Editing a Google AdWords Ad, Technically Makes a New Ad

Jan 16, 2008 • 7:25 am | comments (4) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords

I spotted an interesting tidbit over at Google Groups where we have a Google AdWords API representative give us some deeper insight into how editing ads technically work at Google.

Here is a quote from the AdWords API rep:

If you've ever edited an ad via the AdWords web interface and you're particularly inquisitive, you might notice that the ad's underlying ID changes after the update. You also might notice that there's a running count of how many "edited or deleted" ads there are in the Ad Variations tab of a given ad group in the web interface. One might draw the conclusion from this that when you edit an ad's text via the AdWords web interface, you're effectively creating a new ad and disabling/deleting the previous ad, allowing our system to keep track of the previous ad versions with a unique ID as well as the current one.

Given such a potential backend setup, if updateAds() allowed modifying ad content it would just be a thin wrapper over what everyone can already do via the API, namely creating a new ad and disabling the old.

As you can see, when you edit an ad, the original ad ID is archived and a new ad ID is created for the revised ad. While technically this is creating a brand new ad ID, Google is also storing a database link between the original ad and the new ad you created. So technically, they also know that this ad is a revision of a previous ad.


The image shows that we are creating a new ad, since there is a new ID. But it also shows the symbolic link between the original ad and the revised ad. That is why when edited an ad, it may not impact the quality score as much as starting a new ad from scratch.

Forum discussion at Google Groups.

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01/17/2008 11:35 am

It would seem there are times it's beneficial to create a whole new ad "from scratch", deleting the old one, rather than editing one or vice versa.

Justin Seibert

01/17/2008 03:05 pm

I understand why they want to do it this way, but it's always made for interesting strategic decisions. Do you make slight modifications to the ad knowing that it will be treated as a new ad and everything that goes with it (showing on only Google at first until it gets rated; possible quality score issues, etc.) or do you hold off? Fortunately there are some workarounds.


01/17/2008 08:38 pm

I posted about this recently on WMW: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google_adwords/3546147.htm I think SEO Roundtable brought this piece to my attention which got me wondering: http://www.rimmkaufman.com/rkgblog/2008/01/10/ppc-copy/ I guess for me the real question is how much history is attached to an ad? I wouldn't want to change a successful ad if the new one would take more than a week or so to start generating signficant history.


09/28/2011 04:00 pm

Hi , i know i might be talking nonsense here but someone can put me right - In looking at the ppc optomiation issue is there a way to identify which add within your ppc add campaign has been clicked. If each add has an ID then where can this be querried on the web site and then using this information create dynamic content to suit. The reason i ask is i don't really want to have to create a host of static web pages linked to the add in the traditional way in so far as this is a bit time consumming. any idears welcome

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