A Simple Simple Short Shot
Target Impression Share, Google's New Smart Bidding Strategy
This bidding strategy replaces "Outrank Share" and focuses on maximizing reach and awareness through increased visibility.
Target Impression Share is the newest smart bidding strategy being offered by Google Ads throughout their Google Search Newtork. The strategy automatically sets bids where you can choose if you want to display on the absolute top of a page (position 1), on the top of the page (above the fold), or anywhere else on the Google search page results (bottom).
Google suggests that this is an effective strategy if your business goal is to increase or stabilize awareness. You would use it if your campaign goal was to "show in a certain percentage of eligible auctions" which means that you're maximizing your share of search impressions agsint your competition.
You can set Target Impression Share as a bid strategy on a campaign level or as part of a portfolio strategy across multiple campaigns.
Previously, with the now defunct outrank share, you could bid directly against a competitor's search results. It was a very effective strategy, especially when your competitor wasn't advertising in search. This new strategy still allows you to think similarly, but the bidding process is different. Now you set a bid limit and determine how much of your budget is to be allocated to one of the three available page locations. If you only wanted to be in the absolute top spot, then you'd allocate 100% of your budget to that impression share target.
Google recommends that you not set your bid limit too low so that you don't prevent yourself from reaching your visibility goal.
As with outranking share, this is a much more expensive bid strategy from a CPC perspective. We've found that average CPC rates tend to be 3-4 times more costly than our standard adwords campaigns which are more focused on high quality brand leads.
This change in bid strategy options coincides with Google's recent reporting changes which eliminates average position for "very top, above the fold, and below the fold" as descriptions of your ad results.
If you're unfamiliar with automated bid strategies, you can find out more here from Google about automated bids.