Google Ads have retired Average Position. Say hello to Prominence Metrics!

But what does that mean for my Adwords campaign?

Google warned us earlier this year that a change was coming and what a change it was! It’s been nearly a month since Google retired Average Position; one of its original search metrics.

The average position metric has been an advertising staple but has never really been very clear in helping us determine where your ad shows up on Google’s search page.

Average position was relative to the auction but not the actual placement of your ad on the search page, meaning it would reflect the order of the auction results and not the actual location of the ad.

For example, if you had an ad position of 1, it would mean that your ad would show ahead of other ads, even if there were no other businesses competing for ad space. However, despite being given the number one spot, your ad could potentially only show beneath organic search results. Not an ideal scenario when you’re spending $20 per click and trying to outbid yourself to get to the top of Google’s first page!!!

Since September 30th, we’ve been introduced to Prominence Metrics – new metrics that are much more helpful than average position when determining where your ads actually sit on a search page.

So how does it work

Prominence Metrics gives us a much clearer perspective on where your ads are positioned.

Google have provided us with clear definitions on the metrics you can bid on to improve the location of your ad.

The four new metrics that have garnered the most attention are: “Impression (Absolute Top) %,” “Impression (Top) %,” “Search absolute top impression share” and “Search (Top) IS.”

They are fairly straightforward, however here are Google’s definitions.

“Impression (Absolute Top) % is the percentage of time your ads are in the very first position, above the organic search results”, whilst “Impression (Top) % is the percentage of the time your ads are anywhere above the organic search results.” Ads, then, will be gauged by their auction performance and SERP visibility, offering advertisers a much clearer view of how their ads are doing and where they are appearing on SERPs.

Impression (Absolute Top) %

Absolute Top Impression Rate = Absolute Top Impressions / Total Impressions

This metric measures your ad’s total impressions received only from the absolute top of the SERP results.

Impression (Top) %

Top Impression Rate = Top Impressions / Total Impressions

These metrics tell us two things: how often your ads place at the top of Google Search Results when you get an impression and what share of all top page impressions you receive.

What does this mean for my business?

From what we can gather, Google wants advertisers to shift from manual bidding to automated bidding, offering Smart Bidding options such as Enhanced CPC and Target ROAS strategies, specific to your type of campaign. As we delve deeper into the realms of Artificial Intelligence, Google’s machine is constantly learning and becoming better every day. Through the new metrics, advertisers can more effectively make use of the smarter automation options. These are the first steps, moving towards a more AI inspired bidding system.

So what’s the right fit for you?

Frederick Vallaeys from Search Engine Land noted that, “Nowadays, automated bidding is so ubiquitous and cheap that [manual] bid-to-position strategies simply don’t make a lot of sense for the majority of advertisers.”

We understand that there’s no one size fits all approach so it is important to know your unique business model, marketing strategy and how competitive your industry is before determining which bid strategy is the best fit for your business.

Smaller businesses may be at the most risk in the arms race for the now prevalent absolute top position. Larger businesses with significant ad spend will be privy to greater engagement than ever before, provided they have the right strategy in place.

If your marketing or advertising is performance based (i.e observing cost per lead), then CPA and ROAS bidding are still your go to.

If you are unsure what the right digital marketing strategy for your business is or want to have a chat about whether Google Ads is the right for your business then let’s talk!

Get in touch with the Leapfrogger team to learn more!