A repeated question in support is how one can use the same conditions for multiple ads at the same time instead of managing them for each ad individually. This is especially useful when using ad groups that need a general layout adjustment or when all ads have the same visitor or display conditions.

Using the Ad Group ad type

While it is not possible to set visitor or display conditions for a group or placement directly, you can use the Ad Group ad type to accomplish this.

The setup basically looks like this:

  • you group the inheriting ads into the same ad group
  • you create an intermediate ad with the Ad Group ad type
  • you assign the group to that ad

When using the Ad Group ad type, the ad parameters of the intermediate ad show this option:

ad group select field

You can now assign any parameters, display or visitor conditions to the intermediate ad.

Displaying the intermediate ad works exactly like every other ad. In addition to normal ad output, it will display the group according to the group settings (random, multiple ads, etc.).

More scenarios

Here are some more ideas for when to use the Ad Group ad type setup.

Rotate ad groups

With the setup above, you can also rotate ad groups. Just create an intermediate ad for each group and put those into another group.

You could accomplish a setting like the following easily:

  • Ad Group 1: show 50% of the time; has ad A in it
  • Ad Group 2: show 50% of the time; has ads B, C, and D in it which also rotate

Track all ads together

You can set up tracking information for a whole group so that the impressions and clicks for all ads are tracked together. This makes it also easier to set up multiple ads with the same target url.

Limitations

  • The intermediate ad can not be added to the ad group it is displaying, or else it might create an infinite loop. This should not be possible programmatically, but still good to know.
  • Setting different conditions within the individual ads in the group compared to those in the intermediate ad might lead to unexpected behavior.
  • Visitor conditions of the individual ads within the selected group only work on cached sites when using cache-busting.