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July 18, 2019

How to Turn Off Auto-Applied Ad Suggestions in Google Ads

by Harry Phillips

Google Ads is an ever-changing, complex machine.

To truly understand it, you need to have your finger on the pulse. This is harder than ever, as the team at Google are always pumping out new features, and honestly, it’s getting hard to keep up.

Some features and updates that Google has released recently have been great, such as the updated Target ROAS, pay for conversions Display campaigns or TrueView for Action.

However, not all new features are helpful for advertisers – the recent change to location targeting settings comes to mind.

If you’re someone that only checks your Google Ads account on a weekly/bi-weekly basis, we have some news for you.

You might be in for a shock when we tell you that Google might have written adverts for you and put them live in your account without you knowing.

And no… we’re not joking.

What are auto-applied ad suggestions?

This feature was actually released in April 2018, however, after seeing it enabled in accounts we audit and work on and speaking to other advertisers who didn’t know this existed, we had to share it.

Source: Google Ads Help

“Ad suggestions are variations of your existing text ads that may boost performance of your Search Network campaigns.” – Google.

The auto-applied ad suggestions feature will suggest variations of your current ads in any ad groups that only have 2 ads.

None of your ad groups should have only 2 ads in if you’re following standard Google Ads best practices.

This is because when using 3 variants, you can cover a higher range of messages and gather more data on which variant performs best.

14 days after the suggestion has been made, Google will automatically set the ads live in your account.

Not all instances we’ve come across have resulted in negative performance, but we have certainly seen our fair share.

If you’re happy with the ad suggestions, winner winner chicken dinner. You can go ahead and apply them to the relevant ad groups, saving a nice chunk of time not writing adverts.

If not, you can simply dismiss the suggestion and they will vanish into the deep, dark Google abyss.

Wait – this sounds great…

Why should I care?

You only have 14 days to check into the recommendations tab to approve or disapprove the suggestions, or they will automatically be applied to your account.

Thanks for the “suggestion” Google.

Many issues could arise:

  • Google may use a trademarked term in your advert
  • Google might describe your product wrong
  • Google could misrepresent your brand
  • Google may use terms you have agreed not to use

Any of the above could land you in hot water with a client, manufacturer or supplier. In an extreme case, maybe even a lawsuit.

Nobody likes to get into disagreements with clients, especially when your excuse is “Google wrote the advert for me”. We doubt that excuse is going to fly.

What should I do?

At This Digital, we turn this off for all clients as standard. We recommend that unless you’re in your account/s on a regular, consistent basis that you do the same.

Ad suggestions can be a great source of inspiration and can identify areas in which you could improve. On the other hand, it could have a negative impact on your performance or land you in a serious situation.

Auto-applied ad suggestions will show in the ‘Recommendations’ area of your Google Ads account.

In here, you will be able to manually review the adverts which have been automatically generated for you.

How to opt-out of auto-applied ad suggestions

  1. Log into your Google Ads account
  2. Click Settings on the left menu > Account settings
  3. At the bottom of the list, click Ad suggestions
  4. Enable Don’t automatically apply ad suggestions
  5. Click Save

Congrats. Voilà. You’ve levelled up.

Regularly creating fresh and engaging adverts for your Google Ads account is important.

Implementing highly engaging Search ads is something we do for all of our clients, that’s how we roll.

If you don’t have time to give your account the attention it truly needs, we can take care of that for you. First things first, we can give your account a free PPC audit.

Written by Harry Phillips
This Digital is one of the leading Paid Media agencies in the UK. Looking to learn more about who we are and how we could help you grow online?
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