Welcome to the Marin Software Support Center. We're glad you're here. Here's what you can look forward to:
  • Real-time search so you can find what you need faster than ever.
  • Easy-to-follow video guides for our most popular articles.
  • Interactive simulations and Live Screenshots to make learning easy.
  • Regular content updates to ensure every word you read is accurate and up-to-date.

Bidding and Optimization

Home > English > Bidding and Optimization > Bidding Basics > Position-based Bidding

Position-based Bidding


Position-based bidding is designed for search keywords, and will calculate bids in order to reach a target average position, or average range of positions. Targets can be set at either the folder-level or at the keyword-level using Bid Override.  Supported publishers include Microsoft, Yahoo Japan, Yahoo Gemini, Yandex, or any generic publisher that is able to bring in position data.

Note: Google no longer supports Position-Based Bidding. Instead, for Google campaigns, use Awareness Targeting. To learn more, check out our dedicated article

When to use Position-based Bidding

  • To keep branded or trademark keywords at the top of the page (recommended).
  • To maintain keywords serving ads for Domain A above or below keywords serving ads for Domain B.
  • When conversions cannot be tracked, consider a position-based optimization approach if this aligns with your business goals.

How to set up Position-based Bidding at the Folder-level  

  1. Click on the desired Folder to open the Settings tab.
  2. Under Optimization Criteria, select Position Goal on the left-hand side.
  3. Set the Minimum and Maximum Desired position.
  4. Click Save.

Note: A keyword using Bid Override (on, or bidding to position) will not observe a folder's position target. If migrating from keyword-level Position Overrides to folder-level position targets, remove all Bid Overrides.

How it works

  • Position Range Targets can be set between 1.0 and 10.0.
  • Position Targets can be entered to one digit after the decimal point (i.e. 1.5, or 1.5-2.5).
  • The range's maximum must be greater than or equal to the minimum.
  • Keyword bids will be increased or decreased to reach the target position range. If a keyword is coming in below the target position range, we will increase the bid by 10%. If a keyword is coming in above the target position range, we will decrease the bid by $.03 increments until the keyword reaches the desired position range. 
  • Bids will only be changed for keywords whose last known position was outside of the target position range (unless they become constrained by a Folder setting such as Bid Cap).
  • Position-based Bidding only applies to Search terms and universal channel terms; it is not available for Content/Display/Product Targets.
  • Bids will not be adjusted for keywords with 0 impressions over the past 7 days to ensure bids are not changed based on outdated position data.
  • Bid changes are based on predictive position models built at the keyword level. The predictive models need 28 days worth of historical data (honoring excluded dates), otherwise, the bids will be modified according to a simpler model.
  • All rules on the Folder settings page (including Boost) are observed except Position Cap, which is only available in folders with a financial goal. 

Best Practices

  1. We recommend setting a range of 1.0 - 1.3 or 1.0 - 1.4 for keywords or Folders targeting the top position. This ensures that keywords will be in the top position for the majority of auctions*.

  2. The keyword level position bidding feature runs on the same algorithm used at the Folder level, thus all the Folder rules apply to these keywords (except for the Position cap). Rules such as an ‘overly restrictive’ or ‘unrestrictive’ Max Bid Chg % could have a large impact on performance and spend respectively.

  3. We recommend setting boost equal to 0 for any folders that have a folder-level position target or contain keywords on position-based-bidding. Boost is applied on top of the position settings, so it can cause keywords to be bid north of their desired position range.

  4. It is recommended to avoid setting narrow position target ranges lower down on the page. In more southern positions, a small bid change is more likely to lead to a relatively large shift in position (which could lead to constantly oscillating bids). In more northern positions, narrower ranges can be used because an increase in position is usually at the cost of a significant increase in bid (note that this may not be the case for brand terms). To summarize, for positions south of 3.0, we recommend a position range of at least 1.0; and for positions north of 2.0 we recommended a range of no lower than 0.2.

  5. We recommend using caution when putting broad match keywords on position bidding. Some broad match terms may attract searches unrelated to their brand, which can lead to an increase in inefficient traffic. For broad match terms targeting a position range north of their current position, we recommend increasing position targets gradually and monitoring the spend. In addition, we recommend adding negative keywords and using broad match modifiers to further limit the potential increase in inefficient spend.

  6. We do not recommend using ​Boost with Position-Based Bidding. Position bidding looks mainly at yesterday's position data (for keywords) and decides to bid up or down a percentage amount to move into a position range. If this is layered with % extra on top with Boost, we can often miss the targeted position range.

*An average daily position of 1.2 means at least 80% of your daily impressions are at Position 1, therefore selecting a position target of 1.0-1.4 should not have a large impact on ‘visibility’.


Why are bids increasing when my position is higher than the target?

This issue most commonly occurs when you are also using the platform’s Boost feature in combination with Position-Based Bidding. See here for more details.

Last modified



This page has no classifications.