Google Ads is an ever-changing landscape. New features are released regularly and it can be difficult to keep up to date with every new update.
It’s not unusual to be browsing your Google Ads account and stumble across new features, with little explanation as to what they are or what they do.
In the constantly evolving world of Google Ads, it’s crucial to keep on top of these new releases. Some may have little effect on your account… but being an early-adopter of others could prove very lucrative indeed.
In this article I will be covering just a few of the recent changes to Google Ads over the past few months.
Average Position has gone! This metric has been a mainstay in Google Campaigns for years, but it’s all changing!
By the time you read this article, the ‘average position’ metric will be no more.
Google now recommends using two new metrics;
1 - “search top impression rate” - the percentage of your ad impressions that are shown anywhere above the organic search results.
2 - “search absolute top impression rate” - the percentage of your ad impressions that are shown as the very first ad above the organic search results.
So, what’s the reason for removing Average Position & adding these new metrics? Well, Google states, “These new metrics give you a much clearer view of your prominence on the page than average position does.”
In short, Average Position didn’t consider the impact of organic search results between the Ads at the top and bottom of the search results page.
So, Google might have told you that your average position was five. Whereas in reality, you had a whole page of organic results above you on the page, plus the paid Ads at the top.
Personally, I think these metrics will be helpful for those self-managing their accounts, who may not have taken into consideration organic results, but I feel the real impact will be increased competition and CPC’s as advertisers become more aggressive in their bidding.
Being the very top Ad isn’t always the most profitable place to be and I think a lot of advertisers could get burnt pursing that elusive ‘absolute top’ spot.
The next new feature within Google Ads Is ‘Optimisation Score’.
Google describes the Optimisation Score as “an estimate of how well your Google Ads account is set to perform. Optimisation score runs from 0% to 100%, with 100% meaning that your account can perform at its full potential.“
Alongside the score, Google offers a list of suggestions on how you can reach 100%.
Some of these suggestions can be great. However not all of them!
For example, you may find that manual bidding is working best for some of your Campaigns. However, Google will always recommend using an automated bidding strategy, regardless of the situation.
One of the main problems with the recommendations tab is that Google’s advice is very generic. Their advice may work for certain campaigns, but it doesn’t guarantee it will work for you.
It's important to take this score with a pinch of salt. Having a 100% score doesn’t guarantee success.
However, they do offer lots of helpful advice, so it’s well worth checking the recommendations tab. Just make sure that you don’t take Google’s advice as gospel.
The last change to Google I’m going to touch on is the removal of “Accelerated Delivery”.
As of last month, Accelerated Delivery is no longer a feature within Google Ads, with “Standard Delivery” being the default delivery method.
The reason Google gives for removing this feature is “Accelerated delivery doesn't help in better utilisation of budgets. Campaigns limited by budget and using accelerated budget likely see higher average Cost-per-click (CPC) due to the higher auction pressure in the early hours”.
I don’t feel this change will greatly affect the majority of advertisers as “Standard delivery” was more commonly used.
If you were using Accelerated Delivery on your Campaigns, be sure to monitor the impact over the before and after date range as part of your regular checks and optimisations.
It’s important to stay on top of the latest changes. If you see something appear in your Google Ads account and you are managing it yourself, just Google it! Find out what it is and whether you can capitalise on the change.
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