From the 30th September 2019 we will be saying goodbye to the Average Position metric in Google Ads.

If you use the average position as a KPI for your PPC Advertising reporting do not fear. As a Google certified digital agency partner, we’re here to help!


What is Average Position?

The Average Position metric tracks the average position your PPC ads sits on the Google SERP (search engine results page). Your ad’s position is determined by the bid, ad relevance, and landing page experience. By tracking this data, it enables you to optimise your campaign to improve your position and ultimately your click-through-rate.


Why is Ad Position important?

Dependent on your PPC campaign strategy and the user’s intention, the higher the ad is located on the SERP the higher the click-through-rate and traffic volume.

There are certain circumstances that you’d want to ensure you’re at the top. For example, when someone searches for your brand, especially if you’re running a larger campaign that encourages branded search.

However, ad position is also related to increased cost per click and total advertising cost. Buying your way to the number one spot is therefore not necessarily the most profitable or sensible strategy.


The Limitation of Average Position

Although this seems straightforward the Average Position metric doesn’t offer the most accurate picture as it is a measure of the order in which PPC ads display relative to each other, rather than the location on the SERP.

For example, position 4 doesn’t mean that your advertisement is in the “top 4” results. The ad may display at the bottom of the page below the organic results, which has a big impact on the performance of the campaign.


What are the new metrics?

Google has introduced new, insightful metrics:

Impr. (Absolute Top) %: This metric shows the percent of your ad impressions positioned at the top of the page above the organic search results.

Impr. (Top) %: The percent of your ad impressions shown anywhere above the organic search results.

Search – (Absolute Top) IS: The impressions in the absolute top location above the organic results, divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.

Search – (Top) IS: The impressions in the top locations above the organic search results compared to the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.

No more second guessing. These new metrics allow a digital agency or brand to more accurately assess the prominence and performance of their PPC campaigns and optimise accordingly.


What should you do next?

Average position is retiring on 30 September 2019. The new metrics are much better for tracking ad positions and how to improve them.

However, there are a few things to be aware of:

1. Any rules, custom columns, or reports using average position will be disabled

2. Therefore now is the time to adjust your reports and start tracking the new metrics

3. Any scripts you're running that depend on average position will need to be updated


Learn Ardmore’s 6-step Context-Intent Search Framework

Need a Digital Agency to help develop and optimise your PPC campaigns?

Our 6-step Context-Intent Search Framework is designed to align your PPC Campaigns with your prospects search behaviour from the search to the landing page to the conversion.

To find out more call Paul on: +44 (028) 9042 5344 or email:

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