Google Max Daily Budget Can Now Overspend by 100%

By now you've probably heard about the updates Google recently made to daily budgets in Adwords by allowing campaigns to automatically spend as much as twice their daily budget. By now you've also probably felt the effects of that change. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, let's quickly recap.

Previously, Google allowed campaigns to overspend by 20% of an advertiser's average daily budget. In order to help advertisers reach their advertising goals and capitalize on days where more high quality traffic is available, Google recently made a switch that allows campaigns to spend up to twice the daily budget (overspend of 100%) .

To prevent advertisers from completely draining their budgets, Google did set a limit, so you won't actually ever be charged more than the average number of days in a month (30.4) multiplied by your average daily budget. For example, if one of your campaigns has a daily budget of $45, you won't be on the hook for more than $1,368 (45 x 30.4 = $1,368). This spend can get used up far before you had intended, however.

Advantages of the change in overspend: On the plus side, this change allows advertisers to account for spikes and dips in traffic.

Disadvantages of the change in overspend: This change makes it much harder to ensure budgets are allocated evenly, or strategically based on factors other than traffic, throughout the month or even the full duration of a campaign.

With the winter holidays coming up, many DMOs are gearing up for seasonal events, festive activities, and New Year's Eve. This new change in daily spend really throws a wrench into pacing efforts and making sure that budget you have allocated to a really important holiday event (New Year's, for example, since searches for it will increase in the last few days of December) lasts until the day of the actual event. 

The Solution

Luckily for us, there are a few PPC industry experts who have created scripts that allow you to maintain tighter control on daily spends.

Daniel Gilbert, with Brainlabs, has provided a script that checks each campaign's spend and budget and then pauses them when their daily spend reaches an amount set by you. Implementing this script within your own Adwords account will put you back in control of just how much is spent each day. (Be sure to see Gilbert's notes on script timing.) It will help you ensure those important holiday events are getting the exposure you want consistently, rather than Google deciding that for you.

All in all, this change from Google is a positive one; DMOs love high quality traffic and want to capture as much of it as possible. Just be sure you're keeping an extra close eye on daily spends and implementing the script above if things get too out of hand.

For another take on this budget change, check out Simpleview's own Layover Live, Episode Two, on YouTube, where Jason Swick, Director of Digital Marketing, and Grant Stoltz, Digital Media Analyst, tackle AdWords Updates head on.

Other links:

Google announces AdWords daily budgets can overspend by 2x, automatically