The Optimization tab

Experiments FAQ

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What are experiments?
Experiments allow you to compare the performance of different ad settings. They work by splitting your site’s traffic between the two ad settings, so that their performance can be measured side by side. Experiments help you to make informed decisions about how to configure your ad settings, and can help you to increase your earnings.
Which ad settings can I compare in experiments?

The following ad settings are available for use in experiments:

  • Blocking controls: The following ad blocking settings are available for experiments:
    • General ad categories (including first level sub-categories)
    • Sensitive ad categories
    • Ad serving opt-outs (e.g., enhanced text ads, expandable ads, etc.)
  • Ad balance: You can compare your current ad fill rate against a different ad fill rate. Learn more about ad balance.
  • Custom search styles: You can experiment with different custom search styles for your Custom Search Ads.
How do I run an experiment?

There are two ways to create experiments. You can either:

Will I have to change my ad code?
No. You don’t need to make any changes to your ad code to run an experiment.
How long will my experiment take to finish?
You choose when to end your experiment. However, we recommend that you wait until your experiment is marked "Ready to complete" before you choose a setting as the winner. Depending on the volume of traffic to the settings that you're running the experiment on, this might take from several days to one or two months.
How do I know if my experiment is complete?
Your experiment is complete once it has gathered enough data—we'll let you know when that's the case.
Do I have to choose the winner of an experiment?
When you create an experiment, you can opt to let Google choose the winner for you. Google will automatically apply the winning setting after your experiment has finished. If you prefer not to select this option, then you'll need to choose the winner of the experiment yourself.
When should I choose a winner?
We recommend that you wait until your experiment is marked "Ready to complete" before you choose a setting as the winner.
Can I stop an experiment part way through?
Yes. You can end an experiment at any time by clicking Stop experiment on the experiment’s page. We’ll revert your settings back to the way they were before you started the experiment.
What if I don’t want to run an experiment?

If you see an opportunity on your Optimization page and you don’t want to run an experiment, you can choose to either click:

  • Apply now to implement our recommended settings
    or
  • X to dismiss the opportunity.
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