Google announced an important change within Google Ads, called the Average Position Metric.
How Infinity Marketing Utilized the Average Position Metric
When Infinity places an ad for search through Google Ads, the ad is placed into an auction where it begins to compete for placement on a search engine results pages (SERPs). Depending on the factors used to build the ad, it would be assigned a score based on the bid and a metric Google Ads defines as a Quality Score.
This combined score from the bid amount and the Quality Score is called an Ad Rank. The Ad Rank defines where the ad would be placed within a SERP. That final position from the bid would be called the Ad Position, then averaging the Ad Position across the length of the campaign would reveal the ad’s Average Position, which would be included in proposal, an estimate, and any reporting.
Google is sunsetting the Average Position Metric as of September and as a result Infinity has already began to remove this metric from our proposals, estimates, and reporting.
Positives for Removing the Average Position Metric
Average Position can be misleading and an Average Position of 1.0, doesn’t mean the ad was always the the first ad on a SERP, but it did mean your ad was the first paid result to appear on a page. What was not identified was if the ad appeared at the top of the page or the bottom of the page. Removing the Average Position Metric removes the confusion between the Average Position and the Ad Location within a SERP.
Replacement Metrics for Average Position Metric
- Impressions (Absolute Top) % – the percent of your ad impressions that are shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.
- Impressions (Top) % – the percent of your ad impressions that are shown anywhere above the organic search results.
- 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.
- 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.
See below for Google’s Example of “Absolute Top” and “Top”
Official Google Statement on Average Position Metric Change
Average position has long been used by advertisers to try and approximate where their ads show up on the page. However, that position only reflects the order of the auction results, not their location. For example, an ad position of “1” means that your ad shows ahead of other ads, even if there are no ads above the search results. Your position 1, while exciting, might be showing beneath the organic search results.
We have launched four new metrics that are more helpful than Average Position to understand where your ads actually sit on the page and address the limitations of Average Position. These metrics include “Search absolute top impression share” and “Search (Top) IS“. If you want to optimize for position, these are the best metrics to use. We recommend the Target Impression Share Smart Bidding strategy, if your goal is to get your ads to a prominent location in the search results.
Average Position has long been a distant proxy for how prominent your ads really are. However it just reflects the order of your ad vs other ads but not the actual location of your ad on the page. These new metrics are specific and reliable indicators of page location, which is much more valuable. Here is more information explaining how avg. position and placement on the Search results page are not correlated. The four new metrics discussed above will help you meaningfully evaluate the location of your ads and its impact on performance.
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