google sunset average position

It’s Official: Google Sunsets Average Position Metric

Back in February 2019, Google officially announced its intention to sunset the average position metric in Ads. This change went live on November 12, 2019. If you’re currently using the Google average position ranking, it’s time to update your Ads accounts! The average position bidding tool is no longer available. Instead, you will notice that Google Ads now offers Search Absolute Top Impression Rate and Search Top Impression Rate metrics. So, what does this mean for digital marketers? 

Switching from Average Position Metric

First, you need to ensure that (instead of using Average Position), you immediately switch your metrics to Search Absolute Top Impression Rate, Search Top Impression Rate, or both. If you don’t make the switch and try to run reports in Google Ads, you’ll notice something new. You will now pull null data for the Average Position Metric from the Google Ads API. 

Ensure your account no longer uses the ValueTrack parameters. Google recommends using the new metrics called Impression (Top) % as well as Impression (Absolute Top) %. In addition to Top and Absolute Top, Google offers the following (additional six) new metrics to use for the Google Ads API:

  1. Search Absolute Top Impression Share
  2. Search Top Impression Share
  3. Search Lost Absolute Top Impression Share (Budget)
  4. Search Lost Top Impression Share (Budget)
  5. Search Lost Top Impression Shared (Rank)
  6. Search Lost Absolute Top Impression Share (Rank) 

Google’s eight new metrics, explained:

Here is what each new metric means for advertisers:

  1. These are the impressions you get in the absolute top location (above the fold, or above the first organic SERPs) divided by the total estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive at that location.
  2. The metric compares the impressions your ad received in the top location (above organic, but not the absolute top). It compares those impression with the number of impressions you were eligible to get at that location.
  3. This metric estimates how often the ad was not in the very first ad above the top organic search results. Usually, this reflects an inadequate budget.
  4. This one calculates how often your ad did not even show anywhere above the organic SERPs–it’s usually due to a low budget.
  5. This metric estimates how often your ad did not show anywhere above the organic SERPs–usually due to inferior ad rank.
  6. This new offering gives an estimate of how often your ad was not the very first ad above the organic SERPs–usually due to a bad Ad Rank.

What Do the Changes to Average Position Metric Mean?

The new metrics of Absolute Top Impression and Search Top Impression are useful. They tell advertisers where their ads currently land in the search engine results pages (SERPS). Both metrics help advertisers see if their ads can reach the top and absolute top of the SERPs. In a Google search, the absolute top ads appear first (before the SERPS). Conversely, the top ads land underneath the absolute top ads. 

These new metrics allow advertisers to visualize changes in click-through rate based on ad location in the SERPs. Additionally, these metrics will allow advertisers to adjust bids in different ways. Advertisers can adjust campaigns based on whether they want ads appearing at the top or absolute top of the results pages. 

Mathematically speaking, the Search Top Impression rate tells you the percent of your ad impressions that appear in the first ad of the SERPs. It compares them against the number of times the ad was eligible to be shown. What if you notice that your advertisement(s) didn’t show? Well, understand that it may not have appeared due to either budget or ranking constraints.

The Absolute Top Impression rate dictates the percent of ads that appear in the absolute top section (before organic results). It’s wise to keep in mind that both metrics are competitive from a bidding perspective. The Absolute Top Impression, especially, may contain competitive entry barriers. 

Takeaways

The adage once again proves true: the only constant in life is change! At Finch, we pride ourselves on our adaptability. Both in terms of our software, as well as in our expertise and organic approach to paid media. 

Do you have any questions about the now-live changes to Google Ads? If so, please reach out to your respective CSM. 

Additionally, if you’re curious about how Finch can directly affect your digital advertising management and empower you to manage growth and success, drop us a line at contactus@finch.com.

And you can always try a complimentary audit of any of your paid media accounts today!