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Google recently announced plans to sunset its average position metric, previously used by advertisers to determine where their ad is shown in a search engine results page (SERP). To replace average position, Google recently released four new prominence metrics that better measure SERP visibility — absolute top impression rate, top impression rate, search absolute top impression share and search top impression share. While this change is exciting, how will Google’s new search metrics impact your ad campaigns? We’re one step ahead with all the answers you need.

Google’s New Search Metrics Defined

  • Absolute Top Impression Rate — the percentage of ad impressions that resulted from your ad appearing in the very first ad space on the SERP
  • Search Absolute Top Impression Share — the number of impressions you’ve received from your ad appearing in the absolute top location compared to the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the absolute top location
  • Top Impression Rate — the percentage of ad impressions that resulted from your ad appearing anywhere above the organic search results
  • Search Top Impression Share — the number of impressions you’ve received from your ad appearing in any top location compared to the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location
Google average position visual

Why is Google sunsetting average position?

The average position metric was designed to let advertisers know where their ads stand in ad auctions compared to other ads, not necessarily where they will appear on the SERP or which position offers you the best opportunity to maximize performance. In addition, new ad formats and devices have made defining average position more difficult in recent years. Google’s new search metrics offer advertisers a better gauge on their ad’s actual reach potential and a more accurate view of the ad’s position within the ad auction.

Who could be impacted by these changes?

Any advertiser running mobile or desktop paid search campaigns on Google.

When will these changes happen?

Starting late September 2019, Google will no longer report on average position for any advertiser.

How can you best leverage Google’s new search metrics results?

To get a better picture of your ad’s location, use the absolute top impression rate and top impression rate metrics. Whereas, search absolute top impression share and search top impression share will help you determine if there is any possibility for your ad to reach the top or absolute top of the SERP and optimize your bid for the position in which it has the best chance to convert.

What should you do to ensure your campaigns continue performing well?

While you should be aware of this change, there is no action needed from you at this time. Google makes changes to its advertising metrics and platforms throughout the year. As a trusted partner in digital media, we are always ahead of the curve to ensure our clients’ campaigns are running as efficiently as possible.

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