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Understanding the Metrics Replacing Average Position in Google Ads

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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 actually 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)
Breaking Down Absolute Top and Top Metrics in Google Ads
 Absolute Top Metric DefinitionTop Metric Definition
Impression %The percent of your ad impressions that are shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.The percent of your ad impressions that are shown anywhere above the organic search results.
Impression Share (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.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.
IS Lost to BudgetThe number estimating how often your ad wasn't the very first ad above the organic search results due to a low budget.The number estimating how often your ad didn't show anywhere above the organic search results due to a low budget.
IS Lost to RankThe number estimating how often your ad wasn't the very first ad above the organic search results due to poor Ad Rank. The number estimating how often your ad didn't show anywhere above the organic search results due to poor Ad Rank.

lizfarquhar

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