Google to Remove Average Position Metric from Google Ads

Google to begin sunsetting the average position metric later this month

On 30 September Google Ads will be saying goodbye to the average position metric.

For more information on how this change may affect you, please get in touch with the Sparro team!

First announced way back in February, Google is replacing Average Position with Impression (Absolute Top) % and Impression (Top) %. These metrics show what percentage of the time your ads appear at the top of the page in search results over overall impressions, with ads shown above organic search results being named “top” and the coveted first position named “absolute top”.

Alongside this, Google has also suggested that users start to utilise other secondary impression metrics to improve the position of their ads, including search absolute top impression share, which is worked out by the impressions you have received in the absolute top position divided by the number of eligible impressions, and search lost top impression share by budget, which shows how often your ad did not appear at the top or absolute top based on a low budget. Google have also added a metric to determine how often your ad did not appear at the top or absolute top due to poor ad rank.

Google has suggested that users can also use smart bidding optimised towards target impression share if their strategy is geared towards being first position in the SERP.

How will this affect advertiser views? 

Once this change happens on the week of 30 September Google Ads will also drop the following views: 

Rules that use average position

Check any rules currently running in your account that are optimised towards average position. If you’re using scripts, be sure to check these too as these may not run correctly. Google have also warned that any ValueTrack parameters using the {adposition} parameter will start to return an empty string.

Google have also warned that any ValueTrack parameters using the {adposition} parameter will start to return an empty string.

Custom columns using average position

Any custom columns you have set up in the dashboard will not be available to view.

Saved reports that filter on average position

Check your reports are still running if you have optimised to this. Google will also be removing the average position metric from saved column sets and saved reports that use average position, but do not filter on it.

Saved filters with average position

Any saved filters including average position are to be removed. Scorecards that use average position in dashboards will also be removed.

So, what is the best way to prepare for this change, and what can we expect to see once it has been rolled out? Kevin Chen, Senior Digital Marketer at Sparro said: “We anticipate the change will see reduced visibility on average position and competition that may initially have the effect of raising bids and costs overall as everyone looks to maintain their space and growth, but over time it may become less profitable to sustain the increase spend and the market will again settle into the same level of bids and costs.”

Speaking of the impact this could have for clients, he continued: “Having known this has been in the pipeline for some time, we’ve been perfecting our bidding scripts and methods to take into account other metrics of competition than average position.”

Find out more about the removal of the average position metric here