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Looming Changes to AdWords Ad Rotation

It's not always easy to know the best ad rotation for each campaign (at least at the start of a promotional initiative) but it is about to get much simpler for AdWords advertisers.

Google announced that by the end of September 2017 it will simplify its ad rotation options to just two settings: “optimize” and “rotate indefinitely” (effectively dropping the "rotate evenly" and "optimize for conversion" options).


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Ad rotation refers to the way that ads are delivered. When multiple ads exist within an ad group, those ads are rotated and only one ad from the account is shown. Keep in mind that there is no "best" option for every single advertiser, of course, so it is important to choose based on your enterprise's specific needs.

In the past, the default ad rotation option within Google AdWords was the "optimize for clicks" setting, which gave preferences to those ads that were likely to attract more clicks than other ads in the group based on the past click-through rates.

The new "optimize" setting, however, will prioritize ads that are expected to perform better by optimizing ads for clicks (not conversion exclusively, like actual purchases or sign-ups) in each auction using signals including keyword/search term, device, location, etc.

Google indicated that those advertisers interested in prioritizing for conversion should use Smart Bidding, which makes it possible to tailor bids based on the likelihood of conversion. If AdWords advertisers are using Smart Bidding, the "optimize" ad rotation will be used automatically.

While the "optimize" setting is an appropriate fit for most advertisers, others will still prefer to have a little more control. Since the "rotate indefinitely" option is the easiest way to give ads equal preference, Google indicated that it will now the the only option to implement an even rotation moving forward.

Google also indicated that ad rotation setting will be soon be available at the ad group level, meaning that advertisers will be able to use multiple rotation settings across an individual campaign.

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