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What Is Adwords "Average Position"?
BobK

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1789 posted 8:12 pm on Jan 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

When I use the Adwords Control Panel, one of the parameters it reports on is the "Avg. Pos." for each adgroup. I assume this means "average position", but the number presented seems way out of line with what I am actually experiencing.

I have entered the keywords for several of my ads many times, and the ads seldom come up higher on the page than position 5 on the 1st page, and often several pages back, yet the "Avg Position" is given as 2.5 or better.

Does the "Avg. Pos." perhaps refer to *page number*?

If not, what does it mean?

I looked through the various Adwords help screens and did not find a definition.

 

JayC

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1789 posted 10:11 pm on Jan 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

You're right that "Avg. Pos." is supposed to be that Average Position, not Page. I haven't noticed that it's as inaccurate as what you describe (except for the estimated positions when you're adding or changing keywords or bids; they're of little help at all), but it wouldn't surprise me.

AdWordsAdvisor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member adwordsadvisor us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1789 posted 2:23 am on Jan 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Avg. Pos." does indeed refer to Average Position.

Average Position is a factual accounting of the average of your ad's position over time. Please note that it is not an estimate, but rather an average of actual position.

Also, Average Position varies according to what time period you are looking at. For example the Average Position of a given ad for the date range of 'last month' is quite likely to different than for the same ad, for the date range of 'yesterday'.

Average Position essentially means this: say your ad appeared 100 times yesterday. Depending on what your competition was up to, the ad sometimes was in first position, sometimes in second, sometimes in fifth, and so forth.

Well, if you added up all 100 actual positions, then divided by 100, that would be the Average Position of your ad for the 24 hour day of 'yesterday'.

Hope that makes sense.

AWA

BobK

10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1789 posted 2:54 am on Jan 6, 2004 (gmt 0)

"Well, if you added up all 100 actual positions, then divided by 100, that would be the Average Position of your ad for the 24 hour day of 'yesterday'.

Hope that makes sense. "

Yes, that makes sense, and its what I was expecting.

But it simply isn't what I seem to be experiencing. And, after a bit of review and analysis, I think I have figured out what is happening.

Google appears to be calculating Average Position for the times an ad is shown, but it is *not* taking into account the position with respect to what SERP the ad is shown along with.

Google shows up to 8 ads per displayed page of Search Results (for discussion lets assume the default of 10 results being shown.)

For the keyword in question, my ads are *never* shown along with the first 10 search results. If the user hits the "Next" button (or the '2' button) and results 11-19 are shown, my ad *is* showing up, on average in position 3.

The Adwords Control Panel records this as Avg Pos=3, but in reality its is 8+3 =11, because the user always has to go *past* Search Results 1-10, and Ads 1-8, before getting to my Ad.

Please note that I recognize I have other keywords, in less competitive areas, where I do always show up with the first set of Results. In that case the Avg Pos. is accurate. The problem I am describing here is only occuring in cases where there are a lot of advertisers competing for position.

I could be way off base, but this is my theory for now, and is consistent with what I am viewing for some keywords/ads.

Does anyone have data to confirm or disprove this?

AdWordsAdvisor

WebmasterWorld Senior Member adwordsadvisor us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 1789 posted 12:00 am on Jan 7, 2004 (gmt 0)

For the keyword in question, my ads are *never* shown along with the first 10 search results. If the user hits the "Next" button (or the '2' button) and results 11-19 are shown, my ad *is* showing up, on average in position 3.

The Adwords Control Panel records this as Avg Pos=3, but in reality its is 8+3 =11, because the user always has to go *past* Search Results 1-10, and Ads 1-8, before getting to my Ad.

BobK, I certainly understand that you are seeing something odd, and I'm a bit of a loss to explain it with the very limited information available here. (Unless, for example, you recently lowered your Max CPC, and your ad is now showing on the second page - while you are looking at stats for a date range that includes the past when it near the top of the first page.)

In any case, to speak to your quote above, I can assure you that the AdWords system will count the third ad on the second page as number 11, and not as number 3.

Now, it seems as if I'm giving this advice a lot lately (am I slipping or something?), but I'd suggest that you contact AdWords support and let them take a look. ;)

Gotta say that actually seeing an account makes it so much easier to troubleshoot!

AWA

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