• Frederik Trovatten

    What a typical Google-tweak..

    But I don’t think this will be the end of PPC or split-testing ;) It just makes out job a bit more challenging..On some accounts I usually create similar ad-tests, which means I can group results and test faster.. I know it’s not the optimal result, for each ad group, but the total results of testing 20 times faster makes up for it..

    What do you think of “bulk-ad-testing”? For example: Test description 2 across 100 adgroups to get fast data?

  • Mike

    Great detail, very informative. Do you think any clients will reduce their spend because of this, or perhaps reconsider allocating more spend in the future?

  • Gene Gerwin

    It looks like Google is trying to remove the science from AdWords advertising… they’re dumbing it down so less and less expertise is needed (and thus, they get more customers)

  • Steve

    Just heard about this now. Craziness! What are they thinking?!

    This “Google knows best” attitude needs to stop, because they clearly don’t. You’d think they’d put the idea out there first and test the water, rather than introducing it the way they do. Oh well..

    (P.S. The Google announcement link is broken – needs the full-stop at the end removed) :-)

  • Chriskos

    If Google continues to take delivery controls away from marketers in order to serve their own interest as a channel, it will be harder to recommend them as a strategic option to advertisers.

  • Crystal Anderson

    @ Frederick I agree – it’s not the end of testing at all, just the end of how it’s currently done. Bulk testing I agree can certainly help you reach results faster as you are working with more data. I especially find this helpful with lower volume ad groups! The challenge with this change is that at 30 days the ad(s) getting the most clicks will be optimized to show more often. The ad getting more clicks may not be the same across all ad groups, and may not even be the optimal ad in terms of conversions/sales. I would say bulk testing can still be done though & using ACE is probably the best way (if you don’t have a platform that includes a/b testing).

    @Mike Thanks for reading! I don’t think this will change much for clients in terms of their spend, so long as ppc managers stay on top of the change and proactively make necessary changes to how ad testing is being done in order to prevent inefficient ad spend.

  • Mike

    I was thinking the same thing Gene. I still get Google Engage e-mails from when I was independent, and the general language and (for lack of a better term) fru-fru-ness of those e-mails make me think they want chimps running ads and spending clients’ dollars.

  • Michael J. Kovis

    Wondering if they mixed up May 1st with April 1st? :-)

    Considerably controversial change they are attempting here.

    I believe it won’t be too big of a deal for smaller PPC accounts and those who manage a small amount of clients. My concern is about trying to implement these changes and track them with large accounts, while managing a large base of clients.

    P.S. Adding some actionable items into this post was a wonderful idea for those over reacting.

  • Ian Lockwood

    What a very Apple-esque move! Sadly I think the only people who will even realise it has happened are PPC managers and I suspect that is actually a minority of AdWords advertisers – how many clients/accounts are you introduced to every month that have pretty much zero management and certainly no ad testing?

    As a result, I think it will be hard to get them to take this one back unless someone with media contacts can turn it into a “Evil Google milks small businesses for more money in abuse of monopoly power” story. ;)

  • Darren Moloney

    Out of curiosity does Google even ask experienced Adword users what they think before putting in something in place like this, or is it just thought of and acted on without any reference to Adwords customers?

  • Crystal Anderson

    @ Gene Thanks for stopping by! It does seem like they have been making an awful lot of changes that PPC marketers aren’t thrilled with lately, and probably exactly for the reason you point out!

    @ Steve Thanks for reading! And I think your reaction is on part with so many others! Oh, the fast paced, ever-changing search world! I agree – I wish they had this as a beta, or an option, not a forced decision! And TY for catching the link – updated and should work now :)

    @ Chriskos Thanks for checking out the post! I think what helps Google is that they account for so so much volume, that it’s hard NOT to recommend AdWords, no matter what they do. Sad, but true. This change has caused the biggest outcry I’ve seen in 6+ years in the space though, so we’ll see what may come from this!

  • Crystal Anderson

    @ Michael I wish that was an April Fools joke! :) Thanks for reading! I agree with you that implementing the changes, tracking the results will be most challenging with larger accounts. And while I put ACE out there as a potential solution, one challenge is that if you are using ACE for another test, say a bid test, you can’t use that as your option. It will certainly be a learning curve to determine the best way to keep ad testing!

    @ Ian Thanks for stopping by! Unfortunatley, you are probably right, that only those who are in the accounts day in and out are probably aware of the change. Maybe when accounts start to see more clicks they’ll notice?? :)

    @ Darren The funny part is they do take surveys about the platform & features. I’ve never been asked about ad settings though, so maybe this wasn’t one of the ones they surveyed advertisers on. I think a lot of people agree with you and wish they would have!

  • Barb Young

    There are two petitions on that I urge everyone to sign regarding this “evil change”:

  • Kristinn

    This and the upcoming changes to ‘improve’ exact and phrase match keywords are bad as far as I’m concerned. These changes are investor driven, not user driven. This reduced quality is leading me to try to convince clients to start Bing accounts. Split test B and G performance! Also, there are other ways to spend ad dollars. Someone may want to send that memo to Google.

  • Crystal Anderson

    @ Barb Thanks for posting those! Hopefully they get some traction with those who are not happy with the change.

    @ Kristin You are not alone – there are many advertisers who are less than thrilled with the recent changes. I think the near exact/phrase match has its benefits, but only when used correctly. And at least you can opt out of using that. With near rotate it’s a forced change, which I think is what is causing the uproar. Bing is definitely a great channel to augment Adwords if you are not already doing so! Volume is lower, but have still seen great success for clients of all sizes and industries.

  • Kristinn

    The ad rotations are really excellent and figuring out what works. And month is often too short of a time to see a clear winner. I use the test, wait, remove loser, set up another competing ad process. Now I have to be more organized, damn!

  • Mike Du Toit

    Thanks for the advice Crystal; luckily I brought a fresh bag of coffee roast for the Office, I’ll probably be here for a while.

    One thing I feel is that Google can do whatever it wants with Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools and Search etc. because, well it’s free and if you don’t like find something better. With AdWords though we pay for it – we pay a lot for it – So I think that saying “”we must just accept it” is steeping over the line.

    As paying customers I think that what we have to say and what we feel about these changes should mean a lot to Google.

  • Darren Moloney

    I agree Mike, but I wonder if Google feels more love towards its shareholders than users these days…. ;)

  • Crystal Anderson

    @ Kristinn I agree – going to really, really miss rotation. But hopefully with ACE and other options there will be ways to keep testing up!

    @ Mike Thanks for reading! I should have made #4 brew a nice big pot of coffee! :) I don’t think you are alone in that given the petitions going around!

    @ Darren Definitely seems like what everything is thinking! :)

  • Crystal Anderson

    Update: AdWords has listened and is extending the timeframe to 90 days and is giving advertisers the option to Opt Out!

    Latest blog is here:

  • Frederik Trovatten

    Arh that’s great news!

    Thanks for the update!