Google's Conversion Optimizer Leaves Beta

SEM pros face replacement by a little software tool.

The AdWords tool automatically adjusts one's CPC bids up to a maximum CPA to find the most optimal bids for an ad auction.

Google wants to take the daily tweaking of ad campaigns away from the mad scientist slash search marketer and put it into Conversion Optimizer, with consent of course.

The beta test that began in September 2007 has ended. Google announced on the AdWords blog that "any campaign with AdWords conversion tracking enabled that has received 200 conversions in the last 30 days can now use the Conversion Optimizer."

The cynically-minded might have viewed Conversion Optimizer as a way for Google to quietly push one's ad budget to the maximum. But Google has touted positive feedback from users of the feature, including one who saw their CPA drop from 0.60 Euros to 0.25.

Here's the condensed version of what Conversion Optimizer does, from the blog post:

"Here's how the Conversion Optimizer works: for each ad group, simply specify a maximum CPA bid, the most you're willing to pay for each conversion like a purchase or sign-up. The Conversion Optimizer does all the rest; using historical information about your campaign, it automatically finds optimal CPC bids for each auction. You still pay per click, but you no longer have to manually adjust your bids to reach your CPA goals.

"The Conversion Optimizer uses algorithms to predict which clicks are likely to be most valuable, bidding higher on these clicks and lower on less valuable ones, in real-time. The prediction is based on your specific ad's conversion history and considers the website in the Google Network where your ad appears, the user's location, the user's search query, and other factors."

We wonder if broader adoption of Conversion Optimizer will have some impact on that. For a bigger brand managing campaigns across multiple search engines, it will be a useful tool for the in-house search engine marketer.

But maybe a small to medium sized business that has Google as its main or even only search ad outlet will be tempted to make Conversion Optimizer an additional part of someone's duties, rather than paying an in-house SEM or agency to do that management.

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