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Should I let Google Optimize my Account?

Account Optimized by Google



7:11 am on Jan 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hi, has anyone had their account optimized by Google. I have a rep that contacted me and wants to modify my account and add new words and make changes.

Do you recommend letting them do this?


8:11 am on Jan 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

It doesn't hurt but don't expect any miracle. You’ll get a proposal which you can approve or deny (completely or partially).


4:05 pm on Jan 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I'm testing one for a client right now. There were pros and cons - some of the ads I didn't think were very focused, or as well written as mine, and there was a misspelling in one (!)

On the other hand, the Google Rep came up with a whole lot of great keywords, and more importantly, negative keywords that I hadn't even thought of.

I haven't checked on conversions; my feeling is that they're about the same, but I still have to check that.


7:33 pm on Jan 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

That sounds pretty much like a go for it. Is there anybody that has a negative experience with using Google to Optimize?


7:49 pm on Jan 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Not 1 person with a negative experience having Google optimize their site?


8:23 pm on Jan 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Actually, I turned mine back (sorry, I forgot this item was here) I used Google Analytics (despite all the problems with it right now, hint hint) to compare the ROI I was getting before the optimization, and the ROI after, and saw that ROI was down, plus we were spending more, but getting fewer conversions. So I turned my own campaigns back on.

I later got some information from the rep who optimized it; by her numbers, our costs went down and conversions went up - not sure where she got those numbers, but they weren't out of GA, and they were contrary to what my own reports and spreadsheets said, so there it was.

Your mileage may vary. If you're going to do it, I would suggest not doing it with your main campaign(s) but try it on a smaller one first.


11:09 pm on Jan 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have had one campaign optimised by Google.

It appeared to have a negative impact, and we ended up paying more after the optimisation for less traffic.

They are currently "optimising" another campaign for us. I am going to watch this one more closely and write down before and after figures.


12:59 am on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

We have had several campaigns optimized by the google team. In most cases they do take the time (up to 10 days) to find what is working and what needs improvement. They will ususally take some of your top performing ads, and mix in some new ads. They might restructure some adgroups, and they might even find some new keywords.

We do mostly search, and I wanted to test out the content network, They created a nice little campaign optimized for the content network, they sent it to us in a paused state and a low daily budget, so there is no harm in letting them play around.

From what I hear, they earn credits/commissions if you chose to use your campaign they create.

Tropical Island

12:18 pm on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tropical_island is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I just went through the process & didn't like the proposal.

The suggested ads didn't reflect what I was trying to accomplish.
I have no doubt that CTR would have gone up but not for the people I need. I have a very focused business.

After reviewing about 40% of the proposal I denied it all.

I know I have to separate some keywords into separate ad groups aimed at specific countries so I can control my bids by country better however I am very nervous to lose the history I have built up over the last 5 years.


12:36 pm on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

"The suggested ads didn't reflect what I was trying to accomplish.
I have no doubt that CTR would have gone up but not for the people I need. I have a very focused business. "

Same here. Well put.

As I was driving traffic to some pages that had adSense on them, their ads went against the spirit of their landing page guidelines.

For me it was a case of their left hand / right hand conflict. No go here, I am afraid.


1:38 pm on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

My experience was 100% negative. My Rep calls me offering the optimization, I said, yes, WTH, they surely know how to do it right, or maybe add that magic touch and increase my conversion. Now I regret it. They totally messed up my original ads in several languages. This is the truth, me conversions went down as same as my tears! They added hundreds and hundreds of keywords that didn´t have anything to do with the text ad.

Of course, I Admit it, it was my fault cause I had the power to choose whether to accept or not the optimization.

BTW, I chat last week with and Adwords Rep, on some specifid issue she apologized to me for not knowing it at that moment. SO don`t believe that everything that comes from Google turns out to be "Masterking Mr know it all"



5:16 pm on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've had a number of optimizations done by Google over the years across a number of industries and done by different Google Reps.

1) The rep makes a big difference. If you have a bad optimization, be polite and request a new rep next time...it won't hurt to ask.
2) ALWAYS review before accepting. I can't remember ever accepting an optimization exactly like it was presented. Most of the time I would accept it and immediately make minor adjustments to ads, add or delete keywords/negatives, etc. Remember that Google doesn't know your business (or your client) like you do so they tend to produce optimizations based on your industry not necessarily your niche in that industry.
3) Use Google's optimization for ideas for improving your campaign. You may love the ads but not like the keywords. You may be jumping up and down over half the keywords but scratching your head over the other half. Their ideas for splitting up AdGroups may be just perfect or might be too much for you to manage. Maybe they thought of negatives that you haven't thought of.

