The Google Ads Change History feature records all the changes and edits made to a Google Ads campaign. This includes turning campaigns on and off and changing which landing pages your ads point to. Here’s how to leverage this helpful tool.

Here you’ll find:

  1. What is Google Ads Change History?
  2. How does the Google Ads Change History tool work?
  3. What types of changes are tracked by the Change History tool?
  4. Why is the Google Ads Change History tool so important?

Welcome to the definitive guide to Google Ads Change History.  We’ll unravel the tool’s functionalities, explore how it offers a transparent view of your campaign’s evolution, and pepper in some expert insights from HawkSEM VP of Growth Strategy Steve Dang

 What is Google Ads change history?

The Google Ads Change History provides a transparent view of all your campaign changes over time. Essentially, it tracks every tweak, adjustment, or update ever made within your Google ads account and gives you a chronological overview of changes. 

It is a helpful tool for marketers and clients alike as it allows transparency into the evolution of their campaigns over time.

 How does the Google Ads Change History tool work?

The Google Ads Change History is a log of every change made in your account. You can see and revert changes made at all levels of the account. 

First, let’s discuss how to access the Change History in Google Ads.

How to access the Change History tool in Google Ads

The Change History tool is straightforward to find.

1. Log into your Google Ads account.

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2. Navigate to the light gray column on the left side that says “Overview” at the top. You may need to scroll down to see it.

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3. Select “Change History.”

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There you have it. You can now see a comprehensive log that details all the changes made to your campaigns.

You will see the most recent changes first. The list is in reverse chronological order. It may be easier to choose a date range if you’re going more than a few days back since you’ll likely have many changes to go through.

How to revert changes in Google Ads

If you made a change to your ad campaign that you regret or that was simply a mistake, no need to panic.

“In addition to the diagnostic and monitoring functions indicated below, one also has the ability to reverse certain actions within the Change History log if it makes sense to do so,” says Dang.

“This can be utilized to quickly revert certain actions that might be deemed counterproductive to an account’s state or health.”

With the Change History tool, you can revert your campaigns back to previous versions.

1. Access the tool (using the steps above).

2. Scroll through the log of recent modifications to your ad campaigns and find the specific change you wish to revert. You can also add filters or click the tabs at the top to sort through different types of changes.

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3. Once you find the entry you’d like to revert, click the “undo.”

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4. Click confirm when Google Ads will prompt you to confirm your decision to revert changes.

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5. Take a moment to review the reverted changes to ensure they align with your expectations.

 What types of changes are tracked by the Change History tool?

The Change History tool serves as a vigilant observer, meticulously recording an extensive range of account changes within your Google Ads campaigns. 

Ad copy edits

Any modifications to your ad creatives, such as changes to headlines, descriptions, and display paths, will be logged. The tool ensures a historical record of every little change made to all of your ad copy.

Bid adjustments

Adjustments in your bidding strategy, whether they’re an increase, decrease, or change to bid modifiers, are tracked. This complete bid history can be really useful for optimizing campaign performance.

Targeting modifications

You can use the Change History tool to monitor any alterations to your audience or goal-targeting settings at both the ad group and campaign level.

This includes changes such as demographics, interests, and location targeting. It allows you to understand the impact of audience adjustments on campaign reach and relevance.

Keyword changes

Stay informed about any adjustments made to your keyword list. Whether it’s adding new keywords, pausing ineffective ones, or modifying match types, the tool provides a historical record of keyword management.

Budget adjustments

Campaign budget changes are logged for you to review and analyze at any time. This includes both daily and campaign-level budget adjustments and can help build a clear picture of your budget allocation over time.

Ad extension updates

The tool records changes to ad extensions, such as adding or removing site link extensions, callout extensions, and structured snippet extensions.

Conversion tracking changes

You can monitor modifications to your conversion tracking setup as well. This includes changes to conversion actions, values, and attribution models to give you better insights into the optimization of your conversion tracking strategy.

