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Google Is Removing Average Position

ppc
Craig Noonan
4th April 2019

Last month Google announced they are getting rid of the Average Position metric. This ties directly into the November announcement of the Impression (Absolute Top) % and Impression (Top) % which describe what percent of your ads appear at the top of the page and the absolute top of the page. So these metrics are already giving us a much clearer view of where we place. Knowing we are at absolute top 20% of the time is more useful than having an average of 3.1 for example, because with that average we never know how often we are actually at number 1.

So what does this announcement actually mean for us? Essentially, Google just want us to shift our focus away from Average Position and towards the Impression Share statistics. We expected this with the November roll-out but there’s still no reason to panic, for these reasons

1) This change isn’t happening until September so we have plenty of time to work out how we are going to use the impressions share numbers to develop a new strategy

2) We can still influence our Ad position. By using the Target Impression Share bidding strategy, we can target either Absolute Top, Top of Page or positioning anywhere on the page. This will help us to determine when we want to appear at the top and still set a max Cost Per Click

3) Average position isn’t actually that helpful and the clue is in the name. Google can tell me I’m averagely position 2.2 for example. What does this mean? I don’t know if I’m usually 2nd with the occasional 3rd and 1st or if I’m usually 4th with a few 1st positions pulling my average up. The Impression Share number are much clearer

What do we think this means for us? Firstly, an increase in CPCs. More people will be optimizing towards the Absolute Top impression share which in turn increases competition and the price. We will need to be aware of this as we adjust our strategy
Everybody knows that when Google leads, Bing follows. We can expect to see this kind of change in the Bing platform as well. Importantly, this is just one step in Google’s list of ever changing updates. We need to always embrace the changes Google make; otherwise we will be left behind our competitors in the Paid Advertising world.

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