Marketing Advice & Reflections
Enhanced Campaign Victim
It's taken a few days for this to become clear, but one of our clients has become a victim of Google's Enhanced Campaigns. Where the impact was expected to be minimal it would appear that there are going to be sectors that are going to take some time to settle - and may never recover to pre-enhanced traffic levels.
So what's happened?
We suddenly noticed a drop off in impressions on this account. We had enjoyed fairly steady traffic, so the change was a little unexpected, but we had divided the campaigns we had inherited into geo areas and language groupings - so the initial thought was that Google had recalculated the Quality Scores, or that the competition was simply stiffer than it has been. Probably both of these factors played a part.
So we increased the base bids - in fact, we doubled them. No change. This was worrying. So we then looked at the auction insights report for the days before the roll out of Enhanced Campaigns. This is what we saw. Whilst the identities have been erased to protect the innocent, the numbers are clear. We were ranked 7th for our keywords.
Whilst that's not wonderful, it's not bad. This is a competitive market, so we were appearing on the first page a proportion of the time.
Now let's compare this with the auction insights report from the period since the Enhanced Campaigns roll out.
Now we see we have dropped to 11th position - second page position. And if we look at the keyword reports, although some of the QS are quite healthy (there are even some 10/10 in there) almost all the keywords are classed as being "Below first page bid" and, as such, are not triggering impressions.
But there's more. Look at the impression shares of those sites in the top positions. Pre-Enhancement the top site had 35% - the second 18%.
Now the top site (which - it is worth noting - was previously second with 18%) has 89% of the impression share - the second 72%!
There is no way to tell if these competitors made effective adjustments for the launch of Enhanced Campaigns or if they have been caught out and will be forced to make adjustments when they see their spend for the last 10 days - but it is worrying to have seen our account hit so badly.
Insights, ideas and sympathy are all welcome - I have reviewed this site with Google and they tell me that they have seen similar effects in certain highly competitive sectors. Letr's hope the waters settle quickly and we can regain the lost ground!