Device targeting adjustments

Keep an eye on changes related to device targeting, which includes adjustments to bidding for specific devices. Understanding device performance trends can help you optimize your campaign for different platforms. It can also be a go-to place to verify changes when reporting optimizations to the client.

Schedule modifications

Track changes to your ad scheduling, including adjustments to the days and times your ads are displayed. This helps optimize ad visibility during peak performance periods.

Ad rotation changes

Keep in the loop about any alterations to your ad rotation settings. This includes changes to the rotation type, which ensures that your ads are displayed in the manner most conducive to your campaign goals.

Does Change History work for Performance Max campaigns?

Yes! You can see changes made to these and all types of campaigns in the Change History. You can even see changes made by third-party tools through the Google Ads API.

This transparency is especially helpful in identifying any changes that may have affected performance.

 Why is the Google Ads Change History tool so important?

Both clients and marketers get a lot out of the Change History tool.

Not only does it create transparency, which builds trust in the relationship, but it also gives a lot of insights that can help improve your PPC campaigns.

“The Change History functions as a working compendium of all the changes, edits, and actions that you’ve taken in your Google ads account,” Dang shares. “It logs every bid change, ad edit, budget change, and all the other little tweaks of campaign management in between.”

He explains that it’s a useful tool to go to when trying to understand certain trends and patterns in your account. One example he gave of this is troubleshooting a dip in performance. He says that you can check the Change History to see if any changes can be correlated with the drop in performance.

“Fundamentally, it is used as a diagnosis tool and to allow one to get a sense for how an account has evolved, but it can also be useful as a monitoring tool if you want to better understand what other account managers have done or simply to gain better insight into recent and historical changes taken by a partner or agency,” Dang adds.

For marketers and Google PPC managers

Enhanced efficiency and performance

The tool helps you streamline your workflows and optimize campaign performance. When you have access to a comprehensive record of all modifications, you can easily track and analyze changes to identify patterns and trends. 

This perspective makes issue resolution quicker and reduces campaign downtime, enhancing campaign management’s overall efficiency.

Using the Change Tool can save you time in troubleshooting campaign issues, resulting in a notable increase in overall campaign performance.

Advanced insights and strategies

For experienced PPC managers, the tool offers more than just a historical log. It becomes a treasure trove of advanced insights and strategic opportunities. 

When you analyze patterns in your changes over time, you can make informed decisions, optimize bidding strategies, and refine targeting for sustained campaign success.

For example, you could leverage the Change History tool to identify a correlation between specific search ad copy changes and increased click-through rates. This insight will help you develop tailored messaging strategies, improving ad engagement.

For your Google PPC management clients

The Change History tool is great for clients seeking transparency and accountability. It’s a way for them to see your actions outlined by date any time they choose.

Transparency and accountability

Clients value transparency in understanding how their advertising budget is used. 

The Change History tool offers clients a clear, detailed account of every modification made to their campaigns. 

This transparency builds trust and provides clients with a better understanding of the strategic decisions that guide their advertising efforts.

The State of PPC report revealed that 39% of agencies and freelancers agreed that it is becoming more difficult to demonstrate value to clients.

Detailed Change History reports can showcase exactly what you are doing on client accounts. This can help them understand the value you have, how much refinement goes into campaigns, and the amount of time and optimization that goes into their ads. 

Improved client satisfaction and campaign performance

The tool’s impact extends to client satisfaction and overall campaign performance. By showcasing the tangible results of strategic adjustments, clients gain confidence in your PPC management team.

Data-backed examples of improved click-through rates (CTR), conversions, and return on investment (ROI) contribute to a positive client-agency relationship.

How to make the most of the Google Ads Change History tool

Effective use of the Google Ads Change History tool demands a strategic approach. You want to make sure that you optimize with efficiency and precision and that you don’t end up reverting changes that positively impact your campaigns.

