Google has been doing a lot lately -- and I don’t just mean crashing the Google Drive server, shutting down the Google Drive app for desktop (coming March 2018), or revamping their entire Google AdWords interface. Google is on a roll, pushing out massive, clean updates for AdWords in phases, and changing the way we interact -- not just with the web, but with the tools that make our web experience a little bit better every day.
Ad Rotation, Simplified
Rolling out later this month (as soon as September 25th) is an update that is going to throw some PPC managers and advertisers for a loop: ad rotation will undergo a huge update. Currently, there are four options for ad rotation strategies:
Optimize for clicks (current default)
Optimize for conversions
‘Optimize for clicks’ is great if you’re launching a campaign that requires a high volume of clicks, prioritizing ads with the highest click-through-rates.
‘Optimize for conversions’ takes both your click-through-rates and your conversion rates into consideration and serves up ads based on which ones would get the highest conversion rate.
‘Rotate evenly’ is perfect if you’re doing A/B testing and audience management. This option serves your ads on a more even basis for a 90-day period so that ads with historically low conversion rates can have a better chance at getting seen. Once the 90-day period is up, Google starts optimizing your ads for clicks based on new historical data.
‘Rotate indefinitely’ distributes your ads on a more even basis, in perpetuity. This gives all of your ads a chance for higher conversion rates over a longer period of time, but does not apply machine learning to your ads. This might mean that your ads will perform at a lower click-through or conversion rate, overall.
So here’s what Google is doing in just a few short weeks. They’re narrowing it down to two options -- that’s it. The options are:
Optimize: Prefer best performing ads
Do not optimize: Rotate ads indefinitely
The following two are technically still options, but will no longer be supported by Google.
Optimize for conversions
Here’s a sneak peek of how it will look in the system:
This new ‘Optimize: prefer best performing ads’ option will use Google’s machine learning technology to enhance your ad performance from the get-go. From the Google blog just a few days ago, this new ad option will effectively “prioritize[s] ads that are expected to perform better than other ads within an ad group. This setting will optimize your ads for clicks in each individual auction using signals like keyword, search term, device, location and more.”
On the other hand, the new ‘Do not optimize: rotate ads indefinitely’ option will interact with your ads similarly to how the previous “rotate indefinitely’ option did. According to Google, “Because the “rotate indefinitely” setting is already the easiest way to give your ads equal preference, it will be the sole option for an even rotation going forward.”
Important to note: if you’re running ads using any one of the above options in the previous iteration and don’t have it set up correctly for when Google migrates to the new system, Google will choose your ad rotation for you.
According to Wordstream, "campaigns currently using “Optimize for clicks,” “Optimize for conversions,” and “rotate evenly” will automatically be switched to the “Optimize” setting."
Campaigns using 'rotate indefinitely' will be migrated to 'do not optimize: rotate ads indefinitely'.
Make sure you adjust accordingly prior to the September 25th roll out.
AMP is Faster Than Ever
Developers, if you haven't already, it's time to take notice -- for every second it takes for a retail website to load, conversions drop by nearly 20 percent. With that, Google is hoping to make 'less is more' become the new norm with Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), because the less clicks a visitor can make to a conversion or point-of-sale, the better the overall user experience will be.
Since its launch in February of 2016, Google has been giving companies the opportunity experience AMP's functionality in organic search, and so far, to much success (you can read a great Whiteboard Friday from Moz here that explains just what AMP is and how it works).
Then, back in May of this year, a beta version of AMP for search ads was launched. In less than two weeks from now, they’ll roll out this capability for all users across the globe. That’s huge news for those whose KPI’s revolve around greater performance, speed --and more importantly, conversions.
A developers guide is already available for those who might have access to the beta or are ready to dive in and test out the soon-to-be-global AMP functionality within AdWords.
There’s a ton of stuff happening with Google as they start to roll out end-of-the-year projects en masse. And from the looks of their blog updates, they haven’t even scratched the surface. For more information on the latest updates from Google, check out their blog here.