Welcome to the help center for Search Ads 360, a platform for managing search marketing campaigns.  While the help center is available to the public, access to the Search Ads 360 product is available only to subscribing customers who are signed in. To subscribe or find out more, contact our sales team.

Set up a budget bid strategy

Automate budget allocation and spending in a budget plan

Budget bid strategies in budget management

During a budget plan, you can spend the total budget of the group by manually setting and changing individual campaign budgets, bids, and bid adjustments, or you can optionally set up a budget bid strategy (also referred to as a budget strategy) that will optimize spend by automatically setting and adjusting spend (daily budgets, bids, and bid adjustments) in the campaigns.

One budget bid strategy is created per budget group, even if each plan for the group includes a different goal and different settings for the budget strategy.

The primary focus of a budget strategy is to spend the amount specified in a budget plan. This means that you can anticipate variations in daily or weekly spend as the budget bid strategy makes changes to optimize how the entire budget is spent.


A budget bid strategy requires at least 3 weeks of performance data before it can optimize your campaign budgets and bids, and set or recommend bid adjustments. 


Similar to a Search Ads 360 bid strategy

If you’ve set individual budgets in a budget group’s campaigns, you can let a budget strategy manage allocating the target spend among the group and change bids and bid adjustments. That is, let Search Ads 360 manage spend in the group of campaigns.

Search Ads 360 budget strategies are very similar to Search Ads 360 bid strategies. Both use the performance history of selected conversions or a formula column to set or recommend bid adjustments. Both can set bids for biddable items. Both can include some constraints or boundaries. As with a bid strategy, a manually set bid overrides a budget strategy for 24 hours

Budget bid strategy campaign budgets and bids can be overridden for 24 hours

Manually set campaign budgets and manually set bids for biddable items override a budget bid strategy for 24 hours.

A budget can be overridden only in the Search Ads 360 user interface. For example, if you set a different daily budget for a campaign using the Google Ads user interface, the change is ignored.

Note that we don't recommend manually setting a budget or bids when a budget bid strategy is managing spend in a plan.

The primary differences are that a budget strategy optimizes a budget by allocating spend and changing bids, and can only be configured as part of a budget plan

A Search Ads 360 bid strategy doesn’t manage budgets and can optionally set the default bids.

Here’s a list of the similarities and differences.

Feature  Budget bid strategy Bid strategy
Included in a budget plan


A budget strategy is an optionally enabled component of a budget plan that you can turn on or off before or during a plan. 

One budget bid strategy is created for a budget group, even if each plan for the group includes a different goal and different budget strategy settings.

A budget strategy is automatically enabled in a plan only if it was used in the previous plan. Learn more about budget bid strategy settings.


Search Ads 360 bid strategies stand alone. You can set up a Search Ads 360 bid strategy and apply it to individual campaigns.

(You can also create a bid strategy and then not use it. That is, you can create a bid strategy and not apply it to a campaign.)


Optimize using  a conversion goal or a clicks goal


If a conversion goal is selected, the budget bid strategy uses the budget plan’s conversion goal and attribution model.


Set targets in the bid strategy.

Set time frame for the bid strategy to operate


Select a week, month, or year in a budget plan.


Name of the strategy


A budget bid strategy's name matches the name of the budget group, with the addition of the Greek letter Δ. The letter lets you identify a budget strategy in bid strategy reports.

You can't rename a budget bid strategy.

Yes (Required)

You specify the name of a bid strategy.

Automatically optimize campaign budgets and allocations to maximize goal

Yes (Required)

A budget bid strategy evaluates day-of-week seasonality in performance history to allocate budget.



Automatically set bids for biddable items in search engines Yes (Required) Yes (Optional)
Set or recommend bid adjustments

Yes (Optional)

A bid strategy will set or recommend device bid adjustments (for mobile, tablet, and desktop), location target, and remarketing targets.

Yes (Optional)

A bid strategy will set or recommend device bid adjustments (for mobile, tablet, and desktop), location target, and remarketing targets.
Set constraints

Yes (Optional)

Yes (Optional)
Set performance targets


Instead you can specify a performance benchmark (conversions, revenue, CPA or ROAS) in the budget plan.

Yes (Required)

Bid strategies include more performance options for which you can specify target amounts. In addition to conversions or revenue, a bid strategy can set bids to achieve clicks or a specified ad (keyword) position.

Report on individual strategy performance


Budget strategy metrics are included in the bid strategy report.


Metrics are reported in the bid strategy report.


