Don't Use Google Ads Auto Applied Recommendations
Google Ads

Don’t Use Google Ads Auto Applied Recommendations

Have you ever noticed a day when you didn’t get any recommendations notification from Google ads? 

Most probably, No. Right? 

You must have seen many recommendations popping in your google ads with a red colour alert symbol near the notification bell button and it will ask us to “Apply All” of those recommendations. 

Google ads overview

Here’s where you have to be more conscious. If you apply all the recommendations without reviewing their requirements, that’s it. Forget your money, google can churn all your money. 

Yeah, It’s about the google auto applied recommendations feature, that google rolled out recently, to make more money. 

In this article, I’ll take you through the hard truth that google ads auto applied recommendations try to churn more money from your ads account, why it does that and how you can save your money from it. 

If you already know what Google ads auto applied recommendations are. You can skip this section and jump to the next section. 

If you don’t know about it. Let me explain briefly. 

Auto applied recommendations overview:

Google ads auto applied recommendations is a feature where Google recommends the advertisers to make any specific actions like raising the budget, the quality score of the keywords and new keywords for your google ads campaign

As the name suggests, at first google will notify you of the recommendation to make some specific changes in the campaigns, if you don’t want them to be applied, and if you don’t dismiss them or you left them as such, then after 14 days, google will automatically apply that recommendation to your ad campaign. 

This can be found under the recommendation tab on the left sidebar in your google ads dashboard. You can check the history as well, how many times Google has automatically applied the recommendation in the past, and what are all the recommendations, everything you can find there. 

Type of auto applied Recommendations:

There are 26 recommendations available in the google ads auto apply. They are divided into 2 big categories. 

  1. Maintain your ads.
  2. Grow your business. 

But for our better understanding, they can be divided into 3 other categories.

  1. Keywords recommendation
  2. Budget recommendation
  3. Ads and extension recommendation

Keywords recommendation in Google:

As the name suggests, Google will recommend some changes to your campaigns at the keywords level such as adding keywords, removing redundant keywords, adding negative keywords and much more related to the keywords. 

Budget recommendations in Google:

Here, Google will recommend some changes like changing the bidding strategy from Manual to automated, upgrading the conversion tracking and most often google will recommend we increase the budget amount. This is where we have to be more conscious, I will take you through this in an upcoming section of this article. 

Ads and extension recommendations in Google:

In this, google will recommend something related to your ad text like ads rotation, adding responsive search ads and improving your responsive search ads. 

Check your google ads dashboard to know more about the list of recommendations. 

Now let me explain to you the reality behind the google ads’ auto applied recommendations. 

This is why you should not auto applied recommendations:

First, we all have to understand that Google is not a non-profit organization, it is a private organisation. They also need money to run the business. Google is not here to help you free and grow your business for free. 

Many people blindly trust google, they are thinking that whatever google says, it’s good for their business. No, it’s not. 

I found this just 3 months back only. 

According to Statista, “In 2021, Google accounted for the majority of its parent company revenue with 177.7 billion US dollars in Google Website as revenue alone, majority of Google’s revenue comes from advertising through Google owned and operated properties such as Google search, google maps and more”.  

Statistic: Revenue of Google from 1st quarter 2008 to 2nd quarter 2022 (in million U.S. dollars) | Statista

Since Google is a private player, and most of its revenue comes from displaying ads on its platforms, they also try to churn your money if possible, simply by recommending you to spend more money on bidding strategy and other indirect means. 

However it does recommend some good changes in our ads account, but only if you understand what’s the recommendation and will that favours google to churn more money from you. 

Now let’s discuss the pros and cons of google auto applied recommendations

Pros of google auto applied recommendation

If you are a newbie marketer or you don’t have time to monitor your campaigns all day, Google tries to help you with these recommendations. It helps to save time. But not your money. Here’s Why. 

Cons of google auto applied recommendation

Though it helps us to save a lot of time with its automation, on the other hand, it tries to make more money by increasing your budget. Here are some examples of how google’s auto applied recommendations to try to churn your money. 

Broad match recommendations

Most often Google will recommend you to change the exact or phrase match keywords to broad match keywords, right? 

Google justifies this by saying that more people can visit your ads. But it’s not our goal, our goal is to get good leads. 

