For those of you who like to tweak AdWords for best performance and lowest cost, pay attention.

Change is in the wind for one of my favorite AdWords features, position preference.

What is position preference?

As you know, AdWords allows you to bid for ad placement in their search network. Top bid gets Spot #1, second place bid gets Spot #2, and so on.

AdWords Position Preference
Position preference allowed you to automatically adjust your bids for the position you wanted to maintain.

Why should I care about position preference?

For example, let’s say you want your ads to stay visible in positions #3 to #5. Let’s assume you have a limited budget, (or watch ROI like a hawk) so you want to avoid the shark-infested waters of position #1 & #2 bid competitions.

With position preference, you could set your ads to appear in positions #3 through#10+.

Let’s say money is no object to you, and you want top billing at any cost.

With position preference, you could set your ads to appear in positions #1 & #2.

What’s happening to position preference?

In early May, Google will be retiring the position preference feature in AdWords.

This decision was made due to low adoption and the existence of alternatives for this feature. To prepare for this change, we recommend that you disable position preference in your campaigns.

If you’re currently using position preference,  expect to see the following changes in your account:

As of April 5th, position preference can no longer be enabled for campaigns in either the AdWords web interface or the API. Campaigns already using position preference will still have it enabled. However, if you turn position preference off in one of your campaigns, you will not be able to turn it back on.
Starting in early May, we will begin disabling position preference within all campaigns.

When position preference is disabled (either when you do so manually or when the feature is retired automatically in early May), the max CPC bids for those campaigns will be set to the bids that position preference used most recently.

Important Note: Before you disable position preference, remember export your manual bids by downloading a keyword report to back up any bids you set before you turned on position preference. This report will include keyword level maximum CPC bids.