Microsoft Advertising (Bing Ads) is keeping average position reporting!

Written by Phil Birss: Group CEO.
· 4 minute read

In case you didn’t already know, Bing ads has rebranded again to Microsoft Advertising earlier this year. It is thought to be a move by Microsoft to emphasise focus on personalisation and AI, which is an interesting point we shall discuss later.

Microsoft Advertising have now added position-based impression share metrics, much like Google has done. However, in a break from the norm, Microsoft Advertising have announced average position reporting is here to stay, woo!

We have also now seen share of voice reporting change to “prominence metrics” in the platform, with the addition of 6 new stats. These are all available at Campaign, Adgroup and Keyword level. These new stats are;

  • Absolute Top Impression Share.
  • Absolute Top Impression Share Lost to Rank.
  • Absolute Top Impression Share Lost to Budget.
  • Top Impression Share.
  • Top Impression Share Lost to Rank.
  • Top Impression Share Lost to Budget.

Average Positions:

What have Microsoft actually said?

This is a quote from Nahva Tecklu who works for Microsoft’s blog

“One key metric that will remain in your reporting is average position”

The reason why this statement was made by Microsoft is because Google Ads PPC is saying goodbye to average positions. There are several pro’s and con’s to Google doing this, but my gut feel is that it almost deliberately makes reporting more confusing. This could be an attempt to promote more automation with AI and machine learning. 


So what does this mean if Microsoft is keeping this metric instead?

Considering Microsoft’s Advertising platform offers the function to import entire campaigns into its platform straight from Google Ads. It does seem odd that Microsoft are not just going with the norm and copying Google – but should we even care?

Personally I think we should care. Poor old Microsoft could get left behind! 

As mentioned, it could be the case that the Google Ads removal of the average position metric is in fact an attempt to make reporting more confusing. Therefore forcing users into automated strategies in an attempt to make sense of the data by giving it to AI. This could mean the general bulk of advertisers might spend more in Google and less in Microsoft, because “the computer” says so. 

Whereas Microsoft Advertising is giving all the new metrics such as “Top impression share & Absolute Top…”  and also keeping average position. Essentially, they are giving more information which I would validate as being more honest. 

It would mean any PPC Management that is needed has more metrics to validate and understand its success. However, with their focus being on “personalisation and AI” as Microsoft have hinted at, not following suit with Google could mean it takes longer to achieve this focus. Customers might not be forced to turn to automation like Google Ads users might be.

Other potential drawbacks could be; any bidding tools or platforms used across Microsoft and Google might have to start working more independently, due to the fact that each ad platform’s bidding may become vastly different. 

Either way, it’ll be interesting to see whether they are going to keep this metric or not. It’s unusual to see Microsoft doing something different from Google for a change, let’s see if it pays off…

A lot of what we have discussed today can be considered a confusing topic, and if your position on PPC or digital marketing is also causing you more confusion, then get in touch. We can make sure you stay a step ahead.