Google has announced, on even shorter notice than usual, that they will be changing something.
If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you know that every Adwords advertiser should be testing their ads.
One of the most critical parts of running any ad test, is the ad rotation settings in your campaign – if it’s not set to “Rotate Evenly,” you aren’t running a clean test. It’s that simple.
Well, Google has announced a change in the way that ad rotation settings will work, and it’s going to kick in next week. You can not stop this. You can not opt out.
Here’s how it works:
- From “next week” (you didn’t expect a specific date out of Google, did you?) on, any ads that haven’t been changed in the past 30 days will begin to be displayed under the “Optimize for Clicks” rotation method.
- This will happen, even if the campaign settings say “Rotate Evenly.” If any of your “rotate evenly” campaigns have ads that are already 30 days old, the change will happen next week on all of these ads.
- If you never let a test run for more than 30 days anyway, then this will not affect you.
- If for some reason you do need to run tests for more than 30 days, I would suggest changing a non-visible part of the ad (such as the destination URL) in a way that is unlikely to affect your results.
- As an example, you could add a named anchor to the URL, so the destination (landing page) URL changes from example.com/somepage.html to example.com/somepage.html#1
For most advertisers, this is not a big deal, because you’re probably not running tests for more than a month. Maybe they’ll even be doing you a favor, if you somehow forgot about a test and left it running.
However, this would be a good time to review your ad testing practices, and to remember that you aren’t optimizing for “clicks” or for a lower “cost per click” – you are optimizing for profitability.
I’ll have more to say on ad testing best practices next week. For now, well, I just wanted to make sure you didn’t miss this.
Thanks for reading,