Why you should use new position metrics in Google Ads

  • Joram 
google ads position metrics

Google recently introduced a few new search metrics in Google Ads related to ad position. Since the very beginning Google has reported the average position of your ads. This popular metric might be often misinterpreted. To get a better understanding of where an ad is shown on the page advertisers now have a few brand new metrics available:

Impr. (Top) %, Impr. (Abs. Top) %, Search (Top) IS and Search (Abs. Top) IS.

Impr. (Top) %

This metric show the percentage of your ad impressions in one of the top ad slots, above the organic search results. So the number of impressions in one of these slots divided by your total number of ad impressions.

Impr. (Abs. Top) %

The percentage of all your ad impressions that were at the very first position of the SERP. So the first ad position above the organic results.

Search (Top) IS

Your top impressions divided by all possible top impressions.

Search (Abs. Top) IS

All your ad impressions on the absolute top position divided by all possible absolute top impressions.

Why these metrics are super valuable to you, search marketer!

Because it puts things in perspective! Especially Impr. (Top) % and Impr. (Abs. Top) % provide a lot of perspective, since the number of ads shown above the organic results isn’t fixed. This means that ad position 2 could mean you actually hold the 2nd position on the SERP, or it could be position number 12 (in a situation where only 1 ad is shown above the organic results and your ad is the first one of the bottom ad slots).

With an average position around 5 you know your ads are rarely shown among the top ad slots. There’s a maximum of 4 slots available above the organic results. But a lot of search marketers (and clients) assume that an average position between, let’s say 1.5 and 2.5 means that ads are mostly shown amongst the highest positions on the page and thus have great visibility. In these situations Impr. (Top) % and Impr. (Abs. Top) % might tell a different story. I’ve seen campaigns with an average position of 1.7 where less than half of all impressions was in one of the top slots! This puts your CTR in a completely different perspective!

Search (Top) IS and Search (Abs. Top) IS provide more context and perspective than just Search impression share. Because far more clicks come from the top ad positions than the bottom ones, optimising for a high impression share specifically for the top slots is a lot more effective. Therefore Search (Top) IS and Search (Abs. Top) IS are really helpful with prioritising campaign optimisation.

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