New Ad Position metrics for Google Ads

Due to a lack of clarity on average ad position (says Google), Google has announced that they will be introducing new ad position metrics starting September 30, 2019. In the past, the top ad has not always been placed above the organic search results. This was leading to confusion for some over why some top ads had low click-through rates.

Google is introducing four new metrics. Two of metrics involve the absolute top position on the page. These are the ads that appear above the organic search results and all other ads. 

The other two new metrics involve all other ad positions above the organic search results. The new metrics are:

Impr. (Absolute Top)%:

Search absolute top impression rate is the percentage of your ad impressions that are shown in the absolute top position above all other ads and organic search results.

Search (Absolute Top) IS:

Search Absolute top impression share is the number of impressions you receive in the absolute top ad position divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the absolute top ad position.

Impr. (Top)%:

Search top impression rate is the percentage of your ad impressions shown in a position anywhere above the organic search results.

Search (Top) IS:

Search top impression share is the number of impressions you received in a position anywhere above the organic search results divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in a position anywhere above the organic search results.

As always, C0MPLÉX1 is here to help you create or improve your pay per click (PPC) Google Ads campaign. We are a certified Google Partner and our experts have over a decade of experience working in internet marketing.
We are always on top of any changes in Google’s metrics so your business can get the best results. For more information about our internet marketing or SEO services contact C0MPLÉX1 today.

More Reasons to Make the Mobile Move

According to a recent Q1 2016 Digital Marketing Report by Merkle, Google was a major driver of smartphone usage in the first quarter, driving 95 percent of US smartphone paid search clicks.

Most notable, however, is the fact that Google is far ahead of its search engine competition, Bing and Yahoo, when it comes to driving and converting mobile search traffic. Combine this with a recent article that explains how Google is making signifiant strides with in-store attribution, and you’ve got a real powerhouse to contend with.

2016 Merkle Search Engine Clicks and Shares by Device

Continued Growth for Mobile

According to Merkle, smartphone click shares rose to 39 percent in Q1 of 2016 compared to 33 percent in Q4 of 2015. It should also be no surprise that Google, once again, continues to dominate search. The one change that Google made to paid search in Q1 was the removal of text ads from the right sidebar. Additionally, Google seems to be showing more attention to Product Listing Ads (PLAs) as they are beginning to show up more.

The Importance of SOBO

Searches that Result in Offline Purchases (SOBO) are an important part of the mobile growth that is occurring – particularly where closing the online-offline marketing gap is concerned. Search Engine Land columnist, Mona Elesseily, points out a couple of reasons why we might want to pay attention to the importance of closing this gap:

#1 – SOBO conversions significantly outnumber online conversions.

Though many of us use our smartphones as a shopping companion (i.e. checking and comparing prices on items while in the store, researching products, etc.), most retail sales (95% to be exact) still happen at brick and mortar locations. Because this type of marketing data is difficult to capture, it cannot be factored into optimization efforts.

#2 – Offline tracking is labor-intensive.

Elesseily explains that current offline tracking methods require that the offline data be uploaded consistently to Google. The actual process is extremely time consuming and frustrating for companies, which often leads many companies to simply bypass tracking offline marketing initiatives altogether.

Evidence of Better In-Store Attribution

Elesseily sees three things that Google is doing, which is proving that we’re on the right path to closing the online-offline marketing gap:

#1 – Google Local Inventory Ads

  • Highlights how far the nearest store is from you
  • Shows specific store inventory


  • Helps us understand in-store-attribution/understanding what audiences are more likely to convert in-store
  • Should improve as it’s able to get more granular and optimize in-store conversions

#2 – Google Now In-Store Cards

  • Appears when a shopper is near a store
  • Displays useful information such as sales, closing hours, loyalty card data and more


  • Takes into consideration location history, internet activity (like clicks on ads) and actual visits to a store
  • Also considers data that’s stored in Google accounts

#3 – Google In-Store Conversions

  • Allows advertisers to measure the number of shoppers that visit a physical store after seeing a search ad.
  • Uses a combination of WiFi, GPS and specialized store maps to track visits (basically footsteps) to and within a store


  • First step in Google attempting to tie specific purchases at checkout to people who have previously viewed ads

Watch Out: Digital Ad Spend Is Quickly Catching Up

While television ad spend continues to dominate the advertising landscape in the United States, a recent report published by Strategy Analytics reveals that digital ad spend is catching up…and fast.

