Google has announced that in September it plans to sunset its age-old Average Position metric in favor of two new ones: Search Top Impression Rate and Search Absolute Top Impression Rate.

Some advertisers are fine with the change and see the new metrics as far more meaningful. But many others still find AvPos useful, which is one reason Adthena will keep it available. Here’s our rationale.

Google’s AvPos metric shows how your ad ranks in an auction compared to other advertisers, which can be a useful data point for optimizing your campaigns. For example, a top footwear retailer told us that this metric is key to monitoring and understanding how reseller offers affect auction positions that did not make the top of the page. An agency we spoke with said the tool is invaluable for measuring the impact of a change in strategy. In the past, ads reliably showed up in consistent locations on the page, so auction rank in the form of AvPos was highly correlated to page position. Today, page positions are far more dynamic, so auction position doesn’t tell you as much about where your ad is on the page.

Google is introducing two new metrics to replace AvPos:
  • Search top impression rate “Impr. (Top) %” is the percentage of your ad impressions that is shown anywhere above organic search results
  • Search absolute top impression rate “Impr. (Abs.Top) %” is the percent of your ad impressions shown as the first ad above the organic search results

Unlike Average Position, these stats don’t compare your ads to others, but instead show your actual location on SERPs—which is a smart addition given how quickly that location changes. But what they don’t tell you is where the rest of your ads appear—the percentage below the top organic result. Say that 40% of your ads are above the organic search results; how do you know where the rest of your ads are positioned on the SERP? That’s information many advertisers still find valuable.

If AvPos is valuable to you, ask your partners if they will provide access after the sunset. Average Position will of course still be available through the Adthena platform, because we calculate the average position of an advertiser’s ads based on observed industry data rather than relying on Google Ads platform.

If you want more information about using the Average Position metric or this upcoming change, reach out to an Adthena representative. Get in touch