In February 2013, Google announced a big change coming to AdWords PPC advertising: enhanced campaigns.
Several feature and functionality improvements are associated with the upgrade, but most notable is the integration with tablet and mobile (smartphone) devices. The new campaigns make tablet ads mandatory and mobile phones an optional percentage of click bid.
In the past few weeks, advertisers have begun to receive emails with the subject line warning, “Upgrade to AdWords enhanced campaigns by July 22, 2013”.
But what happens if you don't upgrade by the deadline?
If your PPC campaigns haven't been enhanced, the AdWords system will automatically enhance them.
That means they will also automatically adjust your mobile bid for you. Since the mobile component of the new enhanced campaigns is set by bid adjustments, the bids are increased or decreased by a percentage based on the default bid. Advertisers worry that enhanced campaigns' mandatory mobile presence may increase the costs and/or negatively impact PPC performance.
Not only will AdWords assign the new bid, but the mobile bid adjustment will be assigned automatically based on what other advertisers are selecting as an adjustment. This is based on AdWords users as a whole, not your competition or industry.
One solution is not a fit for all advertisers, so its critical to know the percentage your bids are adjusted and to be proactive in this endeavor. The automatically assigned percentage adjustment has changed over time.
An AdWords representative told me that it ranged from -20 to -40 percent of the default, but has always been lower than the desktop default, depending on what other advertisers are doing. An advertiser wouldn't know what they will get and for some it could be a significant expenditure.
Bid changes seem to be the only automatic change. Other campaigns and features will be left out, becoming PPC zombies, limping along not fully dead.
Two ad extension features that are now upgraded are sitelinks and call extensions. These won't automatically update. They will need to be manually managed to upgrade.
Upgrading offers new features and reporting functionality and is probably the best thing to come from the enhanced campaigns thus far. This would be a very useful application for an automatic upgrade.
Old mobile campaigns are expected to be merged with the new manually and won't automatically merge themselves with the new enhanced campaigns. Therefore, these will become a duplicate evil twin of sorts that need to be integrated into the newly enhanced campaign with "mobile" boxes checked.
To summarize, here's what you can expect from AdWords after July 22:
- AdWords will automatically enhance your campaigns if not already done.
- AdWords will select a mobile bid adjustment for you based on what other advertisers are doing at the time.
- AdWords won't upgrade the two (upgradable) ad extensions: sitelinks and call extensions.
- Mobile only campaigns won't be merged and their fates rest solely on PPC managers.
Search Engine Watch offers more information on the AdWords enhanced campaigns in the articles below.