Check your Change report regularly (but not too regularly)

Instead of constantly monitoring the Change History reports, consider setting specific time intervals for reviews. 

For instance, conduct a weekly or bi-weekly review. 

According to WordStream’s 2023 State of Digital Marketing Report, 41% of agencies offering search advertising services are spending two to four hours per week managing PPC per client. And 16% are spending five or more. 

This structured approach to reviewing your Change History prevents information overload and allows for a more focused analysis of significant changes over a defined period. It also saves you time and stops you from pouring unnecessary hours into your client’s PPC management.

Filter the changes

Leverage the filtering options available in the Change History tool to streamline your review process. 

Filters allow you to categorize changes based on specific criteria such as campaign, date, or type of modification—for example, filter changes related to budget adjustments or ad copy edits.

This targeted filtering enables a more organized analysis.

Prioritize high-impact changes

Identify and prioritize changes that have a notable impact on campaign performance. 

For instance:

  • If there’s a significant budget adjustment, prioritize reviewing the effects on impressions, clicks, and conversions.
  • Prioritize changes to ad creatives if they involve crucial messaging or promotional offers.
  • Focus on bid adjustments that could influence your ad’s position and visibility.

Automated alerts for critical changes

Set up automated alerts in your Google Ads account for critical changes that demand immediate attention rather than waiting to see them later in the Change History report. 

For example:

  • Receive an alert for significant budget increases or decreases.
  • Be notified when ad creatives are paused or disapproved.
  • Get alerts for unexpected bid adjustments.

Integration with other Google Ads tools: Analytics & Search Console

The power of the Google Ads Change History tool extends beyond its standalone capabilities. Integration with other essential tools within the Google Ads ecosystem, such as Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager, creates a further opportunity for efficiency and insights.

Change History and Google Analytics

The integration between Google Ads and Google Analytics provides you with a holistic view of your advertising efforts. 

By linking these two tools, you can seamlessly track changes made within Google Ads alongside comprehensive data on user behavior, conversions, and website engagement.

Enhanced attribution modeling

Change History data from Google Ads combined with Google Analytics allows for a more nuanced review of the impact of specific changes on user interactions. You can refine your attribution models, attributing conversions to the most impactful campaign modifications.

In-depth performance analysis

Linking the tools enables a more granular analysis of how changes within Google Ads correlate with user behavior on your website. 

This integration empowers you to make data-driven decisions based on a full picture of the user journey.

Google Ads Change History and Google Tag Manager

Integrating Google Ads with Google Tag Manager streamlines the implementation of tracking codes. This ensures that changes made within the Ads platform are seamlessly reflected on the website. 

Automated tag deployment

Changes made within Google Ads, such as modifications to conversion tracking or event tracking, are automatically reflected in Google Tag Manager. This reduces the manual effort required for tag deployment, minimizing the risk of discrepancies.

Real-time data accuracy

Integration with Google Tag Manager ensures that tracking codes are consistently updated, providing real-time, accurate data for marketers to base their decisions on. 

This not only saves time but also enhances the reliability of performance metrics shown in your Change History report.

Change history in other platforms

The change history is not unique to Google Ads. Many other platforms that offer search engine advertising or social advertising also offer this feature. For instance, Facebook and Microsoft both have a Change History you can review.

Facebook Ads calls it an activity history. The Business Help Center offers a tutorial on how to navigate to the activity history and the change types you can see.

The Microsoft Advertising Change History tab functions very much like the Google Ads Change History. You can adjust the date range range and see changes at various levels of your account.

The takeaway

The Google Ads Change History tool is an indispensable ally for marketers. It gives you a transparent record of campaign modifications.

From efficient review strategies and advanced insights for experienced PPC managers to enhanced transparency and improved client satisfaction for Google PPC clients, this tool offers a multifaceted approach to campaign management. 

By understanding its functionalities, leveraging integrations with other Google Ads tools, and adopting strategic review practices, marketers can manage campaigns with greater precision.

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