Vishal is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Vovia and loves to travel to new places, explore new cultures and, most importantly, try new food!

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Google Ads Update: tCPA and tROAS Bidding Strategies Being Retired

In April, Google announced that they will be retiring two of the oldest automated bidding strategies from Google Ads: tCPA (Target Cost Per Acquisition) and tROAS (Target Return On Ad Spend). Just like other Google Ads updates, that have taken place over the last year, this change will be gradual.


Google Ads User Interface

Google Ads tCPA and tROAS Explained

To gain an understanding of what exactly is being phased out, let’s go over what tCPA and tROAS are. These automated bidding strategies use machine learning to create the most effective optimization for bids based on your goal. In simpler terms, Google Ads takes your budget and bids whatever is required to drive the most conversions at the lowest cost or highest return percentage. The goal of each is to maximize your results.

In most cases, these automated bidding strategies improved campaign efficiency as they allowed the algorithm to find users that were able to convert at a target price. If you are an ecommerce company and have revenue tracking set up with a heavy focus on ROI, these would have been a key part of your campaign strategy. 


Being able to pick a specific target also means you need to monitor and adjust your tCPA or tROAS for it to align with the campaign’s current performance metrics. In a perfect world, you would want a $1.00 CPA or a ROAS of 900%. However, if your target CPA or ROAS isn’t based in reality, Google will have a hard time figuring out how to reach your goal of $1.00. This makes the target goal more difficult to reach, meaning you may need to adjust your expectations and goals. 

Historical Data

Like all technology that relies on machine learning, having a high volume of historical data is critical to driving maximum results. If you are just starting an account with no history or data, it doesn’t make sense to use these campaign strategies. Without any data to learn from, Google will struggle to hit your target.

Alternatives for tCPA and tROAS in Google Ads

As mentioned before, the changes to tCPA and tROAS will be gradually implemented over several months. The main change is that the “maximize conversions” strategy is going to have the CPA target setting underneath it, similar to what Google already does with tCPA.  Additionally,  the “maximize conversion value” strategy  will have an option underneath to obtain a target ROAS just as tROAs currently does. 

What About My tROAS or tCPA Campaigns?

According to Google Ads, no action is necessary; your campaigns will be transitioned to “Maximize Conversions” or “Maximize Conversion Value,” so there is no need to worry and your campaigns can continue to run as usual. This transition should be quite smooth, and you shouldn’t see a change in your setup data or performance.

However, advertisers can choose to change their campaigns right away or to allow Google to slowly transition them over time. Whatever route you decide, we recommend that you consistently monitor and evaluate your campaigns. If you’re not sure where to start, feel free to reach out. We can do a quick audit at the campaign level for settings and metrics to help you identify which parts of your account might be impacted or if there are other opportunities that you may be missing out on.

Additional Google Ads Resources: