AdWords Enhanced Campaigns: Google Announces Big Changes to Mobile Ad Campaign Management


Enhanced Campaigns in Google AdWords

Google today announced a bold and sweeping set of changes to their AdWords PPC management platform in a bid to greatly simplify mobile ad campaign management – at stake is the future of Google’s advertising business itself. All of the new AdWords Enhanced Campaign features – which I believe will greatly increase both mobile advertising adoption and Google’s revenues from mobile search – will become available to customers by the end of the month. In this article, I’ll walk through AdWords Enhanced Campaigns in detail. If you’re interested in the growing mobile search space (and you all should be!), pay close attention. These changes will affect all advertisers before the end of the year and fundamentally change the online ad landscape as we know it.

Table of Contents:

Enhanced Campaign Resource Center

The Need for AdWords Enhanced Campaigns

We live in a multi-screen, constantly connected mobile world today, and marketers need to be able to easily reach people across all devices with relevant ads. Over the last 5 years, growth in search query volume from mobile phones has greatly outpaced growth in query volume from desktop computers – the number of daily searches on Google from mobile devices is expected to surpass daily desktop search volume by next year. 

Yet there’s been a big challenge with mobile advertising adoption at Google – to take advantage of the sophisticated mobile advertising features and strategies that are required to be successful, like geo-targeting and device-specific targeting, advertisers must take on an exponential amount of additional campaign management complexity.

Meaning, in the current AdWords platform, advertisers are expected to create multiple different campaigns – one for every city and every possible device combination, which quickly becomes pretty difficult, if not impossible for the average advertiser to manage. Because this is so overwhelming, only the most sophisticated agencies and advertisers with large budgets and dedicated in-house PPC managers took advantage of Google’s various mobile advertising features. Here's a screenshot to give you an idea of just how challenging mobile advertising was on Google AdWords before today (click to enlarge)

Mobile Device Targeting in Google AdWords Before AdWords Enhanced Campaigns were introduced

We estimate that within the small and medium-sized business segment, less than 1 in 25 bothered doing the work of mobile-enabling their PPC campaigns, because it was such a hassle.

Google realizes that they need to simplify mobile advertising, particularly given that mobile search accounts for roughly half of all searches. Accordingly they are now rolling out new “Enhanced Campaigns” with the goal of greatly simplifying PPC campaign management. Let’s take a look at how they work.

Introducing Enhanced Campaigns

What’s changing is the way ad campaigns are structured. Google is rethinking how we deal with the multi-device world we live in, and is upgrading the decade-old PPC campaign structure to have the ability to leverage all of the important mobile advertising features, without having to create separate campaigns for every location and device combination – which was the previous best practice.

Going forward, ad campaigns will be different in several ways:

  1. New Bidding Options: Currently, AdWords campaigns support a time of day-based bid adjustments (e.g., you can bid more when your store is open and bid less when you are closed – which makes obvious sense). Google is expanding on this concept and including new bid adjustment options for location (e.g., bid more for searches conducted close to my store, and less for the neighboring towns and communities), and another bid adjustment option for device (bid more or less for mobile searches). Rather than having to create specific geo-targeted campaigns and mobile specific campaigns, you can now do that all in one campaign.
  2. Much Smarter Ads: Ads are getting a lot smarter about user context. Within a single campaign, you can have ads for desktop and mobile – similar to how you can have different sized image ads within a single display ad campaign. Google will make note of what device is executing the search and will correctly pick the right ad to run with.  Rather than having to specify different campaigns for tablet and mobile, etc., ads and settings will be adjusted for you automatically, based on user context.

So overall, the idea of these new Enhanced Campaigns is to take the Google mobile advertising features that were previously available – but rarely used because they were too hard to implement – and now offer them in a much more scalable way for all Google advertisers.

New Bid Adjustments: Location, Time of Day & Device Based Bidding

So how do all these new bid adjustments work, exactly? For starters, all of the keywords and bids in your account still exist – no changes there.

Essentially the key difference is that rather than exploding the size of your PPC account by breaking out your PPC campaigns into hundreds of possible campaign variants, you only need to specify a single bid adjustment factor for location and device.

Specifically, for geo-specific and time-of-day based bidding, you’ll be able to specify a bid adjustment multiplier from -100% to +300%.

For mobile devices, you can now specify a bid adjustment between -100% and +300%. If you absolutely want to opt out of mobile (for example, suppose your company sells only desktop software that doesn’t work on mobile), then you can bid it down by -100%, which effectively turns off mobile search.

