Exploring Google’s New Beta Feature: Explanations

Managing Google Ads accounts is a process that requires you to never stop learning. From learning the behaviour of the account, to the ideal demographic for the business, it’s a continuous action and analysis process for each PPC account you manage.

Now that being said, sometimes we log in and see that an account has had an outstanding day or alternatively drove more spend within no increase in ROI.

Google has released a new beta feature that helps pinpoint the reason for this ‘data irregularity’, called Explanations. This has been introduced to help bring better insights into the account and also help you react to the changes you make.

What does ‘Explanations’ Explain?

  • Bid changes: How changes to your bids may have affected your account and how often your ads showed.
  • Bid Modifier changes: How optimisations to your device bid modifier, location bid modifier, demographic bid modifier, and audience bid modifier may have affected your performance.
  • Budget changes: How increases/decreases in your budget may have affected how much traffic your ads received.
  • Budget allocation: How spreading your budget across multiple entities (for example, ad groups) may have affected the performance of other entities.
  • Budget exhaustion rate: How changing your bidding strategy or individual bids may have caused your budget to run out more quickly or slowly.
  • Eligibility: How different factors may have affected how often your ads were eligible to run (for example, budget depletion or pausing an ad group/campaign, when all ads in an ad group were disapproved).
  • Change history: How changes to your account may have affected your account’s performance.
  • Targeting changes: How changes to location targeting, keywords targeting, keyword status, and adding/removing audiences may affect account performance and ROI.
  • Auction competitions and search interest: How changes in search volume on Search partners and opt-in/opt-out of Search partners may affect performance.
  • Data Comparison – Explanations can compare two equal data periods in the last 90 days, meaning you can quickly compare the effect of optimisations before and after the change.

What is the Benefit?

Having faster and easier access to performance diagnosis can increase the efficiency and quality of your optimisation rather significantly. This will allow you to identify trends in your PPC account, sculpting your campaigns to further improve targeting and return on investment.

One example of this – You are in a competitive car insurance industry, and you notice there is a large uptake in search volume to Audi related search queries. Google Explanations will allow you to identify this trend quickly and give you the insights to grow your Audi keyword profile or presence.

Alternatively, this can be used as a damage control tactic, for when that all too perfect optimisation caused a negative reaction in your account.

What is the Risk?

With any Google beta feature, you have to keep in mind why it is in beta; this is a very raw, new feature that may still need tweaking and improving. Whenever using Google Explanations, it is worth implementing further growth changes to roll this out progressively. You don’t want to imbalance the account with overspending, or to decrease the traffic quality you are driving to the website.


I believe that with refinement, this feature moving out of beta could be a great assistance for PPC and paid media managers that are looking for that extra edge.


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