Google recently announced that they plan to sunset their accelerated ad delivery setting starting on September 17th. All advertisers that have not updated their settings by October 1, 2019 will have their settings auto-updated to Standard Delivery.
Hold on: now that it’s going away, what is Accelerated Delivery?
Accelerated Delivery is a Google Ads search campaign delivery setting. This setting can alter the delivery of impressions to serve, agnostic of perceived performance. This then attempts to spend campaign budget faster than Standard Delivery. Google’s definition: “Accelerated delivery is optimized less when compared to standard delivery, and spends your budget rapidly when compared to standard delivery.”
Why this matters
Although this is a seemingly logical update given Google’s stance and POV, it does have a direct impact on ad delivery. It is not communicated or known if any changes are planned for Standard delivery, but this will now be the sole setting for advertisers. Simplifying settings and automating optimizations has been a huge focus for Google -- just last year they launched Responsive Search Ads to help automate and recommend the best possible combination of ad copy. Digitas is planning to test Standard vs Accelerated delivery to determine if impacts are seen in a blanketed manner or by time of day.
How will it work?
Standard delivery is to become the sole delivery setting for all advertisers. This setting has a goal of serving impressions when the Google algorithm determines the impression is at the highest value. Google also notes that Standard delivery should increase delivery when daily spend is below the campaign budget caps. Essentially, Google’s stance is that Accelerated delivery is no longer necessary due to Standard adjusting to campaign budgets accordingly. Many advertisers with limited budgets would see stronger performance since their budget would be more evenly distributed throughout a given day. Google has been hinting at their distaste for the Accelerated setting since July, when Matt Lawson, Senior Vice President at Google published an article in Search Engine Land. Google has also noted that this change shouldn’t have an impact on bid strategies.
According to Lawson, the impact will be nil – “Accelerated delivery only comes into play when your campaigns are limited by budget. Since most campaigns aren’t limited by budget, accelerated delivery is usually superfluous. The sixth toe of Google Ads, if you will.” For many smaller advertisers with more scarce resources and experience, this change will likely net a positive impact, effectively a forced positive budget optimization. For larger and more advanced advertisers and clients, this change could limit available Google Ad inventory.
All in all, Google will likely continue to simplify setup and automate optimizations for advertisers, and this change does truly simplify account setup. This update should net a positive change for many smaller advertisers and many larger advertisers should see little to no change.