Google Enhanced Campaigns - Mobile Bid Adjustments

As a result of having the new campaign bidding options for location, time of day, and device – all device targeting is going away.

RIP Tablet Targeting Options

Another thing that’s changed with Enhanced Campaigns is that Google is no longer differentiating between tablets and desktop/notebook searches.  Google says that with the device ecosystem rapidly evolving, the boundary between tablet and notebook is becoming a bit blurred.  Take for example, a Windows Surface device that can operate as both a notebook and a tablet. 

Google believes that the core use case of tablet computing replaces desktop and notebook computer usage in the home – and as a result, they view tablets as being pretty much aligned with desktop, in that they both have a pretty similar mix of search terms typically being executed, and similar ad performance of those searches.

New and Improved: Smarter Ads

The second big bucket of AdWords Enhanced Campaign features has to do with smarter ads where you’ll be able to customize your ads for mobile.

Essentially what is offered is a check-box that says: “I want this ad to run on mobile.” If you just have one ad in an ad group, and you check this box, then it’s going to run across all devices. But if you do have an ad group that has the new universal ads and mobile ads in the same ad group, Google will always display your mobile ad to run on the mobile devices. Essentially, mobile and desktop ads can now live together, in the same campaigns!

Since creating a great mobile ad experience involves more than just changing a keyword bid, Google is rolling out some new ad extension management features. These include check boxes for your various ad extensions, like call extensions or site link extensions, that specify that you only want your extension to run on mobile or desktop. This way, advertisers can continue to customize the ads, landing pages, ad text (etc.) that are optimized for mobile and desktop search, respectively. So basically all of the existing ad extensions (such as location extensions, communication extensions, social extensions, etc.) will have the ability to designate them as mobile or desktop specific extensions.

Additionally, ad extensions will all have new scheduling capabilities – like the ability to run certain ad extensions during happy hour, etc.

No More Mobile Call Reporting Fees!

Previously Google had offered mobile call reporting features to allow an advertiser to see what phone numbers called, when, and how long the call lasted. This was helpful but a bit bizarre in that Google actually charged advertisers a dollar extra per call to use it – which, sadly, acted as a disincentive to adopt mobile search features!

With Enhanced Campaigns, Google is dumping the extra mobile call reporting fee because they would like all advertisers to take advantage of advanced call metrics and reporting as much as possible.

New Mobile Advertising Conversion Type

The ROI of mobile search is systematically under-reported because current conversion tracking is based on a user finding a thank-you page after having placed an order online or filling out a contact-us form. In mobile search, the call to action is often to make a phone call, so traditional conversion tracking doesn’t work.

Therefore, AdWords Enhanced Campaigns is adding a mobile advertising conversion type. The conversion type is based on call duration and is specified by the advertiser. For example, an advertiser can specify a minimum duration of a call that you consider to be a conversion in your reporting.

This new conversion type should give advertisers greater insight into the true value of mobile advertising and will result in increased mobile ad adoption.

Enhanced Campaigns: The Automatic Upgrade Path

Like a lot of other Google AdWords changes, Google will give advertisers until mid-year to manually upgrade to the new Enhanced Campaigns, and then will automatically upgrade all accounts.

  1. If you’re like the vast majority of advertisers and you never bothered with separating your campaigns into different experiences for desktop vs. mobile – then you’re in luck! Your upgrade path is pretty straightforward. You just need to set your mobile bid adjustment factor, which Google will set for you automatically – more on that shortly.
  2. If you’ve previously created a desktop-only campaign, then by default it would be upgraded to run across desktop and mobile devices, and Google will automatically set a non-zero initial mobile bid adjustment factor on your behalf.
  3. If you’ve previously created a mobile-only campaign (i.e. no desktop targeting), then by default it will be upgraded to go across mobile and desktop, and they’ll set an initial bid adjustment factor for you.
  4. If you had previously made copies of the same campaign, one for desktop, and one for mobile, then you'll need to merge those back together into one.

I personally don’t agree with the default settings for the auto-upgrade paths (2) and (3) above, because advertisers who had previously separated mobile/desktop campaigns (again, this was considered the best practice) will now end up having two campaigns targeting similar keywords with different ad experiences that target both mobile and desktop, even though they were likely intended to target either desktop or mobile search. It would have made more sense to me if the bid adjustment factor for mobile search was set to -100% for desktop only campaigns. I suspect the decision was made for business reasons (to grow Google Revenues).

Setting Your Mobile Bid Adjustment Factor

One of the key things that you need to do when migrating to the new Enhanced Campaigns is to set your mobile bid adjustment factor to specify how much more or less you’d like to bid for mobile searches –the range is between -100% and 300%.

