Google announced that the average position metric is getting removed from Google Ads by September 30.
What is the Average Position?
Average Position is a statistic that describes how your ad generally ranks against different ads. This rank ascertains in which order ads appear on the page. An average position of 1-4 is on the first page.
Why is the average position going away?
There are two reasons for this change:
1. Google thinks it’s not a useful metric anymore. Google rolled out a suite of new metrics pertaining to auction performance and SERP visibility. These new metrics give a much clearer view of your prominence on the page than the average position does.
Google thinks that these metrics are more insightful as far as bidding strategy is concerned as a clear idea of your prominence on the SERP is essential for making informed bidding decisions.
These metrics are:
i. Top Impression Rate: It tells the percentage of your total impressions that are coming from the top of the SERP.
Top Impression Rate = Top Impression/Total Impressions
ii. Absolute Top Impression Rate: It tells you the percentage of your total impressions that are coming from the very top of the SERP.
Absolute Top Impression rate = Absolute Top Impression/Total Impressions
iii. Top Impression Share: It tells you the rate at which you are turning opportunities to appear at the top of the SERP into actual impressions at the top of the SERP.
Top Impression Share = Top Impressions/Eligible Top Impressions
iv. Absolute Top Impression Share: It tells you the rate at which you are turning opportunities to appear at the very top of the SERP into actual impressions at the very top of the SERP.
Absolute prime Impression Share = Absolute top Impressions/Eligible Absolute prime Impressions
2. Google wants advertisers to move away from manual bidding and focus on automated bidding. Automated bidding is a Google Ads machine-controlled bid strategy designed to maximize results based on the goals of your set campaigns. With machine-controlled bidding, Google mechanically sets bid amounts based on the probability that your ad will end in a click or conversion.
Rather than offering toward a particular position, Google is proposing that promoters start bidding toward improved impression share. With the metrics above, sponsors can perceive what level of their impressions are appearing at the very top of the page (absolute top) or above the organic results (top).
Although the average position is useful, it doesn't really tell publicists if their advertisement is appearing above the organic results or not. For instance, the search query for “men wallets” yields 1 text ad above the organic results and one below them:
In this situation, it would be better to look at search (top) IS or search (absolute top IS) to get a sense of where your ad is actually showing up. Ajio is technically in the second position, but then again it is likely getting significantly fewer impressions than Amazon in the first position. The average position does not tell us this, but the new impression share metrics do.
Impact on bidding:
Rather than concentrating on average position while making bid adjustments try pulling in some of the new impression share metrics to influence your adjustments. The average position doesn't give the most precise data with regards to the exact position on the SERP. For instance, the search query for “digital marketing course” yields 4 text ads above the organic results and “ below them.