Google announced yesterday afternoon that they will be retiring their position preference bidding feature in AdWords early next month.

While this seems like a reasonable timeframe to phase out a key component, you should be aware that as of today you can no longer enable position preference for your campaigns in AdWords, and if you turn off position preference in any of your campaigns you can’t turn it back on.

What does this mean for your AdWords bidding strategy? While using the position preference feature in AdWords was often a timesaver, in the end I don’t really seeing its removal having a profound or negative effect on your AdWords campaigns. As I’m sure you were already aware, using position preference was kind of a double-edged sword. If your ad rank suddenly dropped or your bids were too high/low, your ads would cease to be shown.

As Google suggests, an alternative tool in AdWords is the automatic rules feature. This gives you the ability to trigger changes to a bid, budget or status, but unlike position preference, this won’t create a situation that could potentially disqualify your ad from showing in search queries. You could, for example, set a rule to increase your budget for keywords below a certain position, or conversely to decrease your bid for keywords after they’ve spent a specific amount of money.

As always, if you’re concerned about overspending in your campaigns, then you’ll need to be diligent about monitoring your account’s performance. But the removal of the position preference feature doesn’t limit your ability to create some automated activity to make your job a little easier.

What do you think? Do you see Google’s decision to eliminate this feature as an inconvenience to you in managing your PPC accounts? Was this a feature you were using heavily, and, if so, have you come up with a good work-around? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think!