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Bid adjustment is set to "--" in complex location targeting?

[ Edited ]
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# 1
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I own a company that has multiple stores in the US.

 

I am targeting a 15 mile radius around each store from my upgraded Location Ad Extension "Main location feed", increasing my bids by 200%.

 

For the moment I want to reduced my bids across the US by Targeting the US and adjust bids by -20%.

 

Because of a store opening, I want to increase my bids in only one state. - So I target California and adjust bids by 50%.

 

Here is how I would expect the following scenarios to play out.

 

1. Searches in Florida, made OUTSIDE of the 15 mi radius of the location feed will be reduced by -20%.

2. Searches in Florida, made INSIDE of the radius of the location feed, will be increased by 200%.

3. Searches in California, made OUTSIDE of the 15 mi radius of the location feed, will be increased by 50%.

4. Searches in California, made INSIDE of the radius of the location fee, will be increased by 200%.

 

A month later, I change my bids for the 15 mi radius of the "Main location feed" to "0%." The expected result is that Location Targeting #2 and #4 should change my bid to 0%.

 

But, what happens when I change my bid to "--"? My testing indicates that this is the same thing as setting the bids to 0%. Is this true?

 

The scenarios below are what I was expecting...

 

1. Searches in Florida, made OUTSIDE of the 15 mi radius of the location feed will be reduced by -20%.

2. Searches in Florida, made INSIDE of the radius of the location feed, do not affect bid Targeting Location #1 (-20%)

3. Searches in California, made OUTSIDE of the 15 mi radius of the location feed, will be increased by 50%.

4. Searches in California, made INSIDE of the radius of the location fee, do not affect Targeting Location #3 (+50%).

1 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by topic author Carlos Calderon
September 2015

Re: Bid adjustment is set to "--" in complex location target

[ Edited ]
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# 5
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An update from Google:

"No bid adjustment ("--") is a functionally equivalent to a 0% bid adjustment, and if there are overlapping location targets with bid adjustments, AdWords always uses the bid adjustment of the most granular (narrowest) target, so in your example, no bid adjustment would be applied within the store radius target. "

IMHO: This is problematic for advertisers using the "Upgraded Location Extension Feed" for targeting a radius around locations. With regional targeting needs that temporarily trump the radius modifiers in those specific regions. -- I must remember to REMOVE radius targeting completely so it does not interfere. -- I wish Google would make the value of "--" actually equal to null vs. 0%. That way you could have the ability to have both a macro and micro bidding strategies.

But I guess if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Dear Google, a simple notation to the UI of what "--" actually means would be very helpful.

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Re: Bid adjustment is set to "--" in complex location target

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Carlos, I'm not sure I've completely followed what you're doing, but this might help (if I've misunderstood, I apologise in advance).

 

The key question here is the difference between a 0% adjustment and a -- adjustment (blank).  My understanding is that a 0% adjustment is still an active adjustment whereas setting the adjustment amount to blank, then saving, effectively removes the adjustment.

 

So, if you're targeting a radius inside a State, and the radius has a 0% adjustment, someone inside the radius should receive no adjustment - because AdWords honours the 0% setting.  However, if you set the adjustment to "blank" they should receive the State adjustment because the radius setting has effectively been removed.

 

(See the notes in this link under "Troubleshooting" - https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2732132?hl=en)


Having said this, I'm not 100% certain, so I'll seek some confirmation of this for you (assuming this is the question you were asking!).

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Bid adjustment is set to "--" in complex location target

[ Edited ]
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# 3
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Jon,

 

Your answer is how I expected the bidding to behave...However, when I set the radius adjustment to "blank"/"--", It appears that Google treated it as 0%.

 

In the example below I set my bidding to the extremes to prove the issue, with a standard bid of $10.

 

1. Radius bidding set to "--"

2. All States, except California set to -90%.

3. California I set to 200%.

 

This was the result, when using the Google Preview tool.

 

1. Searches in any state (except California) made OUTSIDE of the radius did NOT show ads.

2. Searches in any state made INSIDE the radii did show ads.

3. Searches in California made OUTSIDE of the radius did show ads.

4. Searches in California made INSIDE the radii did show ads. (I would be interested to know if the bids increased by %200 or stayed at $10.) -- But, I'll test that later.

 

Thoughts?

 

Re: Bid adjustment is set to "--" in complex location target

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi Carlos, I think what you saw on your test is what I'd expect if the radius target was in California.  When you have overlapping targets - such as a State and a radius inside that State - you're still always targeting the whole State, unless you add the radius as an exclusion.  So, when the radius bid adjustment is set to "--" you're still targeting within the radius because you're targeting California and the radius in not an exclusion.

 

As you note, the real question is whether inside the radius is applying a bid adjustment of 200% or none, and for that I'll have to wait for a response from Google.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Carlos Calderon
September 2015

Re: Bid adjustment is set to "--" in complex location target

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

An update from Google:

"No bid adjustment ("--") is a functionally equivalent to a 0% bid adjustment, and if there are overlapping location targets with bid adjustments, AdWords always uses the bid adjustment of the most granular (narrowest) target, so in your example, no bid adjustment would be applied within the store radius target. "

IMHO: This is problematic for advertisers using the "Upgraded Location Extension Feed" for targeting a radius around locations. With regional targeting needs that temporarily trump the radius modifiers in those specific regions. -- I must remember to REMOVE radius targeting completely so it does not interfere. -- I wish Google would make the value of "--" actually equal to null vs. 0%. That way you could have the ability to have both a macro and micro bidding strategies.

But I guess if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

Dear Google, a simple notation to the UI of what "--" actually means would be very helpful.

Re: Bid adjustment is set to "--" in complex location target

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
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Hey Carlos,

Just top point out, play devils advocate as it were but "--" is the same as "0%", as "--" indicates no value adjustment entered, so 100% of bid setting and a 0% adjustment is the same, IE adjust my bid by 0%.

Clearing the field in adwords is the equivalent of "set field to default" as this is seen in many other instances (eg setting bids at KW level with ad group bids set, or KW dest URL with ad dest URL set).

This theme, if you will call it that, is throughout adwords and by changing it just for location extension would cause much more confusion than sticking with the standard format.

But glad you got clarification form google, always nice to see quick responses!