Google Decides to Do Away with Average Position Metric

Average position

Late last month, Google Ads announced that they would stop using average position as one of the primary search metrics starting September this year. Most Singapore digital marketers who have been working in the industry for a while now are aware of the impact of average position on websites and digital marketing campaigns.

What does average position mean? Simply put, when you are competing with other marketers in the Google Ads auction, you are assigned an Ad Rank that is based on your quality score and bid. Ad Rank is later on used to determine the position of your paid ads on search engine results page.

Ad position refers to the ordering of paid search results and not the location of the ads on paid search results. To make it even easier for you to understand this concept, let us assume that you achieve the top ad position after the action that does not automatically mean that your ads will be displayed on the very top of SERPs. Google might decide to show the ads under the organic search results.

Based on this example, it is clear that average position does not give one an idea of where the search ads you pay will be shown. For many years, this caveat has caused a lot of confusion to account managers and business owners.

Let us shift gears and look at the reasons why Google Ads team has decided to do away with the average position.

Why is Average Position Being Expunged from the List?

One of the facts that informed this decision is that Google does not consider this metric useful anymore. Last year in November, Google Ads introduced a number of new metrics that digital marketers can use to gauge their visibility on SERPs and action performance.

When making this announcement, Pallavi Naresh, the current Google Ads product manager said that the new metrics would help digital marketers to get a clearer perspective of their ads prominence and visibility on search engine results page than the conventional average position metric.

A clear idea about your paid Google Ads prominence or placement on search engine results page will help you make the right decisions. Naresh and the entire Google team is of the idea that the four metrics are more capable of assisting businesses make informed decisions and creating an effective bidding strategy than just relying on one metric, average position.

A Word from PPC Experts about This New Metrics

Before we proceed, it important to note that Google firmly believes that the four new metrics will provide more detailed reports and data than the average position. Surprisingly, most of the Singapore PPC experts are not sad that average position metric is going away.

According to a majority of them, this is a significant improvement in how Google Ads does business. The new metrics is a sign that Google Ads is changing how they do business and focussing more on automated bidding strategies. Based on the fact that the primary objective of automated procedures is to ensure that paid ads are displayed or positioned in a location on SERPs that gives them the highest chance to convert, the new metrics will be instrumental in helping Singapore businesses to get ahead of the competition and get value for money.

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As noted in a recent published on Search Engine Land, automated bidding is very cheap and ubiquitous that bid to position strategies no longer makes sense to most of the digital marketers. Average position is a relative metric that does not tell advertisers what it is comparable to in any way. Before the new parameters were introduced, digital marketers had to make decisions based on assumptions and not real facts.

Average position

There are also PPC experts who are of the idea that the average position is only useful in a PPC campaign if it is understood and interpreted in relation to top impression share and other metrics.

What Can We Expect in the Coming Days?

Based on our interactions with multiple digital marketing gurus and PPC campaign experts in and around Singapore, the consensus is clear. Even though the average position has been providing valuable information or insights to digital marketers for more than a decade, its removal from Google Ads account is a sign of better things to come in the future.

PPC is a dynamic and evolving advertising method that continues to revolutionise the digital marketing industry. However, does this mean that PPC account managers will no longer be needed? Not really, despite the advantages of using automation strategies, they cannot replace the role of account managers in any Singapore PPC campaign.

On the contrary, automation will supplement their strategies, as you cannot rely on computers to make all the decisions.

Summary

  • If the average position has been working great for your business, continue using it. There is no need to change how you monitor and manage your PPC campaigns if everything is working fine. Note that every Google Ads account is different and if this metric has been helping you to optimize your bids successfully, there is no need to make any changes.
  • It is of paramount importance to become more familiar with the various automated bidding strategies, especially Target Impression Share. Understanding how each metric is calculated and its impact on your PPC campaign will help you steer it in the right direction.

Get ahead of the competition by hiring the best digital marketing team in Singapore. We will create and monitor the campaigns for you to ensure that they continue to bring in positive results. 

 

 

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Author Bio

Tom Koh is widely recognised as a leading SEO consultant in Asia who has worked to transform the online visibility of the leading organisations such as SingTel, Capitaland, Maybank, P&G, WWF, etc. Recently he was instrumental in consulting for a New York-based US$30B fund in an US$4Bn acquisition. Tom is a Computational Science graduate of the National University of Singapore. In his free time he performs pro-bono community work and traveling.
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March 05, 2019

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