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Google is retiring 2 automated bidding strategies
15 April 2021 (Edited )
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Target Cost per Acquisition and Target Return on Ad Spend will be phased out beginning shortly

Google wants us to use automated bidding.

Google has announced in a post on its Developers Blog that beginning this spring, 2 Google Ads automated bidding strategies will be phased out: Target Cost per Acquisition (Target CPA) and Target Return on Ad Spend (Target ROAS).

How these strategies work:

Target CPA

With Target CPA - which is available for both Search and Display campaigns - you set the average amount you want to pay for a conversion. If your campaign has historical conversion data, Google Ads recommends a Target CPA based on performance over the past several weeks, and traffic. You can accept or reject Google's recommendation. You can also choose which of your active Conversions Google will include in the Target CPA calculation.

Target ROAS

With Target ROAS, you set values for the conversions you're targeting. Google Ads predicts future conversions using data from your conversion tracking, then sets maximum cost-per-click bids to maximize your conversion value, and attempts to achieve an average ROAS equal to your target value. Your bids are adjusted based on real-time signals including device, browser, location and time of day.

Weaknesses of Target CPA and Target ROAS strategies

  • Both require ongoing changes to your target to reflect the reality of recent campaign performance.
  • Both require extensive historical data in order to work well, which means these strategies aren't the best choice for new campaigns.

What Google is going to do

  • Google will convert your Target CPA campaigns to Max Conversions and Target ROAS campaigns to Max Conversion Value.
  • Max Conversions will inherit your CPA target, and Max Conversions Value will inherit your ROAS target

What you need to do

Google says it will painlessly make the necessary conversions, campaign performance won't be adversely impacted, and you don't need to do anything.

But if you have any Target CPA or Target ROAS campaigns that aren't performing well - especially if your campaigns are constrained by click budget - you should consider proactively switching them to Max Conversions or Max Conversion Value as soon as Google has the new setups ready.

If you're not currently using Target CPA or Target ROAS, consider whether the new versions of Max Conversions or Max Conversion Value might work for you.

And anticipate that Google will continue to push us toward automated bidding. If not using it yet, start now and get familiar with it.

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David Boggs MS    - David
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