Average position is disappearing from Google Ads, but what does that mean for auto dealers? We’re breaking down the removal of this metric from Search campaigns, including what it means for advertisers and how we’re handling the change at Adpearance.
What Is Average Position?
Earlier this year, Google announced that they would be sunsetting Average Position in Google Ads. Ad position is the order in which your ad ranks on a page and average position explains how your ad typically ranks against other ads. Average position has been a way for advertisers to gauge where ads rank in relation to competitors, but it doesn’t tell the complete story in terms of where your ads are located on search engine results pages. This is part of the reason why Google has decided to sunset the average position metric.
Why Is Google Removing Average Position?
Google's explanation for removing average position is that the metric is misleading because it only tells you how your ad did relative to other ads, instead of telling you where your ad appeared on the page. Most people think that an average position of (1) means your ad is always at the top of search results, but it actually only means you have the highest ranking ad. In some cases, you could rank in the first position but have your ad show at the bottom of search results. In our experience, many campaigns actually do best with an average position of (2) rather than (1), because they can save money on bids while still being prominent.
Can Advertisers Still Calculate Average Position?
To replace average position, Google is rolling out new metrics that give advertisers a much better understanding of the prominence of their ads in search results than average position currently does. The new metrics, top impression percentage and absolute top percentage, explicitly indicate how often an ad shows above or below organic results.
Top Impressions Percentage - Indicates the percentage of impressions for ads that showed above organic listings.
Absolute Top Impression Percentage - Indicates the percentage of impressions for ads that showed above all competitors and organic listings.
There are also new search impression share metrics for each, so advertisers can see how many impressions were eligible for top impression percentage and absolute top percentage.
What Does This Mean for Auto Dealers?
Average position was never the main goal for most advertisers, so this shouldn't affect what key performance indicators (KPIs) are considered a priority. If you were already ranking above organic listings the majority of the time, these new metrics will not add any perspective. We’re staying focused on the following KPIs and recommend auto dealers do the same:
- Search Impression Share
- Completed Forms from Paid Ads
- Phone Calls from Paid Ads
- VDP Page Views from Paid Ads
- Directions Page Views from Paid Ads
- Conversion Rate
- Cost-Per Lead
Are Your Ad Campaigns In Need of A Tune Up?
With more than a decade of experience working with dealerships and OEMs in the auto industry, we love partnering with car dealers to help them get the most from their digital advertising. Reach out for a free digital analysis to learn about our approach to digital advertising and the results you can expect to see.