Google Ads will automatically start pausing ad groups with low activity

Advertisers will have the option to unpause cad groups but are advised only to do so if they expect impressions in the coming weeks.

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Google Ads will automatically start pausing ad groups with low activity.

From March 11, ads groups created at least 13 months ago and have not had impressions in the past 13 months will be paused to improve budget efficiency for advertisers.

The rollout is expected to take just over seven weeks, with completion for all production Google Ads accounts by April 30.

Unpausing ad groups. If this change affects your ads, you can turn them back on if needed. However, Google advises reviewing your ad groups first and only unpausing ones you expect to get impressions in the coming weeks. If unpaused ad groups don’t get any impressions in the following three months, Google will automatically pause them again.

Editing. Google confirmed that you will still be able to update your ad groups and make changes while they are in a paused state in case you want to unpause them.

Why we care. Navah Hopkins, Evangelist at Optmyzr, explained this move would improve budget efficiency and campaign quality for advertisers. She said on LinkedIn:

  • “I am over the moon with this update! For years I have been begging brands to pause what’s not working so budget efficiency can win the day. This is absolutely a net positive.”
  • “Google sets budgets at the campaign level. If you have too many ad groups (looking at you accounts with 10+), odds are your budget won’t be able to support all of them.”
  • “Ad groups with no impressions drag down the overall quality of the campaign. If you have too many keywords and ad groups doing nothing, that averages in bad data. Zero impressions is not the same as low search volume and it is confirmed low search volume keywords are not going to hurt you. However if you have an otherwise “worthy” keyword/ad group that’s just not getting any action, it’s going to average in bad data.”
  • “Pausing is not the same as removing. You can always get it back. Also, that the timeline is 13 months confirms this is looking at established accounts and factoring in seasonality.”

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Deep dive. Read Google’s announcement in full for more information.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Nicola Agius
Nicola Agius was Paid Media Editor of Search Engine Land after joining in 2023. She covered paid media, retail media and more. Prior to this, she was SEO Director at Jungle Creations (2020-2023), overseeing the company's editorial strategy for multiple websites. She has over 15 years of experience in journalism and has previously worked at OK! Magazine (2010-2014), Mail Online (2014-2015), Mirror (2015-2017), Digital Spy (2017-2018) and The Sun (2018-2020). She also previously teamed up with SEO agency Blue Array to co-author Amazon bestselling book Mastering In-House SEO.

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