PMG Digital Made for Humans

How to Calculate Average Position

2 MINUTE READ | June 7, 2016

How to Calculate Average Position

Author's headshot

Preston Smith

Preston Smith has written this article. More details coming soon.

I’ve been asked more times than I can remember, “How do you calculate the real average position?” The good news is that everyone asking realizes that taking an average of an average will get you in trouble. The bad news is they still don’t know how to actually calculate the true average position. In this post, I’m going to run through the methodology and a dummy example in Excel.

Let’s start by looking at the dummy data.

avg pos pic 1

We have date, campaign, impressions, and average position. The end goal could be to calculate average position by date or by campaign.

The reason we can’t just take an average of average position, basically, is the differences in impression volume. We need to account for the impression volume by calculating a weighted average instead of an average of an average.

The first step is to multiply average position and impressions in the raw data, creating a metric I usually label “Avg Pos Index”. Fill this formula down for all rows.

avg pos pic 1

We can now make a pivot table off of this data and create a calculated field for our true average position. It’s simply the sum of the average position index divided by the sum of impressions.

avg pos pic 1

And that’s it! Now we can easily see the true average position by date or campaign just by changing the layout of the pivot table.

avg pos pic 1

A couple of parting thoughts:

  1. I ran through this example in Excel, but the same methodology will work in Tableau, SQL, or whatever tool you are using.

  2. PLA’s will wreck your average position calculation. You obviously don’t want to include them as PLA’s don’t have a position in the same sense as regular paid search ads, but they are typically still included in search reports that pull average position. Just make sure you remove PLA’s by filtering them out from your average position pivot/dashboard.

Stay in touch

Bringing news to you

Subscribe to our newsletter

By clicking and subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Interested in working with us? See our open analytics roles here.

Related Content

thumbnail image

SEO & Paid SearchAI & MarketingData & TechnologyB2B MarketingPlatforms & MediaDigital Marketing

Google Performance Max Campaigns Now Available to All Advertisers

4 MINUTES READ | November 2, 2021

thumbnail image

Consumer TrendsSocial MediaSEO & Paid SearchPlatforms & MediaDigital Marketing

Third Quarter Big Tech Earnings Shed Light on Privacy Impact

5 MINUTES READ | October 28, 2021

thumbnail image

Campaigns & Client WorkSocial MediaProgrammatic AdvertisingCreative DesignStreaming & VideoStrategyDigital MarketingCompany News

PMG Partners with Old Navy to Create a Fully Inclusive Shopping Experience with BODEQUALITY

4 MINUTES READ | August 20, 2021

thumbnail image

Consumer TrendsSEO & Paid SearchAI & MarketingData & TechnologyPlatforms & MediaDigital Marketing

Google Doubles Down on Automation, Consumer Privacy at Google Marketing Live

5 MINUTES READ | June 4, 2021

thumbnail image

SEO & Paid SearchAI & MarketingData & TechnologyB2B MarketingPlatforms & Media

Google Simplifies Smart Bid Strategies

2 MINUTES READ | April 23, 2021

thumbnail image

SEO & Paid SearchAI & MarketingData & TechnologyB2B MarketingPlatforms & MediaDigital Marketing

Google Paves the Road Ahead for Responsive Search Ads

3 MINUTES READ | February 18, 2021

thumbnail image

SEO & Paid SearchAI & MarketingB2B MarketingPlatforms & Media

Google Phases Out Broad Match Modifiers

4 MINUTES READ | February 4, 2021

thumbnail image

Consumer Trends

The Road to Recovery for the Travel Industry

5 MINUTES READ | November 19, 2020

thumbnail image

Company NewsDigital Marketing

Price Glomski Talks to Hospitality Technology

1 MINUTE READ | October 28, 2020

thumbnail image

SEO & Paid SearchPlatforms & MediaDigital Marketing

The United States of America v. Google & What Comes Next

5 MINUTES READ | October 22, 2020

thumbnail image

Social MediaSEO & Paid SearchStreaming & VideoData & TechnologyPlatforms & Media

A Closer Look at the Congressional Big Tech Market Power Report

6 MINUTES READ | October 19, 2020

thumbnail image

SEO & Paid SearchData & TechnologyPlatforms & Media

Auction Time versus Intraday tROAS Bidding Strategies

4 MINUTES READ | October 5, 2020