Tag Archives: bidding

Clearing platform bid modifiers of Target CPA and Conversion Optimizer campaigns starting in late August

What’s changing?

Starting in late August, platform bid modifiers of campaigns and ad groups attached to Target CPA and Conversion Optimizer bidding strategies will be cleared. Your campaigns will continue to serve as they do currently.

Why is this happening?

The clearing of these bid modifiers is part of an upcoming feature launch. The new feature will allow users to set platform bid modifiers for entities attached to Target CPA and Conversion Optimizer bidding strategies. In the past, this platform bid modifier value was ignored. By clearing these values for you, we can release the functionality without affecting your currently serving campaigns.

How does this affect me?

For most users, we will only clear platform bid modifiers on Target CPA and Conversion Optimizer entities. Some customers will also see a shifting of platform bid modifiers where a Target CPA ad group inherits modifiers from a non-Target CPA campaign.

Here are some changes that you’ll see in your account before the new features launches: The new feature will roll out to all users over the course of three weeks starting in late August. Sometime during those three weeks, we will clear your platform bid modifiers, and shortly thereafter we will enable the feature for your account. You will then see the option to set platform bid modifiers in the AdWords user interface. Bid modifiers set after that point will be preserved.

What should I do?
  • Check your code and verify that if you’re setting this platform bid modifier it’s intended because that code will have an effect on bidding after the clearing process.
  • If you care about the platform bid modifiers that you have set for Target CPA or Conversion Optimizer campaigns, save them offline before late August.
Where can I learn more?
Questions? Visit us on the AdWords API Forum or our Google+ page.

Device-specific bid modifiers coming to AdWords API

Historically, device-specific bid modifiers were supported only for HighEndMobile, and were not allowed on other Platforms. Now, as part of our mobile-first initiative, we're extending this functionality to include support for these bid modifiers for all platforms.

All versions of the API currently permit bid modifiers for Desktop and Tablet criteria to be returned and modified in requests for test accounts only, allowing you to manage these bid modifiers programmatically. We will be rolling out this feature to live accounts for all versions over the coming weeks. These bid modifiers will be allowed on both the campaign and the ad group level.

If you rely on fetching bid modifier information in your app, these upcoming changes will affect you. Once device-specific bid modifiers launch on the web interface, users of the web interface may add them and they will be returned when making requests with the API. This can be particularly impactful if your application has made assumptions that the Desktop bid is a static, base bid, which is no longer the case.

If you have any questions about this change, or other questions about the AdWords API, contact us via the forum.

Get deeper insight into your automated bidding performance

Understanding how your automated bid strategies are performing is easy if you know where to look. With three new reporting features now available, you can gain transparency into your bidding and save time troubleshooting issues that may be impacting performance.

Know what’s going on under the hood of your bidding

While automated bidding saves advertisers hours per week while optimizing bids at scale for every auction, it’s still important to keep an eye on your bid strategies and know when they need steering. New status annotations enhance bid strategy statuses with additional insight to help you decide if and how to take action.

For example, if a strategy is still in “Learning” status because you recently created it or changed the composition of its campaigns, we will display the estimated “days left for learning”. This indicates that the bidding algorithms are still calibrating and how much longer you should wait before making any other changes or evaluating what baseline performance looks like.
Meanwhile, if a bid strategy is in “Limited (bid limits)” status due to minimum or maximum bid constraints, we will show you what percentage of impressions or spend is limited to help you understand the extent of the performance impact.
Easily track performance changes back to status or target updates

Status over time reporting maps bid strategy statuses along the bottom of the performance graph. This helps explain what may be influencing bid strategy performance for your chosen date range. For example, if you notice an increase in spend at the same time a bid strategy had a “Limited (not enough data)” status, this may signal that you raised campaign budgets to help drive higher conversion volume and give the algorithms more data to work with to better optimize bids.

Target over time reporting maps your historical targets over performance data to provide better context. For example, a trend line showing a decrease in conversions might initially set off alarm bells. However, if you saw that during that time, you had also decreased your target CPA, that would help explain the performance decline.

Both of these reporting options are now available in the Shared Library when you click into a bid strategy.
We hope these improvements to automated bidding reporting will take the guesswork out of evaluating performance. To learn more about AdWords automated bidding, visit the Help Center, check out our best practices, and read the new guide that explains our unique, auction-time bidding technology.

