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Average Position is Disappearing from Google Ads

Starting on September 29, 2019, the Average Position metric in Google Ads will be removed. Any of the following metrics that rely on the Average Position column will need to be updated for continued use:

  • Bidding settings 
  • Google Ads rules
  • Custom columns
  • Saved reports (especially any with filters)
  • AdWords scripts
  • Saved column sets
  • Scorecards that use Average Position in dashboards
  • URLs using {adposition} parameter

If these metrics are not updated before Average Position is removed, they will be affected upon the removal of the column.

Why is Average Position Being Removed?

Google announced two new metrics that will provide a clearer view of where ads are actually appearing in a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). These two new metrics are Absolute Top Impression and Top Impression. More information regarding what each new metric measures can be found below.

Impression Share and Impression Rate (%)

Impression Share

Impression Share is the percentage of impressions that your ads receive compared to the total number of impressions that they’re eligible to get. This tells you how often your ads are appearing for eligible searches.

There are three versions of Impression Share. Each version is measured by impressions your ad receives divided by the total eligible impressions for your ads, based on different locations on the SERP.

Search Absolute Top Impression Share

This is the impression in the first ad spot above organic search results (new).

Search Top Impression Share

These are impressions anywhere above organic search results (new).

Search Impression Share

These are impressions anywhere on the page (existing).

Impression Rate

Impression Rate (or Impression %) shows you how often your ads are showing at the top of the search results page. Impression Rate was a shortcoming of Average Position, as even an ad in position 2 might have appeared at the bottom of the page.

There are two metrics used to measure Impression Rate, and both are only based on the impressions your ad receives, not the total number of eligible impressions.

Impression (Absolute Top) Rate

This is the percentage of your impressions shown as the first ad above organic search results.

Impression (Top) Rate

This is the percentage of your impressions that are shown anywhere above organic search results.

Optimizing for Awareness

Advertisers who are more focused on raising awareness of their brand than ROI should focus on Impression Rate. This ensures that your ads are visible at the top of the page and will drive awareness of your brand.

Advertisers should be careful with Google’s new Impression Share options in Smart Bidding because data is not available the same day. This makes it difficult to monitor performance, and setting a high target may significantly increase your spend by making you eligible for additional, unwanted auctions.

Targeting Metrics

The easiest way to set your targets is to look at recent performance for campaigns across the Impression Rate metrics as a starting point. This ensures the smoothest transition from targeting a position to targeting Impression Share.

Conclusion

With the removal date of Average Position quickly approaching, it is a top priority that you ensure your Google Ads metrics have been updated. If you wait too long, any metrics you had set that rely on the Average Position column will disappear as well. 

Average Position is being removed after the introduction of two new metrics that will provide a clearer view of where ads actually appear in a SERP. 

Google Ads has worked to make an easy transition for users from Average Position to the new metrics, and aim to ensure easier targeting for advertisers.