30 Aug AdWords Introduces ‘Better, Simpler’ Ad Rotation Settings
– 30 AUGUST 2017 –
Ad Rotation – What’s Changing?
Following on from recent updates to the AdWords interface and targeting options, yesterday Google announced the latest change to how AdWords operates. To put it simply, on the 25th September the number of ad rotation setting available will be changed from four to two.
Ad rotation is the way ads are delivered on Google’s search and display network. If there is more than one ad in any ad group, then ads will rotate, since no more than one ad can show simultaneously.
Google currently offer four options available for ad rotation, which specify how often ads are served relative to one another. These options are:
- Optimise for clicks
Show ads expected to provide more clicks
- Optimise for conversions
Shows ads expected to provide more conversions
- Rotate evenly
Show ads more evenly for at least 90 days, then optimise
- Rotate indefinitely
Show lower performing ads more evenly with higher performing ads, and do not optimise
The headline news from this announcement is that the first three options will now be combined into one setting called the generic ‘Optimise’. Any campaigns currently using optimise for clicks, optimise for conversions or rotate evenly will automatically have their ad rotation settings changed to ‘Optimise’ on September 25.
Google’s description of this new Optimise option is deliciously vague:
“This setting will optimize your ads for clicks in each individual auction using signals like keyword, search term, device, location and more.”
With such an unhelpful description, it is hard to understand exactly how this new setting will work and it will be interesting to see if any major differences in performance occur.
What Does This Mean?
This can be seen as a negative, as fewer options are now being offered to advertisers. However most advertisers, including ourselves, are not yet confident in Google’s machine learning skills. The fourth option ‘Rotate indefinitely’, is still extremely commonly used. Mercifully, the only change to this setting seems to be in the name, and will now be called the rather negative name of ‘Do Not Optimise’.
The only other concern we have is that Google will eventually force the use of the ‘Optimise’ setting, and all other options will be phased out.
Potentially the most exciting bit in this announcement is hidden in the final paragraph. This is the news that ad rotation settings can be set at ad group level. In contrast, this change actually offers more control to advertisers!
Previously, if two ad groups wanted different ad rotation settings, they would have to be in separate campaigns. This is now no longer necessary, and relevant ad groups can be kept in the same campaign with different ad rotation settings.
What About Bing?
It’s interesting to compare these changes to what is currently available on Bing Ads. Using Bing Ads there are two ad rotation settings:
- Optimise for clicks (Similar to Google’s new setting ‘Optimise’)
- Rotate ads more evenly (Similar to Google’s new setting ‘Do Not Optimise’)
Bing Ads also allow these settings to be altered at ad group level, which is also what Google is introducing.
These changes are actually moving AdWords in line with what Bing Ads currently offer!
To summarise, this isn’t a very exciting development, and is simply a simplification of the ad rotation setting currently offered. We don’t expect any major changes to results from this, but it could potentially pave the way for more extreme changes in the future.