Watch The Video
Transcript: Sign The Petition to Overturn The Search Terms Update
The only way they will overturn this is if you sign the petition too. I’m calling out to you guys, sign it if you haven’t already. I’m Darren Taylor of the bigmarketer.com. I’m a PPC and SEO veteran with over 10 years’ experience in strategy for PPC and SEO and my job is to make you an expert. I always get messages from you guys and last week, Rod Russell of ADMATIC reached out to me and let me know of a petition that was doing the rounds in regards to Google’s recent decision to hide what they deem irrelevant search terms from the search terms report, thereby hiding data from advertisers.
The petition is asking for one of two things, either of course, Google goes ahead and reverses the whole thing and pretend it never happened. The second option is that Google allow advertisers to opt out of those searches deemed irrelevant, thereby conserving their budget for terms that they know what they’re spending on, where you can actually see the search terms being generated, so opting out completely from that side of things that Google is not going to provide data for.
Both options in the survey are noble, but what we’re going to look at today is particularly around the first option in that, are Google going to reverse this decision and look at the ways and understand what Google have done in the past to lead us to believe that they could maybe reverse the decision. Before I go on, if you haven’t actually watched my video where I talk about Google’s recent decision to hide some of those search terms that they deem irrelevant, then go ahead and watch that video first to give you some context. The video is appearing at the top of the screen here somewhere so click that link and watch the video if you haven’t seen it.
Essentially, Google are going to stop showing what they deem irrelevant search terms to users using Google Ads and reducing the search terms report therefore making advertisers run part of that budget blind. Will Google reverse this decision? I think they might just do that and here is why. Because even though Google are a massive multi-billion dollar company, they have changed their mind when advertisers kick up enough of a fuss.
It doesn’t happen very often but two cases specifically come to mind. The first one was back all the way into 2011. If you guys are veterans of Google Ads, you’ll remember this, and that is Google rolled out what they called enhanced campaigns. Meaning they were putting more emphasis on mobile shopping because around the time of 2011, mobile devices started becoming really, really important to strategy. Of course, it sounds obvious looking back in 2020 that mobile is important, more searches take place on a mobile and a desktop, but back then, it wasn’t clear so Google decided to push advertisers to advertise across all device categories automatically.
One of the big things they did is they allowed you to do bid adjustments on desktop and bid adjustments on mobile devices, but they took away the feature that allowed you to do bid adjustments for tablets. Now that was a mistake. As you can see, there was a petition on change.org that went around and Google took it on board. They actually reversed the decision later announcing that they’d overturned it and given advertisers the choice of device targeting in terms of those bid adjustments. Then advertisers could choose to advertise on desktop, mobile and tablet and adjust their bids however they want, which by the way is how it shouldn’t be. If you’re spending money on Google, you have the right to choose how you spend it. That’s win number one for us, the advertiser.
The second one I wanted to talk to you about is even more interesting. Just a short year later, another petition in 2012 was doing the rounds on change.org. It was this time around Google’s decision to take away rotating your ads indefinitely. Meaning Google will choose the winning ad and then just let the winning ad they choose that’s optimized the most in terms of the performance run more often than the other ad.
Now we all know the problem with this. If you’ve ever been on my PPC Accelerator course, you’ll know this too and that is Google choose the winning ad too quickly. They don’t give it enough time for a pure 50/50 split test. The only one way to get that pure 50/50 A/B test for your ads sometimes is to do rotation indefinitely so both ads get plenty of data at the same time. As I say, Google took on board the advice in the petition, it did the rounds, got a lot of traction and Google reversed the decision.
Of course, if you’re advertising today, you will know you have the option to stop ads rotating based on Google’s favor. You can turn off optimization for your ads and just run the ad as you want, and do a fair A/B test sending equal traffic to each ad. These two scenarios are things Google have overturned in the past. This one, in my opinion is even bigger than those last two small changes. Those last two actually in context looking back, they weren’t small. They massively affected emphasizes across the globe and this one is no different. I’m really hoping Google look at this and try and overturn the decision.
As the current petition doing the rounds about this change to the search terms report says, they also have a fallback option for Google and that is to allow advertisers to opt out of showing for those particular searches that Google deems irrelevant. Therefore, meaning if I don’t want to run blind on these particular small segment of searches, even if they are a small segment, then I will decide not to do that and I spend my budget on the terms I get visibility for, which is to me more than fair enough.
However, let’s take a look and think whether Google will take this on board and give advertisers an option to opt out of this potential system. A good place to start would be to understand what Google allow you to opt out of today. When you look at the things Google allows you to opt out of today, then you can understand where I’m going with this. The things that they allow you to opt out of are course, the Google search partners and opting out of smart bidding and opting out of using enhanced CPC.
All of these three things, you can opt out of when you build your campaign. As you well know, if you go against these opt-outs, Google will advise or sometimes warn you that you should be opting into one of these things or all of these things, essentially. They advise you that you should be on the partner network. They advise you that not using smart bidding could be a problem and they advise you that you may miss conversions if you don’t use ECPC as opposed to just manual CPC, where you set the exact bids yourself.
Now, as you know, PPC requires nuance and both of these things can be negative for your campaigns. If you opt into the partners, you might get trash traffic. If you opt into ECPC, you might see your cost control go out of control in terms of your cost per clicks going up, if you have no control over them. In some respects, it’s perfectly reasonable to opt out of these systems, but Google warns you when you do it. If Google warns you about perfectly reasonable things to opt-out of depending on your own circumstances, on your own business, with your own budget, it leads me to believe Google will not put in a feature that allows you to opt out of those irrelevant searches.
I might be wrong, but from my opinion based on this, I think Google are not going to make a change in this area so what are we left with? We are left with fighting to get this change overturned because it’s really important. It’s going to cause a lot of issues for a lot of advertisers with unaccounted spend, and it doesn’t make any sense so let’s sign the petition.
I’ve linked it up in the description below so you can definitely go ahead and sign it there. I’ve signed it. I’m not massively hopeful, but based on those two examples I gave you, I think Google could potentially overturn this but the only way they will overturn this is if you sign the petition too. I’m calling out to you guys, sign it if you haven’t already and if you have, then thank you very much for signing it. I await to see what Google will do in the coming days and weeks around this decision and I’ll be really interested to get your thoughts. Do you think Google will overturn this decision?
I’m kind of 50/50 at the moment, because of course, based on what they’ve done previously, they have overturned things, but this is pretty major so I’m not too sure if they will. Let me know in the comments. I’ll be more than happy to discuss it with you down there. Thank you very much for watching this video. If you liked it, please leave a like below. Don’t forget to check out the other content on my channel. Don’t forget to subscribe and I’ll see you guys on my next video.