How to optimize Google ads when the average position disappears

Google announced that the measure of the "average position" would no longer be supported from September.

Googling myself for almost 10 years, I can only imagine the fright that the Google Ads marketing team had to feel before. make this announcement.

With the almost continuous change that is part of Google Ads, any update could trigger a storm in the advertising world.

The removal of one of the oldest parameters seems to be acceptable.

But it turns out that most advertisers accept the announced change, especially in light of Google's new positioning stats to replace the average post.

Here's how the new "top" and "top" absolute measures can do a better job than the average position for guiding advertisers in optimizing their PPC accounts.

Measures Replacing Position average

First, here is the new metric G oogle introduced in the past year a solution that they believe can help advertisers better understand the status of their ads and which consequently are considered the replacement of the suppressed average position metric

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Measures to understand how often your ad was displayed at the top or absolute at the top

  • "Impr. (Abs Top)% " – Percentage of received impressions found at the very top of the page
  • " Impr. (Top)% " – Percentage of Impressions Received Above Organic Results

. Measures to understand the possibilities of getting more impressions at the top

  • "Absolute Search of the First IS System" – The percentage of opportunities to appear at the absolute top that you are turning into impressions in this space.
  • "Search top IS" – Percentage of onset opportunities above organic results that you are turning into impressions in this space. .

Metrics to understand what optimization needs to do

Once you know you are losing the number of optimal prints, it is helpful to understand what you can do about it.

Just as we already have the habit. (IS), Google gives us a breakdown of the budget and ranking in case of loss of impressions at the top or the absolute summit.

  • Search in the absolute top of the stock (budget)
  • Search in the absolute top of the prints. sha re (rank)
  • Searching for the best impression by the part of print (budget)
  • Looking for the best impression of top-part (rank)

Why is the average position a risky measure

The average position is a measure as fundamental to search advertising that has probably been automatically included in many reports that account managers share with their clients.

But the fact that it is included in the reports does not mean that the metric is actually used to make decisions.

And that makes no sense. because although this may be a good indicator for keeping a high-profile pulse on the account, it can easily be confusing.

Here are three scenarios in which the average position indicates an incomplete story and how an advertiser might use the new stats to make a better decision.

Scenario 1: Only ads that meet the relevance threshold may appear at the top of the list

  • Advertiser 1: Position 4 (Final Announcement Above Organic Results.)
  • Announcer 2: position 4 (the first announcement below the organic results)

Two advertisers saw that their ad appeared at the 4.0 middle position.

However, for an advertiser, this meant an impression superior to the organic results while for the other, it meant a lower impression than the organic results.

The metric indicates the same number, but it is clear that one advertiser was more successful than the other.

This happens because not all SERPs broadcast ads in the same places. The number of ads displayed and the locations of the page vary depending on whether these ads meet certain thresholds in terms of relevance and ranking of ads.

This is not just a factor of announcements, but also of the request. If you make a less trade-oriented query, you will see fewer ads than for a more clearly commercial query.

For example, use an incognito browser and search for properties [champagne] (which may be commercial) and [buy champagne]. (definitely commercial) and see how many ads appear and at which locations on the page.

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If the search is likely commercial and that some ads are likely to show, relevancy thresholds for the top of the page promotion come into play.

Relevance is calculated by the Quality Score system that tries to predict the click rate of An announcement. It tries to predict, for each ad in each auction, what is the percentage of probability that the ad will get a click.

This prediction is normalized according to position. She therefore expects that an ad will appear in first position above the organic results to get a much higher CTR than if the same ad was displayed as the last one below the organic results.

If the ad does not meet a certain threshold of relevance or quality, it may still appear on the page, but it may not be the case. Promoted above organic results.

This threshold exists because Google wants to show users the most useful results and if the ads do not seem relevant, they can be relegated to the bottom of the page.

How New Statistics Help

With the new measure Impression Top (%), an advertiser can better understand if their ads are performing well enough to reach the higher promotion thresholds.

In the above example, the advertiser whose ad was in position 4 and shown at the top of the page would realize that everything was fine.

The other advertiser who held the same position 4 would have discovered that despite being the 4th highest ranking ad, he was not qualified for promotion at the top of the page and could have improved his level of quality. .

Scenario 2: The averages hide the truth

Three advertisers perceive that they get an average position of 3.0. But the average is actually quite useless to help understand what could be optimized.

Here are the positions in which the advertisements were displayed. All have the same average, but they were reached with very different individual placements.

  • Advertiser 1: Position 1 + 4 + 4 → Avg. Pos. 3
  • Announcer 2: Position 2 + 3 + 4 → Avg. Pos. 3
  • Announcer 3: position 1 + 5 + not displayed → avg. Pos. 3

These advertisers could make better optimization decisions if they understood how their average position was being achieved.

How often were they posted at the top of the page and how often were they at the top of the list? New Metrics Help

Advertiser 2 has never had the absolute impression (it has never occupied position 1 compared to other advertisers) and may therefore want to optimize its quality level or increase its auction if they care about being the first ad broadcast over organic advertising.

Advertiser 3 may realize that his% impression (high) is only 50%, even though the average position of 3 allowed him to believe that it was usually a ad appearing in the top 4 and likely to be displayed at the top of the page.

With this better knowledge, they can make a more informed decision on what to do next

Scenario 3: The average position is only reported when an impression occurs

In this scenario, two advertisers both get an average position. 1.0, but only one of them systematically displays their announcement. The other misses a lot of impressions, but when he gets the impression, he is in an excellent position.

  • Advertiser 1: Not displayed + Not displayed + 1 → Avg. Pos. 1
  • Advertiser 2: 1 + 1 + 1 → Avg. Pos. 1

This is again an example of how average numbers do not tell the whole story.

How New Metrics Help Helps

The Announcer 2 can now understand that he has a research IS 100 percent. At the top of the page, they grab every opportunity to show an advertisement.

The advertiser 1, meanwhile, sees that his IS research top is only 33%.

With the Search lost top impression share (rank) they can better understand in how many cases their rank is involved and attempt to resolve QoS issues and submissions. .

When you raise offers to get more IS but for weaker ISs

The CPP experts probably already know that, but it's perhaps surprising that new account managers make sure that raising a bid to correct too low IS may actually

Indeed, a higher bid may make the keyword eligible to participate in more bids and, when creating new bids, may lose more major impressions than in its current auction set. 19659002] This looks like the way a decrease in the offer sometimes makes the CPA worse because it allows keywords to benefit from less good bids when conversions have been more frequent.


There are still a few months to go from the average position to the new metrics of higher impressions. But since the average position may be misleading, it is probably worthwhile to consider making the transition as soon as possible.

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Credits images

All screen shots by author, March 2019