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Google Adwords now allows you to easily compare previously edited versions of your ads and their performance in the new Adwords experience. When you edit an ad in Adwords, it creates a new version of the ad. Instead of having to manually tie old versions of the ad together, you can now quickly see how those previous ads performed.


How does version history work?

If you edit an ad, such as the headline or final URL, you can now see the old version of the ad by looking at the new version history feature.

Essentially, version history allows you to see;

  • The date that each ad was edited
  • How long that version was in place for
    • For example, this can show how long the ad was paused or active for
  • What changed specifically with that ad

Credit: Google Adwords Twitter, 2018


Why has Google Adwords released ad version history?

It’s all a focus on helping to make the new Adwords experience even more useful for you

This feature, although sounds small, can save you a lot of time trying to work out which ad rotations you’ve previously tested have worked best, and for what reason.

Personally, I don’t think that you should be editing ads

Yes it’s much quicker to just edit the ads, but for me the negatives of doing this outweigh the positives.

One reason for this is because if you edit an ad, you can’t reactivate it. So if you decided to edit a small element of an existing ad, and found that this new version didn’t work as well as the previous, you’d have to build a new ad rotation trying to replicate your previous ad rotation. A headache!


What do you need to do?

If you are one that edits ad copy, use version history

This will save you so much time, as well as giving you additional insight to help with more effective optimisations. However, i’d stress to rethink your practice moving forwards.

Use this to make smarter decisions with ad copy optimisations

Learn from your mistakes and constantly look to drive your ad copy forward. Understand the version history data by downloading into a CSV and look to find what you can do for your next test.

Rethink whether you need to edit ads at all

Trust me, it’s better to create new ad rotations. This way, you can simultaneously test new ads against each other to work out which rotation works best. This will give you a more definitive answer to your testing by removing elements such as seasonality etc.

Dan Roberts
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Dan Roberts

Founder & Author at PPC hubbub
Dan has worked in agencies for over 5 years and was awarded Rising Star at The Drum Search Awards for the work delivered for his clients and wider industry. Dan founded PPC hubbub after becoming frustrated with the lack of actionable insight from blogs.

LinkedIn - https://uk.linkedin.com/in/siondanielroberts
Dan Roberts
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