Deleting Ads Can be Costly
If you understand how Google calculates Quality Score, then you may know that an account can build Quality Score Equity over time. Much of this Quality Score Equity is stored in your ads. If you delete your ads, then you will destroy some of your Quality Score Equity. Not sure what that means? Just walk over to the toilet, drop in a couple of bucks, and flush. That’s what destroying Quality Score Equity means for an advertiser.
. . . and look both ways before you cross the street
You may find it hard to believe that some so called PPC Experts (advertisers) wouldn’t already know this, but evidently it’s not common sense to everybody. I have recently encountered two separate accounts where all the ads have been destroyed and reloaded several times in a month. Doing this for a mature account is painfully stupid.
The effect of such a mistake is likely that the new ads will serve at a lower position than the original ads, at least for awhile; the worse positions will likely result in a lower click through rate. If the lower positions are remedied with higher bids, then the mistake will result in a higher cost per click.
Changing Ads is Deleting Ads!!
Part of the confusion relates to how Google manages ads. Google simply doesn’t allow revisions to ads. It may seem that they do, but in fact they do not. Everytime you revise any ad in even the smallest way in either the desktop editor, or the online interface, Google treats this as an ad deletion, and the creation of a new ad. Don’t believe it? Look in the change history. You will not only lose any Quality Score Equity associated with the ad, but you will also compromise the historical statistics associated with the ad.
How to Revise Ads
If you wish to revise an existing ad, unless the account is brand new and still in the creation process, then just open the desktop editor, copy the original ad into excel (at the same time pause the original ad), make your revisions in excel, paste it back into the desktop editor, refine it, then upload. The result will be to pause the original version, and create a new ad, and you can confirm this by looking in the change history.
Still, pausing the ad (not deleting it) can destroy Quality Score Equity. How much equity is destroyed? Who knows! Google doesn’t provide quality score ratings for ads as they do for keywords; however, you can imagine relative quality score by looking at the relative click through rates of your ads. If you are stopping an ad with a below average click through rate, maybe no harm is being done. Conversely, if you are pausing (or deleting) your best performing ad, then the flush the toilet analogy applies to you (and “here’s your sign!”).
The point is, before you go revising an ad, make sure you have a darn good reason for doing so (wishing to delete tracking URL’s is probably not a good enough reason). Generally, if an ad is doing well, don’t touch it. If you think you can improve it, then prove it: Just create another competing ad and let them run against each other for awhile until the truth becomes known.
If you’re Mr Big Change History Man, then you should also read Don’t Delete Keywords!