In early May, Google will be retiring the position preference bidding feature in AdWords. If you’re using position preference, they recommend that you disable the feature in your campaigns prior to that date to ensure a smooth transition for your bids. For instructions on how to disable position preference, please see their Help Center.
More specifically, you can expect to see the following changes in your account:
- As of today, April 5th, position preference can no longer be enabled for campaigns through either the AdWords web interface or the API. Campaigns already using position preference will still have it enabled, but if you turn position preference off in one of your campaigns, you won’t be able to turn it back on.
- Starting in early May, they’ll begin disabling position preference for any campaigns still using it.
- After you disable position preference (either manually or when the feature is retired starting in early May), the manual maximum CPC bids for those campaigns will be the bids position preference used most recently. Position preference tries to raise or lower your bids to target the positions you specify. So using the most recent position preference bid as your manual maximum CPC should minimize disruption to your traffic.
Before you disable position preference, Google recommends that you export your manual bids by downloading a keyword report to back up any bids you set before you turned on position preference. This report will include keyword-level maximum CPC bids.
What are my alternatives to position preference?
If you’d like to target specific ad positions, Google recommends that you first read this blog post from their Chief Economist, Hal Varian, on some of the pitfalls around targeting average position.
After reading the blog post, if you’d still like to target specific ad positions, they recommend that you try using automated rules. Using this feature, you can set an automated rule for your campaign that will change your bid if your average position differs from your target. For more information on how to use this feature, please see this article.
Posted by Lisa Shieh, Inside AdWords crew