The new AdWords and automated rules

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If you’ve logged into Google AdWords recently — or at any point since October 2017 to be exact — you may have noticed an updated user interface. While the new interface offers improved speeds, data visualisation and reporting options, users have been able to toggle back and forth between the new AdWords view and the older interface.

However, it has since been announced that the old AdWords interface will be unavailable by the end of the year. According to Google’s Jerry Dischler, no accounts will be switched to the new interface in November or December — hectic times for all advertisers — so we can assume the changeover will happen by the end of October.

While many of the features of the old AdWords interface have been transferred to the new AdWords, some are changing — including automated rules. As the name suggests, automated rules allow you to automatically make changes to your AdWords account based on the rules you create; for example, you can automatically increase your keyword bid if your ad moves from the first page of results.

Automated rules are a popular feature with advertisers, taking some of the leg work out of managing a campaign. However, some advertisers will see changes to the automated rules they have established as the switch is made to the new AdWords interface.

While some existing automated rules will be transferred over to the new AdWords experience, certain rules and column values will be retired — for full details on which rules haven’t made the cut, take a look at Google’s official post.

If you have rules that currently use columns or column values that won’t be supported in the new AdWords experience, they will eventually become invalid and stop working. In addition, any custom columns that reference retired columns and rules that reference these columns will no longer be supported.

So what do you do? To update any invalid rules, you’ll need to change the rule criteria to include columns that are supported by the new AdWords experience. Here’s how you do it in the new AdWords experience:

1.       Navigate to tools menu > Bulk Actions > Rules.

2.       Filter the table to show ‘Rule validity = Invalid’.

3.       Click ‘Fix’ next to the rules marked as invalid. The reason why the rule is invalid will be displayed, so you know what you need to update.

In addition to the above changes to columns, some other changes will be introduced with the official rollout of the new AdWords interface. Now, rules will also affect trial campaigns, ad groups and other trial entities from campaign experiments, while Search lost IS (rank) is also available for ad groups for budget-constrained campaigns. Search lost IS (rank) refers to the percentage of time your ads weren’t shown on the Display Network because of insufficient budget.

For help managing your paid search campaigns, contact our PPC team on +44 (0) 330 108 4263 or email You can also get the latest AdWords updates direct to your inbox by signing up to our newsletter via the form below:


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