In this post, I am going to highlight the the 3 top changes that have the potential to impact the performance of your account both positively and negatively.
Changes to How Exact Match and Phrase Match Keywords Work
The first change is that, phrase and exact match keywords will match close variants, including misspellings, singular/plural words, stemmings, accents and abbreviations. This will start in mid-May.
What this means is that an ad would only appear if someone typed in debt consolidation when you had exact match keyword like [debt consolidation].
Now the ad will appear for misspellings like [debt consolodation] and terms like [debt consolidate]. This gives you less control over your AdWords as some terms may be informational while others transactional and means that potentially people might click more. In some cases this might make sense but in others it may not so if you want more control over this you will need to disable this feature.
Once this change is live, you will need log in to AdWords and select the campaign settings tab. Under “Advanced settings” select Keyword matching options and select Do not include close variants.
Changes to Help You Make Sense of Quality Score
In the past, you you hovered your mouse over the quality score bubble in the Keywords tab, you would see a score from 1-10 that indicated something required fixing for the keyword. Now when you cover of the bubble, you will see new rating for each of the main ratings (expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance & landing page experience) of quality score compared to other advertisers.
This change is more positive and helps you identify where you most need to spend time to improve your quality score.
Changes to Ad Rotations If Ad Copy Has Not Changed
As of next week, the “rotate” setting for ads will change. AdWords will no longer rotate ads indefinitely. It will only rotate ads for 30 days. The implications are that if you don’t change the copy of your ad in AdWords, the setting will automatically changed to show the ads expected to generate the most clicks.
This puts the onus on the AdWords Manager to change the copy every 30 days (you should be doing this already). Every time creative for the ad is enabled or edited, the ads in that ad group will rotate more evenly for a new period of 30 days.
However, if you set and forget or sometimes leave thing to run a little longer then this will impact you. I suspect this will impact accounts where the some ads have lower numbers of clicks. The issue here is that the test may not be statistically significant to change over to “be optimized.” To overcome this, you may need to make some small changes to you destination URL in such a way that it does not have an impact your results.
A process of continual testing is positive but you need to be aware of the implications of all these changes – particularly if you are trying to manage this yourself and do not have the time or a system in place to do this properly.