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About ad rotation settings

Ad rotation is the way in which we deliver your ads on both the Search Network and the Display Network. If you have multiple ads within an ad group, your ads will rotate because no more than one ad from your account can be shown at a time. Use the ad rotation setting to specify how often you'd like the ads in your ad group to be served relative to one another.

This article explains the four settings for ad rotation.

Ad rotation settings

Optimise for clicks (default)

The optimise for clicks setting gives preference to ads that are expected to attract more clicks than other ads in the ad group, based on your past click-through rates (CTRs). With this setting, your ad group will likely receive more impressions and clicks overall, since higher-quality ads attain better positions and attract more user attention.

For video campaigns, ads are optimised for views (instead of clicks) using the same methodology. All video campaigns are automatically optimised for views, so no setting is needed.

How it works: As data is accumulated, ad serving will become weighted more heavily in favour of the ads that appear statistically likely to perform better. Ads expected to attract more clicks are delivered more often into the ad auction than other ads in the ad group. These ads show more often, resulting in higher ad-served percentages. However, it's possible for ad serving to remain relatively even within this setting, if ads in an ad group have similar performance or if the ad group does not receive a substantial amount of impressions and clicks for some period of time.

Bear in mind: The ad with the highest CTR may not always be the one expected to get the most clicks. That’s because the number of clicks an ad is expected to get is also affected by how often an ad is eligible to enter an auction. Expected CTR is only one factor of Ad Rank, which also considers landing page experience and ad relevance (among other factors) when determining your ad’s position and whether it will show at all. So a more relevant ad with a better landing page experience but a lower expected CTR could be eligible to show on search results more often. That can, in turn, lead to a higher overall number of expected clicks.

Note: To simplify ad serving and campaign management, ad rotation settings will no longer be available for video campaigns from December 2016. Instead, all video campaigns will be optimised for views by default.
Existing video campaigns using “Optimise for conversions” or “Rotate evenly” will automatically be changed to “Optimise for views” in January, and you’ll no longer see ad rotation options in campaign settings.

Optimise for conversions

The optimise for conversions setting gives preference to ads that are expected to generate more conversions, such as purchases and sign-ups. Those ads are delivered more often into the ad auction. Although the optimise for conversions setting may result in your ad group receiving fewer clicks than the previous option, it's more likely to receive more conversions, which can result in an improved return on investment.

How it works: This option takes both click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate into consideration. If there isn't enough data to determine which ad will provide the most conversions, ads will rotate using optimise for clicks data.

Bear in mind: Your ad group might receive fewer clicks, but it's likely to receive more conversions, which can result in an improved return on investment. If there isn't enough conversion data to determine which ad is likely to provide the most conversions, ads will rotate to optimise for clicks.

Rotate evenly

The rotate evenly setting delivers your ads more evenly into the ad auction. In general, rotating evenly allows ads with lower click-through rates and conversion rates to appear more often, so this option could result in a lower average position or fewer clicks and conversions.

How it works: When a new ad group is enabled, or an ad in that ad group is added or changed, we’ll rotate the ads in the ad group evenly for a 90-day period. After the 90-day period, the campaign will automatically begin to optimise for clicks or conversions. If the campaign is using a conversion-based bidding strategy such as Target CPA bidding, Enhanced CPC, Target CPA, or Target ROAS, it will optimise for conversions, otherwise it will optimise for clicks.

Even though you select an ad rotation setting at the campaign level, the even rotation period is tracked separately for each ad group. It starts (and resets) for an ad group whenever the ads in that ad group change: specifically, when a new ad gets added, when an existing ad is changed or when a paused/deleted ad is enabled.

When the even rotation period ends and we optimise for clicks, the campaign setting will continue to say "Rotate evenly". Note that for campaigns using the vCPM bidding option, ads will continue to rotate more evenly beyond the 90 days.

Rotate indefinitely

Like the rotate evenly setting, the rotate indefinitely setting delivers your ads more evenly into the ad auction, but does so for an indefinite amount of time and does not optimise.

Because this option allows lower-performing ads to run as often as higher-performing ads for an indefinite period of time, this option is not recommended for most advertisers.

Bear in mind

With the rotate evenly and rotate indefinitely options, the percentage of impressions for ads served in the ad group will be more even than the other ad rotation options. However, because the quality of the ads differ, and quality is used to determine where an ad appears, or if it even appears at all, the percentage of impressions for each ad may not be perfectly even. An ad with high quality may appear on the first page of search results, whilst an ad with low quality may show on the second page of search results, reaching a smaller number of users.

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