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What happens with CPA campaigns where there aren't any fresh conversions?

[ Edited ]
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# 1
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I have campaigns set to Target CPA. All on Display Network. Each campaign has many ad groups.

 

When I first created the campaigns, I had to get enough initial conversions to be able to switch to CPA bidding.

 

But what happens to ad groups in such campaigns that have had no conversions or that haven't had any conversions in a long time?

 

Does the system fall back to CPC?

 

I noticed that when using Adwords Editor, I can still edit CPC bid even for CPA campaigns. Does CPC bid have any importance for a CPA campaign? Or is it just the specifics of how Adwords Editor works?

 

Also, what happens with automatic placements (matched through keywords) that haven't had any conversions in a long time? What if some placement performed poorly, and it's effective bid was reduced to meet the CPA goal. And what if then there were no clicks/conversions from that placement in a long time, would AdWords always remember that this placement wasn't a good match for me? Or would it try to set the average bid (based on a guess on how it would perform) as it would with a completely new placement?

 

In short, what happens with keywords/placements (both manual and automatic) in a CPA campaign if the ad group hasn't had conversions in a while?

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Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
May 2016

Re: What happens with CPA campaigns where there aren't any fresh conversions?

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# 6
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@bcc1357

 

To underline what was said above by @MosheTLV please learn that Google typically does not disclose details of specific algorithms and features unless they think those details are absolutely necessary for advertisers to make their proper decisions and apply them in their AdWords platform. The principal underlying reason is associated with confidential industrial information and a fierce competition.

 

Best,

Lakatos

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Re: What happens with CPA campaigns where there aren't any fresh conversions?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hi BCC,

The point is that with Target CPA bidding, the algorithm uses an average target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) value that you enter, and automatically sets bids to help accrue as many conversions as possible.

"...would AdWords always remember that this placement wasn't a good match for me?"

Yup, it would. Memory is one thing where machines may be superior to humans. Another such thing is when long and complex calculations need to be done instantly, considering a huge number of factors. You could of course go ahead posting a pretty number of additional queries, however, the algorithm proper is not public. What advertisers need to do is that chances are it will be considering all the factors that you can see in your reports.

Best,
Lakatos

Re: What happens with CPA campaigns where there aren't any fresh conversions?

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# 3
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Hi @bcc1357;

@Lakatos focused in his reply on one aspect of your question.

For the other part of your question, since CPA is a time dependent statistical algorithm, if you had no conversion for a while, I would turn it off until you gain enough conversions, so  statistics is reliable  to determine the bid based on the current CPA.

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: What happens with CPA campaigns where there aren't any fresh conversions?

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# 4
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I'm actually more interested in how the system works, not in what to do.

Let's assume I create a campaign. Create some ad groups with CPC bid of $0.15.
Then campaign gets enough conversions and I switch it to target CPA with some value.

What if some of the ad groups in that campaign never received enough conversions to begin with? Would Adwords apply the old bid of $0.15 CPC to them? Or would it factor the estimated conversion rate based on other ad groups in that campaign to make it work with a CPA bid?

What if some ad group had enough conversions initially, but then time passed without any conversions. Would Adwords continue using historic conversion rate of that ad group? Or would it switch to using the overall campaign's conversion rate, at least until the ad group has enough of its own fresh data?

The same with automatic and managed placements.

The suggestion to "turn it off" is more of a what to do, not how it works. And I'm trying to find out how it works.







Re: What happens with CPA campaigns where there aren't any fresh conversions?

Top Contributor
# 5
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@bcc1357

Unfortunately, Google is not willing to disclose any information about the core principles of the algorithm for a CPA or other  bid targeting strategies,  beyond what was already mentioned. 

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
May 2016

Re: What happens with CPA campaigns where there aren't any fresh conversions?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

@bcc1357

 

To underline what was said above by @MosheTLV please learn that Google typically does not disclose details of specific algorithms and features unless they think those details are absolutely necessary for advertisers to make their proper decisions and apply them in their AdWords platform. The principal underlying reason is associated with confidential industrial information and a fierce competition.

 

Best,

Lakatos