February 7, 2013
Google is changing AdWords to eliminate mobile-only campaigns after Wall Street critics began questioning poor mobile cost-per-click numbers. All campaigns will now include desktop as well as mobile, while advertisers will not be able to target specific devices (like tablet-only campaigns, for example). Advertisers can adjust their preferences to prioritize mobile much more than desktop or desktop much more than mobile, but cannot choose only one.
“On average, they’ll be the same as desktop CPCs after the auto-upgrade rolls out due to increased advertiser competition and all of the auto-set mobile bid adjustment factors,” explained WordStream founder Larry Kim in a blog post.
Google responded to the changes with the following statement:
“Marketers will still see the same reports for mobile (CPC, CTR, etc.) and they’ll actually get more reports to show how effectively mobile is driving conversions like calls and app downloads so they can compare ROI. They can also use mobile-preferred ads and extensions to control the message in their mobile ads, just now without them having to break out hundreds of separate campaigns. If they value mobile more, they can set a lower base bid and then crank up the mobile bid adjustment so that they’re bidding higher for mobile searches.”
“That doesn’t contradict anything online marketers are saying about this change,” notes Business Insider. “In fact, getting advertisers to bid higher for mobile searches — and convincing them that there’s a return on investment from mobile ads — seems like the whole point.”