Good morning, Refactual, get ready for another adjustment.
Average position will stick around in Google Ads just through the end of September. It will then go the way of the target search page location and target outranking share bidding strategies: off into the sunset.
Google told us in February it would be retiring the average position metric later this year. This week, it announced average position will be removed from the platform starting the week of September 30. Instead, advertisers are to use the newer position metrics — search top impression rate and search absolute top impression rate metrics — to understand where their ads are appearing on the page.
Google’s argument for removing average position is that it’s become less useful since the rise of mobile and the removal of right rail ads on desktop. Your ads can be in the first ad position, but be showing at the bottom of the page below the organic search results, for example. I think most advertisers understood average position has always been a reflection of where their ads appear relative to other ads and not page position, but the writing has been on the wall that it would go away, and here we are.
One of the biggest challenges with average position is the fact that it’s an average. Further, both average position and the new position metrics only reflect impressions, not clicks. That can work well for branding campaigns, but you can see how position metrics and targeting based on impression share can lead performance campaigns astray.
Start planning to adjust now if you’re using average position in any rules, scripts, custom columns or saved filters and reports that filter on average position in Google Ads. Get used to using the new position impression metrics, which can be used with the target impression share bidding strategy.
Meanwhile, Microsoft Advertising rolled out the position-based impression share metrics but has said it will continue to report average position. “One key metric that will remain in your reporting is average position, as we’ve heard continuous feedback that shows this information is still very valuable to you,” said Nahva Tecklu, a Microsoft Advertising program manager wrote.
Read on for a Pro Tip on using dynamic bidding on Amazon, Search Shorts and more.