If you haven’t yet separated out your mobile and desktop campaigns in AdWords, you may have noticed that on average, the cost per click for mobile search is quite a bit lower than that of desktop search. What’s currently happening is that Google is doing some behind the scenes discounting to determine a mobile CPC bid for you, even though you haven’t explicitly specified a bid amount for mobile search.

Going forward, it’s the responsibility of the advertiser to set mobile bids. Google says that they’re going to try to initially set that as best they can (either up or down) for an advertiser based on auction metrics and looking at the keywords in your campaigns and what other advertisers are doing, but that their guess isn’t going to be as good as if someone makes a conscious decision for their business..

Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns Roll-Out Schedule

All of these changes are pretty huge and it will take Google a few months to roll everything out. Here’s a rough idea of what the schedule looks like:

  • Early February: What’s happening today is just a pre-announcement that a change is coming.
  • End of February: All advertisers will be able to start upgrading their campaigns from within the Google AdWords application. There will be a little announcement in the application that says you’re eligible to upgrade a campaign. The changes will also be available in the AdWords API so that Google Partners can will have enough time to adopt these new features, with the caveat that device targeting and stuff will be going away.
  • Late June (tentative): All campaigns are auto-upgraded to Enhanced Campaigns.

It will be an option until mid-year. Then enhanced campaigns will be the default for all campaigns.

What’s the Real Reason for AdWords Enhanced Campaigns?

In addition to increasing adoption rates for mobile advertising in AdWords by greatly simplifying campaign creation, management and reporting for mobile search, Google wants to, eliminate the gap between mobile and desktop CPC’s.

So Are Mobile CPC’s Going Up?

Yes. I believe that on average, they’ll be the same as desktop CPC’s after the auto-upgrade rolls out due to increased advertiser competition and all of the auto-set mobile bid adjustment factors. In fact, last month Google CEO Larry Page was asked on an earnings call if he thought that mobile CPC’s would be going up any time soon, to which he responded:

“I am very, very optimistic about it. I think that [mobile] CPCs will improve … Obviously; I mentioned that we are working to simplify our ad system for advertisers. In the light of all these changes and I am excited about our plans there:  We don’t have anything to announce today but I am very excited about our efforts there. I think that we will make rapid progress in that area.”

What's WordStream Doing with Enhanced Campaigns?

WordStream was one of just 3 companies to be pre-briefed on the changes over a month ago because we work with nearly a thousand SMB advertisers. We're excited to add these capabilities to our PPC management platform, and we already have teams working on it!  We'll be publishing additional tips and best practices to our blog soon!

Summary: Are AdWords Enhanced Campaigns Good for Advertisers?

I think the changes make a lot of sense. Right now there are a bunch of advertisers that opt out of mobile search because they think (incorrectly) that the ROI of mobile search isn’t there. They’re led to believe that’s the case because they don’t fully take advantage of all the powerful mobile features that Google has to offer. And they don’t bother with those features because it’s pretty complicated and requires extra work on the part of the advertiser.

In particular, small businesses that I work with every day aren’t too keen on doubling the number of ad campaigns in their account because that doubles the campaign management complexity - and they have other things to do, like running their business! It’s also a bit more challenging to track the ROI of mobile search, and the call reporting costs are incurred by the advertiser. As a result, some advertisers make the determination that it’s not worth the hassle. As you can see, it’s a bit of a vicious cycle here.

I believe that the ROI of mobile search is very compelling – you have a lot of valuable leverage, like precise location, immediacy, commercial intent, and 1-click-to-call going for it. It’s always been a matter of just getting the advertiser to adopt the somewhat complicated best practices in terms of campaign setup and reporting to realize these benefits. By simplifying this process, I’m confident that you’ll see an uptake in mobile advertising adoption and ROI. I think the new AdWords enhanced campaigns will be particularly helpful for the SMBs who are not yet taking advantage of mobile search.  

What’s Your Take on the New Google AdWords Enhanced Mobile Campaigns?

Let me know your thoughts in the comment fields below!

About The Author

Larry Kim is the Founder/CTO of WordStream, provider of the 20 Minute PPC Work Week and the AdWords Grader. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Feb 06, 2013

Wow, that's a lot of information to take in!  Big, exciting changes here.  I'm going to re-read this a few times to soak it all in.  Thanks Larry :)

Larry Kim
Feb 06, 2013

Thanks for stopping by, matt!I know what you mean by big changes!

