Google AdWords to Delete Old Keywords and Ads

google-keyword-warningHave you seen Google AdWords’ recent notification about the deletion of inactive ads and keywords? The notification states that starting March 23, Google will be “deleting your ads and keywords that have never accrued any impressions and have been removed for more than 100 days.” If you are new to AdWords, this information may be a bit confusing and may worry you as you wonder what the effects will be. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly Google means.

It’s important to read the notification carefully and understand that Google will only be deleting ads and keywords that are set to Removed and that have never received any impressions. So take special note that Paused does not qualify as inactive and paused keywords/ads will not be deleted. There are three delivery settings in AdWords: Enabled, Paused and Removed. Enabled and Paused keywords and ads will not see any change. Only those set to Removed will be eligible for deletion.

It’s also important note that the statement from Google is an “and” statement, not an “or” statement. Therefore, all of your removed keywords/ads will not be deleted – only the ones that also have never received any impressions. And again, not every keyword/ad that has zero impressions will be deleted, they will also need to be set to Removed.

Lastly, only keywords/ads that have been removed for more than 100 days will be eligible for deletion. So if you recently removed a set of keywords, they will still be in your account, just in case you realize you made a mistake removing and wish to revisit them.

Make sense? Simply put, a keyword or ad needs to satisfy ALL THREE of the following conditions in order for Google to delete them:

  1. It is set to Removed (NOT Enabled or Paused)
  2. It has been Removed for more than 100 days
  3. It has never accrued impressions in your account

Should you be concerned? Due to the keywords/ads lack of data and the fact that they have already been removed, this automatic deletion by Google is likely not a big concern for most accounts. However there may be a few instances where you want to export your data before the deletion occurs.

If you had a keyword/ad that didn’t receive any impressions, though it was at one time enabled, you may want to be able to show in the future the low search volume for that term. Or you might want to be able to see what your historical quality score for that keyword was. Maybe you had removed it at one time to make navigating your account easier, but you plan on using it for comparative data at a later date.

In another instance, you may have removed ad copy or keywords before you turned them live, but only meant this to be temporary, and you planned on later revisiting these keywords or ads. If you didn’t first create your keywords/ads in a spreadsheet (recommended), you may want to export this removed data so you can easily revisit it. Now would be a good time to think carefully if you have removed anything by mistake.

To read Google’s full details on the topic, see: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/6172751