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If you have a Google Ads account, you’ll no doubt have seen their account recommendations pop up on your dashboard for you to review. You may even be prompted to auto-apply these recommendations.

AI is at the forefront of the modern world of digital marketing – so surely these automated recommendations based on Google’s machine learning within Google Ads are worth applying?

Unfortunately not – in fact many of these recommendations can end up costing you more money with less return. Here are our thoughs on whether or not you should apply Google ads recommendations.

What Exactly are Google Ad Account Recommendations?

Google themselves define their recommendations section in an explainer on their website as:

The recommendations section of your Google Ads account is dedicated to helping you improve your campaigns. Recommendations can introduce you to new, relevant features and help you get more out of your budget by improving your bidding, keywords and ads. Recommendations evolve over time to align with the most up-to-date Google Ads best practices, increasing the overall performance and efficiency of your campaigns.

That all sounds pretty helpful, right? There’s no doubt that these recommendations have been set up to help advertisers but it is putting a lot of faith in Google’s machine learning on your account. Applying these recommendations can increase your budget, change bidding strategies, and add completely new keywords to your account so caution when applying is recommended, and for that reason…..

Should you Auto-Apply Google Ad Recommendations?

No, absolutely not. Never. Not in a million years.

Whilst some of these recommendations can be useful, they are more often not particularly relevant and can lead to dramatic increases in budget spend with no extra conversions to show for it.

For that reason we would never recommend setting Google ad recommendations to auto apply.

That said, some of these recommendations can occasionally help the account so manually reviewing them is worthwhile.

My account optimization score has dropped because I haven’t applied recommendations – will this affect my ad performance?

You may be concerned to see a drop in optimization score at either an account or campaign level if you haven’t applied all your recommendations. This optimization score can drop annoyingly quickly – we’ve seen it drop from 100% to below 90% just a day after reviewing the account recommendations.

But don’t worry, this score won’t affect your ad performance. It shouldn’t be confused with other performance indicators such as the quality score of your ads – a much more important metric which assesses the quality and relevance of your ad for your keywords and affects how much you need to bid for that term.

If the drop in optimization score on your account is annoying you though and you want to get the optimization score back to 100%, you can go through the suggestions and apply or dismiss as needed. But how do you know which suggestions to apply and which to dismiss?

To Apply or Dismiss? What to do with Google Ad Suggestions

If you’re not familiar with the infrastructure for Google ads, understanding which suggestions to apply and which to dismiss can be tricky.

There are definitely good recommendations that pop up – for example ideas on how to improve ads by adding more headlines or assets such as images, structured snippets and callout features. For this reason it’s always worth reviewing and applying selected recommendations within your account.

Those that should be ignored are often adding new keywords (which can often be irrelevant) or changing bid strategy or budgets which can lead to a large increase in spend. These are major changes and should be undertaken with careful planning.

Always remember that whilst Google has huge amounts of account data and machine learning capability, utlimately you as the business owner – or the agency handling your account – will likely be better informed about the specifics of the product or service you want to advertise and your target audience. For this reason, always review and apply your own knowledge and discretion to these suggestions.

If you are having any difficulty, it is always worth consulting with a specialist Google Ads agency who will be up-to-date with all the latest changes in the platform and can understand how best to optimise your account.

Should you Follow Advice from Google Account Strategists?

As a Google Ads account owner, you will likelu receive calls and emails from Google Ad account representatives offering advice and guidance on your account.

Whilst it can be tempting to see this as free expert advice and let them implement their suggestions, we have found their advice on campaign optimisation can be extremely hit and miss.

Remember these Google reps will likely be calling hundreds of account holders each week and won’t have the time to properly understand your product or service in the detail required for successful ad optimisation.

Of course, there are good Google ad reps but these are often only allocated to accounts with a high ad spend – unless you’re spending tens of thousands a month on ads you may find the advice is extremely poor and can lead to wasted spend and irrelevant clicks.

Why do we as Google ads specialist care about this? Well, many advertisers are put off using Google ads and never return because of a poor experience with the platform based off suggestions from Google ad reps. This is a real shame as Google Ads can be an incredibly useful targeted digital marketing tool if your account setup and management is done by someone who understands both the Google ads platform and your business.

Ready to Make the Most of Google Ads for your Business? Get in Touch

Search Hog are SEO and PPC experts that work with a range of businesses to help them make the most of online advertising. We stay up-to-date with the latest developments within the Google ads platform and always take the time to understand the specifics of the businesses we work with.

Get in touch today for a FREE review of your Google Ads account.

Matthew Pavli

Matthew Pavli is the founder of Search Hog and resident SEO expert. When he's not geeking out on Google algorithm changes, he can be found surfing at one of his local beaches in Cornwall.

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