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Prepare for Google Average Position to Sunset in 20192 min read

March 06, 2019

With the new metrics – “Impression (Absolute Top) %” and “Impression (Top) % – on the prominence of Ad, Google plans to sunset average position – one of the original Search metrics – in September 2019.

The issue also recommends advertisers to start using the new metrics when measuring and optimizing for prominence.

How Were Ads Ranked Before?

The new metrics were introduced in 2018 November and describe the percent of ads appearing at the top of the page and absolute top of the page.

As an advertiser, when you are competing in the Google Ads auction, an Ad Rank is assigned based on your bid and Quality Score. Ad Rank, in turn, determines where your ad lands in the paid search results—it determines your ad’s position.

To complement these metrics, Google also rolled out “Search absolute top impression share” and “Search (Top) IS”.

These metrics further help to optimize for the position and can be used to Target Impression Share Smart Bidding strategy, if the goal is to get your ads to a prominent location in the search results.

What was it like before?

Ad position is the order in which the paid ad search results are organized where the highest is “1,” and there is no “bottom” position. What it didn’t cover is the location of the paid search results.

Ad’s rank can change, causing its position on the page to fluctuate as well. The average position can give an idea of how often your ad beats other ads for the position. However, the most important thing is to find what’s profitable for you might not be shown in the top position.

Which means, that although Google will show your Ad as the top result, what it wouldn’t show is the position in the search result.

Average position may be less useful in optimizing for performance because of the diversity of websites on the network. In order to measure the performance on the Display Network, you can focus on metrics such as conversions and ROI. The average position doesn’t talk cover where the search ads are showing causing certain confusion over the period.

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