AdWords Campaign Experiments

What is AdWords Campaign Experiments?

AdWords Campaign Experiments (ACE) – Allows users to test changes to their account on a portion of the auctions that your ads participate in. ACEs can be set up to test new keywords, bids, placements and more. Users can also choose how much of the traffic they want to test and even discard the experiment at any point. If the experiment is discarded, your changes will automatically revert to the way they were before the test.

Basically this feature allows you to isolate certain aspects of your Google AdWords campaigns and test certain elements, splitting off traffic in whatever way you like. In this post I’ll walk you through:

  1. The things you can test using AdWords Campaign Experiments
  2. The things you can’t test
  3. How to set up an experiment
  4. How to measure your results

What Can I Test Using Campaign Experiments?

According to Google, you can test “keywords, bids, and placements.” So what does that mean, exactly? Joe Kershbaum of Clix Marketing had a great piece on five ideas you can try out with a lot of great information on things you can test, what you might do with those controls, and some of the things you can’t test — definitely take a look at Joe’s post for more information, but I’ll lay out a brief summary of what he talks about here:

Ad Group Structure – Joe makes a great point about being able to break down ad groups to try different keyword/ad text combos and different segmentations to see how they perform from a CTR and conversion perspective.

Keyword Match Types – We’ll talk more about this later in the overview, but you can test different match types within an Ad Group to see how they perform.

Keyword Expansion and Reduction – A very neat feature of the tool is the ability to remove and/or add single keywords or multiple keywords to see how expansion opportunities and/or eliminating a keyword truly effects your campaign.

A Note on Google Instant Experiments – Joe also points to a great article by our friend Brad Geddes on the bg Theory blog about using ACE to test new keyword suggestions from Google Instant results.


Keyword Bids – The ability to split-test bid changes is another very powerful feature of AdWords Campaign Experiments.

ACE Limitations – Joe also points to a few current limitations of the offering:

A number of experiments – You are only allowed one experiment.

Campaign settings – You can’t test things like CPC versus CPA or enhanced CPCgeo-targeting, etc.

No Google AdWords Editor or API support – Unfortunately, you can only work on your experiments via the AdWords Web interface.


Is your company in need of help? MV3 Marketing Agency has numerous Marketing experts ready to assist you. Contact MV3 Marketing to jump-start your business.

« Back to Glossary Index