Adwords Advertisers Beware: Google Changes Ad Rotation Settings To Get More Clicks

We are starting to see a trend emerging from planet Google and it seems to take advantage of those advertisers who are not “super-savvy” with their platform’s “bells and whistles.” Most recently, Google announced a change in their Keyword Matching Settings in which it expands the traditional “phrase” and [exact] match rules to include misspellings, singular/plural forms, stemmings, accents, abbreviations and other variants <– (this one needs to be monitored).

The reason for concern here is that for some advertisers, this will increase traffic and of course SPEND.

In addition to Keyword Matching, another new change from Google that might cause advertisers to needlessly increase spend has to do with the Text Ad Rotation Settings. This feature basically puts a 30-day time period for all ads that are using the “Rotation” setting, and after that 30 days has expired, it will automatically be set to optimize for clicks. Google also goes on to say that:

Using the “rotate” setting for ad rotation is helpful for testing new creatives, but when run indefinitely can inhibit advertiser performance and deliver less relevant ads to our users.

Advertisers should also beware that Google goes on to underscore that the Text Ad Rotation Change determines ad relevancy by the number of clicks it gets (i.e. how much the advertiser ends up spending).

Instead of rotating creatives for an indefinite period of time, this setting will only rotate for a period of 30 days. After that, the setting will then optimize to show the ads expected to generate the most clicks. Every time a creative is enabled or edited, the ads in that ad group will rotate more evenly for a new period of 30 days.

Definition of Performance is Misunderstood

The problem with these changes lies within the definition of performance. For an Advertiser, performance is usually based on Conversions/Leads, not clicks. In Google’s eyes, it’s strictly Clicks (aka spend with them) and that is something every advertiser should realize.

So, Advertisers need to understand that what Google perceives as success is not their own success. Indeed, this is the reason why so many people have a false vision of what PPC is all about.

Relevancy, Clicks and Performance

Generally speaking, this latest setting change by Google is not necessarily a BAD thing. However, it’s another attempt by Google to squeeze out more clicks and dollars from their advertisers.

The biggest issue is Google’s definition of performance success. Google could care less if you make money with AdWords, they just want more and more Advertisers to continue to spend, spend, spend.

If there is one thing readers can take away from this post, it’s the fact that Google makes all of their money from Advertisers and they want to make it as easy as possible to get your money. Performance should not just be about relevancy + clicks, it’s should be about relevancy + clicks = conversions.

About Greg Meyers

Greg is a well-versed Internet Marketing Expert who has helped companies both large and small achieve success in Search Engine Marketing through proven strategies and effective implementation. Since 2004 he shifted his focus to Search Engine Marketing Industry, especially Pay-Per-Click- Marketing, where he has helped both Fortune 500 companies, as well as Start-Ups to improve branding, increase online and offline revenues, cut costs and succeed online.

Most recently, he founded AfterClicks Interactive, a Pay-Per-Click Marketing Firm that provides Advertisers, as well as Digital Agencies, with Professional PPC Marketing Services geared to maximizing their return on investment. AfterClicks leverage all search marketing platforms, technologies and industry best practices backed by proven strategies that are based on the client’s goals and objectives.

Greg specializes in:
- Pay-Per-Click Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Landing Page Optimization
- Web Analytics

Greg's favorite feature of the Acquisio software is the customized reporting options.


  1. Greg, this is the most well-balanced and down to earth comment I have read yet about the recent Google changes.

    I personally consider them only good, but strictly viewed from the perspective of performance as defined by profit – the advertiser’s not Google’s.

    My own service is designed strictly around getting profitable results for the clients – or I don’t get paid.

    I wrote about ad rotation back in March:

  2. Brandon D. says:

    I’m curious to know what David meant in his comment above. Of course, I see how this will improve profit… but for Google and not the advertiser.

    These recent changes are simply a reminder that Google exists to make money. Any success that advertisers earn is just a side effect to that aim… not a primary motive.

    On the other hand, the added transparency around the latest Quality Score update is a change I endorse. It is advertiser-oriented, unlike the two updates mentioned in your post. If we (the advertisers) can provide better ads, without futzing around trying to decipher the mysterious Quality Score, then we can make more money. If we make more money, we spend more money. Everybody wins.

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