Advertisers Unhappy With AdWords ‘Enhanced Campaigns’ Update

The AdWords ‘Enhanced Campaigns’ update has kept the Search Engine Marketing world abuzz from the time it was rolled out. The high point of this update is that it improves the ability of the advertisers in targeting the potential customers across different devices, geographical locations and specific timings of the day. In layman’s word, Enhanced Campaign will make it a lot simpler for advertisers in creating Ad campaigns that target laptop, PC as well as smart-phone audience.

But that’s the high point; there are several low-points, which has attracted a lot of critical comments from advertisers around the globe. Google’s point of view is that the new update will simplify Ad management for multiple devices.

Google AdWords further explains the update on their blog, “With enhanced campaigns, instead of having to cobble together and compare several separate campaigns, reports and ad extensions to do this, the pizza restaurant can easily manage all of this in one single place. Enhanced campaigns help you reach people with the right ads, based on their context like location, time of day and device type, across all devices without having to set up and manage several separate campaigns.”

But that’s Google’s point of view!

Some advertisers are happy with the update, however, majority of them seem to be annoyed. Why? Well, interestingly, Google has taken away some levels of controls from the advertisers in the process of simplifying Ad management across multiple devices.

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Yes, the world is switching from PCs and Laptops to Smartphones and Tabs. But there is still a great level of distinction between PCs and smartphones. Why advertisers are not happy with this update is because they still want to manage their smartphone, tab and PC campaigns separately. Till date, the advertisers have had the ability to bid differently for different devices, but this ability will be lost when the Enhanced Campaign update becomes a mandatory feature by the end of June 2013.

The advertisers will always prefer more control over simplicity!

Google has added a number of new features to this update such as bid boosting, easy sitelink management, simplified reporting tools and few other extensions. If an advertiser is looking for simplified platform to manage Ad campaign, he is in for a treat. But that’s not what the advertisers want at the end of the end. The loss of device targeting functionality has hit hard on the advertisers.

An update is an update! And advertisers cannot do much about it except adjust to this change. As of now, the advertisers will be able to choose between Enhanced Campaign and the present campaign features. Those who go for the Enhanced Campaigns will be able to export their current campaigns in the new formats. However, by the end of June 2013 Google Adwords will make the Enhanced Campaign features mandatory for all. In a way, Google is giving time to the advertisers to adjust to the new updates and get the hang of it, before they make it mandatory.

You can follow the discussion in Adwords Community on the same by clicking here or on Google+ page of Google Ads

So, what’s your take on the new Google AdWords Enhanced Campaigns?

Comments: 9

  • I’m thoroughly unimpressed with this change. I do have to wonder why large corporations like Google (and Facebook) assume that they know best, rather than consulting the end user.

    There’s nothing wrong with simplifying things, but I’m not a child, I can handle a few advanced functions!

  • Sam says:

    Worst update ever. Enhanced is an interesting choice of words, I would favour downgraded.

    • Maybe “Safety Mode” would be a better option? Although some of these features may help me with my marketing, for the most part I feel like Google is taking away the control over my campaigns. It will be interesting to see what it will do to conversion rates…

  • Vincent says:

    This is not a simplification, it’s a prevention that locks advertisers out of not just bidding, but “managing” campaigns by device.

    No flexibilty was added as is mis-stated in the article and frequently by google. geo targeting and day-parting already existed.

    The ability to not only bid by device, but provide form-factor-specific experiences to users has been removed. This whole project is meant to force advertiser that want to be involved in mobile (which, of course we all HAVE to do) to give up the ability to create a custom user experience and thus execute our campaigns with greatest efficiency. Obviously, this removed efficiency opportunity passes more value in the search clickstream to Google.

    Hey, it’s Google’s platform, they can do what they want with it. You can’t fault them for wanting to squeeze more money out of adwords.

    The only troubling part (beyond the reduced opportunity to be succeed in SEM) is the patronizing way Google positions this as an improvement. It’s also frustrating to see SEM “thought leaders” writing blog posts that describe enhanced campaigns as anything less than a Google cash grab.

    If you aren’t a professional search marketer then enhanced campaigns may make it easier for you to give Google more money. But if you are an SEM pro (by that I mean someone capable of extracting value from the adwords platform at maximum efficiency relative to your targeted market’s opportunity) then enhanced campaigns do nothing more than tie one of your hands behind your back so Google can more easily extract money for themselves from their platform.

  • DS says:

    Bing, this is your time to be the star!

  • Vincent,

    Thankyou for taking out time to read and share your views. I completely agree with your opinion. What I have communicated through this write-up is that, in an attempt to simplify the AdWords they have taken away the controls from the advertiser. If an advertiser just wishes for easy management of Ad campaign, then he may not find this update infuriating. However, pro-advertisers, don’t really care about simplicity, they want controls. Which is why I feel that this Google Adwords update is not going to be welcomed.

  • Hal says:

    “An update is an update! And advertisers cannot do much about it except adjust to this change.”

    Actually, this is not accurate. When Google said we were going to HAVE to rotate our ads, even with a 90 static period, I pushed for and got them to back down and allow us to never rotate ads. Of course I doubt it was just because I complained, but the point is that the more honest, intelligent complaint that are made, the more likely it will change their mind so they don’t force this down our throats.

    Change and more options are good. Being forced to show your ads in a manner you don’t want is very, very bad!

  • Peter says:

    Hubris before a fall. Big companies can’t help themselves. Their greed gets in the way and they try squeeze every dollar out of us little guys. We don’t get any thing near the conversion on tablet we do on desktop and I am sure google figured this out for thousands of advertisers – just their way to get richer. The worst part is their phony spin on how great this is going to be.

  • When you are advertising software for Windows only, as I do, what’s the point in showing your ads on mobile devices and Android tablets? I can see my CTR dropping to half or less.

    Also, it’s misleading the way they present it as an improvement as if the only sensible thing is to update! I’ve learnt not to trust that type of advertising copy and checked the fine print first luckily. Others might take them at their word and just update right away.

    But June will probably be the end of any chance of making a go at adwords for me. Though, if they aad in ability to target by OS, the second most popular adwords wish in the official list, then I would be very happy indeed :)

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