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On the 30th of April, Google’s ‘Inside AdWords’ blog announced a change to AdWords Ad Rotation.
Within AdWords, advertisers can rotate their ads in three ways: ‘Optimise for Conversions’, ‘Optimise for Clicks’ and ‘Even Rotation’.
Even Rotation is arguably one of the best tools for anyone managing accounts in adwords as this enables you to test different ad copy at the same time evenly. Over a period of time, you can build up an image of who your customers are and gather insights into what makes them tick (or, in this case, click). Before the change, ad copy would rotate for as long as you wanted it to but now, with the new change in ad rotation, your ads will only rotate for a period of 30 days. Once this rotation period has been reached, the ads that are expected to generate the most clicks will be automatically chosen and served.
So, how will this affect your current ad groups? Well, this is what Google said about their changes to Ad Rotation:
“Starting next week, the “rotate” setting for ad rotation will change. Instead of rotating creatives for an indefinite period of time, this setting will only rotate for a period of 30 days. After that, the setting will then optimize to show the ads expected to generate the most clicks. Every time a creative is enabled or edited, the ads in that ad group will rotate more evenly for a new period of 30 days.
This change will be rolling out next week. At that time, ad groups with creatives that haven’t been added or modified in the past thirty days will see this new ad rotation behaviour. Otherwise, this change will begin 30 days after your last creative was enabled or edited.”
Most importantly though, what does this mean for you, the PPC marketer?
It basically means that it will be a little harder to conduct accurate A/B Testing, especially on smaller accounts that might not generate a lot of testable data over smaller periods of time. A month’s worth of data does seem a very small amount considering that all ads need time to garner quality score and really embed into the account.
Because of this, quite a few people in the industry have struggled to welcome the changes or even accept them, (one such person labelling the changes “the Devil”) but there are positives in the change. If you are running quite a few large-scale accounts, for instance, and the accounts see a lot of volume in short timeframes, you can be fairly certain that there will be enough data gathered for AdWords to make an accurate decision on which ad to serve.
This change is the latest in a line from Google and undoubtedly here to stay despite all the cynics. If you are still not convinced after trialling the new settings, why not look outside the box? Adwords Campaign Experiments (often referred to as ACE) can be found in the campaign settings tab. With Ace, you can still test your ads for up to 3 months.