Sometimes, I think Google just likes messing with those of us who work in SEM.
For starters, the new “Conversions” column will only count those actions that you’ve opted into algorithmic optimization. If you’re newer to AdWords, not all conversion actions you set up in the platform need to figure into the way the platform optimizes your campaigns. Instead, some choose to set up certain conversions simply for tracking and reporting purposes. However, once these conversion definition changes go into effect, any activities not figured in optimization will not be counted in the “Conversions” column.
Moving forward, the “All Conversions” (“All Conv.”) column will tally, well, all conversions — including those not opted into optimization, and cross-device conversions as well. Cross-device conversions will still be able to be viewed, though Google is dropping the “estimated” (est.) from the column’s name.
A good check for all PPC managers before these conversion definition changes go into effect is to make sure that you have any activities you would like to see in the new “Conversions” column opted-in to optimization. For those that utilize automated rules, Google recommends ensuring that these are pointing to the proper columns as well.
Finally, those in SEM should be cognizant of the date of these AdWords Conversion definitions changes (which Search Engine Land says will happen mid-October) when talking with clients. Giving them a heads-up that they may see a drop-off in the platform, however superficial it is, is a good way to save yourself from irate phone calls & headaches later on.