Smart Shopping and Local campaigns to be transitioned to Performance Max by end of September

Google Ads will automatically transition existing Smart Shopping campaigns into Performance Max campaigns between July and September 2022, the company announced Thursday. Local campaigns will automatically be transitioned between August and September 2022.

The company will also launch a “one-click” self-service tool in Google Ads for advertisers that would like to transition specific Smart Shopping or Local campaigns ahead of the dates mentioned above.

Why we care. “Based on early testing, advertisers who upgrade Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max see an average increase of 12% in conversion value at the same or better return on ad spend (ROAS),” according to Google. However, results can vary, so it may be worthwhile to test out your transitioned campaigns with the self-service tool once it’s available, ahead of the forced transition deadline.

This is a significant change to how Smart Shopping and Local campaigns work. Advertisers that don’t want to transition those campaigns over to Performance Max should begin exploring other options, as these campaign types (as we know them) will disappear by the end of September.

Farewell, standalone Smart Shopping and Local campaigns. Once existing Smart Shopping and Local campaigns are transitioned to Performance Max, advertisers will no longer be able to create new ones. This automatic process is scheduled to conclude by the end of September 2022.

How to transition your Smart Shopping and Local campaigns. Google Ads will be offering a tool for those that wish to transition their campaigns to Performance Max ahead of the automatic transition window. The tool will be available for Smart Shopping campaigns starting in April, with support for Local campaigns starting in June.

Advertisers can use the tool to transition specific campaigns, or all of them at once. Learnings from existing campaigns will be used in the new Performance Max campaign.

Additionally, all advertisers will be able to transition their campaigns via the Google Ads API later this year.

Smart Shopping and shared budgets. In December 2021, Google announced that, beginning on February 15, 2022, all existing and future Smart Shopping campaigns will use a shared budget type. The change won’t have any impact on performance and the campaigns will continue to behave like a standard, non-shared campaign budget.

It was odd for Google to make such a change, but now we know why: the platform is updating its systems to prepare for the Smart Shopping to Performance Max transition.

“We need to make this change in order to prepare for the upgrade, and are doing so without changing the existing product behavior of Smart Shopping Campaigns (which don’t have support for shared budgets),” Google told Search Engine Land.

There will be messaging in the user interface explaining this change and marketers don’t have to take any action.


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About The Author

George Nguyen is an editor for Search Engine Land, covering organic search, podcasting and e-commerce. His background is in journalism and content marketing. Prior to entering the industry, he worked as a radio personality, writer, podcast host and public school teacher.