It was announced in early 2019 that Google would be repealing their Average Position feature in Google Ads and now the time has come! This change is expected to take effect by September 30th, and we have all the information about the upcoming changes that you should expect!
It’s important to note that this change doesn’t mean that Google is simply removing the Average Position feature; they did add four new metric features at the end of 2018 to help advertisers evaluate their ad positions more effectively.
Facebook also recently updated its Ads Manager, so make sure you learn more about those changes here!
Here’s what you can expect from Google Ads.
What Is Average Position?
Consider Average Position extinct. This was the service that allowed advertisers to order their paid search results, but it does not help with understanding where ads will be positioned based on the payment and quality score.
As Google shifted its search result advertisement layout to include advertisements both at the top and bottom of organic Google search results, this Average Position feature became less of an indicator of where on the page an ad is expected to be displayed.
The service eventually became something more of an ad ranker by giving users a general idea of where their ad might place but with somewhat indirect information as users still would not know whether their ad would rank above organic searches or not.
The following metric updates are the result of the obstacles that have come with Average Position.
Four Metrics for Google Ads
Here are the metrics Google put in place of Average Position and their purposes:
- Top impression rate: The percentage of ad impressions that were delivered anywhere above organic search results.
- Absolute top impression rate: The percentage of ad impressions that were delivered as the first ad above organic search results.
- Search top impression share: A percentage which identifies how frequently your ad was placed above organic search results compared to the estimated number of impressions that were eligible to be received in that location.
- Search absolute top impression share: A percentage which identifies how frequently your ad was placed as the first ad above organic search results compared to the estimated number of impressions that were eligible to be received with the absolute top location.
As you may have discovered, "top" and "absolute top" are two different positions for your advertisements. With “top” results, an ad will appear above search results. With “absolute top” results, an ad will appear as the first result within the ads that appear above organic search results.
For reference, here's a photo that shows the "absolute top" and "top" ad results in a search and where they appear above the organic results:
Image provided by Google Ads Help Page
Why This Matters to Your Business
Although it may seem confusing for Average Position to be going away, the metrics that have been put into place will be much more beneficial for your business.
Here's what Aaron Bridgens, our Paid Advertising Implementation Manager, had to say about the change:
"My team and I instantly gravitated to the new search impression share metrics when they became available. They provide much more transparent insight into how a campaign is really performing in ad auctions than Average Position ever could."
As you can see, Google is looking to make the ad placement decision-making process more predictable for users.
Having these metric options should limit some confusion for businesses looking to place their ads high in Google results but it comes with a lot of new information to learn.
Here at RevLocal, our paid advertising team is experienced and prepared for the changes that have come and are to come to Google so leave your worries to them!
Looking to get set up with some help before Google makes their metrics changes? Click here to request a demo for more information on how RevLocal can keep your company’s ads at the top of search results following Google’s changes!