Use New Bidding Strategies For Greater Control & Flexibility

To meet a wider range of advertiser goals, Gemini now provides you with new bidding strategies. Each strategy is intended to provide you with greater flexibility and control of your bidding.

That means, you can select from a variety of strategies: complete control of your bidding, aiming to hit a CPC goal while also driving additional conversions, or maximizing the number of conversions driven by budget to meet specific spend goals.

Note

Setting bidding strategies has moved from the ad group level to the campaign level.

Important

Bidding strategies work for all campaign objectives - except Download my app and Re-engage my app, which are not currently supported.

How It Works

To opt-in to a bidding strategy – for example, Maximize conversions:

  1. Navigate to Bid strategy in the Campaign settings panel.
  2. Click the Maximize conversions menu item listed for the campaign that you wish to opt into.
bid strategy max conversions

Important

If you select Maximize conversions as your bidding strategy in the UI, automated bidding will be enabled, delivering as many conversions as possible while spending your entire budget.

In the Gemini UI, bidding strategies consume the following inputs (set at the ad group level):

  • Manual CPC: default bid
  • Enhanced CPC: average bid
  • Target CPA: conversion value [CPA], starting bid
  • Maximize conversions: [none]

For ad groups:

  1. In the ad group settings panel, enter the ad group name and schedule. Bid strategy will not be set-able; it is a read-only field at this level.
  2. Enter the relevant bid information (for instance, starting bid and conversion value – see the list above for each bidding strategy’s inputs).
bid strategy enhanced cpc

Bidding Strategy Types & Use Cases

The following table describes the bidding strategies available to Gemini advertisers, as well their best use cases:

Bid Description Use case
Manual CPC The advertiser-set cost-per-click (CPC) bid used in the auction. Best for advertisers who want complete control of their bidding, or who don’t use Gemini conversion tracking.
Enhanced CPC The advertiser-set cost-per-click (CPC) bid used as a starting point, but bids for individual clicks can be adjusted up or down (+/-30%), based on the probability of conversion, which may lead to more conversions for the same price. Best for advertisers who want to hit a CPC goal while also driving additional conversions.
Target CPA The system takes over bidding entirely, focusing on hitting an advertiser-identified cost-per-action (CPA) target after an initial exploration period in which manual bids are used. Best for advertisers with strict CPA goals.
Maximize conversions Maximizing the number of conversions driven by the budget. The system bids in a way that attempts to balance spending the entire campaign budget with achieving the lowest CPA possible. Best for advertisers who are CPA-sensitive and also want to hit spend goals.

Important

If you switch from one bidding strategy to another, and the new strategy requires inputs at the ad group level (for instance, bids) that the original did not require, those will be populated with low default values. We recommend that you change those values to your desired values right away.

Drill Deeper

Using bid modifiers for Manual CPC, you can modify bids manually for different supply, or other characteristics, such as day of week or time of day. Bid modifiers allow you to increase or decrease your native campaign bids based on certain targeting types, as shown in the table below.

Targeting type Targeting value Bid modifier range Channel
SUPPLY_GROUP GROUP_1_A 1.0 - 9.0 Native
SUPPLY_GROUP GROUP_1_B 0.6 - 7.0 Native
SUPPLY_GROUP GROUP_2_A 0.7 - 9.0 Native
SUPPLY_GROUP GROUP_2_B 0.3 - 7.0 Native
SUPPLY_GROUP GROUP_3_A 0.5 - 9.0 Native
SUPPLY_GROUP GROUP_3_B 0.2 - 7.0 Native

Note that this bidding strategy used to be called focus on clicks or manual bid at the ad group level.

For more information, refer to the section Bid Modifiers in the Gemini API.

The default bidding strategy for newly created campaigns in the Gemini UI is Enhanced CPC. This bidding strategy used to be called enhanced bid at the ad group level.

Important

If conversion tracking is not set up, Enhanced CPC will function as Manual CPC. This strategy relies heavily on the manually inputted bids, including modifiers, so it is important to set those up as carefully as you would for a Manual CPC campaign.

The Target CPA bidding strategy, which requires working with conversion tracking, has an exploration period before the conversion-focused algorithm takes over bidding. During that period (which lasts until the ad groups have amassed ~15 post-click conversions apiece), the manual “starting bid” applies, as do bid modifiers.

Important

Set your bid and bid modifiers carefully to get the campaign off to a strong start, even though these will ultimately be ignored when the algorithm takes over bidding.

The algorithms will quickly scale down bids and spend if they can’t come close to the Target CPA. Try to set a reasonable target: pushing it low may seem like a good way to get cheaper clicks, but will likely result in loss of scale.

Note that this bidding strategy used to be called focus on conversions or target conversion value at the ad group level.

For more information, refer to How To Use Conversion Rules for Your Campaigns.

Maximize conversions, which requires working with conversion tracking, has an exploration period, like Target CPA, before the algorithms start working well. That means, you’re unlikely to see good results until your ad groups have amassed at least ~15 post-click conversions each. Depending on your budgets and CPAs, this may take some time. You can minimize risk by running Target CPA until you’ve amassed enough conversions. The model will retain that learning when you switch the campaign to maximize conversions.

The Maximize Conversions bidding strategy is only allowed on the campaign level. Once you set it, all ad group bidding strategies are overriden and unused. You won’t be able to mix-and-match the results of one with the other.

Important

The Maximize conversions bidding strategy does not work properly in combination with ad scheduling that turns some hours entirely off. We don’t recommend using both these features at the same time.

For more information, refer to How To Use Conversion Rules for Your Campaigns.

Deprecation in Gemini API & Bulk

Bidding strategies set at the ad group level via the Gemini API or Bulk are now deprecated as of v3. We recommend setting bid strategies at the campaign level, which has been exposed for v3 and above. However, for now, this feature is backwards-compatible, and it is still possible to set bid strategies at the ad group level in v3. Future API releases may eliminate this option entirely.

Important

Campaign-level bidding strategies override ad group bidding strategies. If you set a strategy at both levels, the campaign-level strategy will apply to all ad groups in that campaign. If you set DEFAULT as the bidding strategy on the campaign level, then the ad group bidding strategies will apply (if set).

For updated information on Bulk, refer to Bulk Campaign Fields.

If you’re working with the programmatic Gemini API, refer to Campaign Fields.