Goodbye Average Position, and why we're happy about it

James Marshall

Senior Paid Search Director

Google Ads are going to be phasing out and removing the Average Position (avg. position) metric entirely over the coming months. This comes after the recent addition of metrics such as ‘very top of page’ and ‘top of page (above organic)’, two metrics far better suited to reporting on ad prominence. This coupled with the very recent announcement of Click Share reporting coming to Search campaigns (after only being available on Shopping campaigns) means a long overdue sun-setting for in our opinion, a misrepresentative metric.

Why was Avg. Position the metric we never needed?

Google have always stated that avg. position is “how your ad typically ranks against other ads,” on a SERP (search engine results page). However, it was never a true reflection of your where your ad ranks in the auction due to it being a mean average.

To recap on a “mean” average, if your ad were to appear once in each of these ad slots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or appear all 7 times in ad slot 4, in both scenarios, Google Ads would report you as having an avg. position of 4.

For these two scenarios, you are going to get very different results (due to the relative CTR and CPC of each respective ad slot) and reviewing average position has never really added any (useful) insight about your campaign performance above and beyond what Click Share, Impression Share or any default segment like “top vs. other” could.

So, what’s so great about Click Share and Impression Share?

Success in PPC now relies far more on the auctions you choose to enter (based on signals such as the audience a searcher falls into, the time of day or their location) rather than just the position your ad appears in. Click Share & Impression Share are far more insightful metrics to understand if you are entering the right auctions.

Impression Share is a percentage of how many impressions your ads received, out of the total number of times your ads are eligible for an impression.

With the correct campaign and bidding set up, it allows you to ensure you are entering all the right auctions to maximise performance, and shows you how many auctions you are missing; after all, how useful is an Average Position of 2 if you are only showing 10% of the time?

Click Share is the percentage of clicks your ads received out of the total number of times your ads could have been clicked.

The newly introduced metric provides insights into how users engage with your ads in comparison to any competitors for the same keyword. This will help you improve engagement on your ads through tailoring them and adding extensions to meet the needs of the specific searcher, improving CTR and therefore your Click Share.

One thing to note, however, is that a higher Click Share may not always be desirable. It may be that a Click Share of 10% is your sweet spot, and any higher, you are simply entering expensive auctions or auctions containing less engaged users and performance against your other KPIs will drop.


Click Share (and the other new metrics) are a step up from using avg. position to analyse your PPC performance. However, decisions to increase or decrease your Click Share should be taken in conjunction with other performance metrics including Impression Share.

Ultimately, if you're still reporting on average position, we would recommend re-examining your PPC measurement. There are better (and have been for a while) more insightful metrics available to use to your advantage and incorporate into your strategy.

If you have any questions on the sunsetting of avg. position or how to evolve your PPC measurement to generate better results against your KPIs, email us here.

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