Understanding the Metrics Replacing Average Position in Google Ads

August 6, 2019

Back in February, Google announced plans to retire the average position metric on its Ads platform. As far as metrics go, average position has basically been Google’s “ride or die” through every evolution of the Ads platform. This metric has also been one of the determining factors for the order in which paid search ads appear on search results. So, when average position is retired on September 30th, what metrics are going to serve in its place?

The ‘New’ Alternatives to Average Position

In Google’s latest update from July 30th, they explain that “average position has already been removed from the current beta version of the Google Ads API, but is accessible in the earlier VI_x versions.” What does that mean for you? Most likely, you are still using the earlier versions, not the latest beta, but it’s not a bad idea to double check with your PureCars team, or marketing team to confirm.

Their post also mentions that the recommended metrics to use instead of average position were actually introduced in November 2018. So, they aren’t all that new after all. That said, the ‘new’ metrics that Google recommends using in lieu of average position are:

  • Impression (Absolute Top) %: These metrics show the percent of your ad impressions that appear in the first paid position above organic search results. (Search absolute top impression rate = Impressions on the absolute top/Impressions)
  • Impression (Top) %: These metrics show the percent of your ad impressions that appear anywhere above the organic search results. (Search top impression rate = Impressions on top/Impressions)


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