Smart Shopping & Local Replaced By Performance Max (Pmax)

This year will see Performance Max campaigns replace existing, older formats. They announced in January that the transition would be starting in April '22 and it should be completed by September '22. The good news is that this shift has been well-planned, and it works via a phased approach. Smart Shopping campaigns were the first to be upgraded, and this month we start to see Local follow suit.

What does this mean for me? 

Firstly, you will have been contacted by Google, explaining the situation. If you haven't taken action on your Smart Shopping campaign by July, then this will automatically be upgraded to Pmax. These changes aim to be completed by the end of September, depending on how many businesses take action themselves vs how many legacy accounts need to be 'automatically' updated by Google.


Secondly, this isn't something that is a gimmick, or a move on Google's part to back business advertisers into a corner. There are many benefits to the new Performance Max system that was trialled in November 2021, you can read our article here <<link to May's blog >>. One of the main improvements is that Pmax is a system which is actually built off the back of Smart Shopping and Local campaigns.


This means that many of the settings and features you are used to will still exist, in a more user-friendly format. Because this transition is an upgrade, you'll find a couple of additional features such as new automation insights and a new inventory. Google explains; "Performance Max is a new goal-based campaign type that allows performance advertisers to access all of their Google Ads inventory from a single campaign. It's designed to complement your keyword-based Search campaigns to help you find more converting customers across all of Google's channels."


What will I get from Pmax?


Performance Max works best when you have very specific goals for your advertising, you need additional reach/ conversion value (more than just Keyword based searches), and you want to maximize your campaign, but you're not limited to which channels you feature on. As you can see from this description, it pretty much covers every eventuality when it comes to campaign-types!

Machine learning is the name of the game, and after having successful results with their beta testing, Google can offer you an average of 12% increase in conversion value compared to your existing method (Smart Shopping/Local). The algorithms learn what suits your brand best and they can help you across not just campaign inputs "...learning models to optimize bids and placements to drive conversions..." but automation too.


"You can add your unique expertise such as budget, business goals, and conversions you want to measure. Google Ads automation will then find potential customers for your goals and serve the most appropriate ad..."

In short, if your current campaign strategies are working, but you wish you had more options to choose from, or a little more scope to try out new things – then Performance Max is going to satisfy you. Moving forward, the technological upgrades are something that will improve over time as it gathers more data.

What do I need to do?

Currently there are 2 options: Google Ads have a one-click tool that can lead you through the process of transitioning, or you can wait for your account to be automatically moved to Pmax by the end of Q3 2022.


A third option is to begin using Pmax (by setting up a new campaign), and then let any existing advertising get transferred automatically – but we would suggest updating everything in one go. The Google Ads tool is simple to use, and it means you can start afresh from one place, using all the new features for all your campaigns.