Google releases Target Impression Share, its latest Smart Bidding strategy

November 16, 2018

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If you’re looking to maximize reach for your paid search campaigns, Google Ads has just released a new Smart Bidding strategy called target impression share.

What is it? Target impression share is designed to maximize, well, your share of search ad impressions against the competition. Or, as Google puts it, “show in a certain percentage of eligible auctions.”

How does it work? With target impression share bidding, Google’s system will automatically set bids to achieve the share goal. You can set one of three placement options for this strategy: absolute top of the page (position one), top of the page (above the organic results), or anywhere on the page (above or below the organic results).

How do I use it? As with other Smart Bidding strategies, target impression share is set at the campaign level, so you want to be sure that you’re including only the keywords that make sense for this goal in the campaign.

Once you choose the placement option you want to aim for, you then set the impression share percentage target — as high as 100%.

There is also a bid limit. Google cautions against setting it too low because it can choke the bids needed to reach your goal.

Why you should care. This is Google’s fourth Smart Bidding method (fifth if you include enhanced CPC) to automate the bidding process, and the first aimed primarily at reach and awareness.

Earlier this month, Google added reporting on these position metrics in the interface. The aim is to get people thinking less about average position and more in terms of where on the page — very top, above the fold, below the fold — they appear as a better indicator of the impact of position on your performance. You can read more about Google’s thinking behind this in a recent column by Matt Lawson, VP of ads marketing at Google.

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