While I like to joke that SEM hasn’t changed much in the last ten years (or even the 15 AdWords has been around), truth is, Google has made the lives of search engine marketers significantly easier since I started in this business back in 2006. I recall—not-too-fondly—a time before a truly functional AdWords Editor; when more of my day was spent in Excel than in any other tool.
Google AdWords’ introduction of custom columns in late 2014 may not have been “life changing”, but today’s announcement that the company is introducing formulas in AdWords custom columns certainly does make analyzing important metrics a bit less convoluted.
Like all custom columns, formulaic columns can be sorted, charted, and exported to Excel if you choose. You can also include the formulas in AdWords custom columns in automated rules within your SEM campaigns.
Currently, these are not available at the MCC level, so you would need to create these custom formulas for each account individually. Also, as I scrolled down the comments below the AdWords blog post, I noticed that someone had requested the feature be integrated into Editor, which is also currently not available. However, I have checked a few of my own accounts in the interface itself, and I have the custom columns formulas enabled as of today.