Use data exclusions for conversion data outages

Smart Bidding uses conversions and conversion value data in Google Ads to help meet your goals. If you have any issues with conversion tracking, you can use data exclusions to help reduce the impact that these issues may have on Smart Bidding Performance.

Note: Data exclusions created for past dates are typically taken into effect by Smart Bidding within a week. As Smart Bidding may be using the incorrect conversion data during the week following a data exclusion event, it’s recommended to adjust targets and budgets or the combination of both as needed. For more details, read the best practice below.

Learn more About data exclusions.


Best practices for using data exclusions

For best results, review the guidance below when applying data exclusions. While data exclusions can help reduce performance fluctuations associated with a bad conversion data, some performance fluctuations should still be expected.

  • Apply data exclusions as quickly as possible at the time you’ve identified a conversion data issue.
  • Data exclusions are typically taken into effect by Smart Bidding within a week. After applying a Data exclusion, we suggest adjusting CPA/ROAS targets to achieve desired performance, while ensuring budgets are set to acceptable levels.
  • Exclusion dates selected will apply to clicks, so make sure to consider your conversion delay and exclude any days of clicks that may have been impacted. It’s a best practice to exclude 90% of clicks associated with impacted conversion data.
Example: If there was a data upload issue from October 15 to October 18, and the conversion delay is 5 days, apply the exclusion as quickly as possible, including any days with impacted clicks. In this case you would exclude October 10 to October 18.
  • Data exclusions aren’t intended to be used frequently or for extended periods of time. Doing so could negatively impact Smart Bidding performance.
  • Data exclusions are only intended for issues with conversion tracking, and are not recommended for excluding irregular performance periods, such as promotional period. If you anticipate major changes in conversion rate, consider using a seasonality adjustment.
  • Data exclusions applied to future dates, such as for scheduled site maintenance, will typically take effect immediately.
  • Don't remove a data exclusion after it has been applied. Advertisers may wish to backfill the accurate conversion data for their reporting purposes, but we recommend not removing data exclusions as it may cause undesired performance fluctuations. Advertisers should wait 14 days before backfilling.

Data exclusions are recommended for a conversion data outage, which includes conversion tracking issues or conversion uploads. Examples of when data exclusions are applicable include:

  • Broken conversion tracking for a certain period
  • Incorrectly placed conversion tag on a website resulting in inaccurate conversion counts
  • Temporarily unable to upload offline conversion data

We generally do not recommend backfilling data, including in the case where there was a data outage, as this can have a direct impact on your Search and Shopping bidding performance. In cases where data exclusion was set during the period, backfilling is possible for reporting purposes but only after waiting 14 days after the data exclusion was applied. In this case, we strongly discourage removing the data exclusion.

Note: If you have a conversion outage and have applied data exclusions, bids and spend could still drop for a brief period of time. To help increase bids and spend, you can lower your ROAS. However, when the data exclusion takes full effect, bids will quickly adjust to optimal levels, at which time the ROAS targets should be adjusted to desired levels to prevent overspending.

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