Google is officially removing the average position column from Google Ads on the 30th September 2019. We knew Average Position was going to be removed at the beginning of 2019 and only recently has a specific date been revealed. Google Ads has since introduced newer metrics; ‘Search top IS’ and ‘Search abs. top IS’.
Search top is – refers to paid ads that appear above any organic results on Google.
Search abs. top is – refers to the ad in the very first position on Google.
What does this mean for advertisers?
Personally, I prefer the new metrics. It allows us to see the percentage of people we’re missing out on which therefore makes us think about how we can improve and expand on accounts, whether it be increasing the spending budget or adding more campaigns to the account.
Ideally you want to be showing for more than 70% of the searches, some SME’s may never reach 100% due to budget restrictions and a number of other factors – obviously 100% would be AWESOME!
Whenever I come across an ad group with a ‘search top is’ lower than 70% I look into a number of things in Google Ads. The first would be Quality Score. A bad or low quality score would result in our ads not appearing on Google as much as they could. It could be as simple as changing ad text to include more keywords!
You can also look into Auction Insights to see how competitors are doing in comparison to you on a number of different metrics. This is a great tool to see where your ads sit against other businesses advertising the same product/services as you. Auction Insights give users the chance to see the Impression Share – the percentage of searches you show up for compared with your competitors.
As you can see from the below example, this particular client showed for 34% of searches between 1st of September and 17th September – a pretty equal impression share can be seen between the top 5 competitors. To make sure you stay ahead of competitors you can increase your budget if possible. With some clients, we have also started bidding on competitor names to show ads when a customer searches for a different brand offering the same products/service.
Having focussed on the benefits of the new metrics, Average Position will be missed, especially for those new to Google Ads or with little experience. Average Position was a great tool that allowed beginner Google Ads users to identify if they were spending their budget efficiently/enough for their area of services.