Google Brings Back Device-Level Bid Adjustments for Tablet & Desktop Devices


In 2013, when Google first announced enhanced campaigns, one of the major changes was that all campaigns would target all devices. Advertisers could control their mobile bids with a mobile bid adjustment, but apart from that, advertisers had little control over how they could adjust their bids on tablet and desktop devices. At the time, Google asserted that advertisers wouldn’t miss control over their tablet and desktop bids because “as devices converge, consumer behaviors on tablets and desktops are becoming very similar.”

Many PPC advertisers, like Matt Umbro, were not convinced:

 device based bidding

Device-Level Bidding Is Back, Baby!

Well, starting today, PPC advertisers have reason to rejoice because Google has given us all the ability to adjust bids for desktop and tablet devices with device bid adjustments. Advertisers can now adjust their bids for desktop and tablet devices at the campaign or ad group level by navigating to “Devices.”

 bid adjustment settings

The news comes as a relief to many advertisers who have lamented that cross-device behaviors have changed drastically since Enhanced Campaigns were first introduced in 2013. For instance, mobile clicks now make up the majority of all paid search traffic:

 share of traffic, by device

Not only has the device mix of search traffic evolved considerably, but the CPCs advertisers have been paying on these devices have changed drastically as well:

 search cpc, by device

Since we never saw desktop and tablet CPC or user behavior converge, I expect many SEMs will take advantage of these new device bid adjustments to address the differences in performance for these devices!

Want help figuring out how to navigate this feature and other new features released this week (including Expanded Text Ads and Responsive Display Ads)? Sign up for my free webinar later this week.

Data Sources:

The aggregated data in this post is based on a sample of 834 US-based WordStream client accounts whom were consistently advertising on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices on the Google Search Network from January 2013 to July 2016.

About the author:

Mark is a Senior Data Scientist at WordStream with a background in SEM, SEO, and Statistical Modeling. He was named the 14th Most Influential PPC Expert of 2016 by PPC Hero. You can follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google +.

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Eric Martin
Jul 29, 2016

I get an error when I try device bidding for tablet on my display campaigns, and I don't even have an option for tablet bidding on my search campaigns. Any thoughts?

Me, too!
Aug 05, 2016

I also do not see an option for separate tablet bidding. I thought I'd wait a few days and Google would catch up to Wordstream's announcement here, but no dice. Hoping Wordstream can clear this up for us, Eric.

Mark Irvine
Aug 08, 2016

Hi guys,

Although this change will be available in all accounts, the roll out is not yet universal. All accounts should have it shortly.

Google is hosting a webinar tomorrow at 9am PST to learn more about this feature and I'm sure they'll be addressing that timeline then:

Zapya for PC
Jul 30, 2016

Superb to read and helps me to solve out the problem

Aug 07, 2016

Hi Mark,

I don't see this feature in my adwords account yet. I really need this, because I have a Youtube Trueview Campaign that's ROI positive on desktop, but not with desktop&tablets combined.

Are you sure they already rolled it out?


Mark Irvine
Aug 08, 2016

Hi Stefan,

So far, we've only seen this live in a few accounts, although this will be available in all accounts soon.

Google is hosting a webinar tomorrow at 9am PST to learn more about this feature and I'm sure they'll be addressing that timeline then:

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