Build a relationship with your Google rep. I've had some great ideas come from my reps that I would have never thought of.


7:57 pm on Feb 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I had them optimize my account and they did a horrible job. My click through rate(CTR) went up and my conversions went down, WAY down. My cost per aquisition(CPA) sky rocketed 75%! I can't believe it. This is crazy. They took my account and gave me 100% broad matched keywords, increased my spend and decreased the effectiveness. I am really upset that they did this to my account. It was clearly an attempt to get more money from me, without regard for the success of the campaign.

I guess that I should have paid more attention and not allowed them so much freedom. But I have since gone entirely away from their work and I'm doing better now.

I will never allow them to optimize my google accounts ever again. They practically gave me 100% broad matched keywords and my industry is a very broad one. So, obviously I was spending the same and getting much worse conversions. I trusted that they knew their system better than me, but then again they have a different motive than me.

In my opinion...never trust Google to optimize your account.


9:55 pm on Feb 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I have had them do optimizations and it always results in more spend and poorer conversion percentage. When I reviewed things with them they would always say 'but look at how your cpc prices went down...' It's all about conversion and I've never heard of anyone whose conversion % improved post optimization.

Also you have to question why they are so 'pushy' about trying to get you to allow them to do an optmization for you.


10:00 pm on Feb 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I've had some success with their optimizations. However, I do not use their recommendations for ad copy. Mine is typically better since I know the market better and continually test new copy. I usually give them specific instructions, like add new match types, rather than just add keywords.


1:06 am on Feb 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I had them optimize a few accounts. Only positive I found was in account structure and organization. Otherwise, they propose general keywords and very generic ad text.


3:46 am on Feb 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I think if you've been running your own campaigns for some time, keep an eye on the data, & take a structural approach to building campaigns, there probably isn't going to be a whole lot that Google can tell you that you don't already know.

For me, building great campaigns has always been about a clear & concise campaign structure, targeted adgroups & copy, & making sure that from a searcher's point of view, the way that they think about searching for a product is reflected in my campaign structure.

If you can nail that, you're probably doing pretty well! (and then there's the issue of managing your bids...)


7:22 pm on Feb 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I gave my account team, which consisted of three people very specific instructions on what my goals were. Which I would assume are the goals for most people advertising online:

1.) Reduce CPA ( cost per acquisition )
2.) Increase ROI ( return on investment )

I didn't care so much about increasing the ad spend, but it had to make sense. And they were working on an existing account that saw my CPA increase over the year by 75%. So with huge increases in Ad spend and less effectiveness I went to them for help. And they did a very bad job. My industry is very broad and without the right controls, spend can get very out of hand. And very quickly.

So, I got their optimization and began running it, assuming that they were working in my best interest. Keep in mind that this new optimization was 99% broad matched keywords. At the time I activated the account, I was unaware of the risks to running a broad matched keyword. I have since learned that this is the main reason that my CPA has been climbing out of control.

And what I am so mad at is that after telling my account team of my problems, they returned with 99% of the most dangerous type of match type, Broad Match. I learned of this mistake after 1 of my employees returned from Pubcon, I learned that broadmatch was the worst way to control spend.

Lastly, after learning that Google had provided me with an entire new optimization including 99% Broadmatch my bloodpresure shot thru the roof. Not only was I now running this horribly done campaign, but my CPA was way higher than it had ever been. What Google did to me was unscrupulous and a blatant attempt to pull money from the pocket of a small business. My employee after spending a couple of days at Pubcon, learned how dangerous broadmatch is. Why doesn't Google teach this to their own employees? To me it is their blatant attempt to increase their bottom line revenue numbers.

After dumping the worthless work that Google optimizers did, my account is back on track. After 18 months of bad results I have hope that my business can survive this attack on my bottom line by Google. And no thanks to my optimization team.


2:55 am on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

To be fair to Google, they can never really know the insides of your industry & campaign history as well as you will, & any changes that they make or recommend I think need to be taken with a grain of salt, or for them at least to be seen as an experiment at times. Google has tens of thousands of employees (?) thesedays, and only a small fraction of them have access to the alogrithms that make the decisions.

