Making large-scale changes faster and easier in AdWords

Have you ever needed to adjust your AdWords bids by 5% for several thousand keywords? Or had to find and replace a bit of text in your ad copy across a couple hundred ads? Maybe you’ve changed your web address and need to update all of your visible URLs and destination URLs across your account.

We love making AdWords faster, simpler and more beautiful. So I’m happy to announce our new bulk editing features in the AdWords interface. With these tools, you’ll be able to more quickly and easily make large-scale changes across your entire account.

Initial preview
Initially, we’re releasing these bulk editing features to a limited number of AdWords accounts to collect your feedback and ensure everything works as expected. We hope to expand availability to everyone in the coming weeks.
Update (Dec. 4, 2012): These features are now available in all AdWords accounts globally.
Do more, quickly and easily
Here's a summary of the kinds of changes you'll be able to make.

  • Search and replace text in the keyword or destination URL
  • Append text to the keyword or destination URL
  • Set new bids, including increasing to first page or top of page CPC
  • Increase or decrease bids
  • Change keyword match types
  • Add/remove labels
  • Search and replace text in the ad or URL
  • Append text to the ad or URL
  • Change the capitalization of the text
  • Add/remove labels
Ad Groups
  • Increase or decrease bids
  • Set new bids
  • Add/remove labels
  • Increase or decrease budgets
  • Set new budgets
  • Add/remove labels

You’ll be able to preview changes before you apply them. If you’re making a lot of changes, they’ll run in the background. That means you can leave the page and do other things in your account (or even log out entirely!) while bulk changes are in progress. A progress bar lets you know how close your changes are to completion. You can review your changes after they’re done.

Below is an example of how easy it is to change “Road bike” to “Commuter bike” in over 25,000 ads with a single click.

Keeping things simple
As these new editing features become available in AdWords, you might also notice a few changes to buttons and menus to reduce redundancy and keep things simple for new users.

The “Edit” button will become an “Edit” drop-down menu. We’ll also be phasing out the “Edit in table” view since its multi-item editing capabilities will be far surpassed. Now when making a change to an individual campaign element, you can just click on it to enter editing mode.

More details and feedback
We’ll be updating articles throughout the AdWords help center, including our AdWords glossary entry on bulk edits, as we roll out these new editing features.

Please share your comments about the new bulk editing features with us if you use them over the next few weeks. Your feedback helps us make AdWords even better.

Model bid changes at scale with campaign bid simulator

When we launched bid simulator in 2009, we wanted to make it easy for you to understand the impact of bids on your advertising results. Until now, you’ve been able to access bid simulator at the keyword and ad group level.

To allow you to more easily simulate and apply bid changes at scale, we’re pleased to announce the launch of campaign bid simulator.

To access campaign bid simulator, go to the Opportunities tab and select “campaign bid simulator” from the left navigation tree.

With campaign bid simulator, you can:
  • View bid changes in aggregate and model changes even when keywords or ad groups might not have enough data for this on their own. 
  • See what might happen if you increased or decreased all your bids by a specific percentage (10%, for example). 
  • See whether you may need to increase your campaign budget to ensure it doesn’t become limited by budget at the new bid value. 
  • Model what happens if you changed all your bids in the campaign to a single value. 
  • Download the bid-simulation data at the account or campaign level. 
  • Download an AdWords Editor-compatible file with bid amounts at the simulated level and the ad groups and keywords to which they should be applied. 
Note: this is mock data only and should not be seen as a real or accurate simulation

For more information, visit the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Sheridan Kates, Product Manager, AdWords

Diagnose ads faster with new status insights icon

This week we're introducing a status insights icon in the Ads tab that provides visibility into the approval status and potential policy limitations for each individual ad creative. The new icon will be particularly valuable if you’re advertising products or services that are restricted by our advertising policies to show only in specific countries or with certain keywords.

To use the new status icon, simply hover over the speech bubble in the Status column of the Ads tab next to the ad of interest:

We’ll tell you if the individual ad is showing for the default keyword and location displayed in the hover. If you would like to re-diagnose the ad with with a different targeted location or keyword, you can edit the parameters from right within the hover:

This new icon complements the existing ad diagnosis tools, which include the status hover on the Keywords tab, a batch option to diagnose many keywords at once, and the Ad Preview and Diagnosis tool.

The Keyword Tool - when you talk, we listen

We want to thank you for all the feedback you’ve given us on the Keyword Tool. The first thing you told us is that you want more keywords that are better targeted to your account and searches, and we’ve made improvements in this area. We’ve also added features such as better filters, the ability to star keywords, and copy them as text. And we’re not done yet! You can help us understand what’s important to you by continuing to provide us with feedback. Below is a more detailed look at some of our new features.

