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Top versus Side Segmentation

Google Employee
# 1
Google Employee

It's great to be in the first position! But does your ad's first position mean top of page first position or right of page first position? There is a difference...


Back in April, our Chief Economist, Hal Varian, wrote a blog post regarding insights on the average position metric. As Hal explained, there is a large difference, in meaning and in performance, between when your ad appears in position #1 above the search results ("Top of Page") and when your ad appears in position #1 on the side of the search results ("Side"). Hal stated that “This distinction is important, since, on average, ads that appear above the search results tend to get substantially more clicks than ads that appear on the right-hand side.” Knowing this, our teams worked together to create an exciting new segment report, “Top vs. Side”. 


Using this report, you can distinguish performance between keywords, ad groups and campaigns that appear on the top of the search results page versus the right hand side of the search results. With this analysis, you will be better able to optimize your campaigns based on the amount of impressions, clicks and conversions your ads are receiving, depending upon where they are positioned in the auction. Perhaps you will decide to increase bids or focus on making changes to improve quality score, to try and increase your ad's position to Top of Page first position for valuable keywords, instead of Side of Page first position. And advertisers who are focused on branding will also be able to get a clearer picture of when and where their unique brand terms are generating ads, on top or to the side of the results. You will even be able to see Top versus Side performance on Google Search versus Google Search Partners and optimize your campaigns accordingly, since the networks can perform differently.


Segmenting Top versus Side metrics:
  1. Select the CampaignAd groupsAds or Keywords tab of your AdWords account.
  2. Click the Segment button in the toolbar above your data table.
  3. Select Top vs. side from the drop-down. Results will appear in rows beneath each of your ads.
  4. You can download this report by clicking on the Report icon (downward-facing arrow with underscore) in the toolbar above your data table.
Please feel free to visit the AdWords Help Center to learn more tips on getting your ads above the Google search results and improving their quality.
I hope this was helpful! Please share other interesting reports or segmented data you use to optimize your campaigns.
Kristin L.
2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Top versus Side Segmentation

Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆
# 2
Collaborator ✭ ☆ ☆

Hi Kristin L,


Great article on how to check the ad positions and see how your ads perform at different ad slots.


I'd just like to add a bit more for those advertisers that have their AdWords and analytics accounts linked up so they can dive a bit deeper into this kind of data.


You are able to get a report from analytics that shows your ads performance at a position level which includes conversions rates and other data.


Go to Traffic Sources > Advertising > AdWords > Keyword Positions


You can select individual keywords and view conversion rates at each position.


analytics keyword positions.png


This is quite a granular way of looking at your data but a really good report to look at to decide if you want to raise bids to try and capture more top of page impressions for your top money terms.



Re: Top versus Side Segmentation

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor
... and just to add to this.... don't get obsessed with top position - you may well find that your best ROI is in a lower position since the CPC is lower. Test, test and then test a little more to find the sweet spot.