There are many changes coming to Google Ads this fall that will change the way we optimize our campaigns and how we report data to our clients.

No More Average Ad Position

Google just announced (again) that the average position metric will be removed from Google Ads starting the week of Sept. 30. The company first made the announcement in February, but there was no timetable. Google said the average position metric will be removed from saved column sets, saved reports that use the average position column and scorecards that use average position. With the average position metric removed, the following features also will be disabled:

• Rules using average position
• Custom columns using average position
• Saved reports that filter on average position
• Saved filters with average position

It will be important to check your current campaigns to make sure any rules and filters will not be impacted by these changes.

Google is removing average position after introducing two new metrics that provide us with an overview of where your ads appear based on the search results. The new metrics are “Absolute Top Impression” and “Top Impression.” Absolute Top refers to the very first position on the sponsored ads, while a Top Impression refers to any position within the top box of ads. Going forward, Google recommends using these new metrics as an alternative to the average position metric.

Accelerated Delivery

Google Ads announced that ad delivery options will change starting Sept. 17. The accelerated delivery option will be removed, and standard delivery will be the only option for Search and Shopping campaigns, as well as for campaigns with shared budgets. Any Search or Shopping campaigns and shared budgets using accelerated delivery automatically will be switched over to standard delivery by Oct. 1. The accelerated delivery option still will be available for Display and Video campaigns.

Google said the way accelerated delivery works can make it an inefficient option. If you do have a daily budget, choosing the accelerated option can mean your ads stop early in the day. Google also notes, “This method can increase CPCs due to increased competition early in the day or unintentionally spend most of your budget in earlier time zones.”

Google said standard delivery has been improved to be more predictive: “Standard delivery takes into account expected ad performance throughout the day and is better at maximizing performance within your daily budget.” With standard ad delivery, your budget is paced evenly throughout the day or blocks of time you’ve scheduled your ads to run. Google said it “optimizes your spend to be more reflective of targeted inventory user search (eg.user searches for your product/service),” as opposed to accelerated delivery, which Google said is “less optimized.”

Google recommends choosing the maximize conversions or maximize clicks bidding strategies to indicate your performance priority for campaigns that had been using accelerated delivery. It is also important to use ad scheduling to control when ads are served and adjust bids during certain times of day. (Though Google’s ad scheduling only takes your account’s time zone into account.) Keep in mind that it’s better to focus on contextual targeting than showing ads as often and early as possible.
If you would like to know how these changes are potentially impacting your Paid Search efforts within Google Ads, feel free to call us at 203-682-4585 or Contact Us for a free consultation or campaign evaluation.

Image Ads on Google Search

Google’s new gallery ads, first introduced this past May, are now rolling out to advertisers in beta form. Gallery ads were announced at the Google Marketing Live conference, with the company saying the ad units will be launching later this year.

Gallery ads are a swipe-able, image-based ad unit that appear at the top of search results. They’re designed to help businesses showcase their brand visually with the ability to include up to 8 images. Each image can have a unique caption, and advertisers can use a call-to-action button at the end of the gallery. Gallery ads are a new ad format that can be used in addition to text ads in search campaigns. There is no need to create a specific campaign for gallery ads.

What you need to do

While all of these changes may seem overwhelming, the good news is you have time to prepare for it all.
The image ads are in beta and most likely will not officially roll out until December at the earliest. We recommend you start putting together images you would like to use (at least 8 per campaign). For our clients in the beta program, we will be able to analyze the early results and use performance data as a basis to create a blueprint for moving forward. Once image ads start rolling out, we anticipate less ad space availability and possibly an impact on organic listings as well. When image ads come out for Google Search, it’s going to be a game-changer, so get ready now and beat your competition to the punch!

Accelerated Delivery and average ad position will have to be adjusted for campaign rules, columns or filters for any current campaign. We recommend reviewing all campaign settings to make sure there will be no disconnect for anything just mentioned.

If you have any questions about Image Ads on Google Search or need any help putting this together, keep in mind that your AdEdge Digital Marketing team is always here to help. Please Schedule a Call or Contact Us if you would like a complementary review of your campaign or some ideas to optimize your digital marketing performance.