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Using ad rotation and frequency capping

Ad rotation is the way 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 show at a time.

Use the ad rotation setting, available for campaigns with "All features" enabled, to specify how often you'd like the ads in your ad group to be served relative to one another. (Note: Ad rotation settings aren't available for Smart Display campaigns.)

There are two options for ad rotation: optimize and rotate indefinitely.

Optimize

This setting will optimize your ads for clicks in each individual auction using signals like keyword, search term, device, location, and more. Powered by Google’s machine learning technology, the optimize setting prioritizes ads that are expected to perform better than other ads within an ad group.

Tip:

If you'd like to prioritize conversions, use Smart Bidding, which will tailor your bids based on the likelihood of a conversion, and choose the ad most likely to drive that conversion. If you’re using Smart Bidding, AdWords will automatically use the optimize ad rotation setting. 

Rotate indefinitely

This option delivers your ads more evenly into the ad auction for an indefinite amount of time and doesn’t optimize. This option isn’t recommended for most advertisers.
 

Keep in mind

With the rotate indefinitely option, the percentage of impressions for ads served in the ad group will be more even than the optimize ad rotation option. However, because the quality of the ads differ, and quality is used to determine where an ad shows, or if it even shows 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, while an ad with low quality may show on the second page of search results, which reaches a smaller number of users.

How to change ad rotation and frequency capping

Choose the AdWords experience you're using. Learn more

Set ad rotation for your campaign

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click All campaigns in the navigation panel.
  3. Click the campaign you’d like to change.
  4. Click Settings in the page menu.
  5. Click Additional settings.
  6. Choose Ad rotation.
  7. Choose an ad rotation method: Optimize or Rotate indefinitely.
  8. Click Save.

Set ad rotation for multiple campaigns at once

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click All campaigns in the navigation panel.
  3. Click Settings in the page menu.
  4. Check the box next to the campaigns or ad groups you want to change.
  5. Click Edit.
  6. In the drop-down menu, select Change ad rotation.
  7. Choose an ad rotation method.
  8. Click Save.

Set ad rotation by ad group

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click Ad groups in the page menu.
  3. Click the ad group that you’d like to change.
  4. Click Settings in the page menu.
  5. Click Ad rotation and then select a method.

Tip: Filter your campaigns by ad rotation type

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Click All campaigns in the navigation panel.
  3. In the page menu, click Settings.
  4. Use the filter icon Filter to show only those campaigns that match specific criteria, including Ad rotation.

Setting a frequency cap on impressions for Display Network ads

Frequency capping limits the number of times your ads appear to the same unique user on the Google Display Network. It doesn't apply to the Search Network. Only impressions that were viewable count towards frequency caps. An ad is counted as viewable when 50% or more of the ad shows for one second or longer for display ads and two seconds or longer for video ads. If you turn on frequency capping for a campaign, you specify a limit for the number of impressions you'll allow per day, per week, or per month for an individual user. You also choose whether the cap applies to each ad, ad group, or campaign. If you're advertising on websites that see a lot of repeat visitors (like The New York Times), this helps you avoid showing your ad too much to the same folks.

How to set a frequency cap

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account.
  2. Select All campaigns in the navigation panel.
  3. Click the name of the campaign to be delivered.
  4. Select Settings in the page menu.
  5. Click Additional settings.
  6. Select Frequency capping.
  7. Enter the number of impressions. The value must be a whole number (such as 100, not 100.5).
  8. Select a time interval (per day, per week, or per month) and a level (per ad group, per ad, or for this campaign).
  9. Click Save.

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