On February 23, a quiet post went live on Google’s developer blog. In case you missed it, Google is retiring Target CPA and Target ROAS bidding strategies, instead layering a tCPA and tROAS threshold with Maximize Conversions and Maximize Conversions Value respectively. 

What is happening?

According to Google, this does not mean the end of tCPA and tROAS bidding. This approach is designed to help advertisers lower the risk of diminishing returns, as max conversions and max conversions value get more aggressive in driving revenue and lowering CPAs.

Target ROASMaximize Conversions Value
Optional: Target ROAS threshold
Target CPAMaximize Conversions
Optional: Target CPA threshold

Historically, Maximize Conversions has driven conversions with no regard to CPAs, resulting in CPAs that could be much higher than an advertiser’s goal. The new threshold limits will allow advertisers to circumvent this, resulting in profitable CPAs and ROAS. 

When does this change go live?

Starting April 2021, some advertisers will start seeing Maximize Conversions and Max Conversions Value bidding strategies with the new CPA and ROAS threshold fields. Google hasn’t stated when tROAS and tCPA will retire, although advertisers should expect to see front end changes in the coming few months.

What does it mean for advertisers?

According to Google, the switch in bidding strategies will not cause any change in bidding behavior. Advertisers should not expect to see any sweeping changes in CPAs and ROAS.

Do you need to prepare for this change?

Given what Google has shared so far, there does not appear to be a need to change anything until the threshold limits are applied. 

Advertisers could start experimenting with Max Conversions / Max Conversions Value bidding, however, bear in mind that switching to these could impact your CPA and ROAS goals negatively, at least until Google actively starts rolling out the changes. 

Since Google hasn’t published when tCPA and tROAS will be deprecated, advertisers should expect to see an update in advance to this change going live.