September 4, 2019
How You Should Actually Be Testing and Evaluating Google’s Responsive Search Ads
With all the new data Google is allowing us to analyze, sometimes it’s easy to forget what you’re looking at. When you look at one tab in AdWords, it uses information from your other tabs. For example, if you are in the Keywords tab, it will also use status information from your Campaigns and Ad groups tabs.
Even if you have ‘All’ selected as the status in your Keywords tab:
…the data displayed next to ‘Total – all keywords’ at the bottom of the page will change based on your Campaigns and Ad groups tabs’ status settings:
This is especially important for AdWords Filters since ‘Total – all filtered keywords’ (the yellow row at the bottom of the page) will look at the status settings you have selected in the Campaigns and Ad groups tabs.
For example, if you run a Filter in the Keywords tab, your data can vary dramatically depending on whether you have only Enabled campaigns or Enabled ad groups selected on your other tabs. While performing historical analysis for an account where there are a number of paused and deleted campaigns and ad groups, I ran into this issue and there were vast differences in the data depending on those status settings:
It’s very easy to overlook the status settings in the other tabs when running a Filter, and you can end up looking at incomplete and inaccurate data. This is only an issue for the Keywords and Ad groups tabs since they each look at the status settings for elements at higher levels; with Campaigns being the highest level, the data won’t change based on the status settings of lower levels (Ad Groups and Keywords).
Google does note that status settings in other tabs affect what data is shown, but it’s hidden:
Google should make this notice much more prominent…especially when people are running Filters. Until then, don’t forget to check your status settings in other tabs!