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