Internet Marketing

Workaround Recent Changes to Google's Ad Rotation

25. 05. 2012

Users of Google Adwords are most likely familiar with the ad rotation features. The old setup had three settings: Optimize for conversion, optimize for clicks, and rotate evenly. The new method of PPC management, however, is different as Google wishes to provide users with the "most relevant ad experience" and for advertisers to have better performance within their Adwords campaigns. These new changes may not be a viable option for all users.

Before the recent changes, ads rotated for an indefinite period of time. Now, ads will rotate for 30 days. After the rotation period, the setting will then choose the ads that are anticipated to bring the highest number of clicks. In addition, any time a creative is edited or enabled, the ads in that ad group will have a more even rotation for a 30 day period. Even after the rotation of all ads is complete, the setting will say "rotate evenly". If the campaign owner uses the CPM bidding option, the ads will continue to rotate evenly after 30 days.

How Old Ad Groups are Affected

If you had an Ad Group with ads that had not been added or modified within the previous 30 days before the change, the new ad rotation setting will automatically be applied. If you have altered an Ad Group, the change will appear in approximately 30 days after that change or activation. Features such as scheduling when your ads are shown have not changed. If you know when individuals are clicking your ads, you can set your ad to appear during that time of day.

Ad Rotation Settings

While "rotate evenly" is the setting in which ad campaigns now set, you can set your ads to be delivered the way you wish. The options are:

  • Optimize for clicks - This means the ads that are expected to bring the most clicks are delivered more than other ads in the ad group. These ads gain more impressions than the others. This option should provide more impressions and clicks due to their higher quality and position to attract more users.
  • Optimize for conversions - If conversions are what you need, then you can set your ad campaign to show the ads that are expected to provide more conversions. Conversion rate and click-through rate (CTR) are taken into consideration with this setting, yet the "optimize for clicks" data will be used to rotate the ads. This could result in your ads receiving fewer clicks, but the return on investment may be greater due to more conversions.
  • Rotate evenly - The ads are delivered on an even rotation every 30 days. After this rotation, it then optimizes for clicks. While this rotation setting is at the campaign level, each ad group's even rotation is tracked separately. The rotation starts and resets when a new ad is added, when one is deleted, when an ad is paused, or when an ad is enabled. When the even rotation period ends, the campaign setting will still say "rotate evenly," even after it has been optimized for clicks.

Testing Ad Copy Longer than 30 Days

Here are tips to test your ad copy with the rotate evenly setting and/or the settings that you wish: Create approximately 5 ads with very slight differences. For instance, one ad can have a period at the end of the ad while the others don't. If you feel the need to have significant differences that is fine as well if you would like to test different ads. Once you have created your ads, keep two of the ads active and pause the other three. Every 30 days, pause an under-performing ad and activate the next ad. This will allow you to test "rotate evenly setting" in your PPC campaign for approximately 120 days.

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