A new recommendation has been made for Google Ads marketers in 2023.
Stop all Google Ads suggestions.
Google Ads changed fundamentally the way that recommendations are defined. Google only gives advertisers 2 weeks to prepare for the changes.
The moral of this article, before we start, is not that all content is good. This article aims to do less work while improving account performance.
What has changed in Google Ads recommendations?
Nicole Farley reported from what was actually a quite tame Google Ads suggestion: “Remove redundant keywords.”
In an attempt to reduce redundancy, advertisers had agreed to the recommendation. This allowed Google to delete keywords that have the same matching type. While there are many reasons to not implement this recommendation, some advertisers will still use it because of the benefit of one keyword appearing in all match types for most terms.
Advertisers who have applied the new changes will see their recommendation change to cross-match types. This means that they can remove phrase/exact match types and instead use a broad match keyword within an ad group.
If you followed the recommendation above, new rules will automatically be applied to your account on Jan. 19, unless you choose not.
Google claimed that this recommendation change would not negatively affect your performance, but did not provide any data or facts to support it.
Take a second to think about it.
Google Ads recommended this to clean up redundant terms within a match type. However, the rule was fundamentally changed by Google Ads.
A second infuriating act.
They should at a minimum remove all accounts from the setting, and allow people to re-opt into it if they wish (they won’t).
— Shaun Elley (@selley2134)
This would not be an issue if users were required to opt in, as mentioned. No problem if this was an entirely new suggestion.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the truth.
Why is it a problem?
What’s the next step?
Advertisers can’t trust one recommendation from Google, if the recommendations you accept today could be completely different tomorrow.
Advertisers and the whole Google Ads platform are in dangerous territory.
It is impossible to take any recommendation at face value.
Nevertheless, there are some suggestions that can help.
Now, I’ll be encouraging everyone to follow any recommendations that are meaningful and then implement the advice on their own initiative – not via Google Ads.
It isn’t great. This precedent is worrying.
Gil Gildner (@gilgildner).
Although the definition of Google Ads recommendations is fluid now, your commitment, work and attention to detail are not.
Google shouldn’t be able to take your dollars and efforts into its own hands.
Aren’t Google Ads Recommendations useful?
Being an agency owner I prefer to act as a fiduciary for my clients. Always, the best interests of my client are #1, #1a, and #1b. The Optimization Score and the recommendation system have a long history. I believe they operate differently.
Advertisers were shocked when Google introduced recommendations. You could view the entire list of recommendations and see that “raise budgets” was one option but not “lower budgets”.
There are similar expansionist recommendations, such as “Expand your reach through Google search partners” and “Use optimised targeting”, but there is no ying to the yang. These inflationary, spend-first recommendations are difficult to accept under a fiduciary perspective.
Although most of the recommendations are clear, many advertisers found the system more annoying than useful.
It got worse.
Google attempted to make partners conform to a badge. The irritation of recommendation dismissal became a threat to agency ethics, client outcomes and the integrity of their clients.
This ill-advised idea was , and we have been back to rejecting all recommendations and applying only those that are bulletproof.
Recommendations are no longer trusted by me – this isn’t an isolated event, it has a history.
What should you do when someone suggests something?
This is a brand new year, and it’s time to “renew” your approach to Google Ads Recommendations.
You can take a moment to review your settings, and then opt out of any suspicious recommendations.
All information can be viewed by clicking on the Manage tab within the web interface.
You must also be vigilant in your attempts to ensure that any recommendations you have received are working as you expected.
Important note: You still have to execute any recommendations. It may be a good idea to turn them off, as it can save you headaches later.
It is possible to revise any auto-applied recommendation. However, if the recommendation was relying on you manually complete it.
The bottom line: Advertisers should be cautious when applying recommendations from Google Ads. It is possible that it will change.
These opinions are not necessarily those of Search Engine Land, but they do reflect the views of the guest author. Here are the names of staff authors.
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