Google Automated Bidding – Quick Reference Guide

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by Amanda Butler

July 13, 2020

Automated bidding is a hot topic in the PPC industry.

Google is continuously improving its machine learning capabilities and expanding the product offering, making it tricky to stay on top of the latest best practice.

As new types of automated bidding emerge, with new goals and smarter optimisation,
the landscape becomes more complex to navigate.

The common questions we’re asked by ads managers

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Does Google’s automated bidding work?  I’ve tried it in the past but didn’t have good results

We’ve found that performance of the bidding algorithms has significantly improved over the past six to eight months and when we’ve tested Target CPA and Target ROAS against manual bidding, more often than not the client has seen better results.

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What bidding strategy should I use for my campaigns?

That depends on your goal and desired results. We’ve got a simple decision tree that will take the stress out of choosing the right bid strategy. Read on to find out more.

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What IS the bidding algorithm?

That’s above our pay grade. Google keeps the secret sauce under lock and key. All we know is, it is smart, and getting smarter, and it would not be surprising if it became self aware…..if it hasn’t already *ominous music*

The common questions we’re asked by ads managers

Light Blue Fine Question Mark

Does Google’s automated bidding work?  I’ve tried it in the past but didn’t have good results

We’ve found that performance of the bidding algorithms has significantly improved over the past six to eight months and when we’ve tested Target CPA and Target ROAS against manual bidding, more often than not the client has seen better results.

Light Blue Fine Question Mark

What bidding strategy should I use for my campaigns?

That depends on your goal and desired results. We’ve got a simple decision tree that will take the stress out of choosing the right bid strategy. Read on to find out more.

Light Blue Fine Question Mark

What IS the bidding algorithm?

That’s above our pay grade. Google keeps the secret sauce under lock and key. All we know is, it is smart, and getting smarter, and it would not be surprising if it became self aware…..if it hasn’t already *ominous music*

Navigate this evolving landscape with confidence Using our simple, easy-to-follow flowchart

We’ve had the amazing opportunity to spend time with some of Google’s super-smart Product Engineers who have lifted the hood on Google’s best practice for automated bidding implementation.

In developing this flowchart, we’ve taken their insights and combined them with a healthy dose of our own observations, alongside feedback from our wonderful agency partners.

You’ll notice for instance that we don’t currently include all available automated bidding strategies in our flowchart – we think there are still a few tweaks that can be made to some in order to achieve optimal results so we recommend holding off on those if you’re new to automated bidding and testing the waters.

Google Ads Automated Bidding Quick Reference Flowchart

Google Ads Automated Bidding Quick Reference Flowchart

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We’ve got Samurai’s covered!

Take the guesswork out of best practice automated bidding implementation. We’ve developed a kick-ass workflow that proactively alerts you when a campaign meets the guidelines for implementing an automated bidding strategy.

How to implement the workflow

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But wait – you mentioned attribution…?

What attribution model should I be using for best results?

We know – attribution models can sometimes be just as murky as automated bidding when it comes to best practice.

Using the right attribution model is just as important to the success of the automated bidding strategy as the bid strategy choice itself. They are dependent and go hand in hand, like vegemite and toast (or peanut butter and jam, for those non-Aussies).

As a general rule of thumb, we recommend using a non-last click attribution model when campaigns are using automated bidding. Which one? Good question. To get the most out of your bidding strategy, we’ve also included our best practice flowchart for choosing an attribution model.

Attribution Quick Reference Flowchart

Attribution Quick Reference Flowchart

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We’ve got Samurai’s covered!

Our Insights Dashboard will proactively alert you if you’re using last click attribution, so you can re-assess the model if needed.

More burning questions about automated bidding strategy, attribution modelling, or PPC in general?

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