Depending on the size of your campaign, you may also need to look at a bid management tool, which Google can't do.

At the end of the day, Google is a business. They're focussed on maximising their revenue however they can, like any other business. It's not in their interest to invest time & resources into improving the efficiency of all advertiser's accounts - why would they? It would most likely have a negative impact on their bottom line.

It's much like handing your tax over to the Government, rather than to an accountant - the latter is paid to work in your interest, the former not etc.


6:15 am on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Thanks for your comments, they definitely describe how this situation played out. I am a very cautious, and conservative person by natural and obviously missed this one entirely. I had a better impression of what "Google" was, or at least what I thought they were about.

But when they tell me that they can help, and convince me that they are leading me down the right path, that is misleading.

On another note, Do you have any suggestions for campaign management tools that are effective? Also, I find that the tools to analyze an account are very weak in Adwords, any good tools for that as well? Paid service or free is fine.

My final thoughts on this subject: I hope Google crashes and burns. Is it possible for them to have a negative stock price?


7:08 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

To run things well, you need to know how to run adwords features and you need to know the details of your business and the competitive landscape. G knows the first part well, you know the second part well. If you get neither part right, your results are bad. If you get one part or the other right, the results are okay. If you get both parts right, your results are generally good.

So if you know your biz well, optimization will help you make the most of what you know, the biz end. If you know neither adwords or your market particularly well, optimization by G's team will help you a lot. If you know adwords well and you know your biz well, it's a little unrealiztic to expect a crew within G that hardly knows your biz very well will be able to take you to the highest heights.

So I see optimization are being able to take you from bad to okay, or making okay a little better. But to make it good, you've got to take your industry knowledge and your expertise in running adwords and mix them together.

Most fellow consultants I know, don't have knowledge of every industry on their side, but what they do have is a well developed sense of what's will work and what won't - they generally use their knowledge of adwords to maneuver nimbly without as much industry knowledge as the biz owner themselves may possess.

G's optimization team won't have enough dedicated time on the project to do what a dedicated ppc consultant can do for you, but then again, the consultant's going to cost you for that time commotted. So if your budget doesn't allow dedicated expertise, I'd say having the optimization team make suggestions is a good idea. But if you have a consultant running your ppc, if he needs the more pedestrian input that comes from the optimization team to make things better, get yourself another consultant.

If you have a consultant and you just can't tell whether what they're doing is optimized as it should be, but you do know you're not satisfied with the results, tell your consultant exactly that (especiallt if they say the G team's input isn't needed) and explain that you need to take a small part of what is under the consultant and let G try to make it better... if one of myt clients asked me to do this, I'd have fun watching them split out something and letting G optimize and manage it going forward... again, they don't dedicate the same time that a dedicated consultant would.

In any case, this is an area that's too important to most businesses to not try based on other's forum posts - if you're not getting the results you want, take a slice of what you're doing (so you have a track record to compare) and let G try to make it better.

If you're very happy with your results, with or without a consultant running things, spend your time and mind power elsewhere, point of diminishing returns and all that.


11:10 pm on Feb 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

RhinoFish - >>if you're not getting the results you want, take a slice of what you're doing (so you have a track record to compare) and let G try to make it better.

That's great advice. You can always learn a great deal from Google's ideas for keywords, negatives and ad copy and starting with your problem adgroups would allow you to try an optimization or two and see how they work out for you.

If you have a campaign that's working well but you want to see if G's optimization team can increase your ROI, just pause your original campaign and ask G to set up a new optimized campaign and let it run for a while. If you get great results...you did good...if you don't like the results then learn from it...which keywords performed well, which ads performed well, etc. and apply that to your original campaign. If you are nervous even with this solution, let both campaigns run at the same time and take what you learn from G's campaign and apply it to your original campaign.


4:08 am on Feb 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member adwordsadvisor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Earlier in the week I sent the link to this thread to the right folks - so please know that you've been heard.

I've already heard a number of conversations going on, based on what you've written here.

A very good chance to for us to learn - for which I thank you.



12:50 am on Feb 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


In my opinion google has very deceptive practices with regard to their Adwords optimization services. The account teams make claims to be able to make dramatic improvements without being provided internally with the correct tools to implement their promises. The result of their work was to DRAMATICALLY REDUCE the effectiveness of the campaign while keeping the spend the same.

