If you advertise with Google Ads, then you’ve likely received an email headlined “We’ll focus on your campaigns, so you can focus on your business.”
While this might seem like an enticing offer, there are major implications to allowing Google control how you spend money with… well, Google. And because there’s already plenty of news surrounding this announcement, this post summarizes our thoughts on why you might not want Google managing your ads.
What The Program Entails
According to the email, a Google Ads expert will identify “key changes that can help you get more out of your ads, from restructuring your ad groups and modifying your keywords to adjusting your bids and updating your ad text.”
In a nutshell, that includes structure, keywords, bids, and ads – all of which are huge components to a larger PPC strategy. Additionally, the email states that they’ll offer “setup and ongoing activation of advanced features” and “ensure the right features are being activated at the right moment.” In other words, they won’t mess with your budget, but may use various other features like device bid adjustments, ad scheduling, ad extensions, etc.
As a Google Partner and search marketing agency, we aren’t strangers to problems most advertisers face when using Google Ads. In short, many of the accounts that we audit are in dire need of improvement.
Structurally, campaigns and ad groups are often times too consolidated and inefficient, and contain overly-long lists of targeted keywords. Additionally, we typically discover that most advertisers are ill adept in using proper keyword bidding practices and making use of precise match types.
Because a vast majority of accounts we review need improvement, there may be value for some advertisers to remain opted-in to this program. This is likely small business owners who can’t afford hiring a PPC agency, or in-house marketing managers who know enough to be dangerous, but still struggle to turn a favorable ROAS from Google Ads.
There are several concerns regarding the disruption and long-term implications for the broader ecosystem of search marketing agencies, consultants, clients and PPC practitioners – not because we feel as though our PPC service offerings are being threatened – but rather because of our prior experience working with assigned Google Ads representatives.
Are The Google Ads Experts Truly Google Employees?
Through our engagements with Google, we’ve come to learn that in most cases, these Google Ads experts are not actual employees of Google. Rather, they are outsourced, third-party vendors who represent Google as support specialists. As such, in our experience, the knowledge, experience, and support they offer has always been rudimentary and not the most insightful.
That’s not to say the Google Ads experts involved in this program won’t be of value to certain advertisers. But based on our team’s experience as well as the experience of our colleagues, the relentless “help” that Google offers feels more like someone trying to make a quota versus a real expert who has tangible insights worth sharing.
Is Help Warranted If It’s Not Actually Needed?
Another downside to this new program can be best summarized by the old proverb “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Most PPC agencies and Google Ads experts spend an enormous amount of time properly structuring accounts, employing best practices, and implementing creative strategies. The last thing any of these professionals want is someone else in the account making unwarranted adjustments.
Some Features Might Not Be In Your Best Interest
To bring closure as to why we’re not leaping for joy over this new Google Ads program, consider this simple example. For smaller accounts, having full control of keyword bids by using a Manual CPC bidding strategy can have its advantages. All other bid strategy options, despite being recommended by Google Ads and its support specialists, compromise control over how much your bidding on a particular keyword. Even using the highly-recommended Enhanced CPC bidding can escalate your bids higher than they need to be.
Beyond bid strategy types, allowing a Google Ads expert manage your account is a huge sacrifice of control that we would only recommend to those advertisers who truly need the free help.
Although the announcement of this program will ultimately help some of its advertisers, at the end of the day, Google is still a business that is out to make money, and automated Google Ads are programmed to make it easy to spend more money than you need to.
You wouldn’t let a car salesman at the dealer you’re trying to buy a car from negotiate the final price of your car, would you?