Posted by Jonathan Wang, Product Manager, AdWords Bidding


Source: Inside AdWords


Make every conversion count: cross-device data now included in the Conversions column and integrated with automated bidding

People turn to multiple devices throughout the day to shop, communicate and stay entertained. From a laptop at work to a tablet in the living room, we move sequentially and seamlessly between many device types to get stuff done. In fact, nearly 40% of online shoppers start their research on a smartphone and make their final purchase on a computer or tablet.1 That’s why for several years, we've invested in cross-device conversions across Search, Display and Shopping. Advertisers around the world are now capturing the full value of their AdWords campaigns by using cross-device insights to measure up to 16% more conversions.

Starting today, cross-device conversions will begin rolling out at the keyword-level and can be included in the main Conversions column that already includes website sales, phone calls and app downloads. By showing all conversions in one place, advertisers can get deeper insight into all the ways customers are engaging with their businesses. It’s also easier than ever to take action on these insights: with all of your conversions in the same column, you can quickly enable automated bidding to optimize for the conversions that matter.

To activate cross-device conversions in automated bidding, complete two easy steps in your AdWords account under Tools>Conversions:
  1. Under Settings, make sure the Conversion bid metric is set to “Conversions” instead of “Converted clicks.” As a reminder, cross-device conversions and other controls are not offered for “Converted clicks”.
  2. Click “Include advanced conversions” and check the box to include cross-device and other advanced conversions in your “Conversions” reporting column and automated bidding.
We are committed to helping you gain insight into the new conversion types that are part of a constantly connected, multi-screen world so that you can make the best advertising decisions possible. Visit our Help Center to learn how to factor cross-device conversions into automated bidding. Also read the new guide that explains the unique, auction-time technology that sets AdWords automated bidding apart.

Posted by Wilfred Yeung, Senior Product Manager, AdWords Bidding

The Role of Mobile Search on Store Purchases, Google/Ipsos Media CT, August 2015. Purchases were made within the past 3 months.

Source: Inside AdWords


Upcoming changes to inactive ad group CPA bids in AdWords

In preparation for improvements to CPA bidding in AdWords, starting October 26, 2015, we'll perform a one-time removal of inactive ad group-level CPA bids.

What's an inactive ad group CPA bid, you ask? An ad group-level CPA bid is inactive if the ad group's effective bidding strategy is not a CONVERSION_OPTIMIZER strategy. This includes CPA bids on ad groups whose effective bidding strategy is TARGET_CPA, since the target for such ad groups is specified at the strategy level. The effective bidding strategy is the ad group-level strategy, if specified. Otherwise, it’s the bidding strategy set at the campaign-level.

How this change impacts the AdWords API

After the one-time removal of inactive CPA bids, there are two categories of ad groups you'll want to review:
  • Ad groups from which inactive CPA bids were removed: For these ad groups, the AdGroup object will no longer have a CpaBid in the bids attribute of its ad group-level BiddingStrategyConfiguration. Therefore, if you change the effective bidding strategy of these ad groups back to a CONVERSION_OPTIMIZER strategy, you will have to add a new CpaBid to the ad group’s BiddingStrategyConfiguration for your ads in the ad group to serve. You will only have to make this change once.
  • Ad groups you change from TARGET_CPA to CONVERSION_OPTIMIZER: AdWords will no longer copy the TargetCpaBiddingScheme.targetCpa value to a CpaBid on the ad group's bidding strategy configuration. Therefore, you will not automatically get the TARGET_CPA strategy bid if you transition to CONVERSION_OPTIMIZER. If the ad group's bidding strategy configuration already has a CpaBid, then CONVERSION_OPTIMIZER will use that bid. Otherwise, you will have to add a new CpaBid to the ad group BiddingStrategyConfiguration before ads in your ad group will serve.

How this change impacts bidding

Since the CPA bids being removed are inactive, this change will have no impact on bidding or ad serving.

What you should do

If you are interested in inactive CPA bids for CONVERSION_OPTIMIZER bidding strategies, download the current bids using AdGroupService before the removal date.

More bidding resources

Still have questions? Feel free to visit us on the AdWords API Forum or our Google+ page.

New features in AdWords scripts

We have added the following new features in AdWords scripts.

Bidding

You can now manage bids for your campaigns, ad groups and criteria in AdWords scripts. Support is also provided to retrieve and update shared bidding strategies in your account. The current release allows you to use MANUAL_CPC, MANUAL_CPM, BUDGET_OPTIMIZER or CONVERSION_OPTIMIZER as bidding strategies; and set CPC, CPM or CPA bids to your biddable entities. See our guide and code snippets to learn more about this feature.

