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Average Position and Impression Rate Metrics

Rewind back to February and Google's announcement of the end of the Average Position metric, in place for more accurate metrics based on impression location on the SERP. Here are our tips for getting ahead with the new metric.

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What is Average Position?

Average Position is a reporting metric which tells us where (on average) ads are positioned on the search results page. It is expressed as a number, with 1 being the top paid text ad position on the page. 

Why are Google making the change?
Fundamentally there are some issues with average position as a metric:

1 Position 1.0 doesn’t always mean top of the page. Every search results page looks different and sometimes 'position 1' is below natural search results or below shopping ads.

2 The 'average' in average position is often overlooked. Despite often representing a blend of thousands of different searches (which might all land at very different places on the search page) there is a tendency of advertisers to interpret average position as actual position on page.

3 Shopping has never reported Average Position metrics, this change aligns Search and Shopping more closely in terms of reporting.

This analysis should give further clarity in how the new Impression Rate metrics work and highlight the issues with Average Position, supporting the move to a more accurate and detailed measure.