Over the past year, Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads) has been shaking up its ad reporting by introducing new metrics and removing some old ones. This change was in response to a similar wave of changes to position reporting that Google made in February.

One of the metrics being removed was going to be Average Position, which is a statistic that describes how your ad typically ranks in relation to other ads. Google’s stated reason for removing this metric was because it’s not a clear indicator of where your page actually appears.

 

google average positions update

Google removed “average position” as a metric in 2019.

 

Microsoft wasn’t following suit, at first.

“One key metric that will remain in your reporting is the average position,” Nahva Teklu, Program Manager for Microsoft Advertising, wrote in her blog post. “We’ve heard continuous feedback that shows this information is still very valuable to you.”

Now, however, it seemed that Microsoft has reversed its position.

Microsoft is officially removing Average Position “in an effort to limit confusion and allow you to focus on just the key metrics that matter to you most.”

 
This change is scheduled to take effect in April.
 

Other metrics being removed include:

  • Impression share lost to bid
  • Relevance
  • Expected CTR

Metrics being added include:

  • Top impression share
  • Top impression share lost to rank
  • Top impression share lost to budget
  • Absolute top impression share
  • Absolute top impression share lost to rank
  • Absolute top impression share lost to budget

All prominence metrics are available at the campaign, ad group, and keyword levels.
 

Why does this matter?

 
Both Google and Microsoft Ads (after some flip-flopping) came to the conclusion that bid-to-position strategies aren’t the best approach for advertisers. We’re going to see a shift to automated bidding strategies. The new metrics give advertisers a better sense of share of voice and visibility on the SERP, which should improve the overall approach moving forward.
 

What impact will this have?

 
After this change takes place, Bing advertisers will have a more accurate picture of where their ads are placed, which will greatly improve PPC strategy and planning.
 

What should marketers do next?

 
Tinuiti recommends that marketers pull a historical comparison between average position and the new metrics. This can provide context as to what top-of-page impression levels yielded previous positions or which metrics correlated with shifts in average position.  It is also recommended to review related smart-bidding strategies to see if any can be used.

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