Google AdWords announced today (see a copy of email below) that from 29 April, they will provide Ad suggestions which are based on your existing ads and that from this date for 14 days you can decide to manually dismiss or apply these ads to your relevant adgroups. However, if after 14 days, if you have not done either, Google AdWords will automatically enable these ads to your relevant adgroup. While most businesses and advertisers will likely gloss over the email below, it’s worth taking a step back to better understand the implications. And this is not the first time that Google AdWords has done evil things to business and in particular small business who don’t have the time mostly, but also the knowledge and experience to better understand the ramifications of this evil act on their AdWords account.
As many practitioners would be aware, Google AdWords has this “friendly tool” that “kindly” suggests keywords that you can add to your AdGroups. This little AdWords tool, however, reeks havoc on small business. How this tool works is Google AdWords will provide suggestions on some additional keywords you could add to your account such as this. Who would want to miss the opportunity to get their ad in front of more potential customers!
Once you click “view” you will see something like this. The problem is the vast majority, if not all keywords suggested, if you have done your keyword search correctly, have little or no relevance to the landing page being used in each AdGroup and little or no relevance to your business. Sure at a stretch, I mind find a few that have some vague resemblance, but you should be hitting the Dismiss all button ALL THE TIME. Google does a great job of selling the upside if you click “Apply All” or even if your selective and click “apply” for each adgroup. I mean if they tell you it will generate extra clicks for less than a cup of coffee then that’s very kind of them.
However, a large number of small business AdWords accounts we see, they have simply hit the “Apply All” over a period of time. This then results in
- a very low click thru on ads because the ad is no longer relevant to the keywords
- your ad relevance score drops to below average for each keyword
- the landing pages are no longer relevant to the keywords
- your landing page experience score drops to below average
- the CTR goes down,
- you end up with a Below Average score for Expected CTR.
- now each keyword has a Quality Score of 3 or lower.
- you increase your bids to get to the top of the page
- it costs you more money
- you get a worse result.
- you think AdWords advertising is a waste of money….
Now because a small business person who is time poor does not understand the intricacies of how AdWords works says AdWords does not work OR they continue to increase their bids because they have to because they want their ad at the top of the search results and the only way to do this is to keep bidding higher to drive up your Adrank. We have seen accounts with tens of thousands of keywords all because Google AdWords is EVIL and continues to “suggest” keywords that can be added to your adgroups. Here is an example of an account that had taken these suggestions from Google AdWords and added thinking they were doing the right thing. CTR is low at 1.8% (now averages 6% to 7% each day) and the total number of keywords in the account was 6,500 for a small business – they now have just 25. Their website was busy and they got lots of traffic, but the quality of calls was not. They wasted much of their day talking with people not interested in the service they provide.
In contrast, they now receive a significantly smaller number of calls, but most calls are actually qualified leads and 80% of these now convert to a customer. Revenue from AdWords is also up over 100% and the amount they spend on AdWords has halved. What Google Adwords do with this keyword suggestion is basically put more money in their pocket and actually works to destroy AdWords as a channel for many businesses. When Google started, they had the mantra, don’t be evil. Clearly, this is no longer the case.
If you would like to read our guide on setting out your AdWords account please visit our Omology guide and about a third of the way down we have a section which goes through setting up your AdWords account. Otherwise, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adding New Ads Automatically
So back to today’s email on adding new ads to your adgroups. With the keyword suggestion tool, Google gave you the option to add the keywords to each adgroup. With ads, if you don’t dismiss the ad suggestion within 14 days and if you fail to set your global settings to not accept these (which most people won’t as the default will be to accept) most AdWords accounts from 29 April will start to see the list of ads grow in their adgroups and as Google AdWords will be adding these unless dismissed the number of ads could swell significantly (they have not indicated if they will limit the number of ads). Further, given they will continue to ad new ads, this could potentially have a negative impact on your Ad relevance scores as part of your quality score, pushing your quality score lower and your adrank lower. This could be further exacerbated by lower expected CTR scores. If you combine the impacts of lots of keywords in your adgroups together with lots of ads quality scores will be lower and cost business more money to advertise on Google AdWords.
So how do you turn this off?
Below are the steps you need to take to turn off ads being automatically added to your account. Steps
- Log into AdWords and ensure you are at the account level. Then click “settings”
- Click “account settings” at the top of the page
- Click on “Ad Suggestions”
- Check the box for “Don’t automatically apply ad suggestions”
- Google wants you to provide a reason. We suggest you tell them they have become evil – “Google has become evil”
- Don’t forget to click “save” at the bottom right of the screen.
So you need to tell Google that they have become evil. Don’t let them destroy your AdWords account. Fight back by turning off automatic application of ad suggestions and through the reason tell them they are evil!
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