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Google Shuts Down Position Preference For AdWords Bidding

Google has announced it will be retiring AdWords position preference, which automatically sets bids to achieve a certain position on the page, in early May.

The company is seeking to dissuade advertisers from putting an emphasis on the position of their ads. Yesterday, the company posted an analysis from chief economist Hal Varian that concluded that the ad’s position on a page has no impact on conversion rates.

“If you bid on a keyword that many other advertisers are bidding on, you may end up in a relatively low position on the page due to the competition from other bidders,” Varian wrote. “However, the very fact that many people are bidding on that keyword suggests that it will perform well, even when your ad is placed lower on the page. On the other hand, if you bid on a keyword that no one else is bidding on, you may end up in position 1 by default but end up with few clicks.”

If you’re determined you want your ad in a certain position, though, you can still use automated rules to achieve the same result. With this feature, you can set an automated rule that will change your bid if your average position differs from your target position.

Any campaigns using position preference, however, need to be transitioned off it. As of today, no new campaigns can be enabled with position preference, and, if it’s turned off, you won’t be able to turn it back on. Starting in early May, Google will begin disabling the feature for any campaigns still using it. Google recommends you use the most recent position preference bid as your manual maximum CPC when you disable the feature. As a safety measure, Google recommends you download a keyword report before you disable position preference.

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