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Should I let Google manage my Adwords Account?

Anybody have experience doing this?

     
4:16 pm on Sep 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Last year I was approached by a rep in the Google Adwords team about designing and managing PPC campaigns for my clients. Instinctively I was against the idea. Seems like it would be a conflict of interest for Google.

Yesterday one of my clients asked me about this. They heard about the service through a third party.

Does anybody have a link to a review or report on Google-managed Adwords campaigns? In lieu of that, does anybody have direct experience in letting Google run Adwords campaigns for them? I'd like to send the client some data outside of my own, untested theories.

Thanks!

10:00 pm on Sept 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Google approached a client a few weeks ago about assisting with his AdWords account. He asked what I thought, and we let them set up some campaigns to see how they'd do.

None of their campaigns performed better than our existing campaigns, and one in particular I'd label a serious dud (spent almost ten times as much on clicks as it made in sales).

Some of their ads were sloppy about truth in advertising. Example: something like saying "all varieties available" when the client sells a limited range of specialized widgets and definitely not all varieties. Or using dynamic keyword insertion to mention "purple widgets" in the ad when the only widgets for sale are blue and green. That's not how to attract clicks that convert and not how to strengthen the client's reputation in the marketplace.

I don't think there was any intentional deception but it can happen when someone is using a keyword suggestion tool but doesn't know the business well enough.

In my opinion, if you are an experienced AdWords user and have a solid understanding of your client's business, the client will be better off with you running his campaigns than Google.

"Free" is not always a good investment.

On a different note, something that worries me is that their work did not show up in the change history as THEIR work, it showed up as changes *I* had made.

10:11 pm on Sept 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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@buckworks - Thanks for the info. Your experience is exactly what I expected. That is really sneaky that they don't even properly indicate which work they performed! Thanks again!
11:56 pm on Sept 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have had a similar experience to buckworks very recently. There was a big leap in clicks, but the quality scores went from 7's and 8's to 2's and 3's and we switched back to our campaigns very quickly.
12:37 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The few times I managed accounts where Google had managed a client's account, I was not impressed. Strange that Google would offer this service without seemingly training their people to proper keywords usage and creating compelling ads. Then again, they don't charge for this, probably have an Adwords sweat shop somewhere and telling them to churn out as much and as fast as possible.
11:51 am on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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For many people, their help is probably a very good option.

But here, you're talking to at least some people who do this for a living, all day, every day - and who only eat when they perform. So for some of us here, we'd never let someone who wasn't interested in diving into the deep end of a certain niche and holding their breath while submerged in it for a few years. So it's not so much a question of talent or training, but of motivation really.

Just an opinion here, and one formed with very little experience reviewing the work of their in-house setup folks.

12:01 pm on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Google's agenda and yours are similar but not the same.

Just have a look at what the expanded broad match sometimes drags in. Overly broad or irrelevant searches sometimes.

In the end it is a balancing game. Too much broad is good for Google to some extent and too little broad is bad for you since you might get less traffic.

Is a Google account manager going to move in your favor or Google's?

3:18 pm on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I let them optimize two campaigns for two different clients a couple years ago. One did reasonably well, but it was such a small niche I couldn't attribute it to anything Google did. The other completely tanked. When I emailed them about it, I got a response back to the effect of "What are you complaining about, you're getting more clicks, right?" But I wasn't getting more conversions, the ads were grammatically incorrect and misspelled, and in some cases, offered services that the client didn't offer.

So, if you go with Google, your mileage may vary. But it's true - they don't know your (or your client's) business.

I guess I'd be more willing to give Google a shot at it if it weren't for the AdWords Starter Edition. The way it's constructed (just making it easier for the advertiser to burn through money without sufficient results) is such that I sure wouldn't want to trust them to run free with any budget of mine or my client's. The Starter Edition probably disillusioned me more than any other single thing Google AdWords has done in recent years (including QS); you have no idea how many customers I've had to rescue from Starter Edition (and what a hard job it's been to talk them BACK into trying AdWords after having poured thousands into it without return)

Yah, that's a digression, but it's why I wouldn't trust them to run a campaign for me.

4:20 pm on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Thanks everybody for your input. Seems like the obvious answer is that it is OK if you have very little experience running PPC and you want to start advertising quickly. For us professionals that live and breathe this stuff, no real upside. Fortunately my client understood that without a problem. Cheers!
4:55 pm on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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A very interesting conversation, and I'll pass a link to the entire thread along to the right folks - as the perspectives represented here would be well worth having them see.

A quick aside to netmeg: if you are not already aware of this, you will no doubt be pleased to hear that with the advent of the new Adwords interface, Starter Edition no longer exists. There is now just one version of AdWords.

AWA

<edit> Fix formatting so it looks the way I had intended it to look! </edit>

5:14 pm on Sept 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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A quick aside to netmeg: if you are not already aware of this, you will no doubt be pleased to hear that with the advent of the new Adwords interface, Starter Edition no longer exists. There is now just one version of AdWords.

No, I wasn't aware, and that's *very* good news.

6:14 pm on Sept 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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My experience is somewhat similar - but I learned A LOT VERY QUICKLY - the good news is that what I learned was that in some cases I knew more than they did about certain things.

Plus they could provide me with technical insights and shortcuts that confirmed or disconfirmed theories I was working with and had learned from key members here. (I was hoping for best practices from them but I had to develop those on my own...)

They want you to feel like they know what they are doing so they rush things, as if they have confidence and because I take things slow, it felt like an attempt to intimidate.

Unfortunately the speed and volume of how they approached our project was more like youngsters trying to baffle by bs than truly instructive - and many things they proposed or put in place (as I wanted to believe them) certainly did not increase our ROI but would have increased theirs had we continued on that path.

We did have a situation where a rep saved our bacon, so the reops are not all bad - and what you learn can be very illuminating if you know what you are doing.

7:32 pm on Sept 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I was contacted by Google to do our company sites and decided to let them do it. I thought the team did an ok job the problem was I had to go in and disable a bunch of terms I already knew were bottom less pits of clicks with a horrible conversion rate.
Most of the terms I needed to disable were the one and 2 word really high traffic terms that I had already experimented with to see conversion rates.
If I hadn't know this from the get go our account spend would have gone through the roof and our conversions would have dropped like a rock. Someone new would not have know this and it would have been a bad deal for them and probably would have not been able to maintain an account with Google.

I think the best thing AWA can let the folks know that do this work in the main one word and 2 word terms are usually for information purposes and have their team focus on the long tail conversion terms so the advertiser can make some money to pay them.

 

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