The Google AdWords community was thrown a curve ball last month when Google removed right rail ads. Now PPC text ads only appear at the top and at the bottom of the SERPS. We've gone from 11 ads per SERP to between 7 and 8. That's a 27-36% reduction in ad real estate. As a result, your ads are likely to lose "above the fold" visibility.
Our clients already enjoyed top of page visibility for their most important keywords. But there are definitely instances when we intentionally aimed for position 5 or 6, above the fold on the right, simply because we couldn't hit our ROAS targets in position 1 or 2 for certain keywords.
OK, so what do we do now? There are many ways to evaluate the impact this is having on your ad visibility (and we recommend monitoring them all), including trending Impression Share, CTR, auction insights, etc.
One of the easiest, however, is to simply create Custom Columns for "top of page" vs "other". Click here for an intro on getting started with Custom Columns. We can even break this out by Google Search vs Search Partners, and by Device type. Here's an example of how to create a custom column for Impressions when ads are at the top of page for searches on Google.com:
Repeat this process for impressions and clicks for Google Search top and Google Search Other ("other" now being "bottom"). Then set up your column view and save:
Then save your column configuration for easy access tomorrow:
Now, view the results and hold on to your hat. Your Avg Pos metrics of 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 etc, now look like this:
Still feeling warm and fuzzy about those 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3 average positions? Thought not.