McCord Web Services December 2018  

Google Changes the Definition of Average Position

Dear Friend,

On November 6, 2018 Google announced a "change" to Average Position in Google AdWords or Google Ads. The full announcement can be found online.

I have been a Google Partner and Certified AdWords Professional for years. I have studied and passed numerous certification exams, nearly from the time that Google instituted the AdWords certification program.

This announcement states that people were confused on what Average Position is and that it is not what they had thought. Here is the important quote from the announcement.

"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 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."

Well, this is a change. All the AdWords test materials and study guides over the years have stated that average position was just that – a statistical average of where your ad appeared on the page to give you an idea of how high or low your position was as a factor of your quality score and bid. Read the rest of my article on this important change.

All the Best,

Nancy C. McCord

Google Changes the Definition of Average Position

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More on Google Changes the Definition of Average Position

The bottom-line is that we have seen many client accounts suddenly have a drop in Average Position in the regular column set now that the definition of what Average Position is according to Google.

The resulting action is that we have had to push up click costs or move to automated bidding algorithms in Google Ads in order to get back to ad positions that allowed for our best number of clicks and conversions.

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