With all the signs that have been popped up in the past, Google has made it official. It is retiring average position reporting from Google Ads later this year.
The first sign came about in November when Google introduced four new ad position metrics to indicate the percentage of impressions and impression share ads receive in the absolute top (the first ad at the very top of the page) and top of page (above the organic results) ad slots.
According to Google, the average position, which has been out before the removal of the right rail of desktop search results, was never intended to show where your ads where showing on the page. Rather, it “reflects the order that your ad appears versus the other ads in the ad auction.”
With Tuesday’s announcement, Pallavi Naresh, Google Ads product manager, said, “These new metrics give you a much clearer view of your prominence on the page than average position does.”
The second sign was with the addition of click share reporting to Search campaigns that came out earlier this month. Click share was first introduced in Shopping campaigns in order to give advertisers some of the insights they were used to getting from average position in Search campaigns.
Over the last 15 years, one of the few constants in an ever changing advertising world was average position. But due to the removal of right rail ads in particular, the utility of average position has declined in recent years.
Now is the time to review your reporting, bidding strategies and any other aspects of campaign management that rely on or incorporate average position before it finally goes away for good. For a deeper dive into how you should be thinking about this change, read Frederick Vallaeys’ latest column on rethinking bidding strategies and position metrics without average position.