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Before I start this rant post, I want to make 2 quick points…

  1. If you don’t want to read, but just want to opt out of this new adwords “feature”, then here is the link
  2. I am all for automation and a lot of new features from Adwords have been helpful, but this one is not for me. That being said, you can at least opt out, but I think you should not be automatically opted-in.
  3. Update – Here are two scripts to help check for Ads added By Adwords in your account – Check for the ads and Pause the Ads
    1. Please always be careful with scripts and make sure they work properly for your needs
    2. The first script is by Frederick Vallaeys and the second is by Aaron Dicks

Okay, now back to the post. On Thursday afternoon, one of my client accounts received this email…

Dear AdWords Advertiser,

You’ve been invited to participate in a pilot program for AdWords that is designed to improve campaign performance by creating new variations of your existing ads within your ad groups. You’re receiving this message because your account contains at least one campaign that’s optimizing ads for clicks or conversions. These campaigns may also contain ad groups with fewer ads than is recommended by AdWords best practices.

What’s changing

Starting February 9, 2017, you may see new ads in some ad groups with the label “Added by AdWords.” These ads will be created based on information you’ve provided in your existing ads, such as your headlines, description, ad extensions, or information found on your ads’ landing page. New ads will only be added to each ad group once.

Next steps

You do not need to take any action to participate in the program. Starting February 9, 2017, please monitor clicks and spend going to these new ads. You can edit, pause, or remove them at any point, however we recommend waiting until they have enough impressions to give you confidence in the results. Because you’ve chosen to optimize your ads for clicks or conversions, AdWords will automatically optimize these ads to meet your business goals.

You can learn more about ads “Added by AdWords” in the AdWords Help Center. If you’d like to opt out of this pilot program, please complete this form.*

My first reaction wasn’t so positive. Was this actually for real? Was it spam? I took to twitter and #ppcchat and it was confirmed by Matt McKenna, who posted it on reddit as well. Google was going to add ETAs to your adgroups without any notice starting Feb 9th. You’d be able to see those ads, they would have a label “added by adwords”. And you could pause or delete those ads, but it was going to happen (unless you opted out).

So before I go on, a few notes about this particular account…

  • Resort/Leisure Industry
  • Spend is about $20K per month
  • it’s the only account not in our MCC
  • It has ETAs and Legacy (STA) ads in all adgroups
  • It has remarketing campaigns

Not sure if any of those factors had an impact for this campaign being selected, but wanted to mention them in case anyone has insight.

So getting back to the main point here, while I can pause the ads or opt-out, I still don’t want Google writing my (client’s) ads for a few reasons…

  • They don’t know the business
  • They don’t know the goals
  • They could screw up A/B ad tests
  • They may not coincide with Landing Pages or LP tests
  • Are they weighing CTR > Conversion Rates
  • Some industries (Legal) have strict rules for advertising copy

p - law p - scary  p - ab tests p - lp

Basically I want control over my adcopy, not Google. And these are pretty good reasons why. That being said, I get why Google is doing it. Some (a lot) accounts are probably not using ETA’s, despite the upcoming deadline and Google wants to push ETA’s as much as possible since they look more like organic listings. And to be fair, there were some positive points made on Twitter as well…

p - dsa  p - suggest

But to Julie’s point in her tweet, don’t make them auto-run. And while I haven’t (won’t) see these new ads in action, Kirk makes a valid point…

p - not new

So in theory, the adcopy would not be out of the blue. It would be based on current ad versions. So that could be safe. But what if they don’t have enough current ads, but instead/also base them on adcopy from paused/deleted ads. Or from other adgroups, where the copy wouldn’t make sense. Not saying that would happen, but it makes you think/worry, so another reason to opt out.

So maybe you can make a case as to how this could be helpful. And for Google it makes sense to get more people upgraded to ETAs, even if they have to do it automatically. But my opinion is that the risk outweighs the reward and it shouldn’t be automatic opt-in. But at least you can opt-out or kill the ads. Or even an automated rule if need be…

p- rule

But the overall point of this post is to make you aware, so that you can decide for yourself. But for me it’s a definite…

P - opted out


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