Google Shopping issues in the UK lead to sharp KPI declines


Chatter on LinkedIn and Twitter indicates that many advertisers in the UK and beyond are experiencing a bug with Google’s Smart Shopping campaigns. Advertisers have gone to the Google Ads Help forum, Twitter, and LinkedIn to ask if they’re the only ones.

The issue. Impressions and spend have dropped in Smart Shopping for many UK advertisers starting around August 20, 2021. “A high proportion of UK-based advertisers have seen a drop in impressions, cost and revenue for their PLA campaigns since Friday 20th,” tweeted PPCer Liam Wade. Google Ads Platinum Product Expert Emmanuel Flossie posted in the forums that it’s a known issue.

We’ve reached out to Google for an official comment and will update with more information as we get it.

Some seeing returns to normal. While advertisers initially saw drops as high as 70% to 90%, some are seeing a return to normal in the past week. Wade reported a 75% increase in impressions from the dropped numbers previously.

Why we care. “Assuming it gets fixed, bear in mind that bid strategies will likely be affected and may re-enter learning phases,” tweeted Wade in the initial thread. If your accounts or campaigns have been affected by this issue, it’s critical to communicate to clients and stakeholders that this change is a glitch in their metrics, and not indicative of other issues. It’d also be beneficial to annotate this change in Google Analytics so any KPIs can be caveated in future reports. The bug is also causing advertisers to question the machine learning and automation happening behind the scenes in ads.

This report will continue to be updated as we gather more information.

About The Author

Carolyn Lyden serves as the Director of Search Content for Search Engine Land and SMX. With expertise in SEO, content marketing, local search, and analytics, she focuses on making marketers’ jobs easier with important news and educational content.



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