Should I Enable Google Ads “Automatically Apply Recommendations” Feature?

We get questions. One that caught our eye is about whether it’s beneficial to enable the Google Ads feature that automatically applies recommendations. It’s a crucial decision that can significantly impact your advertising effectiveness and ROI.

If you need help with Google/Bing Ads or any other Search Engine Marketing, call us. 

Here’s the question about automatically applying recommendations.

“Dear US Farm Data,

I get notices from Google about my Ads account from time to time, like this one:
‘Unlock your account’s full potential’


Should I enable this? I like the idea of getting more from my spend, and letting a robot do my work, but I don’t know if I trust it. What do you all do?”

Tempted but Confused in CA

Here’s our take:

Dear TBC,

Short Answer: Don’t Do It.

The Explanation


Theory vs. Practice
While Google’s AI bots have access to extensive data and theoretically should match intent to action effectively, the real-world application falls short. Effective use of these AI recommendations requires users to accurately set relevant goals, which isn’t always straightforward.

Real-World Examples
For instance, a cleaning company we worked with found out its Performance Max campaign skewed towards the company name, which wasn’t the intended strategy. The robot took a look at the site, took a look at what people were searching for, and figured out the people searching for the company name was Unlocking the Account’s Full Potential. Technically true, but not effective for lead generation.

Our Experience
Similarly, in our own campaigns, we observed a misalignment in ad spend allocation due to the AI’s inability to distinguish between our signal for high-quality vs. low-quality leads, impacting the overall ROI. We told it “overnight leads perform worse than daytime leads,” but the robot took a look at our budget, looked at our goals, and came to the conclusion that for our spend, we get more leads from overnight ads.
They aren’t wrong, but it’s not what we consider unlocking the potential.

What Google Really Wants
Google’s aim is to spend your full budget, hopefully maximizing your ROI. However, auto-applying their recommendations leads to only one certain outcome: increased spending. The ROI is only there if goals are well thought through and set up correctly. This may mean the only goal on the campaign is Mobile Ad Click-To-Calls combined with daily updates of negative keywords. (yes, this happens to be the only way one of our clients can get a positive ROI from Google Ads)

What should you do?
For starters, don’t auto-apply suggestions. Especially if you’re not working inside Google Ads every day. Set-it-and-Forget-It doesn’t work. (yet)

Navigating Google Ads is complex and sometimes overwhelming. If you’re looking for personalized advice or have specific concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’ll help you make the most informed decisions for your digital advertising strategy.

Temped but Confused in CA, talk to one of our marketing experts today.

Yours truly,

US Farm Data

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