Amid Advertiser Complaints, Google Makes Changes To New AdWords Rotation Feature

google-adwords-square-logoIt looks like the powers-that-be at Google are listening to thoughtful feedback like Matt Van Wagner presented just a few days ago in these pages. The company is making changes to recently-implemented AdWords rotation settings, and also allowing advertisers to opt-out of the auto-optimization altogether.

As a reminder, in late April, Google said that a week later, the company would eliminate the option advertisers once had to evenly rotate creatives in their AdWords ads. All ads would be automatically optimized after 30 days.

Some of the feedback on our news coverage included: “This may be the worst change to Google AdWords … ever!” and “The fork in the back feels great. Thanks G!” Tell us what you really think, marketers. The concerns are sparked by advertisers and agencies who used the rotate evenly setting to test different creatives, and resented Google removing one of the tools at marketers’ disposal.

Now, the automatic optimization won’t start until 90 days, and advertisers who want ads to rotate evenly in perpetuity can get what they want — by contacting their account rep or filling out this form. If enough advertisers choose to opt out, the company says it will add the option back to the AdWords interface. Both of the changes will take place on June 11.

The tension here seems to be between Google’s efforts to serve a class of advertisers with a “set it and forget it” mentality, who would prefer that the company auto-optimize on their behalf, and the company’s need to serve more sophisticated marketers who are making full use of all of the options available to them.

“We’re confident that the changes we’ve made to ad rotation enable us to show higher quality ads to our users and better performing ads for our advertisers,” wrote Nick Fox, VP of product management at Google, in a blog post. “However, we also realize that it is important to provide you with the freedom and time to decide what works best for you and that’s why we’re announcing these changes today.”

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Top News


About The Author: is Executive Features Editor at Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. She’s a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since 1998.

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  • DSquared-Media

    Excellent move. I’m annoyed they’re pushing it to 90 days instead of just going back to the way it was, but let all of use advertisers fill out the form and get this important feature back in.

  • Christopher Noble

    Wow . . . Google . . . listening to their customers . . . that’s a first! :)

  • Jonathan Hochman

    This is not very excellent.  The opt-out form is extra bureaucracy.  Google should stop putting their interests ahead of the interests of advertisers.  We want ad rotation in perpetuity.  When we discover ads that under-perform, we pause them.  If we leave an ad running, there is a good reason.  Google should stop telling us that they know better than we do.  It’s a load of bull manure.

    Not all clicks are created equal.  Not all conversions are created equal.  Google, you can’t just look at the numbers and think you know better than the client. 

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  • Kate Harvey

    You do an excellent job of keeping us informed of changes, and I notice all your blogs get disseminated more than others who are reporting the same stories/information. What are you doing differently (specifics would be great!) that gets your blogs more exposure?

  • Kenny Red Leader Schmied

    On this topic, where is the outrage over adcenter’s entire lack of this option to begin with? I can’t tell you how many times a shit ad gets the ‘ok! you’re the winner!’ in adcenter and their lackluster CPM optimizing algo won’t even let you put ANYTHING against it (unless you pause it, which is a big no-no if you want impressions in bing land). We do all our testing in google for just this reason. Bing’s keyword-ad history serving mechanism is HORRIBLE for ad testing and it’s LONG over due for a revision.

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