How campaign budget management options work with budget strategies

Campaign budgets can be managed by using any of the following methods. Some methods work with a budget strategy, while others are replaced by a budget strategy. For example, manually managed budgets can be automatically managed by a budget bid strategy. A Search Ads 360 bid strategy can be replaced by a budget strategy.

  • Manual campaign budget. The campaign daily budget is specified in campaign settings. You can choose the delivery speed of the spend by selecting the Standard or Accelerated budget delivery option. Manually set campaign budgets can be switched to an automatically adjusted budget if a budget strategy is applied.
    Effective October 7, 2019, all search and shopping campaigns using Accelerated delivery have been switched to Standard delivery in Google Ads. The Accelerated delivery option is still available in Search Ads 360, but Google Ads campaigns now use Standard delivery. Learn more about Standard delivery in Google Ads
  • Search Ads 360 bid strategy with a monthly spend target. If you want to manage budgets automatically, your best option is to use a budget strategy because a bid strategy doesn't manage allocations among the portfolio of campaignsA bid strategy can only manage keywords bids, or set or recommend device (mobile, desktop, and tablet), location target, and remarketing target bid adjustments to spend the amount specified for a month. You will still need to manually set and adjust campaign budgets. 

    Monthly spend bid strategies are being replaced by budget bid strategies. Learn more about migrating campaigns to Budget Management.
  • Shared budget (automated budget management type in Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising engine accounts). The engine automatically adjusts how your budget is spent across its campaigns to optimize performance. Note that a budget bid strategy that doesn't have auction-time bidding enabled can't manage shared budgets. To allow a budget bid strategy without auction-time bidding to manage the budgets, the campaigns must be removed from the shared budget. Learn more about how to view shared budget status of campaigns.
    Auction-time bidding for budget bid strategies is available as a preview for customers who have agreed to be early testers and reviewers. If your agency or advertiser would like to test this feature, contact your Search Ads 360 account manager.
  • Campaign daily budget delivery methods: You can choose whether the budget is spent evenly throughout the day (Standard) or spent as soon as possible (Accelerated). If you enable a budget bid strategy, we recommend using standard budget delivery. Accelerated delivery can cause you to run out of budget early in the day.

Important details about budget bid strategies

  • For optimal performance, enable a budget bid strategy when you create a plan or near the beginning of a plan.
  • A budget strategy will manage campaign budgets and bids for keywords and other biddable items for every campaign in the budget group to optimize spend. In the budget bid strategy settings, the "Campaign daily budgets" and "Keywords and other biddable items" checkboxes are selected and unavailable to indicate this requirement.
  • A budget strategy applies to all items in the campaign. That is, if you enable a budget bid strategy for a group of campaigns, the budget bid strategy removes any Search Ads 360 bid strategies from the campaigns, ad groups, keywords, and product groups and manages the budgets and bids for all biddable items in the campaigns.
  • For your first budget plan for a group, the budget bid strategy requires about 3 weeks of performance data to analyze. Once there's a sufficient amount of data, the budget bid strategy requires a week to analyze the data. A budget strategy may also enter learning mode if the following types of changes occur:
    • Transition to a new budget plan.
    • Campaigns are added or removed.
    • Budget changes by more than 30% in a new plan. Or, changes to the target spend in a running plan. 
  • A budget bid strategy uses the most recent budget, bids, and bid adjustments before making changes.
  • Although a budget bid strategy can't adjust the budgets of Google Ads and Microsoft Advertising campaigns that use a shared budget, the strategy does set bids for campaigns in shared budgets. However, for budget bid strategies with auction-time bidding enabled, Google Ads campaigns can be in shared budgets. Search Ads 360 automatically creates shared budgets and puts campaigns in them.

  • A health card notifies you that a budget bid strategy isn’t managing all of the campaign budgets in the budget group because some of them are managed by the engine. The health card is not displayed if the budget bid strategy is using auction-time bidding.
  • If a budget strategy is managing spend, only specify custom allocations for major sales events for holidays such as Singles Day. Don't set a custom allocation for the last week of a plan when a budget bid strategy is managing spend.
  • Shopping campaigns in budget bid strategies aren't compatible with auction-time bidding. Consequently, bidding in Shopping campaigns will continue to be managed by the Search Ads 360 bid strategy. Bid strategies analyze bids regularly and update bids every 6 hours. Note: Smart Shopping campaigns targeting revenue metrics are compatible with auction-time bidding in a budget bid strategy.

Was this helpful?

How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Try these next steps:

Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu