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Google recently removed the average position metric and reporting in AdWords. Will removing average position affect you? Click to learn more.
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Google Removes Average Position – How Does This Affect You?

Will Removing Average Position Affect You?

Google Removes Average Position – How Does This Affect You?

Google first announced their plans to sunset the average position metric in August, 2019. Their plans to sunset this AdWords metric was slated for September, 2019. As of the time of writing this article, the average position metric in AdWords is no longer available as a reporting metric. 

If you are a digital marketer, you’ve likely looked at the average position to determine how frequently your ads are visible on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Today, we’re asking “Will removing average position affect you?” 

What is “Average Position?” 

Average position was a metric introduced by Google to highlight an advertiser’s average ad ranking. Each time an advertiser competes in the Google Ads auction, the ad rank is assigned depending on the advertiser’s bids and the quality score, and then the ad rank is used to determine where on the paid search results the ad would place. 

It’s a common misconception that ad position referred to the ultimate placing of your ad on the SERP. This, however, is not entirely true. The average ad position determined the placement of your ad within the paid search results. As the SERP results have evolved, organic results may sometimes place above paid results. Not only did this create confusion amongst marketers and clients alike, it lessened the value of the average position metric. 

Why Did Google Sunset Average Position? 

During the infancy of the AdWords platform, average position used to be a reliable metric for digital marketers. As AdWords and the Google SERPs evolved, average position became a murkier metric to understand. In some cases, paid search ads would place above the organic results on a SERP. In others, organic results would triumph. Yet there was no concrete way for marketers to distinguish these placements using average position alone.

What Metrics Should Marketers Be Looking At? 

In November, 2018, Google rolled out new metrics to help marketers understand how their ads were performing in the Google auctions. These metrics also provided greater insight into the visibility of an ad on the SERP. The metrics Google introduced are:

  • Top Impression Rate – This metric shows what percentage of your impressions came from the top of the SERP, above organic results.
  • Absolute Top Impression Rate – This denotes the percentage of impressions that are showing at the very top of the SERP.  
  • Top Impression Share – This metric outlines how often the opportunities your ad has to appear on the top of the SERP are actually translating into actual impressions at the top of the SERP. 
  • Absolute Top Impression Share – This metric outlines how often the opportunities your ad has to appear on the top of the SERP are actually translating into actual impressions at the very top of the SERP. 

As Google said, “These new metrics give you a much clearer view of your prominence on the page than average position does.”


Within the PPC community, Google’s decision was met with mixed reactions. Some marketers saw it as a further shift towards Google’s focus on automated bidding strategies. Others were concerned with the metric’s removal, until they realized that they had not actually used this data to improve performance on their campaigns. 

We’re Here to Help You!

This latest update to the available metrics in AdWords is just one of a number of changes Google have rolled out in 2019 alone. Staying on top of the evolving bidding strategies, reporting metrics and Google best practice is the best way to see optimal performance from your digital campaigns. And that’s just what the certified digital marketing team at 1 Stop Marketing Solutions does. Book your complimentary consultation today!