Since its birth in 2006, Google's Website Optimizer has been a darling child of savvy webmasters and advertisers alike. Google has added a new feature that potentially makes this tool even more special by allowing you to automatically disable your under-performing experiments. Here's a quick how-to:

1) For WO newbies, or those of us who forget stuff. If you haven't used Website Optimizer or want to brush up, here's a handy (and quick) tutorial.

2) Finding the new feature. Website Optimizer is used both for testing current pages on your site and also testing landing pages for Google AdWords campaigns. If you use AdWords, the new feature is really easy to find as long as you use their standard interface. The WO tab is right in front of you.

Website Optimizer.jpg

If you use the new beta interface, it's just a tad different now. There is a new reporting tab and you can find the WO link by clicking on the dropdown.

Click the Website Optimizer link and start to edit settings on whichever experiment you want. Viola!

Experiment List.jpg
3) Putting WO to work on your experiments. Now you can have Google auto-disable poor performing variations you're testing. Simply scroll down and change the off button to on, hover over the dropdown and choose conservative, moderate or aggressive. Here's an example.

Conservative or Aggressive.jpg
Important points:
  • If you allow Google to disable variations, they aren't retrievable.
  • You can't use this for an A/B test only, but can use it for an A/B/C. The above image actually uses 64 different test variations for just one landing page.
I have the power, but should I use it? The big question now is should you use this, especially if you use this tool for landing pages in AdWords? Since it's so new, I have no idea what Google considers conservative, moderate or aggressive. However, they do provide a help page on how to use this.

In my opinion, it can't hurt to at least test it out and could potentially be a huge time saver depending on how many experiments and landing pages you're running. But I'd keep an eye on it.

Here's the announcement from the official Google Website Optimizer blog.

Any thoughts from PPC folks or others who use Website Optimizer?

August 4, 2009

Paul Jahn is the owner of Localmn Interactive Marketing, a Minnesota-based Internet marketing company. Localmn focuses on helping local companies large and small leverage the most out of their search marketing campaigns depending on their respective needs, including SEO, PPC, local search, and social media campaigns. Paul also runs and contributes to the Localmn local search blog.

With over ten years of Internet marketing experience, Paul has particular expertise in search marketing, with extensive knowledge of local search.


I have been using the optimizer for some of my sites and it's indeed a great tool. I will play around with these new option and see if it works.

This is a good post. It's very nice of you to share it with us.

I have been using Google WO and I will try to get my around this new option and see what it will do for me.

Thanks again.

Thanks for the replies. I was later bloomer for WO and agree it's a great tool. As far as auto disabling ads? I'm torn. If I did a ton of PPC I can see doing it but wouldn't want to lose anything without the ability to get it back.

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Search Engine Guide > Paul Jahn > New Feature on Google's Website Optimizer - Auto-Disable Bad Experiments