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How to reset CPA targets

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# 1
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As an ad agency we run several Adwords accounts for our clients and in the past 2 weeks we have seen strange behaviours in Target CPA campaigns across different accounts, different countries and unrelated products. 

This is only happening in Display campaigns. Search campaigns are fine.


What we are seeing is huge spikes in CPAs - sometimes to more than double the set Target CPA.

We spoke with support and our account manager at Adwords however they are not helpful.


All these display campaigns have been running for long periods with a lot of conversion data and usually pretty stable CPAs


I know this is a very general question, but has anyone seen similar behaviours recently on the GDN and has any good strategy to deal with it ?


We are looking for a way to reset the campaign back to the Target CPA, but can't seem to get anything to work.


Any ideas welcomed !



1 Expert replyverified_user

How to reset CPA targets

[ Edited ]
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# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Alda R,


Try changing the action by selecting the "optimize for clicks" setting and save it. Then go back into the settings and change to your [new] target CPA again. Basically you need to change the setting, wait a moment and then change it back.


You could compare everything to this helpful PDF file from Google AdWords covering automated bidding with Display network campaigns. 


Kind Regards,



Google My Business & Google Ads Top Contributor
Google Partner | GYBO Agency | Local Guide | My Profile




How to reset CPA targets

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# 3
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Thanks for your reply - will try that as well although it doesn't sound like it will work


I tried setting one of the campaigns back to CPC for a few days and then back to CPA - didn't help.

This is very odd since as mentioned we're seeing it on various countries across various accounts on different products - almost as if Google changed the way CPA target works.


Read the PDF carefully however there is nothing there to help. It's been over 2 weeks of the strange behaviour and the CPA hasn't corrected itself as the document suggests.


CPA is still close to twice what it's set to (again, only on GDN)

We had to lower all our budgets on the GDN until this is resolved 


No one at Google seems to have any idea what's going on either.

How can the system bid and average of $0.9 CPC when the Target CPA is $1 ???