At the end of September, Google retired average position as a metric.
This was a big change. For years, clients, agencies, and advertisers have always had at least a little bit of vanity management, aiming for results page one above the fold. At some point, everyone submitted a bid with the sole goal of being “number one,” without much thought to any actual business metric.
One meaningful business metric to consider is cost per click. Jason Tabeling explores this in his latest article in Search Engine Watch.
Google Average Position Is Meaningless in a World of Personalized Search
This change was implemented to acknowledge that the average position is not meaningful when you’re in a world of personalized search. Ending vanity bidding is just a beneficial side effect. Looking at some data, specifically CPC and CTR, it’s interesting to see how performance varies for top and side positions. An even more compelling story emerges when we compare how these metrics vary on Google.com versus search partners. Check out the whole story.