Think you know everything about Google Ads? Not so sure. Google Ads is getting more complex every year, some features go unnoticed, others don’t work as they theoretically should. Here are 7 little-known things about how Google Ads works…
1. Google may charge for up to two ad clicks
Google can count two clicks on the same impression of a Google Ads ad. We didn’t find anything out, Google clearly states this in its own formulation: “Note that with Google Ads you only pay a maximum of two clicks per impression”. We have the impression of a favor (“only two clicks”), when logically we could expect to only be able to pay a maximum click per impression.
Indeed, ad extensions (clickable extensions: site link, view, location, price, promotion) allow an advertiser to pay up to two clicks when the same internet user clicks on an ad title and on an extension at the same time. Or even at two branches.
We reassure you: the probability that the same Internet user clicks twice on the same ad is small. Indeed, this requires the internet user to right-click (or cmd/ctrl+click on computer, or even long-click on mobile) to open the target page in a new tab, and then to the original tab returns to click again on an element of the display. Another scenario: two clicks can also be counted if the internet user returns after the first click in the browser. The ad is shown again (this is not a new search, it is therefore the same impression) and the internet user can click a second time.
Have you ever seen CTRs over 100%? Now you know why.
2. No more random ad rotation!
Even though Google Ads now recommends having a single responsive ad (RSA) per ad group, there is still the possibility to choose between two options for the distribution of the different possible ads that exist in the same ad group: random distribution or delivery of the Best performing ads. The random distribution option can be very useful when you want to AB test two separate ads manually and without methodological bias.
Note that selecting the “random ad rotation” parameter – which would mean that if the ad group contains, say, two ads, each representing approximately 50% of the impressions of the ad group’s total impressions – has no impact on the distribution of ads, where the system still prefers the most efficient advertising.
3. The best-performing ads aren’t always shown the most
When the Google Ads algorithm forces the display of the a priori best performing ads, it turns out that it can deliver poorly performing ads.
An example below showing two ads within an ad group of a Maximize Conversions campaign.
We have two responsive ads that the algorithm itself rates as “good” and “excellent,” respectively.
The “good” ad is actually less efficient (lower CTR, higher CPC, lower conversion rate), but it remains almost twice as popular as the top-performing ad.
We invite you not to always rely on the algorithm and to closely monitor its decisions to force it to make the right ones.
4. Smart Bidding bid adjustment
With the automatic bid strategy (or Smart Bidding) there is (almost) no bid adjustment.
For campaigns with manual CPC or click maximization, it is possible to adjust the CPC up or down (e.g. +10% or -25%) depending on the device (mobile / PC / tablet), geographic area and days of the CPC. Week.
With an automatic bid strategy, your only option is to use the bid adjustment to stop your ads from showing on one or more devices by adjusting them with an adjustment of -100%.
One important exception to note: Target CPA bid strategy gives you the ability to apply device-level (and device-only) adjustments, which are treated as Target CPA adjustments. If you have a campaign-level CPA goal of $5 and an adjustment of -20% on mobile, the algorithm will try not to exceed a CPA of $4 on mobile.
5. Google Ads can serve extensions automatically
In addition to extensions that can be set manually, Google Ads can automatically serve extensions dynamically based on elements on the advertiser’s website. There are three main types of these auto-extensions: sitelinks, excerpts, and teasers.
The system can also automatically distribute seller rating extensions, but these will only be automatically distributed if certain criteria are met, they cannot be set manually.
A priori extensions are elements whose content advertisers need to be able to control, in which case automatic extensions should be disabled individually. Automatic extensions are enabled by default, to disable them follow this step-by-step guide.
6. You can advertise with titles longer than 30 characters
Ad titles in search campaigns are limited to 30 characters. Sometimes you want your ads to be 30 and a few characters long, for example “One Loop Apple Watch Strap” which is 34 characters long. In this example we can clearly see that it is impossible to find an alternative that would be only 30 characters long. There is a solution: ad customizations.
Ad customizers allow you to customize the content of an ad based on various targeted elements: campaign, ad group, keyword. In a customizer, you can configure the distribution of a title according to, to use our example, the keyword “Single Loop Apple Watch Bracelet”. It’s not official by any means, but Google Ads tolerates titles longer than 30 characters in titles in ad customizers. You can use up to 35 characters, like in this example where Title 2 is 34 characters long.
7. Negative keywords are always exact keywords
With Google Ads, words sometimes lose their meaning. For example, the type of match called exact keyword (in square brackets) that you want your ads to show when the internet user types in the exact exact keyword also allows your ads to show on similar variations of the keyword.
Take the keyword as an example [maintenance informatique]. Your ads may be broadcast when the internet user’s search contains a misspelling (computer maintenance), when the search has a similar syntax (computer maintenance), semantics that the algorithm deems close (computer support, computer troubleshooting, computer support, etc.) .
On the other hand, in the case of negative keywords, which allow not to broadcast your ads if a word or phrase is present in the Internet user’s search, the algorithm no longer covers any variant and sticks to the exact Negative keyword this time.
Going back to our example, if an advertiser bidding on computer maintenance wants to exclude all computer repair searches (which seems semantically similar to Google Ads, but are two very different activities and searches), the advertiser needs to exclude the words – following keys : debugging (natural), debugging (unaccented), debugging (with bug), debugging (plural) and all possible combinations of their variants, for example debugging (with bug, unaccented and in the plural). With an exclusion, the list of negative keywords can be very long.
Do you know these 7 subtleties of how Google Ads works? Definitely now yes!
About the author
Olivier Cros (Google Ads Expert): Founder of 100% Google Ads Adflow agency, we develop devices to capture and convert traffic on Google Ads.