Google Ads Introduces New Metrics for Ad Positions

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Four new metrics have been introduced to Google Ads reporting to provide more clarity to advertisers.

In order to provide a clearer understanding of ad performance, four new metrics have been introduced under ‘Competitive metrics’, to allow advertisers to fully understand where their ads are appearing.

It’s often assumed that an average position of 1 means that your ad appears in position 1 of the search results – however this isn’t always the case, especially if the first ad slot actually appears at the bottom of the page, below all organic results.

Average position as a metric is still available to use, however the new metrics offer much more transparency as to where ads appear in relation to the organic results. The new metrics are broken into two areas – two metrics on the ‘absolute top position on the page’ aka ‘position one’ and two that report on all ad impressions above organic results.

Google Ads Average Position Reporting

The first two are indicators of specific page location, to determine when and where your impressions are above the organic search results, giving a more accurate idea of your ad position.

  • Impr. (Absolute Top) %
    • This is the percent of your ad impressions that are shown at the very top – what is usually assumed as ‘position one’
  • Impr. (Top) %
    • The percent of your ad impressions that are shown in any position above the organic search results

The second two relate to impression share, and Google are “working on incorporating these metrics into automated bidding options” –

  • Search (Absolute Top) % IS
    • The impressions you’ve received in the absolute top position (position one) divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location
  • Search (Top) % IS
    • The impressions you’ve received in the top locations above organic results, compared to the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top spots

From our perspective, these new metrics are far more insightful than a simple number (e.g 1.3) to gauge exactly where your ads are appearing in the SERPs, allowing better judgment when it comes to optimisation.

You can read more about this update directly from Google.

Sophie Burrows
With over 5 years’ experience, Sophie is fast becoming a recognised paid search (PPC) specialist in both Google Ads and Bing Ads. With numerous qualifications in Digital Marketing and Planning under her belt, Sophie is in demand as a pragmatic problem solver and can show immense return on investment (ROI) where others could not. Sophie’s skills lie in understanding a brief and delivering exceptional results for her clients. A true digital maven.
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