Awareness Targeting FAQ

With Google and Microsoft having sunset average position metrics, Awareness Targeting allows users to set an Impression Share / Rate bidding target for Google/Microsoft. Targets can be specified by device. 


What Is Changing?

Advertisers looking for information about search ad positions will now need to rely on the five “prominence metrics”.

  • Impr (Abs. Top) %
  • Impr. (Top) %
  • Search (Absolute Top) Impression Share (IS)
  • Search (Top) Impression Share (IS)
  • Search Impression Share 

To align with this change, Marin launched a new Strategy known as Awareness Targeting

Why Are The Publishers Making This Change?

With an increasing share of searches coming from mobile and new ad format, position is not as easy to define as it once was. The new metrics aim to provide a better measurement of the reach of your ads across eligible impressions.

In the old system, a position of 1 didn’t necessarily mean top of page so these new metrics will provide a more accurate view of your position in the auction.

Can You Explain The New Metrics?

We’ll let Google take this one, (from their blog post about launching the metrics):

  • Impr. (Absolute Top) Rate % - the percent of your ad impressions that are shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.
  • Impr. (Top) Rate % - the percent of your ad impressions that are shown anywhere above the organic search results.
  • Search (Absolute Top) IS - the impressions you’ve received in the absolute top location (the very first ad above the organic search results) divided by the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.
  • Search (Top) IS - the impressions you’ve received in the top location (anywhere above the organic search results) compared to the estimated number of impressions you were eligible to receive in the top location.
  • Search Impression Share 

What Do The Metrics Mean?

The Rate metrics show the percent of YOUR impressions that are above the organic results. The IS metrics show what percentage of the total available metrics your impressions represent.

Why Use Impression Rate Instead Of Impression Share?

Impression Rate is intraday and has minimal latency. Impression Share is heavily latent with data that is sometimes delayed by up to 24 hours. 

This means that Impression Rate is more reactive to recent signals, making it a better metric for advertisers optimizing to awareness. 

What Metric Does Awareness Targeting Use?

Awareness Targeting focuses on Impression Rate because it provides a better understanding of where your ads are showing on the page and it is available same day for faster optimization. Google's Smart Bidding only targets Impression Share which is delayed by 24 hours.

Depending on what position you are targeting, you can use either Impression (Abs Top) % or Impression (Top) %.

The best practice for setting your targets is to look at the recent performance for the campaigns across the impression rate metrics and use this as a starting point. This will ensure the smoothest transition from targeting a position to targeting impression percentage.

The new Awareness Targeting settings can be seen by clicking on the Optimize link in the left navigation bar and then double-clicking on a Strategy. The Side Panel will appear and the recommendations can be seen by clicking on the 'pencil' icon in the first section.

How Did Marin Calculate The Recommendations?

Awareness Targeting recommendations are based on the actual Impression Rate for the Strategy over the last 14 days prior to calculation.

Why Do The Awareness Targets Vary By Device Or Strategy?

The suggested targets are based on the actual performance in the Strategy, by device. So if you are seeing different suggested targets for the same Average Position, that reflects how your ads are appearing for that device or Strategy. You are welcome to change the targets to be the same. 

What Are Some Benefits Of Awareness Targeting?

Goals-by-device: Marin optimizes devices independently because user behavior varies a lot between desktop and mobile.

A responsive intraday bidding engine: By running every 4 hours using the latest prominence signals, Awareness Targeting ensures that advertisers are hitting their targets and maximising reach, especially on high volume, highly competitive terms. A great way to stay ahead of competitors.

A holistic account strategy: You can apply Strategies across multiple Google accounts within the same workflow, instead of individually. 

A single Strategy: One that’s compatible with position-based bidding for non-Google publishers and Impression Rate metrics for Google.

  • Immediate setup and launch: Advertisers can dive right in and begin targeting to Impression Rate, no historical data needed!

Why Can’t I Change Strategy Settings In Marin Search?

As a company, we are investing more resources to our cross-channel tool, Marin. We hope that by migrating more widely used features and capabilities into Marin, you will begin to feel more accustomed to using it on your day-to-day operations, and view Marin as your primary tool.

Please note that if you are in Marin Search and would like to set Awareness Targeting as a Strategy, you will be navigated to the Marin Optimization Page. After navigating to the Marin Optimization Page, you can launch the Strategies Side Panel to then set your Awareness Targets.

Remind Me..How Often Do Bid Jobs Run?

Bid jobs running every 4 hours for Google, Microsoft and Yahoo Japan publishers. For non-Google, Microsoft and Yahoo Japan publishers (Yandex, Yahoo Gemini) the bidding engine runs once per day (by default, the engine runs at 5pm local time, however, can be configured to run at an earlier or later hour).

Can I Set Bid Caps? 

Yes! You can learn more about Bidding Rules in our dedicated article.

How Do I Know That Awareness Targeting Won’t Raise My Cost Dramatically?

As with all Marin Strategies, calculated bids will be subject to any rules put in place at the Strategy level. This can include a Bid cap to prevent bids from being placed above a certain threshold. Additionally, Marin Strategies will continue to be subject to a campaign's daily budget.

What Is The Lowest Allowed Target Setting?

The lowest allowed target setting is 10%.

How Can I Eliminate Traffic For A Particular Device?

To eliminate traffic for a particular device, simply set a -100% bid modifier at the Group or Campaign level.

Is The "Keep Above First Page Bid" Rule Honored?

This rule ensures that the keyword bid never falls below the First Page Bid. Currently, this rule is not being honored in Awareness Targeting.

If the First Page Bid is greater than the current bid, we will not set the Search Bid to the First Page Bid value. This applies to Google keywords only. We are working to resolve this issue.

What Criteria Types Does Awareness Targeting Support? (I.E. Keywords, Product Targets, Dynamic Targets, Etc.)

Currently, Awareness Targeting only supports Search ad keywords.

Will Awareness Targeting Not Respect A Manual Bid Change Synced From The Publisher?

If the bid is changed at the publisher, and has been in place for several hours (enough to reflect in the intraday cost reports), then we will defer to the cost reports rather than the value in Marin. However, if it it’s not yet reflected in the cost report yet, we expect Marin to not recognize it and use the existing bid

It is always recommended to use a bid override set to expire after 1 day or later when making bid changes. If user wants to keep this bid change permanent, do not set an expiration date.

When Targeting Impression Share, Does Awareness Targeting Run Intraday?

No - Imp share metrics are only available daily so Awareness Targeting will update bids once per day at 7-11 am local campaign time for Google (later in the day for Bing). Only the rate-metrics (Top Imp Rate, Abs Top Imp Rate) are available and updated intraday.

Written by Marketing @ Marin Software

Last published at: June 19th, 2024