Display criteria

You can now manage the following display criteria through AdWords scripts: keywords, placements, topics, audiences. Check out our code snippets for usage examples.

New ad extensions

You can now manage review and callout extensions for your campaigns and ad groups in AdWords scripts.

If you have questions or feedback about these features, let us know on our forum.

Improved validation of ad group mobile bid modifiers

Starting on April 22nd, 2014, a v201309 or v201402 AdGroupBidModifierService.mutate request will fail with a CriterionError and reason CANNOT_BID_MODIFY_CRITERION_TYPE if all of the following conditions are met for the same criterion:
  • The criterion is a Platform criterion for the mobile platform ID (30001)
  • The Campaign has a CampaignCriterion for the mobile platform criterion with a bidModifier set to 0 (this is displayed as a Bid adj. of -100% under Settings in the AdWords UI)
  • The AdGroupBidModifier has the same mobile platform criterion and attempts to set the bidModifier to any value other than 0
The AdWords API and UI will start rejecting such requests because allowing this combination could give the impression that the ad group will serve ads for the mobile platform criterion when in fact it will not.

For example, assume you create a campaign with a CampaignCriterion containing the following criterion and bid modifier:

<criterion xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance"
xsi:type="Platform">
<id>30001</id>
<type>PLATFORM</type>
<Criterion.Type>Platform</Criterion.Type>
<platformName>HighEndMobile</platformName>
</criterion>
<!-- This will appear as "-100%" in the UI. -->
<bidModifier>0.0</bidModifier>
If you attempt to create an AdGroupBidModifier containing the following criterion and bid modifier for any ad group in the campaign on or after April 22nd, 2014, it will fail because the non-zero ad group bid modifier of 1.25 would have no effect:

<criterion xmlns:ns2="https://adwords.google.com/api/adwords/cm/v201402"
xsi:type="ns2:Platform">
<ns2:id>30001</ns2:id>
</criterion>
<!-- This will appear as "+125%" in the UI. Any other non-zero
value will also fail. -->
<bidModifier>1.25</bidModifier>
Before April 22nd, 2014, please take the following actions to ensure a smooth transition for your application:
  • Make sure that your application will be able to properly handle the error
  • Examine your existing campaigns and ad groups and address any bid modifiers that meet the conditions above
Not using bid adjustments in your campaigns and ad groups? Check out our bid modifiers guide to learn how to use this powerful feature of AdWords.

Still have questions? Feel free to visit us on the AdWords API Forum or our Google+ page.

Reminder: Change to contentBid setting in “Display Network Only” campaigns

We previously announced that we are removing the ability to set contentBid for “Display Network only” campaigns in the AdWords API on February 18th, 2014. However, based on developer feedback, we are moving this date to March 3, 2014.

If your application modifies ad group bids for Display-only campaigns, then your application may be affected by this change.

To make sure your applications and scripts work properly, you should make the following changes to your application code before March 3, 2014:
  • Modify your code to set the default ad group bid instead of contentBid for “Display Only Campaigns”.
  • Clear out the contentBid field for “Display Only Campaigns” by setting it to zero so that AdWords will start using the default ad group bid when serving your ads.
  • If you store campaigns in a local data store, re-sync your data store with AdWords to pick up the updated default bid values.
If you have any questions about this change or the AdWords API in general, you can post them on our developer forum. You can also follow our Google+ page for updates about the AdWords API.

Reminder: Change to contentBid setting in “Display Network Only” campaigns

As previously announced, we are removing the ability to set contentBid for “Display Network only” campaigns in the AdWords API on February 18th, 2014. Once this change happens, you will start receiving a ReadOnlyError.READ_ONLY error for all versions of the API if you set contentBid for a “Display Network only” campaign. You can use the fieldPath of the ApiError object to identify the operation triggering the error.

To make sure your applications and scripts work properly, you should make the following changes to your application code before February 18th, 2014:
  • modify your code to set the default ad group bid instead of contentBid for “Display Only Campaigns”
  • clear out the contentBid field for “Display Only Campaigns” so that AdWords will start using the default ad group bid when serving your ads
  • if you store campaigns in a local data store, re-sync your data store with AdWords to pick up the updated default bid values
If you have any questions about this change or the AdWords API in general, you can post them on our developer forum. You can also follow our Google+ page for updates about the AdWords API.