Google Announces New Search Ad Metrics

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Google Announces New Search Ad Metrics

Knowing where your Google Ads appear on a search engine results page (SERP)  is valuable information, but the specifics were always a little muddy.  This is described by a metric called average position.  Average position describes your ad’s location relative to other ads in the auction, not where it appears on a SERP.  With the average position as your only metric it was hard to tell where your ad was actually being placed on a page, and the number assigned to your ad through average position didn’t correspond to what place it occupied.

To alleviate this confusion and offer more precise information, Google is rolling out four new metrics to better help you understand where your ad appears on the page.  These give a much clearer idea of where your ads are placed on the search results page.  Here’s what you can expect to see going forward:

  • Impr. (Absolute Top) % – the percent of your ad impressions that are shown as the very first ad above the organic search results
  • Impr. (Top) % – the percentage of your ad impressions that are shown anywhere above the organic search results
  • Search (Absolute Top) IS – the impressions you’ve received in the absolute top location (the very first ad above the organic search results)
  • Search (Top) IS – the impressions you’ve received in the top location (anywhere above the organic search results) compared to the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location

top vs. absolute top location

Above is an example of where top vs. absolute top are located, according to Google.

These metrics are basically divided into two categories: specific page location and percentage of eligible impressions.  Impr. (Absolute Top) % and Impr. (Top) % tell you exactly where your ad appears on the SERP.  Search (Absolute Top) IS and Search (Top) IS tell you the share of eligible top of page impressions your ad got.  They show how much opportunity your ads have to find a higher place on the SERP.

Using these metrics together will help you understand if there is a change in click-through rate on your ads based on their changing position on the SERP.  These metrics will hopefully close the gap between where you want your ads to be and where they are.  Happy bidding!

Becky Holder
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