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Default AdWords settings made to quickly drain money from an account ?

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# 1
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Hello,

 

Sometimes AdWords default features make me think that the mindset of Google developers is to take client's money quickly , in large amounts with no concern for what the client might except as benefits from the product: cheap traffic and return of investment.

 

I recently took over an account which used as a bidding method only "AdWords will set my bids to help maximize clicks within my target budget" without setting up the variable "CPC bid limit", which is an unchecked box by default. So no warning that google can use any bids .

 

This client recorded avg. cpc of 5 ron avg pos. 1.2 with a max cpc of 14 ron.

 

It was enough to set an upper "CPC bid limit" to 0.5 ron to obtain much more clicks from the same daily budget with an avg . pos. of 1.8 . Obviously the client was more happy to get 10 times more clicks than he was from obtaining a higher ad position.

 

Now somebody from Google tell me, how is this default setting of "No CPC bid limit" in the advantage of the client ? This is a very unfair default setting .

There is simply no warning that AdWords will use very high CPC bids and drain a client's budget almost instantly by ignoring the setup of an "CPC bid limit" for automated bidding.

 

The announced behaviour of this feature from the text "AdWords will set my bids to maximize clicks within my target budget" is a plain lie .

It should be "AdWords will use the highest bids possible to gain high Ad positions and deplete the budget fast"

There is a maximization of clicks , not in volume but in cost per click.

 

Has anyone used automated bidding by leaving the default"No CPC bid limit" and actually got many clicks at a low cost ?

3 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Default AdWords settings made to quickly drain money from an accou

Top Contributor
# 2
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Hi Adrian,

 

While not disagreeing with you about what should and shouldn't be set as defaults I do disagree with what you think the reasoning is behind what Google have set in place. The budget is going to be spent regardless of which bidding method is used so do you not think Google would prefer the client to have a better experience and continue to use AdWords as opposed to be shocked at costs and quickly dismiss the service? 


ScottyD, AdWords Top Contributor
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Re: Default AdWords settings made to quickly drain money from an accou

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# 3
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I do not understand your point. In my example the user was shocked by the high avg. cpc generated with this default setting for automated bidding " CPC bid limit"=not set .

 

He would have preferred from adwords to

a) have a warning that the default setting can use any MaxCPC bid or

b) to have adwords make suggestions for a cpc bid limit of 1,2,3,4 or 5 ron , not to leave it by default equal to infinite as to generate an automated MaxCPC of 14 ron.

 

His reaction was " please help me to get a lower cpc in this campaign as the settings I made generated a too high avg cpc of 5 ron".

Re: Default AdWords settings made to quickly drain money from an accou

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# 4
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Adrian B wrote:

Hello,

 

Sometimes AdWords default features make me think that the mindset of Google developers is to take client's money quickly , in large amounts with no concern for what the client might except as benefits from the product: cheap traffic and return of investment.

 


 

My point was addressing your thought above. Everything else is interesting feedback.


ScottyD, AdWords Top Contributor
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Re: Default AdWords settings made to quickly drain money from an accou

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# 5
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Nothing is hidden in the interface and I think it's a little much to expect Google to warn users about every possible option and the potential outcomes from choosing one setting over another. Every advertiser needs to understand what they're doing before they dive in.

 

In a campaign setup, if a user has questions regarding how something will operate, the help center is a click or two away with full disclosure as to how all of the bidding options operate. There are also tooltips with links and explanations.  I'd also be willing to suggest that had this person clicked on the 'advanced options' while choosing a bidding option, they may have noticed that they had an immediate option to set a Max CPC right then and there.

 

Where do we draw the line for advertisers who don't do their homework first? This stuff isn't rocket science. I wouldn't be investing money as a business owner without understanding how it would be spent first.

 

Point being, I think it's unfair to put the burden on Google to ensure that every single advertiser has the correct settings for their business model set as defaults. How is that even possible?

 

It seems to me that they made the right choice in seeking help, perhaps a tough lesson but a lesson learned regardless. It also seems that this high CPC is something that could have been 100% avoided had they made the decision to seek help or do just a little more research in the first place.

 

-Tommy

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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Re: Default AdWords settings made to quickly drain money from an accou

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# 6
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Yes, a tough lesson for them , one year of high avg. cpc across their entire account from one simple default setting .

 

Similar to this situation , banks have default settings with upper limit for internet purchases for credit cards, to prevent users to max out their credit card with a single internet transaction, possibly by mistake or by fraud.

On the other hand banks don't have much to gain if credit card users make large purchases, while google does gain if they sell their clicks at the highest cost possible, by default.

 

Also true that google makes progress in including warnings to prevent disaster bidding. I too have seen warnings when I used to set default ad group bid to 0.01 and then started to change MaxCPC to 0.5, the system did have a warning that this bid is much higher than the previous bid.

So there is a concern from google to protect its users from mistakes that lead to overspending, yet somehow this default feature of "no upper bid limit" lacks a similar warning.

 

 

Re: Default AdWords settings made to quickly drain money from an accou

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# 7
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Here is a list of other frustrating default settings made for overspending and too broad targeting :

 

- default match type : broad match , made to look like natural language to ensure that users spend a lot and fast on the widest keyword targeting . Why aren't "default language" keywords , typed with no operators, programmed to behave like  exact match, and broad match made to require an operator ?