Andy Brown
Feb 06, 2013

Amazing review of the changes.I'm just left wondering what will happen to our existing campaigns. If I have a campaign set up for desktop, tablet and mobile and then duplicated again for Search and Display will I no longer be able to access these campaigns. Will they somehow merge into one. Or alternatively will our current campaings run as is and any new campaigns will be enhanced.ThanksAndy

Elisa Gabbert
Feb 06, 2013

Andy, the "Automatic Upgrade Path" section should answer your question:

  1. If you’re like the vast majority of advertisers and you never bothered with separating your campaigns into different experiences for desktop vs. mobile – then you’re in luck! Your upgrade path is pretty straightforward. You just need to set your mobile bid adjustment factor, which Google will set for you automatically – more on that shortly.
  2. If you’ve previously created a desktop-only campaign, then by default it would be upgraded to run across desktop and mobile devices, and Google will automatically set a non-zero initial mobile bid adjustment factor on your behalf.
  3. If you’ve previously created a mobile-only campaign (i.e. no desktop targeting), then by default it will be upgraded to go across mobile and desktop, and they’ll set an initial bid adjustment factor for you.
  4. If you had previously made copies of the same campaign, one for desktop, and one for mobile, then you'll need to merge those back together into one.

Feb 18, 2013

You may want to keep an eye on this, we have had a decrease in conversions of 800% after these changes were made to our campaign. This has been, to our company, the biggest mistake we have ever made.  I would get on the phone with Google and let them walk you through how to seamlessly move your campaign to the new settings.  If you are a software companylike we are and are dependant on only sales through laptop and desktop computers, the default settings may devestate your business temporarily.  After you have adapted your settings, they may take weeks or months to get back to where you were.This is going to lead us and many other companies like ours to invest less in PPC and more in affiliate marketing.

Tony K
Feb 06, 2013

excellent update. thanks

Larry Kim
Feb 11, 2013

Thanks for reading, tony!

Malu Weingarten
Feb 06, 2013

Larry,thanks indeed. PPC mobile´s going to dramatically change as of this new Google Adwords announcement.I wonder how the auto opt-ins in terms of CTR from desktops driven ads to mobile ones will affect the the overall ROI,when at the same time the quality score drops (due to it´s desktop QS optimization) not to mention the ad text itself.A great move is the removal of the call reporting fees which really only big spenders could afford. Mobile managementesp. for store owners is really one of the best features in the adwords enhaced campaigns upcoming changes,I see a lot of potential for the offliners to compete against large E-commerce and retailers. Inhowfar the conversion trackin problem can be solved, remains to be seen, since call-tracking implies offlinetransactions as a desired end goal. Maybe a customer journey report (paths) whereby ie after a mobile ad triggeredclick-to-call is the first click, followed by product-specific search (after clarifying with the retailer on the phone)and finally last click conversion at the thank you page level.As always, great article and insights about what and why the big G does what it does and your perspective for usSME´s.

Larry Kim
Feb 11, 2013

 Malu, i have some information here about Quality Score and Enhanced campaigns. It's a bit verbose, but here it is anyway:Enhanced Campaigns do not change the way Quality Score is calculated when keywords enter an auction and upgrading does not result in the loss of historical Quality Score information as long as keyword, ad creative, landing page, and device combinations remain the same. A few possible upgrade scenarios are outlined below.• If you upgrade a desktop-only campaign and make no other changes, your Quality Score history on desktop devices will remain intact. Since Quality Score takes device into account, your keywords will begin to accrue mobile Quality Score history based on their performance on those devices.• If you delete or pause a mobile-only campaign and upgrade a desktop campaign, your Quality Score history on both desktop and mobile devices will remain largely intact insofar as you preserve keyword, ad, landing page, and device combinations. This is true even if your mobile-only campaign was in a separate account.• If you were using unique ads in your mobile-only campaign, preserving historical Quality Score information will require copying those ads into your upgraded campaign as mobile-optimized ads.Quality Score history takes the target device into account. However, in the AdWords interface the 1-10 Quality Score estimate will reflect the keyword’s overall performance across all the devices on which it is serving (the Quality Scores of keywords in merged campaigns will reflect an average of their Quality Scores in the original campaigns weighted by the search volume in each). Other useful performance metrics, such as CTR and Average Position, will be available at the device level to aid with optimization.

Robert Brady
Feb 06, 2013

Larry, you mention the following:"We estimate that within the small and medium-sized business segment, less than 1 in 25 bothered doing the work of mobile-enabling their PPC campaigns, because it was such a hassle." Since the default setting on campaigns was to target all devices I have a hard time believing that 96% actually changed the default. Am I missing something? 

