Average Position Metric Sunsetting in Google Ads
Earlier this year Google announced that they would be removing the much loved and long-lived ‘Average Position’ (Avg. Pos.) metric from Google Ads accounts, with plans for it to disappear by September 2019. Panic and shock swept across account managers and business owners – this metric has been relied on for many years to assess ad rank – but never fear! Google is rolling out new metrics that will provide a more accurate representation of your ad’s prominence on the page.
Out With The Old
So what is the ‘Average Position’ metric and why has it been important? Calculated based on bids and Quality Score, your ads are assigned an Ad Rank when your keywords enter an auction. This rank is where your ad appeared against competitors in that auction. However, doesn’t mean it is your actual position on the Google Search results page. For example, if your keyword’s Avg Pos was 2, this doesn’t mean your ads were always in the second position on Google Search, it means that was the average. In three different auctions your ad position could have been in 1st, 2nd and 3rd (1 + 2 + 3 divided by three auctions), therefore your average position would be 2. The issue with this metric is that it doesn’t provide an accurate representation of which position your ads mainly appeared in.
In With The New
In replacement of the Average Position, there are new metrics that you can focus on to improve the location of your ads.
- Search Top Impression Rate: Impr. (Top) %
- Search Top Impression Share: Search Top IS
- Search Absolute Top Impression Rate: Impr. (Abs. Top) %
- Search Absolute Top Impression Share: Search Abs. Top IS
These metrics provide a clearer view of where your ads are on the Search Engine results page. ‘Top’ Impressions refers to the rate your ads appear above the organic search results, while ‘Absolute Top’ refers to the first and highest position on the page. Similar to the original Search Impression Share metrics, these can help you gain more insight into how much share has been lost due to rank and budget.
What Do We Think?
The team at Vine Street Digital have adapted well to the new position metrics and have positive feedback:
“I like that the information we’ll receive is much clearer and transparent, and it’ll help advertisers make much more accurate decisions when optimising for that top position.” – Lachlan (PPC Specialist)
“I like that it puts it in context of how we actually think about the position. It’s tempting to get really fixated on the average position; 2.5, 1.1, 3.7, etc. But really what you’re optimising for is when you’re at the top, and when you’re at the very top.” – Gemma (Owner)
“I like that the new metrics will give us a better idea of where our ads are sitting. For example, an Avg Pos of 3.4 could be above organic listings or underneath. Whereas now, the new metrics can give us a greater insight into this.” – Gabrielle (PPC Specialist)
We have learned to love the new metrics and find the information they hold valuable and insightful. If you have any questions about these new Google Ads metrics or any others, please let us know.
Written by Courtney Wilkinson