Background on Google AdWords Ad Rotation Update
As of September 25, 2017, Google will limit the number of ad rotation options in AdWords. After the update, advertisers will be restricted to rotating ads through two methods:
- Optimize: “Prefer best performing ads” will use Google’s machine learning technology to deliver ads that are expected to perform better than other ads in your ad group
- Do not optimize: “Rotate ads indefinitely” will rotate your ads without favoring better performing ads to a user’s search
Campaigns using AdWords’ smart bidding strategies, such as the Enhanced CPC bidding strategy, will automatically be opted into the Optimize ad rotation setting. Advertisers will also be able to set rotation at the ad group level. Ad rotation options were previously set only at the campaign level.
Why Google Is Making This Change
Over the past year, Google has continued to push advertisers away from A/B testing ad copy, in favor of running at least three ads at once with optimized ad rotation. This update ultimately gives more power to the Google algorithm and aligns with the search engine’s goal of incorporating more machine learning features into AdWords.
By cutting down on the options available, Google also aims to lessen any confusion that may come with having more choices.
What Google’s Update Means for Marketers
Advertisers using the “Optimize for conversions or clicks” or “Rotate evenly” ad rotation settings will need to select a new optimization method by the September 25 deadline. Because these are popular settings, most accounts will be affected. If an account has an A/B-format ad copy test running within either of the soon-to-be-removed rotation settings, it is best to review results and conclude the creative test as soon as possible.
Google claims that advertisers who take advantage of the Optimize ad rotation setting will see positive performance, indicating that marketers who make the switch may see a bump in traffic and impressions. It is still crucial, however, to monitor the change and adjust accordingly. For those who do not want to give up their ad rotation and testing control, there is the “Do not optimize” option, which will continue to rotate ads indefinitely.
All AdWords advertisers should assess which new option works best for their goals and begin testing. Because this update will roll out to the ad group level, marketers should take advantage of more granular testing.