AdWords Editor Nightmare

Posted by Dave CollinsDigital Marketing


I’ve been using AdWords Editor for quite some time now. While working with it two weeks ago, I set up a new campaign for one of our clients, with two ad groups, 180 keywords and 16 ads. When I tried to upload my work, it gave me a fairly meaningless error.

After several attempts to resolve the matter, I picked up the phone and called Google. It turns out that the error was remarkably easy to resolve, yet it took Google two weeks to do so. During this time I was unable to use AdWords editor for that account, nor was I able to upload my work.

I was not happy.

If you’re the sort of person who likes gory details, read on.

Gory Details:

The whole thing was odd. The Check Changes feature said that there were no problems, yet no matter what I did, the changes would not be uploaded.

This was the error message – with the name removed:

Overall summary: Errors discovered in new campaigns: 1Errors discovered in new Ad Groups: 2Errors discovered in new keywords: 180Errors discovered in new text ads: 16

By campaign:Details for campaign ******** Errors discovered in new Ad Groups: 2Errors discovered in new keywords: 180Errors discovered in new text ads: 16

When I called Google, they explained that this would have to be passed on to the technical team, and that they’d send me a form to fill out by email, which I duly completed.

The next day I got confirmation that they’d received my information, and that I would be contacted as soon as the problem was solved.

A day later I was asked for more information, some of which I’d already sent. But I jumped through their hoops anyway.

Oh yes. When I called Google after hearing nothing for a few days, I was initially told that I could probably resolve the matter with a workaround. This made me happy. Here’s more or less how the conversation went:

[Google]: All you need to do is uninstall the software, redownload the latest version and reinstall it. That should fix it.

[Me]: Great. And my data will survive right? I won’t lose my work?

[Google]: (pause) Work? Have you saved changes in AdWords editor?

[Me]: (big pause) Er… yes. That’s why I’ve been calling all this time?

[Google]: Oh right. Yes, you would lose all your work.

[Me]: (gently banging head on wall and monitors) Not much of a workaround really is it?

Five days later I was told that the team was ready to upload the changes on my behalf. But I had to confirm some information that I’d already sent them. In fact I’d exported the data from AdWords editor, so they had all the information they needed. But who cares? It was being resolved. I was happy.

The following day, I received another email from the same support person saying that they’d diagnosed the issue that was causing my problem. Odd. I thought they couldn’t do so, and were going to simply upload my changes.

This is what I was told:

“The ‘********’ Campaign was not loading because you had set an end date of 31/12/2025. At this time, we cannot support end dates later than 31/12/2010. This was preventing the system from accepting the upload.”

I was a little surprised by this, as I have never, ever used this feature. So I most certainly had not set an end date for some 20 years from now! Why would I? I also didn’t understand why the software didn’t just tell me that this was the problem. Do Google have a shortage of capable developers?

I emailed Google, and raised three points:

(1) I never set the campaign date. I have never used this feature, and would never have done so here. This setting was without a doubt somehow generated from within the software.

(2) Why has it taken over two weeks to resolve what should have been a very straightforward issue?

(3) Why does the software not catch this so called error? That strikes me as extremely sloppy programming.

Their reply? They apologised for the inconvenience and told me that they understood my frustration.

Nice. Empathy always works, right?

They also said they understood that the issue took two weeks to resolve, but this was because the technical team were working to resolve the issue.

Eh? How’s that for a sentence that says precisely nothing?

They also told me that they were happy that the issue has been resolved.

It hasn’t. Not even remotely.

I did tell Google that I would be sharing my experiences, and I gave them time to reply. But this just isn’t good enough.

My advice? If you’re using the AdWords Editor, be very, very careful. I spent around an hour and a half entering my data, and then had to wait two weeks. The advice from Google was that I could of course re-enter the information manually through the web interface, but they thought the matter would be resolved in a few days at the most.

So I wouldn’t recommend spending hours entering new data into AdWords Editor. You may find yourself caught up in an issue that should take minutes or hours to resolve, yet leaves you unable to upload your work for weeks. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.