AdWords Spring Cleaning Coming: Detritus Be Gone, But You’ll Have to Think Before You Remove


Have you ever wished there was a real delete function in AdWords? Sometimes “remove” doesn’t cut it, and accounts are haunted by the ghosts of ads, ad groups and campaigns that never amounted to anything.

We’re not getting a delete function, but Google is going to be doing some spring cleaning to get rid of the most obvious jetsam in our accounts. Starting the week of March 23, Google will remove any ads that have never earned an impression and have been removed for more than 100 days. Later in the year, this same type of clean out with same criteria will be applied to ad groups and campaigns.

The idea of Google sweeping your AdWords account to delete things might bring panic, but this spring cleaning should be a welcome one. I can’t think of a scenario in which this would not be good news. And certainly Google would like to lighten the processing load by getting all of these unproductive entities out of the system.

To reiterate, the criteria for deletion are: 0 impressions and removed for more than 100 days.

Once the entities are deleted from your account, they’re gone for good. They won’t show up in any historical reporting and there will be no way to reactive them once they’re gone. Which brings me to the more important part of this announcement . . .

Reactivation For Removed Campaigns & Ad Groups Will No Longer Be Possible

With this cleaning comes a hitch you need to be aware of. Currently, you can change your mind and reactivate campaigns and ad groups that you’ve removed. This will no longer be an option, just as it already isn’t feasible with removed ads.

Along with the trimming down of your unused ads, it will no longer be possible to reactivate campaigns or ad groups that have been removed from your account.

The only editing options will be adding and removing labels on removed campaigns and ad groups.

This is a change that could potentially be quite disruptive if everyone on your team is not aware of the implications of choosing remove over pause.

If you’re using the remove function as another way to pause campaigns and ad groups that you may want to use in the future, now’s the time to set those entities to paused.

Hat tip: GMR WebTeam for spotting the announcement.

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