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The Importance of the Google Ads Change History Tool

Sam Carr

Sam Carr

September 8th, 2020

Sam obsesses over three things in life: Animals, Films and Marketing. We may have over exaggerated his love for marketing.

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It’s no secret that almost every successful pay per click campaign isn’t created on the first try.

In order to create a successful PPC campaign, it requires a considerable amount of tweaking and testing before you start seeing positive results.

Believe it or not, the Google Ads change history is one of the most important tools when it comes to tracking these changes. At first glance, the change history might not sound very important, but as you’ll soon come to see, its crucial for both PPC managers and clients.

To show you just how powerful this tool is, we’re taking a look at what it does, why it’s useful, and how you can get the most out of it.

For those that have never heard of it, what exactly is the Google Ads change history?

What Is The Google Ads Change History?

In its simplest terms, the Google Ads change history tool lists all the changes made to a Google Ads account over the past two years.

The type of changes the tool records is everything from pausing campaigns, to who added keywords and adjustments to location targeting. A full list of the changes the tool records are:

  • Actions taken to create, edit or pause an ad
  • Adjustments to a campaign’s budget
  • Actions taken to create, edit or remove conversion actions
  • Changes to the ad network your campaign is targeting
  • Actions taken to add or remove keywords
  • Adjustments to language or location targeting
  • Any changes made via Google Ads API
  • Any changes made in the downloadable Google Ads editor tool

As you can see, with all this data being recorded, there’s a reason why PPC managers use it a lot.

To view the change history of any account, simply select a specific or all campaigns from the left-hand menu on the dashboard. On the secondary menu that lists the keywords, landing pages and settings, there is a hidden “more” button at the bottom. Clicking this will expand the menu and reveal some new hidden options, one of them being the change history.

google change history more

Once opened, you’ll be able to see all the changes for a specific campaign or the entire Google Ads account like so.

change history tool

Each entry shows which user of the ad account made the change, what time they did it, and which campaign was effected. Clicking the individual entry will provide more details, and you can even undo any entry by simply clicking the button.

Why Is It So Important?

important change log

So the change history records every change made to an account over the past two years, but how exactly is this helpful? And why is it important?

There are actually plenty of reasons why this change history log is so important as we’ll soon cover, but the main reason is that it helps with transparency and testing.

PPC Managers

Imagine you’re a PPC manager (or perhaps you don’t need to imagine because you are one!) and you’ve just made some changes to your ad account. You think the changes will boost your campaign’s performance and improve your quality score, but they actually have the opposite effect. How do you know exactly what changes you made in order to get it back to what it was before? Unless you wrote every individual change down manually somewhere, you don’t. This is where the change history will save the day!

By being able to see what you’ve changed down to the nearest minute, you can quickly mass undo changes for a specific minute, hour or day.

PPC Clients

Another reason why the change history tool is so important is that it gives PPC clients a report of all the work that was done on their account.

Sure, the agency might send them a report telling them what was done, but how can they be 100% sure that the changes where made? By checking the change history log of course!

Since there is no way to fake the change entries, all changes in the agencies report can be cross-referenced with the change history to ensure they add up. The client will also be able to see what time the changes were made and how they affected the overall campaign’s performance.

PPC Software

With so many automated PPC tools out there costing hundreds of dollars a month, how can you be sure that they are actually working as intended? The last thing you want to do is spend $100 only to find out you haven’t had it turned on or set up correctly for the past month!

Unlike manual changes done to an account by a human, pretty much all PPC software will use the Google Ads API (application programming interface). This basically means it can make changes to your ads account without directly using the user interface. This makes it faster as it doesn’t have to go through all the menus and click the buttons, instead it bypasses all that.

Thankfully, just like regular account changes, all API changes are recorded in the change history log as well. This lets anyone know how often any PPC software is making changes to their account and whether it’s working properly.

Getting The Most Out Of The Change History Tool

Now you understand the power of the change history tool, how can you get the most out of it on your own ads and campaigns?

Well, as we covered before, the main benefit of the change history is having all your account changes in one place. With the ability to see exactly what changes you made down to the nearest minute, it makes tweaking campaigns incredibly easy.

If you don’t feel that a recent change has had the desired effect, then you can quickly reverse all the changes back to your starting point.

And if you’re not managing your Google Ads account yourself, then you can also use it to see what work (if any) is being done in your account.

This helps show that the freelancer or PPC agency you’re working with is actually making changes to your account and not just taking your money.

No matter if you’re a beginner or experienced PPC manager, the change history tool has plenty of benefits for everyone. If you’ve never used it or even taken a look at it before, then you should be. Not only will it keep you up to date with all the changes in your account, but it will also tell you if that agency or PPC software is actually working!

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