One of the major changes linked with Google’s enhanced campaigns is that advertisers can no longer separate their bids for tablets and desktops. Google’s reasoning behind this was that the experience and user behavior on tablets was nearly identical to that of desktops. After the switch to enhanced campaigns on July 22, then, we would expect that the CPCs for desktop and tablet would converge to mirror their new conjoined relationship.
However, our recent analysis on client data tells a different story. Here at The Search Agency, we compiled data for the past three weeks from accounts that had already migrated to enhanced campaigns. We wanted to track what changed for these campaigns before, during, and after the official transition. Historically, tablet CPCs were at a discount to desktop CPCs, but we predicted that this gap would close following the enhanced campaigns transition. As expected, CPCs for tablets and desktops converged slightly as July 22 approached. After July 22, however, the CPCs diverged and repeated the same weekly cycle as the last two weeks.
Tablet CPCs remained at a discount to desktops, exhibiting the same day-by-day variation that appeared in the last two weeks, with a spike in desktop CPCs on Monday and a gradual convergence as the week continues.
Why didn’t tablet and desktop CPCs converge as expected after July 22? Our data suggest that there are other factors at play preventing a simple convergence. While enhanced campaigns combine bid management for tablets and desktops, Google still accounts for quality scores at the device level. This means that differing device click-through rates could cause desktop and tablet click costs to remain divergent.
Of course, enhanced campaigns are still in their infancy, and the data reflect only up to the first week after the official transition. Because Google will be rolling out the changes to enhanced campaigns over the next few weeks, the long-term effects on CPCs remain to be seen, and this is a trend we will continue to monitor as the enhanced campaigns bidding landscape matures.