Google Ads: Alternatives to Average Position

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You may or may not have heard, but Google has decided to phase out the “average position” metric used on their Pay-Per-Click platform Google Ads by September 2019.

Average position is a metric we use for all of our clients using PPC advertising, we include it on all monthly reports. While it has been useful to us in determining how our clients’ ads rank among their competition, Google in their infinite wisdom has deemed average position no longer valuable in truly measuring an ad’s performance.

Average position is probably not the best term to describe what this metric actually measures. When your ad competes for placement on the search engine results page, it is assigned a score based on the bid amounts and the ad’s quality score.

This combination score is called an Ad Rank, which will define where the ad would be placed on the results page. The average of where your ad showed against your competitors’ ads is used for the average position metric. So there is a position of removing this metric because many are under the impression that this metric measures the position your ad falls on search results and it doesn’t.

But most people don’t like change, except Google. The average position metric is one of Google Ads’s oldest metric, so marketers and business owners alike are now wondering what to use instead to measure their ad’s position among those of competitors.

The good news is that Google has provided alternative metrics that measure this better than average position, Top and Absolute metrics.

Impressions (Absolute Top) is the percent of your ad impressions that show as the very first ad above organic search results on the first page. Impressions (Top) measures the percent of your ad impressions that show anywhere above the organic search results on the first page. Search (Absolute Top) IS shows you the impression you have received in the Absolute Top position. Finally, Search (Top) IS measures the impressions you actually have received above the organic search results compared to the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive.

In short, the world will not end, and you’ll even be in a better position to determine how your ads compare to competitors, so that you can make informed decisions about increasing the quality (and impressions) of your ads.

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