Google continues to automate the work of Google Ads specialists. Now we have already access to Smart Display, Smart Shopping, Dynamic Search ads and more. The next move is once again a push towards automation and reducing the amount of manual activities in account management. We are talking about "Auto-Applied recommendations" (AAR). Which is a level further than the current feature to allow applying recommended suggestions.
As the name implies, Auto-Applied recommendations are custom recommendations which can be pushed to the accounts by Google independently, without asking for permission by the account manager.
There are three default packages on the "menu" and advertisers can choose any of those, or to make a custom combination. The features are divided across fields being: Bids, Ads and Extensions, keywords and targeting or repairs. Some examples of optimizations include:
Package 1: Basic
The basic package is probably mostly meant for advertisers that manage several different accounts or channels and want to reduce their workload.
Some basic optimizations will get automated such as: pausing keywords with low traffic volumes, removing conflicting negative keywords and automatically changing to data-driven attribution. The last being an important point to keep track of as it may suddenly paint a whole different picture on the results.
Package 2: Intermediate
The intermediate combination allows permissions for more tactical changes to be handled autonomously. This package is probably more suitable to business owners who are not willing to outsource Google Ads to an agency.
The middle package may push changes as changing the bidding model, adding ad extensions or adding additional keywords.
Package 3: Strong automation
We could call this level "Expert level". However, it is rather the opposite. The top level is mostly meant for advertisers who don't really know what they are doing. This level seems a bit like "Adwords Express" where Google will take over the bulk of optimization tasks.
On this level, Google may autonomously add new creatives, add Dynamic Search Ads and Responsive Search Ads.
With all automated recommendations, it is possible to revert the changes made within 14 days so it is very important to check your accounts at least every other week. Google is currently rolling out these changes across all languages and accounts, starting with English, French and Japanese accounts.
Automated optimizations may be a viable change to your accounts depending on your level of expertise in the field. One clear "pro" for implementing these is that ARR-optimizations work towards your "Optiscore" or optimization score (not to be confused with "Quality Score".) Google is putting more and more focus on Optiscore and has already been experimenting with the consequences of low optimization scores. For example, from 2022, only partners with an optimization score of over 70%, will get access to the Partner Badge.
However, there are also downsides to auto-applied recommendations. While Google has become very strong in the field of Machine Learning and Smart campaigns, it is important to keep an important detail in mind. Google does not necessarily work with the same agenda. Ultimately, Google's main goal is to make a profit from the expenses made into advertising. While higher ad spend is normally considered a cost which is to be reduced to advertisers, in the eyes of Google it should ideally be increased as it is the source of Google’s profit. Some of the automations described in AAR are also peculiar as they are not saving advertisers much time. An example of this is bidding models, which is just a matter of switching on a checkmark, so there is not much reason to automate this. However, the financial impact could be very significant.
While we at eLama greatly support automation and making the work of advertisers easier (which is the reason we built our extensive toolset), we also believe that these changes need to be controlled by an account manager and Auto-Applied recommendations should be approached with extreme caution. It is a worrying development that Google is not only making the work easier but they are also making it less transparent and adjustable.
We have a great toolset for advertisers to manage their ads effectively. We especially want to highlight two tools — Automated rules and Advisor. Automated rules give advertisers a host of new possibilities to automate account management while staying fully in control of the changes made, gives the chance to push only optimizations that you agree with and gives the option to implement or remove automation at will. Advisor, in turn, gives advertisers an opportunity to check ad performance in a minute and get a list of suggestions on how to optimize their ads.