Larry Kim
Feb 08, 2013

the vast majority of advertisers are opted into mobile search by default. the 5% i'm talking about are the ones who actually do the work of creating separate mobile-only campaigns with ad extensions, etc. Most SMB's do not do this extra work which is critical for mobile advertising success.

May 02, 2013

And the ones who DID take the time to do it are now getting screwed.

Feb 06, 2013

Wow, the ever-changing world of the Google monster.  But, this one seems like it might be in the advertisers best interest.It's certainly in the best interest of the small business advertiser to be ahead of the learning curves with Google.I hope that this doesn't change all of the PPC quality scores and the like.  As long as that doesn't happen, I'm goodwith it. 

Larry Kim
Feb 11, 2013

See previous question about Quality Score and Enhanced Campaigns.

Kelly Watt
Feb 07, 2013

Great post! Although this is a simplification for the average SB advertiser, there are many who had leveraged mobile CPC to their advantange who will loose on this udate. I also find many of Google's previous simplifications in the campaign management can be misleading to an extent to the average user. At the end of the day, profit is the motivation through increasing the mobile advertising market. Those that did not participate could very well do better, if their websites are mobile friendly and industry is relevant to mobile. Others may make additional costly mistakes in campaign management. Those who leveraged the mobile CPC will lose a little of their edge.

Larry Kim
Feb 11, 2013

Hi Kelly, thank you for this comment. I agree with the general outline of your sentiments here. if you were doing mobile-only campaigns, then that's no longer possible. Perhaps our friends at Google will add optional advanced targeting features at a future date. 

Feb 07, 2013

Excellent Read. Keep coming up with such informative topics.

Larry Kim
Feb 11, 2013

thanks for reading, seo first!

Sarah Park
Feb 07, 2013

I am so excited for all these changes.  Must try these soon.

Feb 07, 2013

Wow, that's a whole lot of changes. We have a semi truck wash trailer washout in Mississippi, and I've noticed that at least a third of our searches seem to be comming from Mobile. Because I think it's set up by default to show our correct phone number on mobile devices.  

Larry Kim
Feb 11, 2013

perhaps you have a location or click to call extension enabled? I think a semi truck wash trailer washout is a perfect example of a local business that would greatly benefit from the mobile search simplifications being rolled out here.

Michael Gocia
Feb 08, 2013

This post really helps a lot of people for their business , This is very good to hear by this we can provide ads in more effective way and can target group of people or visitors , we can also post ads at a particular period of time also.

Larry Kim
Feb 11, 2013

i'm very excited about the new bidding options as well!

Feb 08, 2013

IMHO dropping your bids for the sake of someone who lives further away might be detremental to your overall QS. I'm thinking if someone lives so far away that you're not sure they'll want to come to your store, then displaying your ads at a lower bid and (probably) acheiving a lower CTR will harm your QS and so affect your cost-per-conversion for all your existing conversions. And this is all for the sake of people who are less likely to come to your store!Wouldn't it be better to maintain your CTR to your entire catchment area and accept that with people who live further away it will cost your more to acheive a conversion? At least this protects your QS and maintains the lower cost-per-conversion for your existing conversions. Any thoughts? Perhaps its a case of testing it out?

Feb 10, 2013

Overall the changes are great and fantastic article.One concern I have is website's that are not mobile friendly!If we needed to stop the auto transition before the rollover can we just put a -100% before June?To be safe I will create a list of non-mobile friendly websites and check in on the transition date.Let me know what you think.Kind regards, Nick   

Dave Hassall
Feb 11, 2013

Hi LarryFascinating article.I am one of the 1 in 25 who did break off my campaign into a mobile specifc campaign.My thoughts and findings are as follows, and some assumptions are made which I cannot quantify, hidden in the Google Cloud or Fog :-)

