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Zero impression on Remarketing campaign

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

We have been running a remarketing campaign since about January 2014.  In about late September / early October, we stopped getting impressions in that campaign.  We determined that the remarketing tags had gotten messed up during some updates to the website.  Those were corrected in late January 2015.  

 

We had to rebuild our audience list after that.  Our Display Network list has been over 100 for a couple weeks now but we still have zero impressions.  

 

We've tried calling Google multiple times and have been told that everything looks like it is set up correctly but to try things like "change to bid only from target & bid" or "increase your CPC bid".  We've done those things but still have zero impressions.  

 

Back in September with a comparable list size, we were getting over 100 impressions per day.  Does anyone know what might be causing this?  Or, more importantly, how do we get past the first tier support people on the Google phone line to someone who could actually help diagnose the problem?

1 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Eric Gehler (Badged Google Partner)
September 2015

Re: Zero impression on Remarketing campaign

Google Employee
# 6
Google Employee
It's a bit complicated but it's essentially a systems optimization thing: it "costs" a lot of system resources to have a campaign active, included in all auctions, etc... If a campaign is active but cannot actually serve and spend budget, it's using a lot of resources for no good reason, so the system might decide to "put it aside". Typically a temporary increase in bids is enough to jumpstart it again. Think of it as the way your car sometimes has trouble restarting when it's really cold during the winter.

We often forget how complex the engineering is behind serving billions of impressions (and the corresponding auctions), but it takes a few trade-offs.

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Re: Zero impression on Remarketing campaign

Badged Google Partner
# 2
Badged Google Partner
Bill,

First lets check settings:

Do you have your Own Remaketing Campaign with a List that Populates - YES
Did you create the campaign with the Display Only -Remarketing initial set up?
Check Frequency Capping under campaign setting.

Next How many size ads do you have? Are you covering all the basics 120x 728x 160x 250x 300x 436X etc? Are they all Approved?

If you only supplied a few graphic options then that as well limits your availability.

One of the mistakes I see with many campaigns with remarketing is that there Bids are so low they never win the Ad Space. Because you are competing with all Display advertisers for a few slots. The Remarketing tag just focuses on the User, but doesn't guareentee you win the Ad Auction for sites.

By default I always start my Remarketing at at least $1 to see if I can win some ad slots, then Increase to around $2.00 again to win impression share. I rarely pay that much per click mind you, but In order to play you have to Bid to win the Auction.

Once you have confirmed there are no Settings that are hindering you and you have at least the basic 5-7 Ad graphics that are Approved. UP that BID... Check for impressions, and UP it again. I test with my own browser, clear all cookies, going to the Client website, getting the cookie, then surf the web. See if you see your AD. If don't your Bid is not enough.

Remarketing should be your better Customer, so make sure you can get Impression share with a Bid that is respectable, and not a 0.05 cent bid one might want to use on the Display network as a Whole.

Let me know who things work out.

Re: Zero impression on Remarketing campaign

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks Eric. To answer your questions:
Did you create the campaign with the Display Only -Remarketing initial set up? Yes
Check Frequency Capping under campaign setting. No cap set
How many size ads do you have? Are you covering all the basics 120x 728x 160x 250x 300x 436X etc? Are they all Approved? We currently have 14 ads st up of varying sizes and a mix of Flash and HTML5. All are approved.
We had a bid of $1 set and I changed it to $2 a few days ago. Still zero impressions.

Re: Zero impression on Remarketing campaign

Google Employee
# 4
Google Employee
It's not that surprising that your campaign have trouble serving impressions if they haven't served for a while. First I would make sure that your lists have started growing significantly again (>100 users at the very minimum) and then I would increase CPC, at least temporarily.
If this isn't enough, I would consider stopping the ad groups and campaign for a while and restarting them after.
If that doesn't work either I would create new fresh ad groups

Re: Zero impression on Remarketing campaign

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I'm not sure I understand why the campaign should have trouble starting impressions again. Can you explain that further?

Our list size it up to 275 on the Display network, so list size isn't the issue. Apparently no one at Google can tell us how to fix this. I have to say I'm getting pretty frustrated with them at this point.
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Eric Gehler (Badged Google Partner)
September 2015

Re: Zero impression on Remarketing campaign

Google Employee
# 6
Google Employee
It's a bit complicated but it's essentially a systems optimization thing: it "costs" a lot of system resources to have a campaign active, included in all auctions, etc... If a campaign is active but cannot actually serve and spend budget, it's using a lot of resources for no good reason, so the system might decide to "put it aside". Typically a temporary increase in bids is enough to jumpstart it again. Think of it as the way your car sometimes has trouble restarting when it's really cold during the winter.

We often forget how complex the engineering is behind serving billions of impressions (and the corresponding auctions), but it takes a few trade-offs.

Re: Zero impression on Remarketing campaign

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
OK. Let's go with that line of thinking for a moment. When our remarketing campaign was running before, our default bid was at $1 per click and we were getting quite a few clicks. Since we have tried to restart it, several people, including you, have recommended increasing the per click bid temporarily. We increased it to $10 per click over a month ago and it has had no effect. This morning, I increased it to $30 per click. Is that high enough? Should it be $100 per click? $1,000 per click? $10,000?

I'm sure your suggestion will work, otherwise you would not have taken the time to make it. However, on the remote chance that it doesn't work, how can I talk with someone at Google who has access to the database and can actually research why this campaign isn't running and giving me a definitive answer?

Re: Zero impression on Remarketing campaign

Google Employee
# 8
Google Employee
Actually, can you check something for me:
Can you make sure that you set up your remarketing lists as "Target and bid" and not "bid only" (see documentation here: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1209882).
One way to check that is to under the "Display Network" tab and chose Columns > Customize columns > Attributes > Targeting setting > Add", click "Apply" and check the new targeting setting column.

It's something that often confuses users but "bid only" means the remarketing list should only be used for the purpose of adjusting bids, targeting should be done based on another targeting method. In other words, if your remarketing lists are setup as "bid only" and you don't have any other targeting method, your campaign will not serve.