If you run ads on the AdWords platform then you’re probably familiar with the Avg. Position Metric which displays your ad’s average position over the span of a target range of dates. So that means if you wanted to see what position your ad was showing up over the past week then you’d just look for your metrics during that timespan and glance at the average position, results! That’s going away now as of sometime in Septembre of 2019.
Make Way For Absolute Top – Top
Here’s what it is. In Novembre of 2018 Google rolled out two new metrics which will give you a better idea of which positions your ads are showing up in between the very top spot and the 3rd position from the top. This does mean you now have two numbers to look at in order to average out where your ads are being placed during the duration of their lifetime, but according to the reps at Google, this will serve you up a much more accurate understanding of your ad position.
Top & Absolute-Top Metrics are already in full swing in your AdWords dashboard, if you’re not yet using them to your advantage in order to gather an understanding of your ad-performance then have a glance at the official documentation from Google to see what they say about it.
According to the help-doc using these two new metrics are going to give you a more accurate positioning of your ads opposed to the old metric of “average position” which is do to be removed in sometime September of this year. Here’s what they have to say in a quick blurb:
“Search absolute top impression share (Search abs. top IS) and Search top impression share (Search top IS) help you understand if there is any possibility for your ads to reach the top (anywhere above the organic search results) and absolute top (the very first ad above the organic search results) of the Search engine result pages (SERPs).
Unlike average position, these metrics don’t reflect the order of your ads compared to other ads, but the actual location of your ads on the SERPs.”
If It Ain’t Broke, Why Fix It?
Nobody really knows, that’s the simple answer. There is of course speculation that this is simply a move on Google’s part to get more money out of advertisers but there’s no proof to back that up, even if it probably will result in stronger bidding wars over time. At the end of the day, Google is constantly working to improve and advance its it’s platform in an effort to keep up with changing needs by both advertisers and those who view the ads.
As an advertiser it’s going to be our job to adapt and learn to use these new changes to our advantage. It would be foolish for Google to roll out something that’s going to stunt the revenue of any business in the bigger picture so it’s safe to assume you’re not going to suffer much more than the pain of having to learn how to read a couple new metrics in order to work them to your own advantages.
A Few More Details On Top & Absolute Top
Keeping in mind the fact these new metrics only account for the number one position in the ‘absolute top’ metric and the top three positions in the ‘top impression rate’ you’re only going to have to concern yourself with this if your aim is the top of the Google search page and not the bottom (as they also display ads at the bottom of most pages too).
Top Impressions Rate
By calculating the total number of impressions your ad has gotten while in the number-one spot and dividing that by the grand total of impressions overall, the ‘top impression rate’ is figured. So, as a very rough example, say you got a metric figure of 75% then that would mean your ad showed up in one of the top-three spots 75% of the time it was shown in all. The remaining 25% of the time your ad showed up at the bottom of the page somewhere.
Absolute Top Impressions Rate
Alternatively, in order to figure the rate at which your ad has shown in the very top position, at number one this metric is calculated. The number of times your ad showed up in the absolute top position is divided by the total times the ad was shown altogether is your absolute top rate. So, let’s say you have an ad that showed up 55% in the ‘absolute top’ then this means out of every 100 impresses (times your ad was shown) it was displayed in the number one spot on the Google search results page for a search term.
Which Metrics Are Better?
Unfortunately the old one is going away, there’s nothing we can do about it but wave farewell. That being the case it’s safe to say the new pair of metrics are going to have to become your best friend. According to Google, these new metrics are going to give you more accurate numbers to look at which will shave off some of the guesswork that the old one required as it was more of an estimate.
The ‘top impressions rate’ metric is good for seeing how often your ad is showing up above the organic search results while the ‘absolute top’ rate is going to show you how often your ad shows up in that number one spot. These two metrics don’t rely on an estimated average but instead use hard numbers to give you a direct percentage of times your ad is showing up on the top of the page. In that respect these two new metrics outperform the old estimated figure. It might take a few attempts to get used to this change but you’re probably going to be much better off using these new numbers after the old one disappears in September.
PPC & Native Ads Advantage
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