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Google Changes its Search Ads Metrics Definitions

Google recently updated its definitions of certain Search Ads metrics. Top and absolute top metrics in Google Ads help advertisers understand ad placement performance. Advertisers can use these prominence metrics to get a sense for their ads’ placement on the page to optimise campaigns and improve results.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that the update is a ‘definitional change’ and would not affect performance metrics.

Top ads are generally above the top organic results, although top ads may show below the top organic results on certain queries. This metric is for Search Ads only and doesn’t include Search Partners. It is separate from Shopping Ads Top ad metrics. Absolute top ads is the ad slot that is the absolute highest of the top ad slots.

These prominence metrics indicate how likely your ads are to be visible to a viewer i.e Google’s estimation of your ad’s visibility on the search results page.

Elements that affect prominence include:

Ad position: Ads in higher positions have more prominence, because people are more likely to see the ad.

Ad formats: Ads with ad formats have more prominence than ads without ad formats (i.e. a plain text only ad), as they’re more visual in nature and generally draw more attention to an ad which increases clicks on it.

Prominence is primarily measured by the average change in clickthrough rates (CTR) from adding ad formats or moving to a higher position.

Prominence metrics include Search top impression rate ‘Impr. (Top) %’ and Search absolute top impression rate ‘Impr. (Abs. Top) %’ which tell you the placement of your ads on the Search engine result pages (SERPs).

Also, impression share, which refers to how often your ads could have shown (and did) and click share, which is how many times your ads could have been clicked on, versus how often they did. This includes auctions your ads did not appear in.

This update could indicate that Google is progressing with its idea to insert ads between organic search results, as seen in trials last year. This change could potentially result in more clicks for advertisers in areas of Google Search that have traditionally been reserved for organic content.

You can read more about Google’s Search Ads Metrics Definition changes.

If you want to know more about how the effective use of prominence metrics can help your business’s Google Ads campaign, please get in touch.