Google Explanations Now in Beta

June 10, 2020
Posted in Paid Search
June 10, 2020 Jen Lopez

Google Explanations Now in Beta

Gooooogle, you got some splainin’ to do! In a very cool move to help advertisers navigate the ever-changing digital space, Google Explanations were just released in beta to (some) Google Ads accounts. Google Explanations are a new feature that can help businesses and PPC marketers identify reasons for significant shifts in Search campaign impressions, clicks, cost and conversions. This can be particularly helpful in the here and now, with so many factors at play changing our typical PPC landscape. This tool works to help us uncover factors contributing to shifts – including those we have direct control over, like bid changes, budget, etc. and ones that we don’t, like auction insights and search interest.

Google Explanations are only shown in the interface to select advertisers at this time, and may be made available when you are comparing recent Search campaign performance to a historical period, but only within the last 90 days. If available, the Explanation will only show when comparing periods of time that are the same length (like last 30 days to 30 days prior, or last 7 days to 7 days prior). The Search campaigns must have significant volume over the time period and the campaign can’t be using any Smart Bidding technology in order for Google to showcase these insights. Only campaigns and ad groups with manual or enhanced CPC bidding enabled are eligible for these insights, and they are only seen at the campaign and adgroup level of the account. 

To see if you have available Explanations:

  1. Go to the Google Ads interface and select a date range and toggle “Compare” on and select a time period of the same length. Then click “Apply”.
  1. Expand the columns for Impressions, Clicks, Conversions or Cost – as any one of these might have Explanations available.
  1. When looking in the Change (%) column, you’ll see it highlighted blue if Google can determine potential explanations as to why data shifted so significantly. Hover over the blue boxes and click “View Explanation”
  1. A panel will appear on the right-side of the Google Ads interface with potential explanations, and details on changes that were made to the account that could have influenced the data shift.

Here is an itemized list of what Google Explanations will check:

  • Search interest
  • Auction activity
  • Status changes
  • Campaign settings
  • Budget
  • Bid adjustments
  • Negative keywords
  • Targeting changes

Do you have Google Explanations available yet? If so, what do you think of the tool so far? Has it been helpful, or not so much?