Say Goodbye to Accelerated Delivery
What Google’s Latest Update Means for Your PPC Account & The Questions We’re All Asking
Marketers woke up on Tuesday to more shocking updates from Google Ads.
Yesterday, less than a month after Google announced that phrase match and broad match modifier keywords will match with same-meaning close variants, they revealed another major change – beginning on October 1, 2019, accelerated delivery will no longer be available as an ad delivery method for shopping and search campaigns.
If you said “Whaaaaat? Why?!?!?!” after hearing the news, you’re not the only one.
Choosing between standard and accelerated delivery – i.e., determining how often your ads are shown and how quickly your budget is spent – has long been one of the main considerations of a campaign. And while accelerated delivery has never been recommended by Google, now they have completely taken that choice away, leaving standard delivery as the only option (although accelerated delivery will be available for video and display).
Here’s their reasoning; Google says that accelerated delivery is not effective for campaigns that are not limited by budget, and often increases CPCs (because there is more competition earlier in the day) and leads to increased spend in earlier time zones for campaigns that are limited by budget. It’s optimized less. If you’re a large business who doesn’t care as much about your spend, and you just want to drive as many conversions as possible within a target CPA, Google says that accelerated delivery is inefficient. They claim that standard delivery is better at maximizing performance within your daily budget, and that it predicts ad performance throughout the day.
So they took accelerated away. Because they can.
And we have questions. Questions like:
“Does this really mean the standard delivery algorithm is improving that much?”
Although several commentators are assuming that machine learning must be getting better fast, if Google can make such a big change with confidence, when you look carefully at Google’s statement, they never explicitly come out and say that. Their focus of their reasoning isn’t a better algorithm (which you’d think they would highlight), but on the core difference that already existed between standard and accelerated delivery. Time will tell if standard delivery is truly more predictive, or if we’re all just trying to read too hard between the lines.
“Is standard delivery just going to become accelerated delivery?”
That’s the first question we all asked in our office. Is the change just a nameswap? But, although we won’t know for sure how the “new” standard delivery will perform for a few months, it doesn’t seem like it. Google denounced accelerated delivery because of how it works, so it’s unlikely that standard delivery will shift to spending the budget faster in the mornings across all campaigns.
“How is this going to affect account performance?”
That’s the big one – we don’t really know, yet, and we won’t for a few months. Our initial reaction is negative….we like control, and think that marketers should have as much of it as possible when it comes to their account settings in order to optimize effectively. Every business is unique. What if you run an office that has irregular operating hours, or a breakfast cafe? Your account may suffer from losing the ability to run more ads earlier in the day. But Google says that standard delivery is “more optimized”. Any concrete conclusions regarding the change will have to wait to be drawn until at least mid October/November.
“What do we do to make sure our accounts don’t tank, if we’re currently using accelerated delivery?”
Luckily, we do have an immediate answer to this question, or at least we have Google’s recommendations. They’re telling marketers who are currently using accelerated delivery to lean into ad scheduling to adjust bids during certain times of the day. They also note that if your goal is to maximize performance, you should use a maximize conversions/maximize clicks bid strategy if you don’t want to exceed your daily budget. You should note that ad scheduling currently only considers your account’s time zone though…so really, the best thing you can do to protect your account is watch it closely, and then react to any major changes you see accordingly.
What other questions do you have about this latest change? Let us know in the comments, or send us a message! Empirical360 has managed millions of dollars in Google advertising for a variety of business types. We know what it takes to adjust to updates and keep accounts performing at an optimal level, so that ROI increases and propels your business forward! Contact us today to hear how we can help you connect with your customers online.
Shea Duncan - Author
Director of Content Marketing
Shea is an expert content writer and is a classic literary nerd! She loves writing highly engaging content and has a knack for making it convert!