There are three new ways to filter and refine your keyword list. With our new updates, you can:
  1. Choose specific terms to include or exclude from your keyword list.
  2. Use the ‘More like these’ button to search for terms that are similar to the specific keyword ideas you've selected from the table.
  3. Get only results that include the exact words or phrases (and their close synonyms) you’ve typed in the search box.

Adding stars to keywords
Add stars to keywords that you'd like to save while you're still searching for new keyword ideas. You can review your starred keywords in the "Stars" panel on the left side of the tool.

‘View as text’ button
View your selected keywords in text form, so that you can easily edit them and paste them in a spreadsheet or AdWords Editor.

Your continued feedback is important, so please keep sending us your comments and we'll post about more improvements here.

Reaching for the top spot? "Estimated Top Impressions" now available in the Bid Simulator

A year ago, we launched the Bid Simulator, a feature that allows you to see how different keyword-level bids may have impacted your advertising results. Using data from the past seven days, the bid simulator re-calculates the number of clicks and impressions your ad could have received with different maximum CPC bids.

Today we’re announcing a new metric in Bid Simulator, “Estimated Top Impressions,” which shows you how many times your ad appeared above the search results in the past seven days and how this metric could have changed had you used different keyword level maximum CPC bids.

Access the Bid Simulator by clicking the icon next to your maximum CPC bid.

Whether you carefully manage a handful of valuable keywords or simply want users to see your ad as often as possible, Estimated Top Impressions can be a useful metric. Ads that appear above the search results are more visible to users and tend to receive more clicks than ads that appear along the right side of the search results page.

Let's look at an example of how to use the Estimated Top Impressions column:

In this table, the current maximum CPC bid of $1.07 captures most of the impressions that a higher bid of $1.93 could have captured (7,520 vs. 7,930). However, when we look at the ‘Estimated Top Impressions’ column, we see that the current bid of $1.07 only captures a fraction of the top impressions (4,780 vs. 6,380). Increasing the bid to $1.93 would have placed the ad at the top of the search results page for many more queries, resulting in more users seeing the ad and clicking through to the site (591 vs 662).

If one of your goals is to appear in the top position and you’ve been focusing on the ‘average position’ of your ad to gauge how prominently it’s displayed to users, Estimated Top Impressions may be a better metric for you to focus on. While average position indicates where your ad is appearing in relation to other ads on the page, it doesn’t indicate whether your ad is appearing above the search results or on the right side of the page.

Note that past performance does not guarantee future results, and simulations will only be provided if there is enough traffic on a given keyword to conduct a meaningful analysis. Additionally, top of page impressions are counted only for impressions on Google, since other sites within the Search Network may display ads differently. Estimated Top Impressions data is currently only available in the Bid Simulator, and we’re working to incorporate this metric into more AdWords reports.

For an in-depth look at bidding, check out this tutorial from Hal Varian, the Google Chief Economist: Bidding Strategy Overview.

Posted by Nathania Lozada, Inside AdWords crew

Updated Keyword Tool: Out of Beta

In early August, we announced that the updated Keyword Tool was nearing the end of its beta phase. Today, we wanted to let you know that we’ve fully launched the updated Keyword Tool.

What does that mean for you? It means we’ve combined the best features from two previous keyword tools into one. The previous Keyword Tool and Search-based Keyword Tool are no longer available in AdWords. The updated Keyword Tool is now the only Keyword Tool available in AdWords, so you can now simply call it “The Keyword Tool.”

The Keyword Tool’s benefits include:
  • Flexible search options: Search by any combination of keyword, website/URL, and category (where available) and receive a single set of results.
  • Easy Keyword Refinement: Filter results by word or keyword match type.
  • Negative keywords: Easily add keyword ideas as negatives right from your keyword list. Just click on a keyword and use the drop-down menu to select and save your negative keyword.
  • Advanced options: View statistics for mobile search and use data filters based on local searches, search and ad share, and more.
In addition to these improvements, we’ve also changed how we calculate Global Monthly Searches and Local Monthly Searches. Statistics in these columns are now based on search traffic only. Previously, they also included traffic from search partners. We've updated these statistics based on advertiser feedback, and hope you find them more helpful for keyword selection.

While we recommend using the Keyword Tool while signed in to AdWords, you can also access the tool without signing in. We hope you like the new streamlined version of the tool and we look forward to bringing you more features soon.

Improved keyword diagnosis -- no appointments necessary

"Are my ads showing? If they aren't, why not?"

