Last week, Google began sending out an innocuous-seeming email to select PPC advertisers. It’s possible you may have already received it.
Sounds nice enough, doesn’t it? Here’s Google, going out of their way to help support your business so you don’t even have to think about your ads. What a kind thing to do!
This email is actually terrifying.
What It Means to Google Ads Account Holders
Anyone who has used Google Ads for a significant amount of time is used to getting emails from Google’s reps, offering to set up a call to run through their suggestions to better optimize the campaigns. Usually, the suggestions revolve around trying the newest functionality that Google is pushing or increasing budgets and can, therefore, be safely ignored.
This email, however, is different due to a single phrase:
“We’ll work behind the scenes to ensure the right features are being activated at the right moment”
Google is telling you that their teams are going to be able to make changes to the way your campaigns are organized, your bids, and even your ad copy, all without your prior approval.
While they promise that your overall budget won’t increase, there is plenty of room for them to make changes that will impact overall account performance and profitability. Google’s algorithms won’t necessarily have access to all of your data, meaning that the optimizations they implement might focus on top-of-funnel metrics at the expense of overall campaign health.
Special Concerns for Healthcare
Allowing Google to wantonly make changes to ad campaigns is a risky proposition for any advertiser, but there are additional concerns for those in the medical field. The world of healthcare is full of technical verbiage and important legal considerations, which Google’s automatic updates may not be able to interpret correctly.
If you’ve ever revised an ad because it didn’t meet legal guidelines or your medical experts thought it sounded unnatural, you should be giving Google the side eye. In particular, not opting out of Google’s automatic updates could jeopardize your ability to stay compliant with the regulations that govern what you can and cannot say in ads.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?
There are two links to opt out of this program within the text of the email, one at the end of the last paragraph and one at the bottom. We asked Google if there was a way to pre-emptively opt out, but there, unfortunately, isn’t at this time. That means you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled and open any emails Google sends you.
If you’re a little late to react, don’t fear. You have 7 business days between getting the first email and when Google’s reps can start making changes. You can even opt out after this grace period ends, though you will want to consider reverting any changes that went live before you stopped them.
Long Term Implications
It’s not currently clear what this means for the future of managing Google Ads campaigns. Google has always shown interest in letting algorithms automatically adjust campaigns, from the unveiling enhanced CPC in 2010 to Automatic Ad Suggestions last year. The best approach is to stay aware of the latest in Google programming and decide which elements, if any, make the most sense for you.