Google just announced Google Ads will be retiring the average position reporting from the platform later on this year.

What Changed?

In November, Google rolled out “Impression (absolute top) %” and Impression (Top) %”, which describe what percent of ads appear at the top of the page and absolute top of the page.

The new metrics are supposed to give a much clearer view of the advertiser’s prominence on the page than average position does. To complement these metrics, Google also rolled out “search absolute top impression share” and “search (top) IS”. If you want to optimize for position, these are the best metrics to use. You can also use the “target impression share” smart bidding strategy, if your goal is to get your ads to a prominent location in the search results. With this announcement, Google explained that average position, which has been around long before ads were removed from the right rail of desktop search results, had never been intended to show where your ads were showing on the page. Instead, it “reflects the order that your ad appears versus the other ads in the ad auction.”

Why Should You Care?

Change is constant in search advertising, but average position has one of the few constants for more than 15 years. Yet, with the removal of right rail ads, in particular, its utility has sharply declined in recent years. It’s now time to review your reporting, bidding strategies and any other aspects of campaign management that rely on or incorporate average position — before it goes away for good.

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