Goodbye to the Average Position in Google Ads

A few months ago Google announced that one of its main metrics would no longer be available: the average position. 
Instead, Google offers 4 metrics that are intended to provide much more information to managers and thus make our job easier when it comes to management: 

  • Percentage of impressions in the absolute top.
  • Percentage of impressions at the top.
  • Absolute top impressions quota.
  • Quota of impressions at the top.

But what do these metrics mean? 

Percentage of impressions at the absolute top

This is the percentage of times the ad appears above the organic results and above its competitors, i.e. in first position.

Percentage of impressions at the top

This is the percentage of times the ad appears above the organic search results.

These 2 metrics help us to know how many times our ad appears in the first position or above the organic search results.

Percentage of top printing
Percentage of top printing

Number of times an ad has appeared at the absolute top relative to the number of times Google Ads estimates it could have appeared in that position.

Top impression quota

Similar to the previous one but in this case it is the ratio between the impressions that our ad has appeared at the top in relation to those that could have appeared above the organic search results.

Top printing fee
Top printing fee

Until now, we were looking at the Average Position to know where our ads were being shown, but the truth is that the information we were seeing was not entirely relevant. It does not give us the position in which our ad is displayed within the search page, but the position in relation to the rest of the ads competing for that keyword. 

What does this mean? 

That an average position of 1 may indicate that our ad is showing above our competitors, but it could be showing at the bottom of the page, below all organic results. 

Position 1 Google
Position 1 Google

So what metrics should we look at?

Like everything in life, it depends. 

For example, if we have a campaign in a search network in which we bid for the name of our brand or business, we will probably always try to be in the first position. above organic and competitor results. Until now we looked at the average position and looked for a value between 1 and 1.1, but this did not assure us anything. In this case, we must look at the Percentage of impressions at the absolute top. We will know how many times we are in the first position and we will be able to raise the bid if we are not achieving our goal.

On the other hand, if we want to make sure that we are at the top of the search results page, above organic resultswe must look at the Percentage of impressions at the top. We will know in what percentage we came out above the organic results. On the contrary, looking at the average position we would not know if we were achieving our goal.

Generic Google search
Generic Google search

In terms of metrics Absolute top share of impressions y Top impression quotaIf you have to take into account that these are estimates that Google makes based on its algorithms, so it is a data that we can consult, but it is not very reliable. They take into account parameters such as segmentation or the estimated traffic of a particular keywordWe do not know for sure how they are weighted to calculate the value. For this reason, we recommend looking more at printing percentages than at printing quotas. 

And, what about Shopping? 

One of the problems with the average position was that we could not see data on Shopping campaigns. On the contrary, with these metrics we can see in which positions our products are displayed.

If, for example, we have a product that we know has the best price, we may be interested in looking for a Percentage of impressions in the absolute top. We will know in what percentage of the impressions we come out on top and we can get an idea of what position we are getting with the bidding we have. If in a product we have a % Impression Top 90% but a 10% in the % Absolute Top Impression, we will know that our bid is higher than most advertisers, but, there are one or two competitors who are bidding strongly for that product. 

For all these reasons, we believe that the withdrawal of the average position metric is far from being a problem. It is outdated and the information it was offering us is inferior in quality to that offered by these new metrics. 

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