Advertisers have begun to notice a move to automatically opt them into automated services in Google Ads that can potentially bring in higher profits for Google, but the Alphabet company says that's not the case.
In the Google Ad interface within the new Conversion Action, advertisers are finding they must click on the toggle at the bottom of the screen to opt out of Enhanced CPC for each campaign.
Opting in can force the advertiser to spend too much of their budget on one campaign, according to sources who asked for anonymity.
“If you don’t turn off the slider it will opt in all your campaigns into Enhanced CPC,” one person said. “I found it after creating a conversion pixel for a new client and saw it at the bottom of the screen.”
Google says it doesn't automatically opt in advertisers into Enhanced CPC, but it does offer the feature as a default option in certain circumstances. When a customer chooses manual bidding, Google clearly identifies the options. The advertiser simply needs to uncheck the box not to use Enhanced CPC.
Enhanced CPC aims to help advertisers by raising maximum bids for clicks that seem more likely to lead to conversions and lower the maximum bid. The goal is to increase conversions and get more from budgets. The feature requires advertisers to “uncheck" the box or it defaults to Enhanced CPC.
Advertisers say it appears that Google made the change within the past four weeks.
“Google has made it a default and that’s where I have a big problem,” said another advertiser who asked for anonymity. “It concerns me because big companies like Google and Amazon are trying to make changes, which on paper seems okay, but not necessarily for smaller businesses whose advertisers do not know to turn off these automated features.”
Some brands find success with the option. "We are constantly looking for opportunities to grow the business at higher ROI. The ability of Google’s Enhanced CPC to complement a third party platform like Adobe Media Optimizer helped us improve our efficiency and scale through automation, allowing our marketing team to use marketing budgets more optimally," states Manish Kalra, chief business officer at Craftsvilla.
In the first quarter of 2019, Google's paid-click growth slightly rose to more than 66% year-over-year, while the CPC declined 29%, slightly more than the third quarter of 2018. In the third quarter of 2019, CPCs fell 2% on Google-owned properties, compared with the year-ago quarter, but increased 3%, compared with the prior quarter.
Smaller businesses will face the biggest challenge with automation, which costs more in advertising, according to one source. They will need to sell 50% more each day to make the same profit because they’re spending more to get the same results.
When someone less experienced uses Google Ads and automatically opts into Enhanced CPC, which switches on the feature, it can cost the campaign much more money to get the same results
“For those not being careful, they can spend too much money,” per the source.