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Google Ads 'Limited by Bidding Target' Error

SEM Geek


Staff member
Jun 21, 2023
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In the dynamic realm of Google Ads, encountering the message "Limited by Bidding Target" can be perplexing for advertisers. This crucial notification demands immediate attention and understanding to ensure the optimal performance of your advertising campaigns.

Understanding 'Limited by Bidding Target'​

Limited by Bidding Target is a notification that advertisers receive when their campaigns are not performing optimally due to bidding constraints. This message typically appears when:

  • The set Target CPA bid is too low, hindering the campaign's ability to compete effectively in the ad auction.
  • There is insufficient recent campaign data, making it challenging for Google Ads to optimize bids efficiently.
Understanding this concept is vital for maintaining a healthy and successful advertising campaign. For a deeper insight into bidding strategies and how they impact your campaigns, refer to the Bidding Strategies Guide.

Reasons Behind the Limitation​

Various factors can trigger the Limited by Bidding Target notification in your Google Ads account:

  • Lack of Recent Campaign Data:
    • New campaigns often lack sufficient data for Google Ads to optimize bids effectively.
    • Without adequate data, the platform struggles to identify the optimal bid amount for your Target CPA.
  • Low Target CPA Bid:
    • A low Target CPA bid limits the campaign's competitiveness in the ad auction.
    • Increasing the Target CPA bid may enhance the campaign's performance and visibility.
  • Competitive Advertising Landscape:
    • The advertising space is highly competitive, with numerous advertisers vying for visibility.
    • A low bid may not suffice in a competitive environment, necessitating bid adjustments to maintain campaign performance.
Understanding and addressing these factors promptly is crucial for reversing the limitations imposed on your campaign and restoring its performance. For more detailed information on choosing appropriate bids for your campaigns, consider reading Choosing a Bid for Display Network.

How to Address 'Limited by Bidding Target'​

Addressing the Limited by Bidding Target issue involves a strategic approach:

  • Increasing Target CPA Bid:
    • Consider increasing your Target CPA bid to enhance your campaign's competitiveness.
    • Analyze the pros and cons of increasing the bid and determine the percentage increase that aligns with your advertising goals.
  • Switching Campaign Types:
    • Temporarily switching from smart to manual campaigns can provide more control over your bids.
    • Manual campaigns allow for customized bid adjustments, offering flexibility in optimizing campaign performance.

Case Study: Real-life Scenario​

John, a seasoned advertiser, recently noticed the Limited by Bidding Target notification on his Google Ads campaign. Despite having a well-structured campaign, the notification prompted him to reassess and adjust his bidding strategy to resolve the issue swiftly.
John decided to increase his Target CPA bid by 15%, a moderate increase to test the waters without significantly inflating his advertising costs. Within a week, John noticed:

  • An improvement in the visibility and performance of his ads.
  • A slight increase in costs, offset by the enhanced engagement and conversion rates.
Through careful monitoring and timely adjustments, John successfully navigated the Limited by Bidding Target challenge, turning a potential setback into an opportunity for optimization and learning.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)​

  • Should I increase the Target CPA bid immediately?
    • It depends on your campaign's specific circumstances. Analyzing your campaign performance and understanding the competitive landscape is crucial before making any decisions.
  • What percentage should I increase the Target CPA bid?
    • There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. Start with a moderate increase, monitor the results, and adjust as necessary.
  • Can I switch to manual campaigns temporarily?
    • Yes, switching to manual campaigns can offer more control over your bids, allowing for customized adjustments to optimize performance.
  • How long does it take to resolve the issue?
    • The resolution time varies. Consistent monitoring and prompt adjustments are key to quickly addressing the Limited by Bidding Target issue.


Understanding and effectively addressing the Limited by Bidding Target notification is imperative for the success of your Google Ads campaigns. By recognizing the reasons behind this limitation and implementing strategic solutions, advertisers can navigate through this challenge efficiently. John’s case study illustrates that with careful analysis and timely action, it's possible to turn this notification from a hurdle into an opportunity for campaign optimization and improvement.

Additional Resources​

For advertisers looking to deepen their understanding and enhance their Google Ads campaign performance, the following resources are invaluable:

  • Google Ads Help Center offers a wealth of information and guidance on various aspects of Google Ads, serving as a comprehensive resource for advertisers of all levels.
  • Bidding Strategies Guide offers insights into various bidding strategies available in Google Ads, helping advertisers choose the approach that best suits their campaign objectives.
  • Choosing a Bid for Display Network provides guidance on selecting appropriate bids for Display Network campaigns, a crucial aspect of optimizing campaign performance and visibility.