Farewell to Average Position: What It Means For Advertisers

Following the announcement that Average Position is being sunset in September, Google Ads is rolling out four new key metrics, which more intelligently display the prominence of advertisers’ ads on its Search Engine’s Results Page (SERPS).

The four new key metrics are as follows:

  • The Top Impressions Rate, giving you the percentage of total impressions coming from the top four positions above the organic results

  • The Absolute Top Impression Rate, telling you the percentage of total impressions coming from the very top position of the SERPS

  • The Top Impression Share, giving the impressions at the top of the page divided by the total eligible impressions at the top of the page

  • The Absolute Top Impression Share, which is the Absolute Top Impressions divided by the total eligible impressions at the absolute top of the page

So How Does This Translate?

Eligible impressions are based on a variety of factors such as targeting settings, approval status, quality score and more. Assessing both the Top Impression Share and the Absolute Impression Share metrics enables our PPC managers to increase visibility whether through reviewing bids or ad copy or other optimisation levers.

It’s worth noting that Average Position only represents the advertiser’s position in the auction. For example, if you have position 1, you are above other advertisers. However, this doesn’t accurately reflect the actual position on the SERPS page as Google only allows ads to show above organic results if they meet a certain relevance threshold. Effectively, it only gives you the position references where the ad is in comparison to other advertisers, not the actual position on the page.

These new metrics are useful to understand whether you may reach more people if you increase your bids or budgets.

In order to prepare for Average Position being sunset, we have started to bid manage, taking these new metrics’ lost impression share into account and already we’re seeing some impressive results. Previously, we may not have increased CPCs on a keyword showing position 1.9, but reviewing that against the new metrics, there is clearly a lot of opportunity to increase impressions and in turn clicks and conversions.

Screenshot 2019 05 22 at 09.00.10

With September looming around the corner, there’s limited time to prepare. We seriously recommend transitioning to the new metrics as quickly as possible. It’s also worth embarking on some key checks in preparation to ensure that you don’t have any bidding strategies that are set up using Average Position. Remember to notify clients of the impending change, especially if the old metrics are being used in reports.

This post was written by Romany Simpon, Paid Media Director at 360 OM.

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