  1. CTRs were up compared to the Desktop only campaign
  2. CPCs were also up, almost directly proportional to CTRs. i.e. CTRs doubled CPCs DoubledMy theory here was that I was now competing in the Mobile sector not with the 4% who had specifically targetted mobile, but the combination of those who had not and those who had.
  3. QS were almost meaningless, on the Desktop with a screen full of real estate content and other factors could be measured. We replaced all that with basic info and a form. No content but fast load time.Our theory Mobile users want ultra quick answers, is it cheaper if I walk arouhd the block? or in our case they see a Driving School car drive past, they search and book an initial lesson
  4. QS were almost meaningless (2), people at the top of the sponsored links were going to their desktop sites.
IMHO - (a TLA, three letter abbreviation I like.)I am not 100% convinced this "simplification" will appeal to the SB.Internet Marketing for our organisation is my full time job. I split off the campaign, you'll now have to generate seperate Ad Text.You'll need a mobile specific site, hence needing the 2 (or more) sets of Ad Text, or a website that is responsive to the device onto which it is displayed. Again not necessarily a task for the feint hearted.I was always taught that 'Best Practice' was to separate Text and Display Ads because of the different charging structures. This new change to Adwords will presumably have the same effect. My theory, based on 1 and 2 above means the to "compete" Mobile you'll need to Bid Adjust +100% to +200%Your package "20 Minute PPC" is awesome, but you'll have some fun distinguishing whether a keyword is good or bad when costs are different depending on platform.Also for those people who did run split campaigns, and have done for a while, and honed them, I'm sure there is a resounding "THANK YOU, Google" as they automaticaly be one-size fits all. The "only" benefit I can see is that with the different platforms now served by one Campaing you can set a single budget, but do you double it, assuming you originally had an equal proportion set to Desktop Campaign and Mobile CampaignI look forward to seeing how this all pans outRegardsDave 

Kai Saari
Feb 12, 2013

Hi Larry,Thank you very much for your insightful analysis of these new changes.  The one thing I can't quite get my head around is the scope of spillover when running a campaign and what the consequences are.  The biggest lamentation I hear regarding the changes is the fact that you can no longer do desktop-only or mobile-only campaigns.  As you pointed out, this might be for the best to encourage advertisers to reach users on all devices.  However, as you mention it would still be (very) necessary to customize the experience.  A user searching on their PC would need a different end experience than a user who searched for the same thing on mobile.  Is that possible to set up via the enhanced campaign system?  Or does that require the advertiser to set up on their own via sniffer links, etc?  What about advertisers that need unique experiences/destinations for android vs. iphone units?  Yesterday, representatives from Google ad sales actually came into my office to discuss these changes, and seemed to indicate that these distinctions were not as easy as official publications make them seem; meaning, the very real possibility of waste exists where PC users could get served ads designed for mobile users, with or without any caution on our part.  Is that not the case?Sincerely,Kai

Dave Hassall
Feb 14, 2013

Hi KaiI couldn't agree with you more.I think Google is making a "rod for their own back"Life is so much easier if you have a campaign for desktop and a campaign for mobileIf you think of it geographically rather then from a technical view point, consider the nightmare it would be if you were trying to use a single campaign to advertise in the US, prices in $, UK in £ (GB pounds) and Australia (AUS$) where you differentiate at the keyword or AD text level.Your point about the different mobile platforms follows the same issue, so much easier to have separate Campaigns for each platform.Depending on your platform mass editing to send to destination URL to desktop / iphone / android etcFor me this was sending to or .mobi, now I'm guessing it will be a nightmare to have desktop and mobile Ads in the same Campaign :-(Personally I like to KISS, but this change just seems awkward, I think we'll see Google's revenue increase as a large number of advertisers won't realise that they are now advertising on mobile, but when CPA increases and users start to move to other search engines because the results are relevant to the platform, I think we'll see a U-turn on this policyThis is a fascinating article on doing mobile right (Opens in a nee Window)And to save you having to buy multiple mobile devices to test the Opera Mobile Emulator is an essential tool  (Opens in a nee Window)RegardsDave 

Feb 14, 2013

 "...then you can bid it down by -100%, which effectively turns off mobile search."You can't do this if you use the auto bidder/auto optimizer.Note also, even if the autobidder eventually recognizes less ROI on mobile ads, it can still blow hundreds or thousands of dollars before it dials in on this. When I make a new campaign, I already know it but I no longer have a way of turning such ads off. The best I can manage is to pick an obscure mobile device type and target only that. But now I have to let the autobidder learn it anew each campaign which bleeds off money.

Feb 15, 2013

I'm anxious to see this take off. It was a goal of mine to separate all PPC campaigns by mobile and desktop by January of this year (yes, I was late to adopt best practices there, but we're a start-up), and I was kicking myself when I hadn't yet implemented those changes. However, with Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns, I am now patting myself on the back and chalking the delay all up to fate. Gotta love the irony there!

Norman Hardin
Feb 17, 2013

We are indeed living in the digital world where everything is almost done online. This is the main reason why adwords and PPCs are created for advertising. Gone are the days when posters are the main sources of information. Even billboards have been surpassed by these online advertisements. Good to have these things because they are more convenient and promising considering the many things you can do online.

