Adios Average Positioning in Google AdWords!

The word is out, Google AdWords is doing away with the average position metric. Meaning, if you, your company or clients relied on this metric to determine to raise or lower, or pause a keyword, then you are up a creek. UNLESS someone discovered new metrics regarding positioning a few months ago.

Average Page Ranking or Average Positioning has been around since Google. My clients and I relied on it heavily for the longest time. It would tell us where the keywords were putting the ad in a general search query. For instance, if I used the phrase, “Storage Units Alvin TX”, the client’s ad would have an average position of 1, on a bad day, 1.5. This information simple meant if a query for, “storage units Alvin TX was typed, the ad associated with the keyword phrase would show.  This being the case, we knew we didn’t have to change our bidding, keyword, or even the ad. However, I know there is more to it. For example, if the CTR was below 3, The keyword was paused or modified.

however, before we run off and look at other metrics to use, how is the SEO on your website. In the end, a huge part of customer interaction has everything to do with the quality of your website. And search engine optimization is key.  For example, if you have a great interactive website but the meta tags, the image tags and the content itself were not focused on a couple of relating keywords, then 1. you lose potential organic search and 2. Google sees the page as not relevant and your ad gives a poor quality score. So you end up with poor data, spend more money than necessary and still are not getting the clicks that are meaningful, ie, no one is buying or calling.

Which leads to today, or in these coming weeks, how will we monitor the keywords? Google Adwords, you realize, would never leave us high and dry. They started implementing the other metrics in the Competitive Metrics section.

Google Adwords Competition Metrics


Where is this? Once you are in your campaign, click on an ad, then click on Keywords in the left-hand column. Once you see the keywords, right above them, to the right, you will see a few icons, click on the column icon to customize it. Look for the Competitive section.

Now that you are there, exactly what do things mean? Ignore the Avg Pos (that’s the one being dropped) Focus is on the others. When you mouse over each of these, you get a popup that explains their use. The following are my future choices.

  1. Search top IS, which is to “Search top impression share (IS) is the impressions you’ve received in the top location on the search result page divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location. Use this metric to bid on the top page location. The top location is anywhere ads appear above the organic search results. According to Google Adwords, the eligibility is based on your current ads’ targeting settings, approval statuses, bids, and quality.”
  2. Search Exact Match IS, as I run all my keywords as modified exact matches. “
  3. Search Abs Top IS (rank). This one ” …estimates how often your ad wasn’t the very first ad above the organic search results due to poor Ad Rank.  Ad rank determines your ad position relative to other ads and whether your ad is able to show at all. It’s calculated using your bid, ad and website quality, the context of the search, Ad Rank thresholds, and the expected impact of extensions and other ad formats.”
  4. Click Share. This one “… is the clicks you’ve received on the Search Network divided by the estimated maximum number of clicks that you could have received. How often your product is clicked depends on your ads’ targeting settings, budget, approval statuses, bids, and the quality of your product data.”


You have to know what data you want to collect before you can set your bids. To do that, you should always modify your columns, test, and experiment with them to learn more about them. Only the data you receive will truly help you with the campaign.  As with any Google Adwords Ad Campaign, you need to have relevant, quality keywords and ads, plus these have got to tie back to a page the amplifies the same relevancy. Don’t forget to use your Google Search Console to help with determining what keywords bring up your site organically and that you are using a conical URL.

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