Earlier this year Google begin testing a new feature in their AdWords platform: Ads Added by AdWords. Since then, Google has begun to roll this out in more accounts (now re-branded as “Ad Suggestions”) via the new AdWords interface. Interestingly, while these ads are “suggested”, if you don’t tell them not to Google will automatically add them to your account after 14 days by default.
You might have already seen a notification in your AdWords account or received an email from AdWords about the change. This change is still in testing, so it hasn’t been rolled out to every account yet, but it could be very significant if it goes live for all advertisers. Following on from other changes (e.g. exact match becoming less precise), this represents yet another step away from precise manual control (usually better/more effective for more advanced users) and further towards automation (usually better/easier for less experienced advertisers).
What is the change?
AdWords are rolling out a new feature called ad suggestions, which automatically generates new ads using a combination of artificial intelligence (machine learning) and human review (AdWords staff). This is based on signals including your existing ads, keywords, and landing pages. By default, these automatically generated ads are then submitted to your account for you to review; however, if the ads are not manually rejected (or approved) they will automatically be applied (put live in your account) after 14 days. However, these default settings can be adjusted.
To help improve performance, a combination of human review and machine learning is used to create high-quality ad suggestions. Relevant content from your account used to create ad suggestions include your existing ads, extensions, and landing page. Google also uses additional signals such as keywords and targeting in order to optimize the ad copy.
What does this mean?
This change is primarily intended for advertisers who do not regularly (or effectively) manage their accounts. By automatically creating new ads and split testing them, performance (e.g. click-through rate) could be improved.
However, for accounts which are actively managed (e.g. by an agency) and/or for businesses which want to keep tight control over their branding, this change presents a few issues. Firstly, it takes control away from the advertiser, potentially disrupting management of the account and making it harder to keep track of changes. Secondly, auto-generated ads may not follow branding guidelines such as tone of voice, and/or may not be fully accurate. Finally, in their current state, the automatic ads are unlikely to be more compelling than ads which are manually created, tested, and optimised.
Do I need to do anything?
If you’re happy to use suggested ads you won’t need to do anything. If you want to continue to create and test ads manually you can opt out of automatically applied Ad Suggestions.
For standard AdWords accounts follow these steps:
1. Choose “Settings” in the page menu.
2. Select “Account Settings”.
3. Choose “Don’t automatically apply ad suggestions”.
If you run multiple accounts through an AdWords MCC account you can opt out here.
Where can I find out more?
This AdWords Help Article contains more information.