It's important to understand where your ads appear on the search results page. For example, knowing if your ad shows more (or less) often at the very top of the results can help you diagnose significant changes in click-through rate. And knowing what percentage of eligible top impressions you're already capturing helps you determine if you should do more to increase your bids and quality.
Contrary to common perception, average position is not meant to describe where the ad appears on the page. Average position reflects the order that your ad appears versus the other ads in the ad auction. As a result, an ad position of '1' means that your ad shows ahead of all other ads, but it doesn't mean that the ad was at the very top of the page. Sometimes no ads are displayed above the organic search results so the ad with a position of '1' appears at the bottom of the page.
Therefore, we’re rolling out four new metrics over the next several weeks that – unlike average position – provide clear insights on where your ads are appearing on the search results page:
- Impr. (Absolute Top) % – the percentage 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 that you’ve received in the absolute top location (the very first ad above the organic search results) divided by the estimated number of impressions that you were eligible to receive in the top location.
- Search (Top) IS – the impressions that you’ve received in the top location (anywhere above the organic search results) compared to the estimated number of impressions that you were eligible to receive in the top location.
The first two metrics, 'Impression (Absolute Top) %' and 'Impression (Top) %' are specific indicators of page location. Use these metrics to determine when and where your impressions are showing above the organic search results.
The other two metrics, 'Search absolute top impression share' and 'Search (Top) IS' convey your share of eligible top impressions. They are the best indicators of the available opportunity to show your ads in more prominent positions. If your goal is to bid on page location, you should use these metrics. We're working on incorporating these metrics into automated bidding options in Google Ads.
To summarise, if you're using average position to understand the location of your ads on the page, it's better to use Impression (Absolute Top) % and Impression (Top) %. If you're using average position to bid to a page location, it's better to use Search (Abs Top) IS and Search (Top) IS.
Posted by Julien Jacquet, Product Manager, Google Ads