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Who’s got a better name for ‘Bid & Target’?

If you’re familiar with search advertising, you know its mechanics can be difficult to explain to people who are new to it. But what about when the mechanics are difficult to understand even for people who’ve been doing PPC for years?


Time for an example!

Layered targeting for your audience on the Google Display Network is really cool but can be tricky to explain without a Venn diagram to show how you’re targeting only people who  are all of these:


A) In Chicago

B) On a site that uses your keyword ‘goldfish’

C) Have an interest in ‘Marine Biology’.


But how much harder do explanations get when you bump into Adwords’ option to either “Bid” or to “Bid and Target” for these people? The first time I bumped into it, I struggled. Once I got it, I told our Google rep that the naming was awful – awful confusing! In his defense, he suggested we increase our bids.



Instead of signifying meaning, these names obfuscate it. This is so true, that once you learn what the labels mean, you forget again unless you play with it often. It may actually get worse for you if you read the explanations that accompany the radio buttons.



Clicking on the question marks for more details doesn’t help in this case – you get details, but it’s difficult to understand how they differ. It’s worth noting that these descriptions change slightly if you click into a different targeting option (e.g. Interests instead of topics)


But if I’m going to complain, I’d better offer a solution too right?

That’s where you come in. We’re holding a poll! Who has a better way to name these options in AdWords that make them easier to understand? To inspire your thinking, here’s how I suggest Google change these:


Instead of ‘Target and bid’, rename it ‘Cumulative targeting: show ads only when all my targeting criteria are met’.


Instead of ‘Bid only’, rename it ‘Parallel targeting: add these topics to my targeting but give me the option to set unique bids for them’.


Still confusing? Maybe – but it’s better. What’s your idea?

By Brian O'Grady on March 5, 2015 • All

30 Burke, Guelph, ON, N1L 1J2, Canada