AdWords Bill of Rights

bill-of-rightsGoogle dropped the Panda of paid search with enhanced campaigns, the most radical change to managing paid search in years.

Product changes are inevitable, but the value is often mixed. Consider session based broad match vs. modified broad match.

Google needs advertisers as much as advertisers need Google. We can’t drive the evolution of AdWords. But, we as paid search professionals can make sure that our needs are reflected in the options and formats Google chooses to pursue.

That’s why I think we need an AdWords Bill of Rights – a series of basic requirements that any performance marketer should be able to expect from their advertising vendor. Let me know what you’d amend in the comments.

1. Opt-in vs. Opt-Out

Fundamentally, I believe that advertisers should have choice of which features to use. Extensions are a great example of an opt-in feature. They’re often useful, but the choice of when and where they’re applied is up to you. The option to automatically show your ad for plurals and misspellings when you’re running phrase and exact match is another good example.

Combining all keywords together for every device is a bad example of choice. This takes advantage of the default bias, much in the same way combining search and display networks does.

2. Segmentation

Not every prospect is equally valuable. We as marketers want to be able to divide, target and value different users as granularly as possible.

Econsultancy reported that tablet users spend about 21 percent more than desktop shoppers. While tablets may be gradually replacing and desktops, the make up and potential ROI for those visitors may not yet be at parity for every advertisers.

3. Maximum Transparency

Search query reports and placement reports are the mainstays of great optimization. You know where your ads ran.

Enhanced campaigns will simplify management, but complicate reporting. Campaign numbers will increasingly be less useful as more sources of clicks are lumped together, with bids modified by layered bid adjustments and extensions served up differently within each campaign.

If there is a data point before the click, we should be able to see our results with those data after the click and adjust accordingly.

4. Efficiency

Google needs to make money. Advertisers need to make money. The tension between the two often meets in product features. Remember when Google wanted to force text ads to optimize for clicks instead of rotating evenly?

As performance marketers, we have the right to features that allow us to see how our money is being spent and to make it more efficient.

5. Accurate Measurement

Web analytics are often murky, but more sophisticated now than the early days of log files. Mobile web and app analytics are still very much in the early stages.

As we’re pushed increasingly to non-desktop devices, we have the right to expect the same level of insight and data we take for granted on the desktop web.


Enhanced campaigns will definitely improve Google’s revenues. The impact to advertisers remains to be seen. But, we have time before these changes are made and we need to be vocal.

Write, call your Google rep, and visit them at conferences. The more we ask, the more we’ll get.

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