A quick look at the numbers paints an exciting story for online marketers: While nearly $187 billion is spent on overall advertising in the U.S., digital ad spend accounts for just over $52 billion (or roughly 30%). And while this is still $30 billion behind TV ad spend, digital ad spend has been growing rapidly each year; ad spend is up by 13% this year alone! Thus, it remains the fastest growing category when compared to other forms of ad spend.

by Chris Blakeley on flickr cc

Why Digital Will Reign

Despite the overall drop in traditional ad revenues, digital ad spend will likely reign supreme as far as online advertising is concerned. Analyst, Michael Goodman, suspects that there will still be moderate growth in ad revenues for 2015, pending the outcome of the U.S. presidential elections as well as the summer Olympics. Goodman also suspects that this growth will continue for at least the next three years.

One look at how people use mobile devices lends insight into some of the trends we’re seeing with digital marketing. Simply stated, more people are online all of the time. Even while they are watching television, cooking dinner, or hanging out with friends, chances are likely that they have a mobile device in their hands. Smart marketers recognize this and are concocting more creative and innovative ways to reach target audiences as a result. And so far, it seems to be working. Why is this?

We have social media to thank, in large part. In fact, author, Leika Kawasaki , speculates that by 2018, TV ad revenue would have fallen to roughly 40% while digital ad spend would have grown to roughly 35%. Additionally, Kawasaki suspects that we’ll see a significant shift as social media pulls away from the pack to take up more of mobile ad spend – $8.2 billion versus $7.4 billion for mobile ads, to be exact.

Online marketers would behoove themselves to start planning for this shift if they haven’t already. And if you are a company that is trying to get the most bang for your buck to help increase brand awareness and ROI, it may be wise to contact an Internet marketing agency who actually not only understands these digital ad spend trends, but rather- one who knows how to put your dollars to use to make it work for your business.

[via TC]

Google Relinquishes Advertisers’ Control Over Keyword Matching

Estimated Reading Time for This Post: 2 minutes, 48 seconds; approximately 561 words.

ppc word cloudGoogle recently announced a small update that will limit the amount of control advertisers have over their AdWords campaigns as far as keyword matching goes.

Beginning in September 2014, advertisers will no longer be able to show ads when a query exactly matches the keywords in an AdWords campaign. Previously, advertisers had two options when it came to how their ads were matched to search queries:

  1. Only show an ad when it exactly matches the query, or
  2. Allow Google to include variations, such as plurals or misspellings

For many advertisers, this small change will go relatively unnoticed, since Google already implemented close matching as the default feature for most AdWords campaigns. However, for advertisers who had previously opted out of this feature, it will have a significant impact as they will soon lose control over when exactly their ads will appear.

Is this a good or a bad thing for advertisers?

This depends on who you ask. For less experienced advertisers, the general consensus seems to be, “no harm; no foul.” However, for more experienced PPC experts, this move by Google is a bad one, and there already seems to be a backlash in effect as some advertisers are petitioning Google to give them back the little control they once had over their AdWords campaigns.

One such advertiser, Bryant Garvin, recently published a petition to Google (and has since acquired 100+ signatures) in an effort to regain advertiser control. Garvin stated,

This is just the latest in a string of changes Google AdWords has made to eliminate advertiser control, all in the name of “simplification” or marketed as an “upgrade”. This change is double impacted for those long sales cycles like B2B where advertisers first “conversion” is never the $$ conversion so they need to track how keywords/queries perform over time, in a system outside of AdWords (like a CRM). [source]

Other complaints from advertisers come in the form of concerns that removing advertiser control will only lead to a decrease in CTR and quality score in many instances. Still, others question how a move like this will impact on how advertisers provide value via the services their company offers to customers.

Forcing Variation Matching on Advertisers

While variation matching isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the overarching concern by advertisers seems to revolve around the fact that you once had a choice in the matter. By removing an advertisers right to choose whichever option works best for them, many feel that they are slowly losing control over their campaigns.

