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Transcript: Will Manual CPC Come to an End? Probably…
Let me ask you, do your PPC campaigns rely on manual CPC? Well, if you’re like me, some of my campaigns I look after do because of the circumstances of the campaign, Smart Bidding has not been successful, because of the volumes in the campaign or some of the objectives and the control needed for a specific niche. I’m going to ask you, what would you do if Google decided to end manual CPC bidding, including enhanced CPC as well? What would you do about it? Personally speaking, I think they are going to sunset manual CPC. I don’t know specifically when, but the reasons I will go into in this video will outline to you why I think they’re going to go in this direction.
There’s been a ton of things Google have done in the past all the way through up to this point that lead me to believe, this is probably going to happen. In this video, we’re going to explore the reasons I think this is going to happen. We’re going to look at what you can do about it, and then we’ll go forward and understand the implications of such a decision. Let’s look at that, coming up.
Hey guys, Darren Taylor of thebigmarketer.com here, and my job is to make you a better marketer. Now, if you’re new to the channel, I’m Darren Taylor, a digital marketing trainer and consultant. I’ve been doing PPC and SEO for years. Most of my videos are geared around that subject. If that sounds of interest to you, you should consider subscribing to the channel. In this video, we’re speculating really as to whether or not Google will eventually get rid of manual CPC bidding. Let’s just start off understanding, why I would even think that. There are five key reasons I believe this is going to happen, whether it happens in the short-term, the medium-term or the long-term is completely up for debate of course, but in my opinion, these are the five things I think lead me to believe Google will eventually get rid of manual CPC bidding.
Firstly, the first thing you need to realize is that it’s not just me saying this. There are a ton of leading search engine news websites like Search Engine Journal, who have a historically written article saying, there is no need whatsoever to use manual CPC bidding. Now, of course, if you’ve been watching my videos, you will know there are specific scenarios and use cases where you should be using manual CPC because Smart Bidding either fails, your campaign is low volume. I won’t go into too much detail, just check out the videos I’ve linked up in the description below if you’ve not caught up on those, but it really gives me an indication that the whole industry is moving in this direction of automation, which is a good thing, however, it doesn’t always work, but the fact that leading publications like Search Engine Journal are saying this, leads me to believe that it’s probably going to happen. They’re very right about most things they publish and they’re seldom wrong about things like this.
Another smaller reason and a small signal I see in Google Ads that leaves me to believe this is going to happen is, if you look at enhanced CPC when you set up a campaign, normally if you choose manual CPC it will default to enhanced CPC. Again, if you don’t know what ECPC is, hit up the comments below because I’ve linked up in the description my video on ECPC and manual CPC, but when you look at this bidding strategy of ECPC, what you’re doing is bridging the gap between full manual and going across to automation. You’re adjusting bids based on likelihood to convert using all of those artificial intelligence signals Google uses for its Smart Bidding.
Bridging the gap in that regard gives advertisers an option to manually control bids, but also give Google some space to adjust bids where necessary. That is a huge change, and the fact that Google defaults to this when you choose manual CPC and also let you know that you shouldn’t be going away from that and gives you warning that you shouldn’t be defaulting away to this pure manual CPC gives me another indication Google are pushing automation. Before I go onto my third point, if you like what you’re hearing so far, please like the video. Let me know in the comments if you are terrified should manual CPC disappear from the Google Ads platform, let me know in the comments.
Onto reason number three and this is an important one is because if you choose a manual CPC bidding strategy and don’t select a Smart Bidding strategy, Google actually warns you that you should be using a Smart Bidding strategy because you should get better results. In an ideal world, this makes perfect sense because Google has more data points to work with than people using manual CPC, so I think it sounds like a good thing to inform users of, but it doesn’t always work like that as you guys definitely know, otherwise, you wouldn’t all be so scared at the idea of manual CPC disappearing. That is a bit of a worry in itself, but it’s also a huge, huge signal that Google are thinking long-term manual CPC shouldn’t matter anymore.
The fourth reason to me is pretty clear and that is, Google have a huge, huge problem. They have a very complex dynamic piece of software as their product. The idea is you want business owners to engage directly with this product. Now, if you’re not a professional marketer, you are going to struggle. You won’t understand all the functionality compared to somebody who’s a professional at using the software, be that a freelancer, an agency, or even an in-house member of staff who is a professional marketer, either way, somebody who’s a novice at Google Ads is going to struggle to pick the software up, put their money in and get something in return, because of this, Google have done a ton of things like Google Ads Express, which is the watered-down version. They’ve done Smart campaigns.
There’s a number of things they’ve done to make the process even easier, however, people know that AdWords Express is not as good as the main product. They know Smart Campaigns don’t give you as much control, so marketers and business owners want to have that control. When you do jump onto Google Ads to try and get that control because it’s so complex a piece of software for most advertisers and new users, it becomes very, very difficult to use. If you’re Google, what do you do? You say use a Smart Bidding strategy. Don’t worry about the bids. Don’t worry about setting bids and changing bids for different devices, times of day, different locations, different keywords, we will handle all of that for you.
All you need to do is add your keywords, design and choose your ads and we will do the rest. That’s more of an automation, not just from the keyword bid point of view, but simplifying the Google Ads products as well. As a user, you’re just choosing the strategy you want to go with and you’re hoping Google will do the rest, not always the case, but you can see why Google are moving in this direction, it simplifies the platform.
Finally, continuing with the theme of simplifying the platform. Google have also done things to expand the amount of reach the ads have to stop them being restricted by making changes like years ago, changing exact match to include close variants. They’ve got rid of the reports that show you your average position on Google Ads as a keyword level and beyond. All of these changes to reduce information where necessary and increase reach where necessary are again things to take away the grainy detail that a lot of advertisers look at when optimizing campaigns, which is a good thing, but if you’re a new advertiser, again, the less you have access to, the easier the product is to use, but the problem with that is, your ROI might not be as high if you had more control. This is another problem Google have, but I think in the long-term this means that Google might consider getting rid of manual CPC.
Now, I’ve spoken to other industry experts in PPC and they all say to me in similar vein that they think this could happen, but others also say to me, “Darren, what are you talking about? It’s not going to happen. The whole point of Google Ads is adjusting bids and making sure you can stay within your budgets and having that control when you compare it to other methods of advertising.” At the end of the day, Google have the market monopoly. If you are in the west and you use a search engine, you are going to be using Google more than likely Bing. It’s growing, yes, I know. We can’t ignore Bing. I’ve done videos on Bing in the past, but let’s be honest, Google have the market, they can do what they want.
If they want to get rid of manual CPC, if all of the professionals in Google Ads, like myself and other advertisers and marketers out there get annoyed at that, we’ve got nowhere to run. There’s nowhere to turn. There’s no alternative. We will just simply have to work with Google. I think that’s what’s going to happen. Don’t quote me on when it’s going to happen, because personally, I don’t know when it’s going to happen, but don’t be surprised if one day you open up Google Ads and manual CPC is gone. Thanks for watching this video. If you liked it, leave a like below. Let me know in the comments if you’re scared of manual CPC going, or whether it’s something you might embrace and hope improves your campaigns. More important than that, don’t forget to check out the other content across my channel. Don’t forget to subscribe. I’ll see you guys on my next video.