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Google Ads Update 2019 - The Removal of Average Position Reporting

Posted by Charlie on 20-Mar-2019 16:51:45 | 2 Minute Read

Google Ads is making constant changes however one significant change we must focus on is the removal of average position reporting. 

As paid advertising moves further and further away from traditional search ads and focuses more on new formats such as video and display, average position becomes increasingly irrelevant.

Why is Google removing what has been a constant in PPC advertising since the beginning? 

The value of average position comes from the goal of becoming No.1 on SERP’s. However, on these networks, this metric no longer has the significance it once did.

Historically, people have always had issues with the average position metric as position 1 doesn’t always indicate the best position on the page. Instead this metric will show you how you compare in relation to the auction between other advertisers. This could mean you beat all other ads, so were shown as 1st but due to the organic results showing before your ad – you actually were shown at the bottom of the page!

What’s replacing this metric?

Google has recently added a few new metrics to Google ads to help give a clearer impression of how your ads are performing and where they are placing on SERP’s and their audience networks.

 These include:

Impr. (Absolute Top) % - the percent of your ad impressions t shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.

Impr. (Top) % - the percent of your ad impressions shown anywhere above the organic search results.

Search (Absolute Top) IS - the impressions you’ve received in the absolute top location (the very first ad above the organic search results) divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.

Search (Top) IS - the impressions you’ve received in the top location (anywhere above the organic search results) compared to the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.

See below for an example of what some of metric look like in Google Ads:


With these new metrics Google hopes to satisfy account managers everywhere, however, the loss of Avg. Pos will leave a whole in the hearts of many die-hard and long-term users of Google Ads/AdWords.

Why does this matter then? 

The loss of Avg. Pos, although sad isn’t the end of the world thanks to the new metrics mentioned above. However, there are some limitations to these metrics that Avg. Pos didn’t have.

Although not necessarily the most accurate metric in the world, Avg. Pos helps paid account managers to identify competition, visibility, estimate potential costs and more. Even if Avg. Pos isn’t the best indicator for where your ad shows, it does highlight whether your competition is being seen ahead of you. And if you’re in a highly competitive sector this is incredibly important factor to consider – as we all know users are far more likely to click on the first ad they see; as this shows not authority and is also simply easier (people don’t need to think so much, they trust Google to show the best ad/result first).

Contact Paid Advertising Experts at Innovation Visual

If you are scratching your head and still thinking, what does this mean for me and how do I manage my own Google ads or if you need help setting up your own Google Ads campaign, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team of paid advertising experts. 

We have a knowledgeable team of paid advertising experts who can help you achieve your business goals. 


Topics: PPC, News