Google Ads to Sunset Average Position

Google Ads recently announced that it will be sunsetting the average position metric in September of this year. Average position is very commonly used metric by advertisers and many may be upset with its removal. I, however, think the new metrics Google has rolled out are much more useful in determining the position of your ad.

Average position doesn’t tell you the location of your ad on the SERP, it only tells you how your ad ranks against other advertisers. For example, having an average position of 3 doesn’t mean your ad is at the top of the page. It might be but there also might only be 2 ads at the top of the page and position 3 is the first ad at the bottom.

To replace average position, Google rolled out Impression (Absolute Top) % and Impression (Top) %. These metrics will tell you where on the search page your ad is located.

Impression (Top) % is the percent of your ad impressions that are shown anywhere above the organic search results.

Impression (Absolute Top) % is the percent of your ad impressions that are shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.

These metrics give you a much clearer view of your prominence on the page than average position does.

Google Ads has also rolled out complementary impression share metrics to help you optimize for top or absolute top positioning:

  • Search top impression share 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.
  • Search absolute top impression rate is the percent of your ad impressions that are shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.
  • Search lost top impression share (budget) helps you to understand how often your ad didn’t show anywhere above the organic search results due to a low budget.
  • Search lost absolute top impression share (budget) estimates how often your ad wasn’t the very first ad above the organic search results due to a low budget.
  • Search lost absolute top impression share (rank) estimates how often your ad wasn’t the very first ad above the organic search results due to poor Ad Rank.
  • Search lost top impression share (rank) estimates how often your ad didn’t show anywhere above the organic search results due to poor Ad Rank.

There is also a new Smart Bidding strategy you can use, Target Impression Share, if you want to make sure your ads are in the top or absolute top positions.

If you use average positioning as a performance metric often, I’d recommend starting to incorporate these new metrics into your analysis so you are comfortable with them once average position is gone. I’m not too upset to be losing average position since it didn’t provide a clear picture of where my ads were on the SERP and have really liked the insights provided by the top and absolute top metrics.

What do you think of Google’s plans to remove average position? Let us know in the comments below!

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