To report on the latest news regarding Google’s Smart Bidding, just this month, Google released a notice for their new data exclusion controls.
This new feature was developed “to make it easy for you to prevent technical issues” like tagging issues “from impacting Smart Bidding”, according to Google. And, they’ve made it available for Search, Shopping, and Display campaigns.
How will this new Smart Bidding feature affect how campaigns are treated in the future? Learn how to make full use of these new data exclusion controls below:
Smart Bidding | Overview
Smart Bidding is a combination of all the different bidding strategies offered by Google. It, like its third-party competitor Bidbrain™, uses advanced machine learning to calculate auction-time bids based on past historical data.
When it comes to AI-based tools like these, it is this data that fuels the intelligence of their algorithms. And so, any issues that occur that compromises this data may lead to less than satisfactory results.
The new Data Exclusion Controls is Google’s answer to this potential problem. In application, this tool should be used when there are incidents or errors with your website’s conversion tracking data caused by either tagging issues or website outages.
For example, if your website experiences an outage that lasts for a whole day, with the new controls, you can now exclude the data collected from that day so that corrupted data won’t affect your future Search, Shopping, and Display campaigns — thus, giving you slightly more control over how the system is placing your bids.
Data Exclusion Controls | Considerations
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of this new update, let’s dig a little deeper with a breakdown of all the things you should keep in mind when using these new controls:
- Will Exclude Clicks — Conversions are not the only thing that will be affected when you make use of data exclusions. Excluding corrupted data from your campaigns will also mean that clicks that would have been attributed to that data would be excluded.
- Applicable to All Campaign Types — You can adjust the affected ‘scope’ of your exclusions to choose whether you want to exclude broken conversion data from your Search, Display, and/or Shopping campaigns.
- Broken Reporting — These exclusions will only remove the data that fuels the algorithms Smart Bidding uses. So, any excluded data will still appear in your Google conversion reports.
- Tracking Delays — If you regularly experience tracking delays, broken data may still slip through your excluded timeframe. To prevent this, the best practice would be to exclude data from the dates before the tracking issue occurred as well.
Data Exclusion Controls | Instructions
If you want to make use of these new data exclusion controls, you can find them on your Google Ads Account under Tools > “Shared Library” > Bid Strategies > Advanced Controls > Data Exclusions. There, you can choose the option to create a New Data Exclusion.
You will be asked to provide a ‘name’ and a ‘description’ to identify this exclusion, and then also the start date and time plus the end date and time for the corrupted data that you want to exclude. (Again, as a tip, because certain conversions can be attributed to past clicks, you should account for your average conversion delay and widen your timeframe.)
Once that is done, all you need to do is to choose the scope of this new exclusion by choosing which campaigns (i.e. you can apply it to specific campaigns, if you wish, or exclude the data from your entire account) and devices (i.e. you can choose to only apply the data exclusion to your mobile tracking if that’s the only one affected) should receive this adjustment.
Once done, all you need to do is save the exclusion and click Create Data Exclusion to finish!
The Bottom Line: Data Exclusions
These new controls are great for Google Smart Bidding users who are looking for some more security. It’s not 100% full proof, of course. And, despite these allowances, a lot of what happens behind the scenes in the actual Smart Bidding process is a complete mystery to us still. But, it’s something!The culpability of Smart Bidding has always been something of a debate, what with its black box bidding methods. But, the effort is definitely appreciated! At the very least, there are now 100% transparent alternatives, like Bidbrain, that promise a smarter and more honest way — if you’re looking for it. So, if you ever find yourself straining for some more of that much-needed control, just know that you always have options.