New Google Ads Update That Could Change Your Ad Game

Digital marketers know how we live and breathe by Google Ads. After all, over 2 million searches per minute mean millions of opportunities for our precious ads to reach eyeballs. And so far, Google has done a decent job of providing a user-friendly platform to manage those ads, having just released a re-brand of Google Adwords to simply “Google Ads” in mid-2018. Not much actually changed, but clearly, Google is taking its role as the digital marketing big cheese seriously.

But there was one significant area where Google’s advertising system remained a mystery, and a recent update aims to change that. The media giant announced in early November it would be adding new metrics to its ad software that provide much better insight into where exactly an ad appears on a search results page, an important tidbit of information that hasn’t been clear until now. If you’ve been relying on the “average position” metric to relay this information, we’re sorry to say you’ve been hoodwinked.

Google clarified in a statement: “Contrary to common perception, average position is not meant to describe where the ad appears on the page. The average position reflects the order that your ad appears versus the other ads in the ad auction.” So an ad with an average position of 1 won’t necessarily appear at the top of the page if ads aren’t shown above the organic search results. Misleading, right?

Shiny New Tools for Measuring Ad Success

To clear things up, Google will be introducing four new metrics over the next several weeks:

  • Impression (Absolute Top) % – percent of ad impressions that appear in the absolute top location (very first ad above organic search results)
  • Impression (Top) % – percent of ad impressions that appear in the top location (anywhere above organic search results)
  • Search Absolute Top Impression Share – impressions received in the absolute top location divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location
  • Search Top Impression Share – impressions received in the top location compared to the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location

Google Search Results

The first two metrics, Search Absolute Top Impression Rate and Search Top Impression Rate, provide vital information about the actual location of your ads on a page. Because the second two, Search Absolute Top Impression Share and Search Top Impression Share, take eligibility into account, these will be more useful for helping you decide how to bid on ad location. Google suggests using these metrics as targets to guide your bids.

Takeaway: A Clearer View into Your Ads’ Successes and Failures

Will this update change the digital marketing industry as we know it? Probably not. But what it will do is provide some much-needed transparency in successfully managing your ad campaigns, and probably save you money, too. Instead of just bidding for that first page of results, you’ll be able to start spending your budget on what actually helps your ad reach more eyeballs. So be on the lookout for these new tools over the next few weeks, and if you would like help getting the most out of your paid search strategy, let us know! We’re a full-service digital marketing firm based in Atlanta, Georgia, and luckily for you, we’re Google Ads experts and more. Contact Local Marketing, Inc. directly here:


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