Nikolai Baskakov
Feb 18, 2013

Oh well... Of course if you're not a performance marketer this may sound like good news. In fact, it's yet another cash grab for Google meant to inflate their profits.Here's why this update is beyond horrible (let me quote Ruck here, who is light years ahead of 99% of digital marketers, managing millions of dollars worth of mobile traffic monthly, if not weekly):[quote]Now, it might be a little confusing to a lot of people what Enhanced Campaigns really entails. That’s the whole point! It’s an Adwords way of saying “You’re about to get f**ed, but we want to put a confusing, shiny label on it, so we don’t get called out – too much.”Here’s a quick run-down of changes:

  1. Tablets and desktops/laptops are being bundled together and you will no longer be able to have separate bids for tablets. Advertisers will have less granular control, and desktop-only campaigns will now be displayed across tablet devices. Tablet-specific optimization is being eliminated, likely resulting in auction inefficiencies and increased competition.
This is really funny because nearly 20% of traffic is coming from tablets but Google is not going to let advertisers separate this type of traffic anymore. It’s all bundled together. What’s even funnier is the fact Google admitting that mobile ads were “decelerating” their revenue growth.It really all comes down to if Google is right (and I highly believe they are wrong) then it suggests that ultimately the mobile v. desktop CPC issue will disappear in favor of the aggregate issue of supply and demand. If Google serves more impressions across all devices, the increase in inventory supply will continue to drive down CPC prices but drive up paid clicks.Here’s a couple more changes:
  • Mobile (phone) campaigns are now grouped with desktop/tablet. Separate bidding for mobile devices will still be possible via a mobile “multiplier” at the campaign level. This will allow for desktop versus mobile bidding strategies — but not  keyword-level bid optimization. Though many leading thinkers in paid search believe that “bid optimization” is less important than “Quality Score optimization,” the auction inefficiencies that will likely result are sure to inflate average CPC amounts.
  • No mobile-only campaigns. The real impact of grouping mobile and desktop campaigns together will be felt by advertisers that currently have mobile-optimized programs targeting one- or two-term “head” keyword phrases. Now, in order to maintain that visibility across mobile devices, advertisers will have to develop an equivalent desktop presence. Generally speaking, head terms are often costly and yield lower conversion throughput. 
  • No granular mobile device control – At the moment you can target a campaign to a specific device or operating system on mobiles (e.g., HTC One X vs iPhone 4, or iOS vs Android). This is being removed and replaced with Google’s “contextual” ads. If you are sending somebody to the Play Store on mobiles, then iOS devices won’t be able to see your ad.
LOLZOR. I’m sure we won’t be charged for this clicks either…right Google?But if you aren’t sending somebody to the play store or the app store then Google doesn’t know the context. So you’re going to show to all devices even if you don’t want to. If you can’t monetize traffic from iOS, that’s tough. You’re going to pay for it anyway. How are they even getting away with this?Now to the Newbie Adwords advertiser, this may make you jump up and sing. It means that mobile advertising will appear to be easier.You sir, sit down and ... [just shut up.]As an advertiser, you are losing:
  • Most of the control
  • Likely costs of advertising increases
  • No separated budgets, it’s all weighted
  • To ensure you are spending the right amount on the right ad medium, you have to hop around like a monkey and make “mobile bid adjustments”
  • Tracking per OS/Device
When it all comes down to it, Google was either going to have to take a stand, or get passed by someone who would I guess. I think this really just sucks and I’m hoping that clearer documentation and segmentation will come about, but I don’t expect that at first. They are going to make a pretty hefty coin when these new enhanced campaigns get underway.[/quote]

Ray Hrach
Feb 18, 2013

Hi Larry,Isn't it amazing how a "simplification" can be so complicated?This reminds me a lot of the "simplification" that changed the default match type to include close variants and misspellings.One thing that you forgot to mention is that for many small businesses, mobile advertising doesn't make sense.  For example, those that sell B to B or have a product with a long sales cycle.Larry Page and wall st might be excited about CPC going up in the short term, but most small business owners are smart enough to know that when CPC goes up, ROI goes down.  There are limits to what advertisers will be willing to pay.  You can't alter the fundamental principals of economics with an algorithm change.  Therefore, I think his optimism will be short lived. 

