Google Ads Puts the Brakes on Accelerated Delivery

On Sept. 17 Google Ads will remove Accelerated ad delivery from Search, Shopping and shared budget campaigns. Additionally, on Oct. 1 all of those campaign types will automatically switch over to Standard Delivery. Display and Video campaigns using Accelerated Delivery will remain unchanged.

Why the change? As Google Ads increases its reliance on machine learning, it requires more signals that it can factor in to drive bid improvements.

Accelerated Delivery is unable to factor in the time-of-day signal that Google needs to automatically maximize campaign performance throughout the day. Standard Delivery, by comparison, contains that time-of-day signal.

For example, if your conversion rates spike at 9 a.m., Standard Delivery will allow Google’s bidding strategy to bid up during that hour to maximize conversions. Under Accelerated Delivery, its sole intention is to deliver your budget as quickly as possible, sacrificing conversion and cost-per-click efficiency for rapid impressions and clicks.

In Google’s eyes, its evolving automation is a limber, zero-emissions Tesla on autopilot. By comparison, Accelerated Delivery is a gas-guzzling V8 barreling down the road in a straight line.

Accelerated Delivery has historically been misused, particularly when a campaign is struggling to spend its entire budget. While Google has never recommended using Accelerated Delivery to increase daily spend as a best practice, it has tended to be used that way.

Going forward, Google recommends choosing one of the following roads to help your campaigns transition smoothly:

  • Retain Control: If you want to maintain control over your bids, then use Ad Scheduling to bid up or bid down during certain hours of the day where you see performance peaks and valleys. Use the “Hour of Day” and “Day and Hour” reports in the Ad Scheduling section of your campaigns to measure performance.
  • Trust Automation: Trust fall into the arms of Smart Bidding. If you want to optimize for conversion performance, Google recommends that you switch your bidding strategy to “Maximize conversion value, maximize conversions, or maximize clicks.” All three factor in expected ad performance throughout the day. For example, if you’ve seen success in the early morning under Accelerated Delivery, Google wants you to trust them to continue to capitalize on that trend, using the machine learning algorithms that power Smart Bidding.

Check your campaign settings today to see if you’re using Accelerated Delivery. Review your PPC performance to choose which road you’ll travel: control or trust.

If you want to get ahead of the deadline, switch to Standard Delivery by Sept. 17. If you don’t make your decision before Oct. 1, Google will choose a road for you: trust. Either way, the changes in performance you see afterward could be a direct result of this update.

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