Hands Off Your Google Ads Account
Over the last year or so Google quietly rolled out a “pilot program”. It will auto apply changes to the Google Ads accounts for those clients who opted into the program. In other words, if you have an agency or been managing your Google Ads campaigns yourself. Now Google takes the lead and will apply changes it thinks will boost the performance, unless you opt out.
Where Google Ads is Headed
Over the last 3 years Google implemented a lot of changes to its ads algorithms. They have been heavily focused on AI and ‘machine learning’ ability. All these changes are based on trends, patterns and a minimal intervention from the end user.
Google claims this should allocate more time for the business owners to “focus on their business and not the campaigns”.
While the idea sounds great in theory. It gives Google the full control over the settings what could result in not so optimal PPC performance.
Google’s big goal is to fully automate the PPC. To make it more approachable to non-professionals. And along the way – maintain full control over the earnings from Google Ads platform.
Hence we see all kinds of changes that try to remove or minimize the intervention of a dedicated PPC experts.
What is the Auto Applied Recommendations Center?
Part of the pilot program was developing a hub. Where advertisers could see all the accounts that opted into the program. And the actual changes applied by Google for the accounts that opted in.
The applied changes are not seen in the “change history” section of the Google Ads account. So the advertisers should log into the Recommendations Center to view the accounts and what’s been applied without a notice.
If an advertiser wants to opt out from the automatic application – he needs to submit the opt-out via the Recommendations Center as well.
Should We Trust Google’s Judgement and Opt-In Into this Program?
Google is a for-profit company that will prioritize its revenue before anything. So we always must stay suspicious and consider each and every recommendation carefully.
Google Ads have developed the ability to auto generate ads, extensions and bidding strategy. Yet we must review each change and make sure it serves its purpose.
If Google applies keywords, make sure they align with the strategy and have the right modification.
If Google creates or modifies an extension, we need to check if they’re accurate and beneficial.
PPC Agency Vs. Google Automation – The Big Battle
One of the biggest challenges for a reputable PPC agency is to manage an account while not knowing Google may be jeopardizing the performance with its automated applications.
That could result in keyword cannibalizations and mess up the ongoing performance. Especially if smart bidding is enabled and getting contradicting signals. And especially when some changes are not visible in the “change history” section. This makes tracking down the bleeding much harder.
As a first step when reviewing a Google Ads account, we must check the Recommendation Center. And see if the client opted-in to this program or not.
Test Your PPC Strategy, Challenge Google! Hands Off Your Google Ads Account
So, if Google says it’s good – is it really good?
The answer is… it’s ok, maybe. Especially for those who do not master the Google Ads platform. Or have big budgets and little care about the CPA.
Google may apply broad match keywords that will target more general traffic that does not necessarily have the intent to engage. That could lead to wasted clicks and less qualified traffic in general. Not to mention higher spend.
If there’s a clear logic behind one’s bidding strategy, this could also mess it up and hurt the performance and the end results.
In other words, if we want to make the best out of the Google Ads PPC campaigns – we must be in control of as many elements as needed. And that requires familiarity with the various features of the system and the logic of each bidding strategy on top of constant KPI analysis.
How to Check if a PPC Account Has Opted-in to the Program?
If you’re an agency and it is taking over a PPC account, the first thing you wanna do is to check if the account is opted into this pilot program. If it does, and you plan to manage it – you might want to consider opting-out.
Here’s how to check the status of an account:
- Login to the Auto Applied Recommendations Center
- Make sure the MCC is connected to this hum
- Look for accounts having the “activated” status”
- View the changes and check the relevancy and KPIs
- Decide on the appropriate action
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