About using Search Ads 360 conversions for auction-time bidding

Auction-time bidding is a Google Ads Smart Bidding feature that analyzes several contextual signals at the time of the auction to set bids with the goal of targeting your ads.

Learn more about auction-time bidding in the Google Ads Help Center.

How they work together

A Search Ads 360 bid strategy or budget bid strategy analyzes the performance of the campaigns in its portfolio.

Google Ads auction-time bidding (or Smart Bidding) analyzes different contextual signals (such as device, browser type, location, time of day, audience (remarketing), and more) in real time to set each keyword bid to display your ads in the best position and maximize performance.

If Google Ads auction-time bidding is enabled, a Search Ads 360 bid or budget bid strategy includes auction-time bids in its analysis to set each campaign's return on investment (ROI) target or budget at least once a day to achieve the strategy's target.

A portfolio bid strategy is created in Google Ads and is applied to the campaigns in the Google Ads accounts in the Search Ads 360 sub-manager account.

You can enable Google Ads auction-time bidding in the following Search Ads 360 bid strategies and budget bid strategies:

Search Ads 360 bid adjustments can be applied to the following campaign types:

  • Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, Yahoo! JAPAN Ads, and Baidu Search campaigns
  • Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising shopping campaigns
  • Google Ads Performance Max campaign
  • Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, and Yahoo! JAPAN Ads Dynamic Search Ad campaigns

Conversions are shared

Because Search Ads 360 and Google Ads use different bidding systems, Search Ads 360 conversion data is shared with Google Ads (with your consent) to enable both bidding systems to use the same conversion data.

To use a conversion action for bid strategy optimization, the action optimization level must be set to primary in the selected account-default or campaign-specific goal. Or, you can select a custom goal in a campaign. The action optimization level for conversion actions in a custom goal can be a mix of primary and secondary conversion actions. Note that custom goals aren’t recommended for bid strategy optimization. Learn more About conversion goals.

Summary of steps to enable bid strategies and budget bid strategies to use conversion data

To report on conversion actions and enable bid strategies to use the performance history for optimization with Google Ads auction-time bidding, you’re required to do the following:

  1. Add a conversion action to a standard conversion goal as a primary action.
    Primary conversions are reported in the “Conversions” column to optionally use them for optimization. Learn more About primary and secondary conversions.
    You can also add a primary or secondary conversion action to a custom goal if you want an automated strategy to use the conversion data for optimization.
  2. Enable conversion-data sharing.
    Conversion-data sharing is required if you want to use functionality like Google Ads auction-time bidding.
  3. Select the “Google Ads auction-time bidding” option in a bid strategy or in a budget bid strategy in a plan.
  4. Add the Google Ads campaign to a bid strategy or campaign group.
    Do any of the following:
  5. Select one or more conversion goals in the campaign’s settings.
    You can select the (sub-manager) account default goal, other sub-manager account or client conversion goals (referred to as campaign-specific goals), or a combination.

Learn more about sharing Search Ads 360 conversions with Google Ads.

Requirements and notes about using Google Ads auction-time bidding with Search Ads 360 conversions

This section lists the requirements for using Google Ads auction-time bidding with Search Ads 360 conversions and how to combine Search Ads 360 conversions and Google Ads conversions.

Requirements

  • Share Search Ads 360 conversions with Google Ads. When you agree to share the Search Ads 360 conversions, all Google Ads Search campaigns in the sub-manager account receive the conversions by default, unless the campaign is managed by a Google Ads bid strategy. In this case, the campaign goal settings aren’t updated. You can't choose which campaigns in Google Ads receive and report the shared Search Ads 360 conversions. Note that the "All conversions"-based ("All conversions", "All conversion value", and so on) columns in Google Ads will report the same conversions as the “Client account conversions” (and all client account-based conversions columns such as Client account conv. value/click) in the Search Ads 360 user interface.
    Conversion-data sharing doesn’t automatically share Google Ads Performance Max campaign data. If a Performance Max campaign was created in Google Ads, the conversion data isn’t shared with Search Ads 360. If you want to share the data with Search Ads 360, you’re required to enable conversion data-sharing in the existing Performance Max campaign.
    The conversion-data sharing option is automatically selected in Performance Max campaigns that you start creating in Search Ads 360.
  • Select the conversions from your website in your campaigns. Select the conversion goal that includes your website conversion actions in your campaign conversion goal settings. This setting, along with the bidding settings, sets up a Search Ads 360 bid strategy with Google Ads auction-time bidding enabled to use the conversions for optimization. For example, if you select the account default goal that includes the "Floodlight activity brand" and "Floodlight activity product" primary actions in the campaigns, the bid strategy will use the conversions for optimization.

    To use a conversion action for bid strategy optimization, the action optimization level must be set to primary in the selected account-default or campaign-specific goal. Or, you can select a custom goal in a campaign. The action optimization level for conversion actions in a custom goal can be a mix of primary and secondary conversion actions. Note that custom goals aren’t recommended for bid strategy optimization.

    Notes

    • Auction-time bidding only applies to the Google Ads campaigns in the bid strategy even though campaigns from some of the supported advertising platforms can be included in the bid strategy. The bid strategy will still use the performance history of the conversions to set bids in all of the campaigns.
    • Search Ads 360 supports auction-time bid overrides that are allowed by an advertising platform.
      • Note that auction-time bids and bid adjustments can't be manually overwritten in Search Ads 360 or in Google Ads. You might be able to enter a bid or bid adjustment in the user interface, but the setting is ignored.
      • Google Ads does allow you to change the value of your CPA target for devices and exclude devices in target ROAS bid strategies. Learn more about the bid adjustments that Google Ads allows with automated bidding in the Google Ads Help Center.

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