Tester Beware, Google To Tweak Ad Rotation Settings

Kye Mou
May 1, 2012

Yesterday Google announced a significant tweak to their “rotate evenly” creative rotation setting. Today, campaigns that are set to “rotate evenly” will have their creative rotated evenly for an indefinite amount of time. Starting next week, campaigns using this setting will only rotate creative evenly for 30 days after the last creative was enabled or edited. After the 30-day period, creative will automatically optimize for clicks (one of the three existing ad rotation settings). Keep in mind that the campaign will remain labeled “rotate evenly” even after the rotation period has ended for any or all of the groups within that campaign.

Though this tweak is said to provide users with more relevant ads and help advertisers achieve better performance, it forces search marketers to be more in-tune with their ongoing creative tests. When testing, hone in on creative that deliver statistically significant results for your business, whether that’s clicks or conversions. Focus on high traffic groups to reach significance within the 30-day rotation period. Once significance is reached, pause “losing” creative and test new iterations of the “winning” creative. This resets Google’s 30-day clock and preserves the continuity of your creative test.

Creative testing tools, like Marin’s AB Testing solution, automatically reveal “winning” and “losing” creative once statistical significance has been reached. This logic, coupled with a best practice focus on testing creative in top traffic groups, should make the new 30-day rotation period a reasonable time frame for testing. As a best practice, take note of start dates when engaging in creative testing. Marin users should continue leveraging Dimensions as part of their creative testing workflow. These tags will help alert you when a test is nearing the end of its 30-day rotation period.

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