AdWords Advertisers: Allow Device Targeting to (Re)Introduce Itself

Ever since the introduction of Enhanced Campaigns in Google AdWords back in 2013, one of the biggest frustrations for advertisers has been the lack of control when it comes to bid targeting by device. Gone was the separation of desktop & tablets. Bids for mobile devices became a multiplier of desktop—despite the fact that mobile search volume continues to grow, while desktop searches are on the decline YoY.

In sticking with the company’s new “mobile-first” approach to advertising, Google announced on Tuesday AdWords device bidding options would return to the platform “in the next few months”. Advertisers will once again have the ability to set bid adjustments per each device type (desktop, mobile, and tablet). Bid adjustments will run from +900% through -100% (or, effectively, not running ads on said device). 

The re-introduction of device-based bid adjustments gives advertisers the option of anchoring their keyword bids to the device most valuable to their business, instead of having to consider these keyword bids desktop by default.

More importantly, for some, the removal of tablets from desktop targeting offers more granularity in both bidding and reporting—and, for advertisers offering mobile apps that can be downloaded on mobile devices, the ability to now target tablet users (since desktop will be able to be excluded entirely).

The inclusion of tablets in AdWords device bidding was announced on the same day as Google expanded text ads, and just days after it was revealed iOS would be included in Universal App campaigns, both of which are also expected to roll-out this year.