Last week Google announced that “over the next several weeks” it is rolling out four new ways for advertisers to find out where their ads have been located on the search engine results page.
At the moment advertisers can get an idea of how their ads are doing in the search results compared to their competitors by looking at the average position of the ads. An average position of 1 for an ad shows that the ad is appearing in the top spot, above all other competitors for the keywords in that ad group, the majority of the time.
However this does not necessarily mean that the ad is appearing at the top of the page as there are occasions when no ads are shown above the organic search results and therefore the ads are shown at the bottom of the page, below the natural listings, but it would still be classed as position 1, if it’s the first of the paid search ads.
However Google is about to change that and will soon provide metrics on ‘Absolute Top’ and ‘Top’ positioning, which will allow advertisers to see the percentage of times their ads have been shown above the organic results, at the top of the page, for example:
- Impr. (Abs. Top) % – this shows the percentage of times that your ads are shown above the organic search results at the absolute top, as the very first ad
- Impr. (Top) % – this shows the percentage of times that your ads are shown above the organic search results, at the top of the page
- Search (Abs. Top) IS – this is the impression share (IS) in the absolute top position – the number of impressions the ad received in the absolute top location divided by the number of impressions (estimated) the ad could have received in the top location
Absolute top impression share = impressions on absolute top/eligible impressions on top
- Search (Top) IS – this is the impression share (IS) in the top position – the number of impressions the ad received in the top location divided by the number of impressions (estimated) the ad could have received in the top location
Search top impression share = impressions on top/eligible impressions on top
These new metrics will allow advertisers to get an idea of how often their ads are at the very top of the search results page, in the most prominent spots and also find out the opportunity that is available there. Google says:
“We are working on incorporating these metrics into automated bidding options in Google Ads.”
Like the other impression share metrics there will also be data available on:
- Search lost absolute top impression share (budget)
- Search lost top impression share (budget)
- Search lost absolute top impression share (rank)
- Search lost top impression share (rank)
This data allows advertisers to see the impression share at the top of the SERPs that they are missing out on due to their budget and ad rank – you should aim to see low percentages here.
To see this data simply click ‘Columns’ > ‘Modify Columns’ and find the data under ‘Competitive metrics’:
Check the boxes of the data you’d like to see, click save and the columns will be added to your table.
The Impressions (Absolute Top) % and Impressions (Top) % data can be found under Performance: