If you’re a Google Advertiser who understands the power of split testing and using this platform to continually improve your ad campaigns, you need to be aware of a campaign-level feature that has recently changed.
What’s the deal?
Under Campaign Settings, you have the option to indicate your ad rotation frequency. Advertisers have three choices:
- Optimize for Clicks
- Optimize for Conversions
- Rotate Evenly.
In the past you could configure any of these settings and your campaign would run indefinitely according to the chosen rotation schedule.
Google’s update now limits the “Rotate Evenly” option to 30 days, after which it will convert to “Optimize for Clicks.” There are reports that after the 30 days have elapsed, the change does take place without updating the actual setting in the Campaign Manager interface. There is a workaround that appears to address the issue, but it requires that Advertisers pause and un-pause the campaign(s) in order to rest the 30-day timer. Again, this only affects those AdWords users that use the “Rotate Evenly” distribution.
If any of your campaigns rely on good metrics collected through even ad rotation for a period longer than 30 days, you need to plan this 30-day window into your marketing plan.
Why did Google make this change?
This change will accomplish two things…
- Basic advertisers who just need ad placement and visibility will probably benefit from the automatic switch to “Optimize for Clicks.” If they’re not doggedly analyzing campaign performance, Google will automatically adjust to display higher performing ads and increase click-through rates (CTRs).
- Increased revenues. Higher CTR ads are the heart of Google’s revenue stream, and they have proven to be extraordinary at tweaking their search algorithm and search platform for driving profits.
Don’t let this derail your search engine advertising strategy. If ad rotation data matters to you, plan accordingly and be prepared to manually reset the campaign as described above on a monthly basis.