I was told by my team that the changes they were making would definitely make things better, and I mistakenly trusted them to my loss. I assumed that they were DOING THE BEST THAT COULD BE DONE. Boy was I wrong. Since I changed everything that they have done I am doing almost 75% better. Unbelievable!

1.) Why does my search query performance report say "67 other unique queries" for a keyword? Is it because Google doesn't want me to actually know what innefective words I'm advertising for? I would argue Yes.

Why doesn't Adwords show me every query that I pay for? The invoice definitely ads it up. So the question is why doesn't it clearly tell me about every keyword that is clicked on? On the many times I've confronted my Rep about this they replied with: "for security reasons", "I don't know", "thats just the way it works", "those are just 1 off queries", "proprietary info". What they should have said is that "Google makes countless BILLIONS because advertisers not knowing what their actually paying for." Not until I looked at my logs did I uncover the true amount of loss that I have.

2.) Why was this feature removed from Urchin when integrated to analytics? Was it to increase the bottom line of Google, by having thousands of advertisers not enabled with the right tools to manage their accounts? And not only do they not provide it to advertisers, but their own internal people do not have it. The people who claim to be optimizing your account don't know what you are showing up for.

3.) Never rely on google analytics.

I am just praying that MSN / Yahoo becomes a reality. I will never trust Google again. awa, please forward this to the right person to refund the hundreds of thousands of dollars that I've wasted over the last few years.

the phrase "buyer beware" is officially changed to "advertiser beware". Which is what my rep eventually said to me. Quote "you are are responsible for your own account, even though we made the changes". All I could do was laugh, because I had been taken, taken for a lot of money.


12:30 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

MSN + Yahoo = still a looooonnnnnggg way behind Google in terms of reduced click fraud, usability, scalability...

Google is by no means *perfect*, but the fact that they have such massive market share shows they're doing something better than their competitors.

If Google reported every query, for every click, for every keyword, for every impression etc - it's just impossible to manage & draw anything meaningful from that is actually going to impact your business I think.


2:40 am on Feb 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

We've had two experiences of optimisation, both unmitigating disasters. In one case the entire account was killed as a result of uploading the optimised solution. The feedback was there was another cause and it wasn't the optimisation, but I don't buy that.

Beware of really broad match terms for content network, they'll say it is for adsense sites and contextual relevance...... read "spend more money"


5:34 pm on Feb 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

"If Google reported every query, for every click, for every keyword, for every impression etc - it's just impossible to manage & draw anything meaningful from that is actually going to impact your business I think."

I have to politely disagree- the detail is completely useful - even critical - to a good vs. bad campaign.

Has Google made any improvements to granular/ long-tail keyphrase reporting of late, in either Urchin free or the Adwords interface?

I started to get a little disgusted with my broad match and pulled way back on my budget to just sure thing exact matches and haven't checked in on this data issue of late.


11:42 am on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just to report on back on the second Google optimisation we are having done.

So far it has about doubled our Cost Per Conversion rate, and thereby our Google spend has gone way beyond what is economically viable.

Next time Google offer to "optimise" a campaign I will ask them to underwrite their inability to do so with a guarantee of a refund of the amount we will be overspending.

We agreed to allow the "optimised" campaign run through the whole of February to get a decent look at the results. On 1st March I'll go back to the campaign that we set up ages ago, which was way cheaper and more effective than Google's.


2:25 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Detail is important, I'm definitely not disagreeing there, but I think there is detail within detail, & how deep do you go on a daily basis etc before you lose scalability & meaninful insights.

I'm not particularly interested in what triggered every impression within my campaigns, but rather the larger trends over the space of a few days, weeks etc, & managing them from there. With some campaigns generating hundreds of thousands of impressions per day, if I can cover the 10% of keywords that generate 50% of the impressions/clicks etc, then that will make a significant impact on my campaign.

I think letting Google optimise your account is putting all your eggs in one basket - there are so many books, forums, sites etc out there thesedays that I'll consider advice from Google, but only as part of a mix. At the end of the day, you have more incentive to stay on top of the game in search than your rep at Google - it's your money, it's your business, it's your risk.


8:52 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Well, I kept all the Optimization stuff - I just paused it. When I get some time, I'm going to go through it, and see if I can come up with a mashup of their suggestions and my tried and true stuff, and thus get the best of both worlds. The campaigns they did for me are by no means *all* bad; I'm sure I can find things to use within them. The key is to use both my strengths and Google's.
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