Industry News / March 22

Average Position Getting The Boot From Google

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Google announced recently that the average position metric will be taken out of the Google Ads platform soon.  The metric, which reflects where an ad appears compared to other ads in the same auction, is scheduled to sunset in September of this year.  When announcing the coming departure of this commonly used metric, Google pointed out that in November of 2018 four new metrics were added, metrics which they believe are better indicators of an ad campaign’s prominence.  These new metrics are Impression (Absolute Top) %, Impression (Top) %, Search (Absolute Top) Impression Share, and Search (Top) Impression Share.

SEM Metrics

Google Support describes the new metrics as such:

Impression (Top) %:  The percent of your ad impressions that are shown anywhere above the organic search results.  Expressed as a formula: impressions on top / total impressions.

Impressions (Abs. Top) %:  The percent of your ad impressions that show as the very first ad above the organic search results.  Expressed as a formula: impressions on the absolute top / total impressions.

Search (Absolute Top) IS:  The impressions you’ve received in the absolute top location (the very first ad above the organic search results) divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.  Expressed as a formula: impressions on absolute top / eligible impressions on top.

Search (Top) IS:  The impressions you’ve received in the top location (anywhere above the organic search results) compared to the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.  Expressed as a formula: impressions on top / eligible impressions on top.

Average Position Replacement Metrics

There are also metrics available to determine how many impressions your ads lost due to low budget or poor ad rank.  Also, Google recently made Click Share, a metric that was previously only available for shopping campaigns, available for standard search campaigns as well.  This metric indicates how many clicks your ad received over how many potential clicks Google estimates it could have received. While these new metrics may seem like a lot to watch compared to the single metric of Average Position, they give advertisers a lot more insight into how ads are performing.  By focusing on these new metrics, we are more informed when making bid adjustments and other optimizations.

Average Position has been a staple in paid search reporting for the better part of two decades.  However, with the various changes made to the platform over the years, the usefulness of the metric in reporting has been waning rapidly.  After the release of the new metrics in November, and the availability of Click Share, the eventual phasing out of Average Position seemed inevitable.  The newly available metrics better serve the shift that Google Ads has been making towards more automated bidding strategies. The level of automation that Google anticipates on its end is excellent news for advertisers, as with these new metrics Google is giving them the tools they need to make data-driven optimizations to achieve even more conversions with their ads.

 

One of our core values at iFrog is to embrace change.  It’s perfectly understandable to be a little uncomfortable with the loss of a long-used metric and the implementation of several new ones.  But these developments mark an exciting transition into even more effective paid search campaigns.

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