Google Announces New Ad Position Metrics

|26th Nov 2018

Since 2000, Google Ads (previously AdWords) has been used to attract customers, promote products and reach a wide audience. With the Google Display Network reaching a whopping 90% of Internet users worldwide, it’s easy to see why so many businesses are opting to use their services.

But, until recently, it wasn’t quite so clear whether your Google Ads campaign was working for you without an in depth look at the metrics. Fortunately, Google has stepped in to make things better. They’ve rolled out four new metrics to provide a clear insight into where your ads are featuring.

Knowing where you stand

It’s important to know where your ads are appearing on Google search results pages, so you can make informed decisions about budgets, bids and whether your ads need more optimisation.

Let’s say your ad is most often displayed at the top of the page. If you aren’t getting the right clickthrough rates in this position, there could be a problem with the ad itself, meaning you need to work on headlines and descriptions rather than amending bids and budgets. It could also indicate that you’re targeting the wrong key phrases altogether.

Despite this, users haven’t always been given a detailed overview of their ad position. Instead, they got an ‘average position’ of where their ad was displayed in relation to others ads. So, an ad position of ‘1’ simply meant their ad was the first displayed on a page, with no clarification of where on the page the ad appeared. It doesn’t necessarily mean the ad was displayed at the top of the page.

Introducing new metrics

To clear things up and give users a better idea of their ads’ performance, Google is introducing four new metrics. Unlike average position, these new metrics provide a clear insight on the positioning and received impressions:

  • Impressions (Absolute Top) % – The percentage of ad impressions that are shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.
  • Impressions (Top) % – The percentage of ad impressions that are shown anywhere above the organic search results.
  • Search (Absolute Top) IS – The number of impressions you’ve received in the absolute top position, divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in this location.
  • Search (Top) IS – The number of impressions you’ve received in any top position above the organic search results, divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in this location.

Using the new metrics

It’s one thing knowing about the four new metrics. But it’s another challenge knowing how to use them and why they’re so useful…

According to Google, the first two metrics (Impr. Absolute Top & Impr. Top) are great metrics to use to determine when and where your ads are being displayed above the organic search results.

The other two metrics (Search Absolute Top IS & Search Top IS) are the best metrics to determine the availability and opportunity of displaying ads in more prominent positions. If your main goal is to bid on page location, these metrics are great to see how likely it is that you’ll appear at the top, and how well your ads are doing in certain positions.

How can we help?

It’s not always easy to get your head around the introduction of new metrics. Fortunately, Fluid Digital is here to help. We’re experts in Google Ads, offering a comprehensive pay-per-click (PPC) management service to ecommerce businesses like yours.

Our team works alongside a Google Premier Partner, creating and optimising Google Ads campaigns to make sure your brand appears in all the right places. Any questions? Be sure to get in touch with our friendly team for more information.


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