Keeping Up With the Google Ads Changes

September 25, 2019
Nichelle Schulz

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve been having trouble keeping up with the fairly significant Google Ads changes that have been rolling out recently. It is common to see a couple changes happening every quarter or so, but the latest ones seem to be rolling in one after another, and can be fairly impacting, depending on your campaign. I wanted to highlight a few that I’ve noted as important to us here at DSA, and to give you our take on how they could potentially affect ads.

Average position metric to be removed from the interface.

Google has announced that beginning the week of September 30, they will be retiring the average position metric.In it’s place they will be providing the search top impression rate and search absolute rate . Google states: “These metrics reflect the actual placement of your ad on the page, rather than the position of your ad compared to others.”

On our end, it will be interesting to see how this looks in the ads interface once the change has been made. Will the auction insights report be updated? Will the average position still show there, just not at the ad group/keyword level? I’m assuming the top of the page rate metric will still exist at the auction insights report, so above the suggested metrics noted by Google, we’ll also be referring to that metric as needed.

Changes to broad and phrase keyword match types.

Broad match modifier and phrase match keywords will begin matching to words within the search query that share the same meaning as the keyword.

Google states this will “help you reach more consumers without the need for exhaustive keyword lists”, but from what I can see, this will reduce the relevancy of the searches versus the offerings of the landing page, and we’ll have to be more diligent in monitoring what words are actually triggering ads, and add them to the negative keyword list (block them) as they come up. Google also states that this will allow campaigns to see a 3-4% increase in clicks and conversions on these keywords, but we predict that we’ll also see a much bigger increase in impressions, which will lead to a decrease in CTR. If there is a decrease in CTR overall, this would prove that the change to the match types are less relevant to what people are searching for, and therefore campaigns will drive less qualified traffic.

Accelerated delivery setting to be removed. 

Google has pushed back the removal date for this setting a couple times now, but as I write this, the accelerated delivery setting will be removed by October 14, 2019. This isn’t a huge change on our end, and we have only used it in the past when a campaign has been lagging in spend, or needed a kick-start at the beginning, which isn’t it’s intended purpose really, so going forward if this option is needed, we’ll increase the max CPC, daily budget or keyword list.

Seasonality adjustments.

This is a new feature in Google Ads that we’re excited to test out when we have an upcoming campaign that’ll be a fit. This is a feature for conversion based campaigns only, and allows for a rate adjustment during a small event period (max 7 days in duration), like a short term contest, flash sales or new product launches. Google only recommends this for campaigns where it’s expected to see a strong increase in conversion rates (30% or more) during a short period. This is not intended for minor conversion rate changes or recurring promos, such as a weekly deal.

If anyone has come across these changes in their accounts, or have any feedback/questions, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to reach out to me directly at nschulz@dsamedia.ca

Nichelle Schulz

Digital Team Manager/SEM Specialist