AdWords Changes: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Mobile users are an increasingly important group to target, and the new Mobile Extension is a great way to reach those users. The AdMob network is also a nice way to manage mobile ad campaigns. AdMob allows you to reach more than 350 million mobile devices, expanding your potential audience massively.
If you aren’t making use of mobile advertising, it’s definitely something that you should research. Mobile users are an increasingly important demographic.
The Bad: Custom Alerts are Gone
Recently, Google decided to remove their Custom Alerts feature. They do plan to replace it with something new, but at this moment in time there’s no alternative. This means that if the alert options that you were making use of are not available in the current set of automated rules, or if you don’t want to take a specific action when a rule is triggered, you’ll have to live without the alerts until the new system is put in place.
Another irritating change is the modification of Ad Matching Behaviour. Google has decided that “Users are happier when they get search results that reflect their intent and help them achieve their desired action.” This means that they now display ads even if they are not a precise match. It is possible to opt out of the new matching system, but it still makes PPC management more difficult.
The Ugly: Ad Rotation
The new Ad Rotation features are a source of annoyance for any PPC agency. Google has decide to change the even rotation setting so that for the first 30 days, ads will rotate evenly, and then after those 30 days, AdWords would automatically optimize the higher performing creatives more frequently.
On the surface, this sounds like a good idea, however it has annoyed many people that like more control over their PPC management. Remember, you pay per click, not each time an ad is displayed. This means that if you target your ads carefully, and have an ad that is rarely clicked but that converts well each time it is clicked, you probably want that ad to be displayed more often, not less often. Google may think it is helping with the new Ad Rotation changes, but the changes benefit Adwords, and publishers, more than they benefit advertisers.
It is possible to work around a lot of the changes, but advertisers should speak up. If Google does not stop going down this path of removing control from their advertisers, they could alienate them, and force people to consider other options, such as Microsoft adCenter.