PPC | September 13, 2016

The Return of Tablet Bid Adjustments: Bringing Back an Old Favourite

Earlier this year, during the Google Performance Summit in San Francisco, Google announced it will be bringing back tablet device bidding. Now less than four months on and Google has delivered on its promise – much to the delight of many online advertisers:


Advertisers were previously limited to setting their bid adjustments for mobile devices, or the combination of desktop and tablet. It is now once again possible to set separate bid adjustments for mobile, desktop and tablet devices with an introduction of a wider bid adjustment range from -100% to +900% (previously limited to +300%).

Why Bring Back Separate Tablet Bids?

When the controversial move was made to merge desktop and tablet device bids in 2013, Google cited that consumer behaviour was “becoming very similar.” Now, years down the line, mobile devices usage has changed significantly and now more than half of all web traffic comes from smartphones and tablets (Google Analytics Data, U.S., Q1 2016).

What This Means for Advertisers

deviceIn a nutshell, advertisers are now able to up-weight or down-weight bids for tablets the same way they can for mobile. The bid adjustment section now looks something like this:

As you may have already noticed, this is now allowing advertisers the flexibility to set their ‘base bid’ default on any device type they would like. Previously desktop was the default base bid with the function only to alter the mobile bid adjustment, but now all three devices have been given the option to layer bids.

Assumptions can be easily made as to what traffic you can expect from tablet devices, for example, Search Engine Land states “tablets serve a different purpose from desktop”. That they’re “more likely to be used for entertainment, not for work” and “more likely to be used as a second screen while watching television”. However, the extent of the impact advertisers might typically see from tablet device bidding could vary significantly depending on industry, campaign, audience and demographic.

The best way to measure the impact separated device bidding has on campaigns, as always, is to test it. Once you have tested your devices, you can then concentrate on weighting your campaigns on the device that works best and delivers the highest return on investment.

Give Us Your Opinion

What are your thoughts? Are you happy to see tablet device bidding split out from desktop bid adjustments? We’d love to hear from you. Tweet us @_libertydigital

Read more:
The new Liberty – like the old Liberty, but sexier…AND MORE MODEST
Should You Be Bidding on Branded Keywords?
Google Gives Back Control with Changes to Device Bidding in AdWords

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