One of the biggest dilemmas facing AdWords advertisers is deciding how much to let Google automate your account. If you want, you can let Google take care of bidding, create ad extensions and various other tasks for you. You can do this, but many advertisers choose to do things their own way and stay in control of everything possible.
So here’s one for you: would you let Google create ad variations and run them live on your behalf? Because that’s precisely what the search giants want to do and it’s already testing a new system for it.
Google launches Ads Added by AdWords pilot
Last month, Google launched a pilot for Ads Added by AdWords – a system that would allow Google to create ad variations for every user (that doesn’t specifically opt out). The news hasn’t been particularly well-received in the industry with many advertisers nervous at the prospect of Google creating ads for them.
Reddit users are less than impressed.
So why are advertisers concerned? Well, first of all, Google will be able to put these ad variations live without asking your permission. That’s not going to sit well with many advertisers, to begin with but these ads could also heavily interfere with any A/B testing you conduct. If Google suddenly throws in another ad variation during your tests, your results pretty much become useless.
There’s also the classic conflict of interest between Google and advertisers. Google wants to make more money from people clicking your ads; you want to make more money by selling more products. Those are two very distinct goals for creating an ad and it’s an uncomfortable idea that Google could be creating ads on our behalf.
That said, it’s all doom and gloom though.
Why is Google taking this direction?
Google’s main selling point for Ads Added by AdWords is that it thinks it can improve the performance of your ad groups by 5-15%. It’s confident that by adding more variations into your ad groups it can raise the average performance – and there is some logic to the idea.
Despite this, we still think a lot of advertisers will opt out, should the feature go live – assuming Google allows it. There’s no reason to think it won’t let you opt out, though, and we’re pretty sure this feature isn’t designed for those who’ll want to opt out anyway. Instead, this is a move designed for the people who aren’t creating any ad variations whatsoever.
This applies to a lot of DIY AdWords users who don’t have the time or technical knowledge to create ad variations. These users aren’t maximising their performance and they’re not spending as much as they could on AdWords. So Google has a lot to gain by automating this process, provided its variations actually do improve performance and profit margins for advertisers.
So while this is a drastic move by Google, we don’t think it’s an entirely bad one. That said, we still expect many advertisers will be opting out of this if it fully rolls out after the pilot stage. And, perhaps more importantly, we should be asking where Google plans to go from here.
Could there be an automated overhaul to the AdWords infrastructure as we know it? Perhaps Google thinks its own machine learning platform will be better at creating effective ads than us humans in the near future.
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