By this, google can show your ads to more people, and it will get more reach. But most probably, with broad match keywords the quality of link clicks and leads is poor. 

For example, you are a marketing agency in Dubai, selling digital marketing services and you have used a phrase match or exact match keyword like “digital marketing services” in your campaign, what google does is, it will recommend you to change this into a broad match like digital marketing services

By doing this now google can show these ads to all the searches related to digital marketing like digital marketing jobs, digital marketing agencies in India and so on, which are not relevant to our goal. And users will click the ads, and google gets paid. You got an irrelevant click, which is a waste of money. Google does the same with other recommendations as well.

Once you apply all the recommendations or any specific recommendation from google, You might notice a sudden jump in your CPA (cost per acquisition), and you might get a lot of irrelevant clicks from the Google recommended keywords. If you get to witness these symptoms, it’s better to turn off the google ads auto applied recommendation. 

But, Google is clever, before January 2022, google auto apply recommendations can be found on the main page (google ads overview page), once google finds out that people started noticing this auto applied recommendations tactics, google hide this feature inside the recommendation tab on the left sidebar in the google ads account dashboard. 

How to cancel the google auto applied recommendation?

Follow these steps to turn off the google auto applied recommendations on your google ads account:

  • Open your Google ads account on your device (laptop or desktop would be easier)
  • On the left side, you can see the recommendation tab below the overview. Click on the recommendation tab. 

recommendation tab on the google ads overview page

  • Then, on the upper right side, you can find the auto apply option. Click that. 

recommendations tab with auto apply option highlighted

  • Click on the manage page on the upper left side. There you can see two different sets of recommendations. 
  • If all the checkboxes are checked by default, uncheck every recommendation. 

Save option highlighted on the google ads auto applied recommendations

  • And don’t forget to click save in the upper right corner, after you unchecked all the recommendations. 

Ok, now being turned off all the auto applied recommendations in google, how can you optimize your ad campaigns to get better results? 

What else can be done?

Even if you are not conceived with all the above insight, or you are compelled to go with google ads auto applied recommendation. Do these two things. 

  1. Understand why google ads recommend these changes to your campaign, and how they can help you. Especially when it comes to an increase in budget recommendations, be more conscious. If you feel those recommendations can purely help your campaign to perform better, go with that. 
  2.  After you apply those recommendations, check your campaign’s key metrics like CPA, CPC (cost per click), lead quality and others. And do compare them with your previous performance, if the current performance is better than the previous one, go with that, else remove that recommendation and go with the previous strategy itself. 

If you are a PPC specialist, you might know the in and out of google ads, especially about targeting and bidding. So I would recommend you to do any changes and monitor the google ads manually. Of Course, it will take some time, but to save this time, you can’t let Google bankrupt your business, because most of the time, what google recommends might not be as effective as your previous strategy for your campaigns. 

If you’re a beginner, then I would recommend learning how google ads work at a deeper level, trying to understand how things work in google ads, and more importantly trying to understand how google can make benefits out of this. There is no bad in investing your time in learning google ads on a deeper level. 

If you don’t have time, better hire a PPC expert or an advertising agency to manage your google ads campaign, but while choosing them, try to find that they have a good amount of experience and knowledge in managing the paid ads campaign in your industry. In this way, you can save both time and money from Google. 

TL; DR:

  • Google is not a non-profit organization, it’s also a private player, which needs money to run its business. 
  • Most of the revenue for Alphabet (Google’s parent company) came from Google which too from placing the advertisements on its platform.
  • Don’t blindly follow Google’s recommendation, and waste your money. 
  • Cancel Google’s auto applied recommendations settings in your google ads account. 
  • What else can be done
    • Learn google ads on a deeper level and set your google ads manually
    • Or better hire a PPC expert or agency to manage your google ads account

If you feel like you don’t have enough time to monitor your ad campaigns periodically, contact us now. We help startup founders and business owners from creating an effective google ads campaign from scratch to monitoring their campaign periodically. 

If you have any doubts regarding setting up the google ads campaigns or anything related to google ads, ping us and book a free consultation call with us to get your google ads campaign fixed, and make more quality leads

Cheers, 

Sasi Ram from The Creatives 360.

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