Goodbye to Google Ads Average Position

The end of the average position

You may, like us, have been doing PPC a long time. You may be comfortable with the new Google Ads interface, with the ins and outs of campaign management, and the key metrics. But wait, Google is now ditching average positions? How are you supposed to track you ad placement and bidding strategy now? Well, like the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, we have two friendly words for you: Don’t panic. Here’s what the end of the average position means, and how your campaigns will be affected.

Impression share

Focus is shifting from average position to impression share – a rollout of new ad position metrics late last year was the first suggestion of that. Google introduced four new metrics:

  • Impr (Absolute Top) % – the percentage of your ad impressions that appeared in the top position
  • Impr (Top) % – the percentage of your ad impressions that appeared anywhere above the organic search results
  • Search (Absolute Top) IS – the impressions in position one divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in position one
  • Search (Top) IS – as above, but with any location above the organic search results

These marked a fundamental change in the way ad positioning was measured, and actually means more than the traditional average position metric.

Changing up

Firstly, the change doesn’t come into effect until September 2019, so there’s plenty of time to develop your strategy. Secondly, it’ll still be possible to influence ad placement to some degree. Google’s Target Impression Share bidding means you can bid for absolute top or top (above organic results) locations – and gives you more flexibility in prioritising ads or terms.

Simply put, the new metrics are unlikely to have a significant negative impact on your strategy – it’s simply a case of getting yourself and clients used to the new terminology.

As a result of the change, however, you may notice an increase in the cost per click and/or cost per acquisition of your campaigns and competition – especially for the ‘absolute top’ spot – gets fiercer.

What to do

As with many of the updates that reach us from Google, there’s not much for it but to embrace the change. But if you’re a little confused by the movement of the goal posts, we as your friendly neighbourhood PPC agency in Kent can offer a helping hand. Get in touch with us today for advice or an audit of your account.

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