My Beef with Google AdWords

While most people would normally bow down to the lords of paid search advertising, today I must protest my infinite quarrels with them. In this ever-changing market, Google makes it difficult to stay ahead of the game. Here are a few of my biggest beefs:

Outdated Information – Dear Google, would it kill you to update your Help and Learning Centers? I realize you are busy creating new methods of making money, but please replace the information on things that don’t exist anymore.

Certification Exams – Here is a prime example of outdated information. I recently took (and passed!) the Google Display Network Certification exam with little to no help from Google. Most of the questions pertained to features that have since been updated or modified. There was not one question related to TrueView ads, remarketing, topic or interest categories, and I could go on! These are all features that I find extremely important to know about the GDN. They even asked how I would go about locating Google’s Wonder Wheel tool … which no longer exists.

Account Changes – Never allow someone at Google to add or change things to your account, even if everything is uploaded paused. This mainly concerns the addition of keywords to expand the account. I am grateful that Google is willing to help with these tasks; however, they are always way off base. They will add keywords that are not related to your account. While I realize I can pause these off, it takes me longer to go through and clean up after their mess than it would have taken me to do the task myself, and do it better. Also, once uploaded to the account, it stays there even after being deleted, which is just a pain.

1-866-2-GOOGLE – Now, I am fairly lucky on this count. I do have the luxury of having a few talented dedicated support reps for some of my larger clients. However, if I have a question regarding a smaller client, the first thing anyone at Google recommends is calling the AdWords hotline. These people know less about Google than I do, and they work for the company! I’m constantly surprised at their lack of knowledge when it comes to new products and optimization methods. So, how are they supposed to help me when I have a complicated question? Answer: they don’t.

Google Philosophy – This isn’t the company’s stated philosophy; it’s what I’ve come to realize when working with Google. Every recommendation it will ever make is in regards to getting you to spend more money. Why didn’t I think of spending more money to get more conversions?! I keep this fact in mind whenever I get any suggestions. I’m all for trying new things, but I won’t flush my clients’ money down the drain. I do what’s best for my client, and if that means spending more money in a different engine, then I’m all for that, too.

My Philosophy – While I could go on and on, I will do a quick “180” to end my proclamation. Despite Google’s shortcomings, I must tip my hat to it; without Google I would not have a career. Therefore, I will continue to maneuver the AdWords world the best way I know how: by taking Google’s advice with a grain of salt and putting my own knowledge to use.

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  • Jim Banks says:

    Brittany, Congrats on passing the exam.

    I am absolutely with you on what you say. They infuriate me immensely, but without them I would not be in the position I am now.

    That being said, I am under no illusion at all that they control the landscape in an unhealthy way, and having helped some people cope with losing Adwords accounts, I’ve been working on life without Google for those companies, and it is good to know there is a good living to be had even if the Google closed tomorrow.

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