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Get more powerful bid automation with new AdWords Smart Bidding

Efficient and effective bid management is a foundational component of any successful digital marketing program. Today, we’re excited to announce Smart Bidding, our new name for conversion-based automated bidding across AdWords and DoubleClick Search that reflects the powerful machine learning behind it.

Making bidding smarter for improved performance

Smart Bidding is built on Google’s deep experience using machine learning to power a wide range of products, including the Google assistant, automatic album creation in Google Photos, and AlphaGo, the first computer program to ever beat a professional player at the game of Go. Smart Bidding can factor in millions of signals to determine the optimal bid, and it continually refines models of your conversion performance at different bid levels to help you get more from your marketing budget.

Even when it encounters areas with lower conversion volume, Smart Bidding's learning capabilities quickly maximize the accuracy of your bidding models to improve how you optimize the long-tail. It evaluates patterns in your campaign structure, landing pages, ad text, product information, keyword phrases and many more to identify more relevant similarities across bidding items to effectively borrow learnings between them.

On top of its machine learning capabilities, Smart Bidding is built on three pillars, inspired by feedback we’ve heard from you about what’s important in a bidding solution:
  • Precise bid optimization tailored to a user’s context 
  • Flexible performance controls that factor in your unique business goals 
  • Transparent reporting that provides clear insight into how your bids are performing 
 In AdWords, we have several innovations coming soon across these areas. Get a full overview of AdWords Smart Bidding here.

New bidding signals that give you a richer view of user context 

AdWords Smart Bidding tailors bids to each and every auction across Google properties - this is what we call “auction-time” bidding. It allows you to register the wide range of signals that make up a user’s context in a particular auction, and includes signals like device and location, which are available as manual bid adjustments, plus additional signals and signal combinations unique to AdWords such as browser and language. We’re continuously exploring new signals to add to our bidding models that are impactful predictors of performance. These include recent additions like location intent and similar product attributes, and others like seasonality and price competitiveness that are coming soon. Learn more.

Set device performance targets with Target CPA bidding 

Device is a major dimension in campaign optimization and new Target CPA with device performance targets allows you to set separate CPA goals by device. For example, if you’re a telecom advertiser who drives better lead quality from mobile due to higher conversion rates from calls and store visits, you can now set a higher mobile target CPA compared to other devices to account for this offline data. This will become available to all advertisers over the next few weeks across Search and Display campaigns.

Bidding statuses and alerts brought to the forefront 

Transparent reporting available with AdWords Smart Bidding shows you exactly how your bid strategies are performing and immediately flags issues that require your attention. This includes new bidding-specific alerts, which are available now, and rich performance reporting for campaign-level bid strategies that are currently rolling out. In the coming weeks, we are also integrating bidding statuses front and center into your primary campaign and ad group status columns. Learn more about these new reporting features.

Advertisers like AliExpress, SurveyMonkey and Capterra are already using AdWords Smart Bidding to drive better performance.


AliExpress is a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group and a global e-commerce retailer. They’ve used campaigns drafts and experiments to test Target CPA head-to-head with their existing bidding solution. Says Jessy Sheng, Marketing Manager, “We wanted access to more diverse signals for our bidding to make it more dynamic and help raise online sales across multiple markets.” After only one month of testing Target CPA, they saw a 93% increase in conversions and 46% reduction in CPA. “With drafts and experiments, we can easily test new bid strategies quicker than ever before, which is important in our fast-paced business. Smart Bidding with Target CPA produced fantastic, actionable results and we’re excited to expand it to more campaigns.”


SurveyMonkey is an industry leader in web-based surveys. With strong competition on its keywords, leading-edge bid management is a priority for SurveyMonkey to maximize performance from their marketing budget. “We’re open to testing any feature that will get us more conversions and help us reach our CPA target,” says Brittany Bingham, Director of Online Marketing. “After only three weeks of testing AdWords Smart Bidding, we saw a 44% increase in conversions, which is incredible. We’re looking forward to scaling Smart Bidding with Target CPA across more campaigns.”


Capterra offers a smart way to find the right business software by providing buyers with comprehensive user reviews, product ratings and detailed infographics. With a large, complex campaign structure that spans over 1 million keywords, 400 software categories, and targets more than 30 countries, its advertising team was looking to move away from manual bidding so they could focus their time on other growth opportunities. Zachary Rippstein, Director of Advertising at Capterra, says, “We’ve gained so much efficiency by using AdWords Smart Bidding. More importantly, though, we’ve seen great improvement in performance and profit dollar growth. By leveraging Target CPA, we were able to drive 121% higher profit during our test period compared to the control period.”

To learn more about AdWords Smart Bidding, visit the Help Center and check out our best practices to maximize your success with automated bidding. If you are a DoubleClick advertiser or looking for bid and campaign management across multiple search engines, learn about DoubleClick Search Smart Bidding.