Brad Geddes, of Certified Knowledge, recently stated:

Loss of control is never good. Mobile control was lost with Enhanced Campaigns, and now you’re losing control over your match types. This will further erode your ability to control costs and conversions within AdWords. [source]

As an advertiser, should I be concerned?

Whether you should be concerned or not really depends on your monthly spend. Advertisers who manage smaller budgets with lower monthly impressions will not be as affected as those who manage larger budgets with larger impressions and more clicks.

As Brad Geddes previously mentioned, the biggest issue for advertisers is that these pending changes will result in less transparency and less control while potentially leading to an increase in wasteful spending.

If you have concerns about this or other changes that Google is making, please give your account rep at C0MPLÉX1 a call, and we’ll be happy to explain how your specific account may or may not be impacted.

Google Location Extensions: Changes You Need to Know

Estimated Reading Time for This Post:  1 minute, 9 seconds; approximately 231 words.

Get ready, Internet marketers!  Google recently announced some “improvements” to its location extensions, which will (hopefully) make it easier and faster to manage individual and/or multiple business locations.

Google Location Extensions

Google Changes & Improvements to Location Extensions

The following are some of the changes that Google made to location extensions:

  • Ability to add/manage business location info from a single Google My Business (formerly Google Places) account, linked to your AdWords account
  • Ability to use location information in Google My Business for location extensions across ALL AdWords campaigns
  • Starting in September, non-upgraded location extensions (managed at the campaign level) will be removed from your AdWords account
  • Previous methods of managing location extensions, such as manually entering addresses, will no longer be available.

3 Key Benefits of Google Location Extensions

  1. Improved Relevance – Location extensions are a great way to include relevant, key information about your business/brand to potential customers.
  2. Better Optimization – Because location extensions is linked with your AdWords account, you can direct your ads to different locations throughout various geographic areas, making it easier to hone in on your target audience.
  3. Faster, Better Reach – With the recent changes/improvements to location extensions, Google has now made it faster and more efficient than ever to help you promote your business to customers who may just be right around the corner.

How has using Google location extensions benefited you and your business? Do you think the recent improvements/changes will make a difference?

Effectively Manage Your Adwords Campaigns With These Quick Tips

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes, 12 seconds. Contains approximately 443 words.

Running an Adwords campaign is a great way to drive more traffic to your site, increase ROI or simply gain more visibility within your target audience. And while having a professional, certified PPC specialist can be a real advantage, there are some things you can do on your own to help keep things running as smoothly as possible.

The following are some quick tips to help you more effectively manage your ads and get more ‘bang’ for your ‘bucks’.

3 Quick Adwords Tips to Keep in Mind:

Set up your Adwords campaign(s) ahead of time.

Even if you’re not completely ready (budget-wise, or otherwise) to launch into your campaign full steam ahead, this doesn’t mean that you can’t at least set it up and have it waiting in the wings. Simply PAUSE the campaign as you are creating it.

Having your Adwords campaign set up ahead of time will ensure that no money is spent until you are ready to spend. It also keeps you one step ahead of the game because when you’re finally ready to execute, all you’ll have to do is click a button versus worry about inputting a ton of information. If you’re setting up a campaign for a client, this would also fall under best practices to help you stay organized.

Retrace Past Adwords Campaigns; Look for Patterns.

Sometimes you learn best from past mistakes or by simply seeing what worked in the past. If it’s not broken, why fix it? Retracing past steps that you took in successful Adwords campaigns can lend insight into what you may want to consider repeating or altering for future campaigns. Similarly, examining what went wrong in past campaigns can also lend insight into what NOT to do for future campaigns. You can also figure out where you went wrong and avoid making the same mistakes on your account or clients’ accounts.

Research the Competition.

It’s not enough to simply spout out a bunch of keywords and keyword phrases. Instead, your first step should be to see who the competition is and how their ads are performing. Where are they showing up in the search results and for what keyword phrases? How can you take their ads and make yours different or better? Perhaps it means more than simply coming up with a more creative ad. Perhaps it will involve improving the readability on your landing page or implementing an improved site design. It may take some investment of your time, but it will make the results that much more worth it.

Have any other tidbits of advice that you’d like to add? What’s worked for you in your campaigns? What sorts of difficulties have you faced? Leave your comments below!

See Also:

Google is Removing Accelerated Budget Delivery