Goodbye, Google Average Position

By Lluvia Gamez (Senior Search Account Manager)

When Google first announced the sunsetting of its “average position” metric in Google Ads, the response from marketers and advertisers was mixed.

Retiring one of the original search metrics was seen as an unwelcome change by many businesses, but the same update came a relief to many advertisers. Why such a difference in reaction?

For many businesses, knowing their ads were in position one was proof that their ads were being seen. But position-based metrics have never accurately relayed the effectiveness of search performance.

For example, what if I told you that by dropping your search ad down to position two or three, you could possibly receive more clicks to your site than if you were to focus your budget solely on dominating position one?

Google’s move to sunset this metric allows us to reset the conversation around search, and refocus on how a more nuanced search strategy can drive valuable business outcomes.

Google haven’t completely gotten rid of advertisers’ ability to target ad position in Google Ads. They understand how valuable it is for businesses to have their ads show prominently on the search engine results page (SERPs).

Instead, they have introduced two new metrics: search top impression rate and search absolute top impression rate.

The difference?

These new metrics reflect the actual location of a business’s ad on the SERPs (relative to the organic results, for example), instead of the order of a business’ ad in comparison to other businesses’.

With these two new metrics, marketers have the ability to test whether they can drive better business results by having an ad appear anywhere within the top results, versus appearing at the absolute top of page.

If businesses want to ensure they continue to appear at the top of search results for branded terms, marketers can put bidding strategies in place to target this absolute top impression share.

But for other, possibly very competitive terms, there is no added benefit for appearing at the absolute top of page. In these cases, it’s best to focus on appearing anywhere in the top of paid search results.

Even though “average position” is no more, position-based targeting isn’t ending. But with these new metrics, Google is encouraging marketers and advertisers to change how we rate and place value on first, second and third position, focusing on the results and price per lead rather than where our ads appear.

Source: Google

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Date: October 10, 2019