The Day After E-Day

As you’ve been hearing about for several months, yesterday, July 22nd, was the day that Google planned to upgrade all campaigns to their new Enhanced Campaigns format. We first heard about it on the AdWords blog back on February 6th. Since then we have been receiving a constant barrage of reminders about “E-day” on July 22nd. There have been the constant emails (which really add up when you’re an agency managing multiple accounts).

Then there was the progress bar in each and every account telling you your progress. It even had a countdown to “E-day”.
Enhanced Campaigns Upgrade Countdown
I even received a real snail mail letter telling me about the change. All of the language seemed to imply that on July 22nd a very significant portion of un-upgraded accounts would be upgraded automatically. Here is some of the language:

  • “We strongly encourage everyone to upgrade before July 22, 2013 so your campaigns are set up as you’d like. If you don’t, then the AdWords system will upgrade them using the following default settings.”
  • “With less than a month until the auto-upgrade on July 22…”

While the frequency and tone conveyed a very definitive date, yesterday things softened a bit.

The Big Back-Pedal

The official word from the Google AdWords blog yesterday was this:

Since we introduced enhanced campaigns, advertisers have upgraded over 6 million legacy campaigns, representing almost 75% of active campaigns. And starting today, we will begin upgrading all remaining campaigns automatically, bringing everyone onto the new AdWords platform. As with many product launches, the rollout will be gradually completed over several weeks.

For Google this is a win. They got 75% of active campaigns upgraded by advertisers. They no longer have a hard deadline to meet. The won’t get blamed making changes that caused poor results (yet). They didn’t need an army of programmers to make sure that 2 million campaigns got upgraded in one day.

For advertisers it’s a mixed blessing. Yes, certain advertisers will get to keep their legacy campaigns a little longer. And yes, I still think Enhanced Campaigns took away some important control (cough, tablets, cough). But the blessing in disguise is that the upgrade process is happening gradually enough to avoid the major shock of 2 million campaign changing very quickly. That could have set off a doomsday scenario of bid increases & higher CPCs as oblivious advertisers got upgraded and bid management tools went crazy to find the new equilibrium.

In summary, Enhanced Campaigns are here to stay. If you haven’t upgraded still, you should, because I still think a real person will do a better job than Google’s bots will. If you have upgraded, get on that optimization. That’s what PPC is all about!