Google has announced changes to the ad rotation settings you’ll find in AdWords, More specifically, the search giant is reducing the number of options you have when it comes to rotating ads for better performance.

Google tells us it’s “simplifying ad rotation” by condensing it into two options: optimise and rotate indefinitely (don’t optimise). Which means the way you create and tests ads in AdWords going forward will be a little different.

Simplified ad rotation in AdWords

Previously, with ad rotation you’ll be used to seeing something like the above. You could choose between optimising for clicks, optimising for conversions, rotating evenly for a minimum of 90 days (and then optimising) or evenly rotating indefinitely.

However, Google is condensing these options into two choices: Optimize and Do not optimize. Now, by default, selecting Optimize will rotate your ads with the aim of optimising for maximum clicks, not conversions. To maximise for conversions specifically, you’ll have to use Smart Bidding and use the Maximise conversions Smart Bidding strategy.

Once you do this, ad rotation will be automatically set to Optimize, meaning you can’t use Smart Bidding and the Do not optimize option together.

As for the Do not optimize selection, this simply rotates your ads evenly for an indefinite period – the setting you’ll want to choose if you’re testing ads against each other and using your own data.

What you can’t do anymore, is run ads evenly for the minimum 90-day period and then let Google optimise rotation based on their performance during that time.


When do these changes come in?

The changes to ad rotation are rolling out across accounts now. If you’re using the rotate evenly or optimise for conversion options in ad rotation, then you’ should see the change over the next month. Which means you’ll want to conclude any tests you’re running on ad rotations with these settings.

We understand this isn’t going to happy news for many advertisers. Google has been pushing pretty hard for advertisers to let it handle ad rotation with its machine learning system. The results have been very positive but some advertisers prefer to rely on their own data rather than allow Google to call the shots.

Fair enough really.

Of course, you can continue to rotate ads evenly for an indefinite period under the change – so at least Google is keeping that option open to data-wielding advertisers.

Finally, we should make a point of reminding you that Google recommends running at least three ads in any ad group. This is especially true if you’re relying on Google to optimise your ad rotations for you. As Google puts it, “The more of your ads our system can choose from, the better the expected ad performance.”

If you have any questions about the changes being made to ad rotation and what you need to do about them, feel free to get in touch with us on social, over the phone or by filling out the form below.