Aug 31, 2011 114 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Google has announced a change to its ValueTrack. Now “your destination URL can include the {adposition} parameter. The {adposition} parameter works for search campaigns and” Googler, Andrew Truong explains.

So how does it work?

All you have to do is flip a switch in your AdWords account and Google will affix an ad position parameter named 'adpos' to your destination URL. The information received can then be anatomized as it's passed to the clients' sites and is analyzed from there.

On receiving a click, your display URL will reveal in your logs with the ad position that is switched with one text string values:

  • “1t4” = page 1, on the top of the page, position 4 amongst other ads
  • “2s1” = page 2, on the side of the page, first position.

Google also clarifies that, “In cases where we cannot return this info (e.g. Display Network), we will show “none”.”

Its Implications:

Keyword Position

Keyword 1. Adwords reports that Keyword 1 on broad match has an average position of 3.7 But here's a look at the positions from the click traffic's perspective:

Whilst the average reported position is 3.7, the weighted average of the clicks by position is 2.6. Also consider that the reported Average Position depends on the impressions served and not the clicked ads. Consequently, the click-wise view is always bound to be the lower ordinal number that reflects the higher position on the page. This is as a result of the higher click-through rates of higher positions.

Despite that, it is only obvious that the averages do not give you a complete picture as the reported average position of 3.7, 67% of the clicks came when the ad was in 1 or 2 position.

Here's a look at Keyword 2, on the broad match wherein the average reported position for the days covered: 4.9

It is practically unbelievable that the average position of clicked ads is under 2.1! Agreed that these average position data come in day long chunks as opposed to the click data that start from midday and ends midday. However with such a massive difference between the two makes you question if you are talking about two totally different things altogether? It also seems to me that Google appends the parameter for network partner clicks too. Another factor contributing to these auction dymaics are our very own day-parting activities.

Ads Placement

Keyword 3 on broad match had a reported 114 of its 140 clicks placed when the ad was places at the top of organic listings. Also the same keyword on exact match saw all 112 of its clicks on top of the organic listings.

However this does not reveal if the 1t4 means the ad was forth from the top on the right, or was it placed at the top of the right column with 4 ads served over the organic listings, or whether it was placed underneath the Product Listing Ads. Nevertheless it gives us much more information at the click level than we’ve had before .

 Pages Vs. Clicks:

Also of the total 471 clicks in my sample: 96% of the clicks occurred when the ad appeared on page 1; 3% whilst on page 2 and a mere 1% on page 3 or more. This shows that there is a direct relationship between ads page position and the number of clicks you are bound to receive.

So what do we do with this data?

That's a hard one!…I was just wondering if perhaps this could help us get an insight into how your national ad campaigns are fairing in numerous local markets?

It may enable us to view using geographic overlay data that clicks that are generated from certain areas are significantly lower on the page than the national average. This means that local businesses are giving you tough competition. This helps you narrow down your campaign by targeting only the audience of that local region with the help of a separate bid logic and copy for a competitive edge.

The sky is the limit with this new clarity and flexibility provided by Google. Let's get exploring!

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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