Campaign Budgets Can Now Spend Up To Double Their Daily Limit
Did you know Internet traffic is like an ocean? Some days, there will be small waves. Other days, there will be great big ones.
So states Google’s latest AdWords help article, relating to the latest update released last week. https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/1704443
Without much announcement, Google changed how your daily budget settings in AdWords are set.
The term ‘Daily Budget’ has always been a slight misnomer, as Google previously allowed a campaign to spend up to 20% more, to account for slight daily fluctuations. This is actually quite a smart move, as no one wants to miss out on relevant traffic if it is there. Google are also kind enough not to charge you more per month than your daily budget multiplied by 30.4 (and this hasn’t changed with the recent news), so you will not spend more than you have budgeted for.
Last week however, this 20% became 100%. That’s right – a campaign can now spend up to double the daily limit you set. There is no way to opt out of this.
If you are using Manual CPC bidding and Accelerated ad delivery (which is our recommendation), then as long as your campaigns are not limited by budget, (we would advise bringing your cost per click down if you are limited by budget), your account shouldn’t be affected by this wave news. If your campaigns are limited by budget, this means (along with a sign that your accounts are not being managed well) that your ads are eligible to show in more search results, but cannot show every time as the campaign does not have enough money behind it. This is then a case where Google can decide to ‘go with the waves’ and accrue costs way higher than your daily budget.
Google are also pushing advertisers to give their algorithm more control over their ads, most notably with the new automated bidding strategies they have introduced. For example, the new ‘Maximise Conversions’ strategy that Google is promoting to non-profits.
These strategies only show your ads in certain auctions based on how likely Google thinks you are to fulfil your chosen goal. Combined with the fluctuations in traffic Google mention, we are concerned that this change will cause your ads to show up inconsistently.
We have been keeping a close eye on our accounts since this change was introduced, and haven’t seen any noticeable changes yet. However, due to the reasons outlines above, we don’t believe this change will have much of an effect if managed well.
The potential for disaster waves exists when an account is not regularly checked in on, with our fear being that spend will peak and trough (waves!) for no apparent reason. We advise watching your account spend closely over the next few days in case there are any unexpected waves.
If you run an account and are looking for strategies to combat this change, then we recommend this Search Engine Land article.
Google’s certainly aren’t worried by this, and I’ll leave you with their reassuring words:
“The waves of Internet traffic might make your daily costs go up and down. But at the end of the month, despite those unpredictable waves, you'll find your costs at right where you expected them to be.”