Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Working with Experiment Campaigns in AdWords Scripts

If you've started using Google's Draft and Experiment campaigns, you may have noticed some odd behavior with scripts. We were getting these campaigns back in our selectors, even if they were no longer active experiments. And if we tried to change their status to 'ended', we couldn't do so.

I'll explain the similarities and differences so that hopefully you can avoid some of the frustration I faced when we started using experiments in AdWords and some scripts started to break.

Experiment campaigns are like other campaigns in the following ways:

  1. Experiment campaigns are returned in API reports like CAMPAIGN_PERFORMANCE_REPORT
  2. Experiment campaigns are returned by AW Scripts selectors like campaignSelector = AdWordsApp.campaigns()
Experiment campaigns are unlike normal campaigns in some important ways:
  1. Experiment campaigns, once enabled are always enabled. If you end the experiment, the ServingStatus becomes 'ENDED' but the CampaignStatus remains 'ENABLED'
  2. Experiment campaigns cannot have labels
  3. Experiment campaigns cannot have their status or budget changed (as these are tied to the corresponding 'base' campaign)
As you can see, there are situations where some of these oddities can lead to issues. For example, if you have a script that pauses any campaigns that have exceeded a certain budget for the month (like those that Optmyzr provides), the script will recognize that an experiment campaign has spent too much but it will be unable to label it or pause it.

So I wanted to exclude experiment campaigns from my selectors and found this was possible and documented. You can exclude campaigns of different types by adding the following to a selector:
  • withCondition("CampaignExperimentType = BASE")
  • withCondition("CampaignExperimentType = DRAFT")
  • withCondition("CampaignExperimentType = EXPERIMENT")

But there is also an undocumented feature in AdWords Scripts that can help filter these campaigns:
  • withCondition("ServingStatus = SERVING")
The other possible condition values are ENDED, PENDING, NONE, SUSPENDED

The cool trick I learned here is that you can use conditions that are not documented in the AdWords Scripts reference. You just refer to the fields in the corresponding API report and try adding them to selectors.

Thanks to Alex from the Google team for pointing this out.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Automatically Exclude Placements With a Particular Domain

AdWords lets advertisers show ads on the Display Network (GDN) and while it has ways to target ads to show on specific domains, or to exclude specific domains, they don't have a wildcard placement exclusion feature. 

So if you want to show your ads on all relevant placements, except those with a Polish domain extension (.pl) or an extension like .org, you would need to monitor automatic placements and add exclusions every time you saw one with this extension.

The following script makes it possible to automate excluding placements when the domain includes a particular string.

Run this daily or weekly in your AdWords account to prevent accruing too many clicks from unwanted placements.

Frederick Vallaeys

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Get alerted when keywords or product groups spend too much

Automated Rules in AdWords are great to set up alerts for when things spend too much without converting enough. But unfortunately these Automated Rules can only be run once per day, so they're not very useful if you want to get notified as soon as a keyword or product group exceeds your thresholds.

So here's a simple script that queries for keywords or product groups that have exceeded a specific amount of cost, and have fewer than a specified number of conversions to show for that cost.

It then emails the list of alerts to the user. The email can include deep links to AdWords to make it really easy to go and fix issues. If the instructions for the settings currentSetting.customerId, currentSetting.effectiveUserId, and currentSetting.ocid confuse you, check out an earlier post by Russ that explains deep linking to ad groups in AdWords in more detail.

Fred Vallaeys

Monday, October 9, 2017

Limit AdWords Overdelivery to Any Amount You Want

Google announced that daily budgets will now be able to overdeliver up to 100% rather than 20% as had been the case since the earliest days of AdWords.

Overdelivery allows Google to help advertisers meet monthly budget targets by making up for slow traffic days by spending more money on high volume days. They assume that advertisers will divide their monthly budget by 30.4, and set this as the daily budget. Then when there may not be a whole lot of traffic on Saturdays and Sundays, Google can exceed the daily budget on Mondays and Tuesdays when there might be more people looking for what the advertiser sells.

Here's Google's announcement:

To truly control budgets they way you need, you'll probably want to use tools, automations, and AdWords Scripts. Here's a very basic script that lets you enforce a more strict overdelivery for a campaign. The script assumes that your daily budgets are the baseline of what you'd like to deliver. Use the setting 'allowedOverdeliveryPercentage' to control a maximum spend for the day by setting a value between 0% and 100%. The script fetches every active campaign's daily budget and accrued cost for the day. If the cost exceeds the daily budget + the allowed percentage of overdelivery, it will label that campaign and pause it.

Important Notes:
  • Remember to use another automation to re-enable all paused campaigns during the first hour of every day. You can look for campaigns that have the label set by the script and re-enable those. 
  • The script can be run once per hour so you may still exceed the total cost until the next time the script runs. 
  • The script doesn't deal with shared budgets.
  • The script doesn't deal with shopping and video campaigns. Making it work for those is really easy, you just have to update the campaigns call to use the video and shopping methods for getting campaigns.
If you need more control over budgets, and you don't want to do any coding, consider our prebuilt scripts available as part of an Optmyzr subscription (Optmyzr is my company).

* Version 1.0 
* Created By: Frederick Vallaeys
function main() {
  var allowedOverdeliveryPercentage = 0.2; // set percentage as decimal, i.e. 20% should be set as 0.2
  var labelName = "paused by overdelivery checker script";
  AdWordsApp.createLabel(labelName, "automatic label needed to reenable campaigns");
  var campaigns = AdWordsApp.campaigns()
   .withCondition("Status = ENABLED")
   .withCondition("Cost > 0")
  var campaignIterator = campaigns.get();
  while (campaignIterator.hasNext()) {
    var campaign =;
    var campaignName = campaign.getName();
    var budgetAmount = campaign.getBudget().getAmount();
    var costToday = campaign.getStatsFor("TODAY").getCost();
    if(costToday > budgetAmount * (1 + allowedOverdeliveryPercentage)) {
      Logger.log(campaignName + " has spent " + costToday + " which is more than allowed.");
    } else {
      Logger.log(campaignName + " has spent " + costToday + " and can continue to run.");