Posted 1 May, 2012 by in PPC

Google AdWords: New Changes to Ad Rotation

Or WTF Adwords!?!?!?!

I’m going to start with a confession, the post I had originally planned for today was a recap of the flurry of features that AdWords released last month, noting some of the good changes but also talking about the bad (near phrase & exact match anyone?) It was pretty much written & ready to go first thing this morning.

This all changed last night thought when I saw the following tweet in my timeline…

Changes To Ad Rotation

My first (if slightly naïve/hopeful) reaction to this was “oh, have they improved the accuracy of the rotation so that it was more even?” and then “have they released more details on how advertisers can take advantage of ad rotation?” After clicking through to the Inside AdWords post my heart sank.

“Starting next week, the “rotate” setting for ad rotation will change. Instead of rotating creatives for an indefinite period of time, this setting will only rotate for a period of 30 days.”

I’m sorry? Could you repeat that? I thought for a moment you said that the rotate setting will only rotate for a period of 30 days? Oh wait… You did…

I like many other (good) advertisers run various landing page and ad copy tests in our AdWords campaigns and although because of the conditions of the landscape they will never be perfect, one of the basics of ad testing has always been evenly rotate your creatives, this really is PPC 101 and now to find out that Google are taking this control away from us, or at least making even more difficult for us to manage our tests, it feels like we are not only having to battle against other advertisers on the SERPs but also the platform we run our ads on and that cannot be good for anyone.

The cynical side of me knows exactly why they are making this change (and it’s not “…to provide users with the most relevant ad experience”). Managing PPC campaigns is a constant juggling act of optimising campaigns, running tests and improving ROI and many, if not all, PPC managers already find that there are not enough hours in the day to do everything that we would want. By forcing us to manually go back after 30 days and re-rotate our ads in our longer running tests they are not only stopping us from improving our campaigns but also in an indirect way stopping us from spending more with them.

After looking through my twitter stream at what other PPC’ers are saying I know that I’m not alone in my concerns regarding this change, and I can only hope that the guys at AdWords are listening and that they re-consider making this change…

…and pigs might fly…

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