Google Ads to Remove Average Position Reporting Metric
On the 26th of February, Google revealed their intentions to retire average positioning reporting from Google Ads by the end of 2019.
Intended to help Google Ads users & advertisers to get a clearer understanding of where their ads are actually appearing in SERP results, this is the direct result of ads with an average position of 1 not actually appearing at the top of the page i.e below organic results.
Google announced the following,
“We understand it’s valuable to know how prominently your ads show on the search results page. So, in November, we rolled out “Impression (Absolute Top) %" and "Impression (Top) %”, which describe what percent of your ads appear at the top of the page and absolute top of the page. These new metrics give you a much clearer view of your prominence on the page than average position does.
“To complement these metrics, we also rolled out "Search absolute top impression share" and "Search (Top) IS". If you want to optimise for position, these are the best metrics to use. And you can use the Target Impression Share Smart Bidding strategy, if your goal is to get your ads to a prominent location in the search results.”
Below is the example Google used to demonstrate the new metrics:
Pallavi Naresh, Google Ads product manager, said, “These new metrics give you a much clearer view of your prominence on the page than average position does.”
The Future of Ad Positioning Reporting
We need to consider new reporting metrics & what they actually show when discussing ad positioning:
- Impr. (Absolute Top) %: This is what most people think of as position one. The metric shows the percent of your ad impressions that are shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.
- Impr. (Top) %: The percent of your ad impressions that are shown anywhere above the organic search results.
- Search (Absolute Top) IS: The impressions you’ve received in the absolute top location above the organic results divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.
- Search (Top) IS: The impressions you’ve received in the top locations above the organic search results compared to the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.
Whilst we don't how this will impact PPC campaign reporting, we can anticipate that this update will have an impact on how PPC agencies will bid on keywords.
Of course multiple factors impact keyword positioning in the Google PPC search results, but keyword bids are an important factor. Without knowing where each keyword appears on average in the search results, it is likely that it will be harder to determine what a keyword bid should be adjusted to in order to improve positioning.
Interesting times ahead...
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