

SpyFu Ad History tool showing ad examples

Whether it was declining gas prices or weak conversion on this ad variation, switched back to their “Free Course Info” copy in October and never looked back. See a trend, anyone?

Duplicate this easy exercise with related terms: photography classes, camera instruction, and how to take photos.

Now that you can determine the best ad copy for your own use, unlock Ad History with a SpyFu subscription.  Follow the steps to sign up here.

Learn about its counterpart, Domain Ad History, giving you insight to an advertiser’s most trusted ad copy for its entire keyword set.