Whether you have ten keywords or ten thousand, making sure your ads are showing is a top priority. Now you can get detailed diagnostic information for multiple keywords at once by using a new keyword diagnosis option on the Keywords tab.

To get started, open the "More actions" menu on your Keywords tab (at the account, campaign, or ad group level) and select "Diagnose keywords."

On the keyword diagnosis menu, you have all the options available in the standalone Ads Diagnostic Tool. For example, if you're interested in seeing whether or not your ad is showing in a particular location, you can use the Location drop-down to narrow the scope of your diagnosis.

After clicking "Run test," you'll see the real-time results appear in the Status column next to each keyword. If all is well, you see "Ad showing." If not, you'll see a brief summary of the problem (for example, "Low bid or quality score"):

To get more details on a keyword's status, hover over any speech bubble icon. In the above example, viewing details for the keyword "meeting icebreakers" displays more information on the Quality Score issues that are preventing the ad from showing. To focus on one issue at a time, try creating filters for Keyword Status.

The next time your keywords need a check-up, try using keyword diagnosis -- it even makes house calls!

Posted by Miles Johnson, Inside AdWords crew

Get a crash course on AdWords reporting tools

It’s hard to fix a problem when you don’t know it exists. That’s why the reporting tools available in AdWords are so important. Features like segmentation, filters, and custom alerts let you move through your campaigns like a shadow in the night, spotting potential issues and taking action quickly.

We’ve just released Find new insights in AdWords data, an AdWords Online Classroom course that will help you make the most of AdWords reporting tools.

In a little over 20 minutes, you’ll learn how to focus on the right statistics, find and take action on your key performance drivers, and monitor your campaigns regularly to ensure that no change in an important metric goes unnoticed. Before viewing the course, you'll need to complete a free registration.

So watch this short lesson and learn some advanced strategies for evaluating your account. Your campaigns will thank you!

New tool for brand advertisers on the Google Content Network

Over the past year, we've focused on building new solutions on the Google Content Network for campaigns focused on branding. Last year we introduced frequency capping to help you manage how often your Content Network campaigns reach the right people. We then launched an “above the fold” filter to allow you to show ads only in places that appear on potential customers’ screens when the page loads. We also developed innovative tools to measure the impact of brand campaigns.

Today, in response to feedback from many of you who run branding campaigns, we're announcing a new filter that allows you to show your ads only on AdSense sites among the 1000 largest on the web, as defined by DoubleClick Ad Planner. This new feature will ensure that your ads reach a large number of users, but only on well-known sites best suited for branding goals.

To activate the new filter, select ‘non Ad Planner 1000’ within the ‘category filters’ section of your AdWords account. Keep in mind that not all sites in the Ad Planner 1000 are in the Google Content Network and that your ads will only show on those sites that are.

It's important to note that the Ad Planner 1000 does not take performance statistics into account, and that by enabling this filter, you may be excluding many sites that are relevant to your advertised products. Additionally, with this or any of our other brand filters enabled, your campaign will run on fewer sites, so you may need to raise your bids if you’d like to maintain your impression levels. We recommend experimenting to determine which feature or combination of features best meets your goals.

We hope this new feature gives you greater control and assurance over where your ads appear and makes the Google Content Network an even more powerful environment for effective branding campaigns.

Target CPA Bidding: A new way to meet your ROI goals with Conversion Optimizer

Today we’re announcing a new enhancement to Conversion Optimizer: Target CPA Bidding. With Target CPA Bidding, you can set a bid that reflects the average amount you’d like to pay for a conversion rather than the maximum you’re willing to pay for it.

We launched Conversion Optimizer in 2007 as a tool to improve your campaign ROI. Conversion Optimizer analyzes your conversion tracking data and automatically adjusts your bids for each auction. Over the past few years, we’ve been pleased to hear from a number of you that you've seen significant ROI improvements after implementing Conversion Optimizer. In fact, analysis indicates that, on average, those of you who use the tool experience a 21% increase in conversions along with a 14% decrease in CPA.*

This latest update to Conversion Optimizer was made in response to your feedback. We’ve heard from many of you that you’re more accustomed to thinking in terms of a target or average CPA when it comes to managing your online advertising (as opposed to the Max CPA bids which the tool has historically required). We hope that having the additional Target CPA bidding option will make it even easier for you to boost your AdWords ROI. Of course, if you’re happy using Max CPA bids with your Conversion Optimizer campaigns, then there’s no need to make any changes to your campaigns.

To enable Target CPA bidding, visit the Settings tab in your account, select ‘Focus on Conversions,’ and click ‘Advanced Options.’ Note that Conversion Optimizer is only available for campaigns that have implemented conversion tracking and have received at least 15 conversions in the last 30 days.