Robert Walker
Feb 28, 2013

I'm glad to hear that you can set the mobile bid to -100%.However that should be the default for upgrade of desktop only campaigns. It is my experience that overall campaign QS can drop very quickly. Just a few minutes of advertising on a high profile keyword with few clicks can drop the QS of most of your long tail keywords that use that word. Even if they continue to get CTRs of 10% or more, doesn't help.So if a desktop campaign is upgraded to mobile + desktop automatically it might completely trash your QS for mobile devices before you even know what's happening. Especially so for newbies who don't even know to show the QS. Then maybe later you want to target mobile and can'tAt the least they should have a message "Do you want to upgrade Campaign X to desktop + Mobile, Yes / No". Okay if it defaults to Yes, just so you see what is happening and have the choice.What I would really like to see is ability to target by OS, the number two wish in their official list.a

Mar 05, 2013

HI All, Some great comments! Does anybody have the same issue as me, in that I had seperated my campaigns, between mobile only anddestop only, but have seperate domains for the relevant devices?For desktop only i understand that i can set the mobile bid to -100 to prevent the mobile clicks but what do i doin the mobile only ad that points at a .mobi site instead of a .com site, if this serves to desktops and tablets thelanding page that is served will look awful on a full size screen and Adwords rules states that you can only haveone destination URL per campaign! In the long term we are looking at getting a responsive site built to discard the .mobi but that is a long way off so what do we do in the short term?Any suggestions or comments very much appreciated!Thanks K  

Apr 15, 2013

There is now a check box inside each ad variation if you are using the Adwords interface that specifies if this ad is for Mobile or not. Use this to let Adwrods know that you only want a specific ad to shopw for mobile.If you are using Adwords Editor thier is a new dropdown field that  asks for your "Device Preference"... mark this as Mobile for the same specification....Hope this helps...-Ed

May 02, 2013

This doesn't work. We have indicated which ads are to appear on mobile, but they all do anyway.

Mar 12, 2013

I spoke at length to a senior Google Engage guy yesterday in relation to a client who ONLY wants mobile traffic for his local restaurant.In summary, his profitable mobile only campaign is now a thing of the past.  We've created a new enhanced campaign and the results are truly terrible despite the fact that the campaign content is identical to the original mobile one only with mobile bid adjustments and mobile optimised ads.We've reviewed the campaign with 3 Google support guys, and peer reviewed with a couple ofther adwords managers.  The campaign is esentially sound, yet it no longer performs.We were about to put a campaign out through 100 franchises, we now won't.In this sector I see a lot of trouble ahead. 

adwords management
Mar 14, 2013

Is this for real? will Im looking forward for this change!

May 02, 2013

I manage all our AdWords campaigns and we are not happy with this change. We have separate mobile campaigns with certain copy and CTAs that have proven to perform better on mobile than on desktop, and being forced to advertise everything, everywhere is only going to result in more unqualified clicks and an overall higher CPA.I upgraded a campaign a couple of months ago to play around with settings, and even though AdWords lets me indicate which ads should run on mobile, they're all running on mobile. And because we are using a CPA model (instead of CPC), I can't adjust bids to -300%, as they suggest, to prevent them from running on mobile.There's nothing "enhanced" or "upgraded" about this change for anyone other than Google. 

yield management
May 09, 2013

Must say great concept!!! Thanks for sharing.

Get Coupons
Jun 11, 2013

Hi,I have a question, my Adwords report shows 0 click on a specific campaign,and my ppc manager show a visit with adId under same campaign. Can somebody describe me, how is that possible? Thanks in advance.

Aug 17, 2013

I used Google adwords to set up a Campaign using a Video ad a few days back .Now, the ad status shows serving , but it isn't generating any impressions .I have not kept any restrictive settings or something like that .I have kept everythging generalised like all country , all everyrhing etc to target maximum audience , Can you help me understand why does ads not show up despite showing serving status? Regards , Amlan Dutta 

Nov 01, 2013

Hi Further to your post, now that Google has involved ad extensions for calculating the ad rank. My question is more to do with call extensions. How will Google calculate impression and clicks for call extensions as for non forward phone numbers there is no click option ThanksAnoli

baju couple
Jan 18, 2014

This concept is simple but I think it will be very powerfull

Aug 14, 2014

Great article, very explicit and very easy to follow!Saludos,Harold

Oct 25, 2014

What if I bid more on the base bid, lets say 15$.  and then I set the Location adjustment to around -50% decreasing from base bidand then my mobile adjustment to around 200%.will that bid on desktop: 7.5$and on mobile 200% of 15$ which is 45$  =total of 7.5$ + 45$ = 52.5$ ?If so, that is a way to raise the gap between the desktop bid and mobile bid. its almost as if the +300% on mobile range would be I correct???

Apr 13, 2015

This information is very helpful. I'm excited to practice the concepts!

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