Changes to Google AdWords Enhanced CPC (ECPC) Bidding Strategy

Jill Goldstein - May 11, 2017

As announced on the Google Ads Developer Blog on May 9th, AdWords is changing Enhanced CPC (ECPC) to further assist you in increasing total conversions.  Previously, ECPC automatically raised bids by up to 30% when the system thinks a click is more likely to lead to a conversion. Alternatively, if a click seems less likely to lead to a conversion, bids would be lowered. Google is now removing the 30% bid cap to account for the differences in conversion rates among the audience and location dimensions.

So what does this mean for advertisers? Firstly, you will no longer need to set bid adjustments for audience & locations while using ECPC as the system will automatically adjust bids as it sees fit. Oddly enough, you will still need to manually adjust bids for devices as ECPC does not adjust for the difference in conversion rates among difference devices.

Additionally, outcomes may change depending on the campaign type as a result of these updates. According to Google, “On Search and Display, the goal of the strategy will be to help you get more conversions while maintaining the same cost-per-acquisition (CPA) as you get with manual bidding. On Shopping, the goal of the strategy remains to help you get more conversions while maintaining the same cost as you get with manual bidding.”

As a form of AdWords Smart Bidding, ECPC takes into consideration a wide range of real-time signals such as location, browser, time of day, etc. and tailors the bid of each keyword for every auction. This level of machine learning has certainly improved over time, and we’re looking forward to continue monitoring the effectiveness of this improved ECPC strategy.

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