Google ends Target CPA and Target ROAS bidding strategiesManually optimizing hundreds or thousands of individual keyword bids and various bid adjustments in Google Ads can easily be a never-ending task. Although Google Ads bidding can be complex, most advertisers have a simple goal in mind for their ads – to get more traffic, to outrank their competitors, or the most conversions for their budget. That’s why over the years Google has introduced several automated bidding strategies to help advertisers optimize toward their specific goals without requiring hours of bid management every week. Two of the oldest of these bidding strategies, Target CPA and Target ROAS, allow advertisers to optimize their campaigns towards a specific cost/conversion (CPA) or conversion value/cost (ROAS). Target CPA and Target ROAS are among the most popular bidding strategies in Google Ads for its efficiency towards optimizing toward a specific CPA or Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).

However, in a recent post on the Google Ads Developer Blog, Google unceremoniously dropped the major news that these two bidding strategies will be reorganized in the coming months! In their post, they share that they will announce more details at a future date:

‘Use of Target CPA and Target ROAS as separate strategies will be deprecated. […]

We will publish an update on the blog […] with several months’ notice before TargetCpa and TargetRoas strategies are deprecated in Search campaigns.’

Combining Functionality with Other Bidding Strategies

Instead of utilizing the Target CPA and Target ROAS bidding strategies, advertisers will have the option to set similar targets using the Maximize Conversions and Maximize Conversion Value bidding strategies, respectively.

Previously, these bidding strategies are designed around a similar goal for advertisers, but instead of aiming to optimize towards a specific CPA or ROAS, they simply look to get as many conversions as possible or the most revenue from your given ad budget. For advertisers with smaller budgets, these bidding strategies might yield a better CPA or ROAS than their intended CPA or ROAS target.

However, as advertisers increase their campaigns’ budgets, Google’s Maximize Conversions and Maximize Conversion Value bidding will begin to pursue incremental conversions and revenue more aggressively. This generally results in higher CPAs and lower ROAS. Because of this diminishing return, sometimes these bidding strategies will yield a CPA or ROAS that’s not in line with their goals.

To remedy this, Google shared plans to combine these similar bidding strategies.

Starting in April 2021, Google will begin to allow some advertisers to create Maximize Conversions and Maximize Conversion Value bidding strategies with a new field – allowing them to set a target CPA or ROAS as well. This target CPA or ROAS goal allows advertisers to set up a simple guard rail to prevent their campaigns from paying too much for incremental goals. In the following months, this change will roll out to more accounts.

Google Retires Target CPA and Target ROAS Bidding

What Does This Mean For My Current Campaigns?

Google is not immediately retiring the Target CPA or Target ROAS strategies in April. Even after these updates go into effect, advertisers will have a choice between creating the traditional Target CPA/ ROAS bidding strategies or using the new optional Target CPA/ ROAS fields within the Maximize Conversion / Conversion Value bidding strategies. Google says that during this migration, advertisers shouldn’t expect their bidding behavior or performance to change.

After April, Google assures Advertisers will have several months’ notice before the legacy Target CPA and Target ROAS bidding strategies are fully replaced with the new bidding strategies. For campaigns using Target CPA or Target ROAS, they should be migrated over to the Maximize Conversions and Maximize Conversion Value bidding strategies with those Target CPAs and Target ROAS goals, respectively.

Google hasn’t yet announced a full timeline for the retirement of these bidding strategies, but we anticipate more news to come out over the next few months. We will keep an eye on Google’s announcements and update this post with more timely information as it becomes available. However, you can get ahead of these changes by reviewing your own Google Ad campaigns and make sure that your bidding strategy are aligned with your specific conversion goals. If you see that your campaigns are spending money and not getting the results you need – this would be the perfect time to make a change before April!