Giving More Control to Google

In line with a string of changes that don’t necessarily take control out of your hands in AdWords (as long as you’re aware of them), but put more control into Google’s hands (see our posts on Google automatically showing phone numbers in ads, sometimes pulling numbers from GMB instead of from your call extensions, and changing how exact match keywords work). Google will be removing the 30% increase/decrease threshold for Enhanced CPC bidding starting in June.

What is Enhanced CPC Bidding?

For those unfamiliar with Enhanced CPC bidding in AdWords, it’s a bid strategy that is supposed to use past conversion data to bid more or less aggressively on search queries based on their likelihood to convert.

Just like everything in AdWords, results will vary from advertiser to advertiser. So, before saying “that sounds great! Sign me up!” run a small test in your account and see if ECPC (Enhanced CPC) actually helps your account, drives conversion volume, drives down CPA etc.

Simplifying ECPC and AdWords

This change again comes along with a slew of other changes that are trying to make AdWords easier for advertisers. For more advanced users these changes don’t mean as much as they already have call extensions or location bid adjustments in place, but for other advertisers, these kinds of changes can improve their results as Google automates certain features. That said, just like anything else in AdWords, it’s always important to test new changes and watch your account carefully after implementing anything new.

Google claims the change is being made so advertisers who are looking to utilize ECPC don’t have to worry about additional bid adjustments on “dimensions like audience and location.” This makes sense as adjusting bids for those segments can get slightly complicated.

The other side of the coin, however, is that Google now has the option (when you’re using ECPC) to bid up on your keywords (or down) at whatever percentage they see fit. They do claim that they’ll try to keep your average CPC below your max CPC, but the operative word here is “try”.

What does this mean for advertisers

The main takeaway for advertisers today is to watch your accounts closely if they’re using ECPC. This won’t affect anyone who is not using the bidding method. For other advertisers, it may mean trying ECPC if you haven’t before. It’s possible this change is what was necessary in order for ECPC to be more effective. The truth of the matter, however, is that in the latter instance, we really don’t know how effective it’ll be, so it’s up to advertisers to test on their own.

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