In a classic Google move to confuse people by naming new things almost identically to their previous name, AdWords is transitioning all “Search and Display Networks” campaigns to “Search Network with Display Select“ on September 16th. You have the option to upgrade to the new campaign type now or you can just wait for the 16th to roll around and see what kind of havoc the changes wreak on your account.
Google has been very vague about exactly what the differences are between the two campaign types, but the main ones appear to be an increase in conversions and a decrease in advertising costs. According to Google, initial tests show a 35% increase in CTR and a 35% drop in CPA, but Google makes sure to note that results may vary based on accounts.
Other features of the new campaign type are improved management and targeting, which appear to come at the cost of lower impressions. If a large number of impressions are part of someone’s ad campaign strategy, Google suggests that people create a separate Display Network Only account.
On a side note unrelated to Google’s information about this change, it appears that they may be trying to make more room for advertisers. If current accounts will see fewer impressions, the gap needs to be made up somewhere because I can’t imagine Google will simply not show ads where space is available.