 

- default location option not being "People in my targeted location" , which is what every user expects

- default device targeting being tables which are not even an option to be excluded

- default settings for adwords express : no negative keywords allowed, open the gates for 50% useless traffic.

- default mobile bid equal to desktop bid, even if google has the abilty to determine in a second that the websites from the destination URL are performing well on mobile so such a setting will bring a lot of bounce traffic.

- default creatiion of video Ads includes the format "TrueView In-Display" where users are charged in a different way than for "TrueView In-Stream".

If a user would know that "TrueView In-Display" does not mean charging after a 30 seconds view,but charging after a click even for a 1 second view, would they opt in by default for this format ? I think not.

Re: Default AdWords settings made to quickly drain money from an accou

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# 8
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Hi Adrian, in many ways I agree that there are some default settings that are perhaps not optimal for most users but I don't agree that the reasoning behind them is entirely to make more money for Google.  Google has changed some of the worst offenders over the years and they continue to do so.  For example, I'm sure you recall when the default Campaign type was Search and Display, when most experts would say that it is rarely a good idea to run both networks in the same Campaign.  Have you noticed that large changes in budget now spawn a warning and require confirmation before the change is made?  That's two examples alone of changes that actually prevent overspends, not encourage them.

 

In the particular case you mention, I have two observations.  Firstly, as @ScottyD has asked, you're fixating on high CPCs meaning more money for Google, and this is not the case.  The amount of money Google receives is decided by the budget, not the CPC.  $100 in $10 clicks is the same as $100 in $1 clicks.

 

You said "...while google does gain if they sell their clicks at the highest cost possible, by default."

 

How does Google gain?  The only way in which this would result in more money for Google than lower CPC costs would be for Campaigns where the budget is not reached each day with a lower CPC.  As I've said, if the budget is reached, CPC is irrelevant.

 

I'd also say that if they ran their Account for a year without questioning their CPC, then the onus is upon them, not Google.

 

As for your other suggestions:

 

Broad match:  In any system, it makes sense that the simplest options are the default.  Broad match does require that all words in the Keyword are present and the variations matched by Broad are appropriate for a new user who may not consider misspellings, synonyms or plurals.  While we'd probably all agree that a mature Account will tend to have few simple Broad matches, I think they're an appropriate starting point for a new theme as they offer the best chance of gathering data for the customer to analyse.

 

Location targeting:  I have to say I pretty much agree with you here, when setting a location target I think it's reasonable to assume that means you're only going to see traffic from that location, and the number of posts we see here from people asking why they're seeing clicks from outside their area is testament to that confusion.  I'd actually like to see Location targeting have two levels for inclusion so that you can say "I want to target people in the UK, who are interested in Paris", which I believe would be useful for the travel/hotel industry.

 

Tablet targeting has been discussed to the ends of the earth.  AdWords Express is a beast of its own.

 

Mobile bids:  How would Google be able to determine the performance of an Account before it runs?  Mobile performance is not just about how well a site is displayed upon mobiles or how quickly it loads, it's also about the customer demographic.  Some products lend themselves to mobile interactions, others don't.  It's very hard to predict mobile performance - I know because I've been surprised several times in my own managed Accounts.  Going back to "expectations", as a newbie I'd probably expect all devices to have the same bid (if I thought about it at all) and I think I'd be more likely to be annoyed that Google set a modifier for me without knowing my goals or long term plans.

 

Video Ads:  Again this is a choice the user must make, much like the choice between Search or Display, image or text Ads, CPC or CPM.  Google can't second-guess the requirements of each customer.  YouTube is also, of course, a rapidly changing market and a fairly recent one at that (in AdWords terms).

 

As Tommy said, the big problem with trying to set defaults is that it's impossible to please everyone.  It's difficult for us as individuals, even those of us who manage/see a lot of Accounts, to know the bigger picture.  Only Google has all the data and what to us seems like an odd default may make sense when compared to how the majority of AdWords users operate.

 

I'm not denying that Google seeks to make money from AdWords.  Of course they do, it's the very core of their business and like all businesses they seek to maximise their profit.  However, I don't believe they do so maliciously or with open intent to deceive.  As we've all said many times, Google makes the most money when they can convince a customer to spend long-term, and there is no benefit in short term gains.  Google's best plan to make more money is to make sure their customers are happy with AdWords performance and you can see the efforts they're making in that respect in all the improvements in support and help resources that have happened over the past few years.

 

Jon

AdWords Top Contributor Google+ Profile | Partner Profile | AdWords Audits

Re: Default AdWords settings made to quickly drain money from an accou

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# 9
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Yes no software can please everyone and anticipate all user mistakes, but there are just too many defaults made for overspending.

This is the point of my message, here is a wrong default setting, just like the wrong default "Search and Display (recommended) , so change it.

Learn something from this client story and improve this particular default of "No CPC bid limit" to the benefit of other clients.

--------------------

 

Yes Jon, now you helped me understand the point of ScottyD , Google did not take more money from the same advertiser by an increased cost per click through this default option..... but ....google thinks from the perspective of a limited amount of clicks per day which have to be sold to a growing mass of advertisers.

 

By granting this advertiser 10 clicks expensive a day through "No CPC bid limit" instead of 100 cheap clicks if a limit was set by default , Google can use other advertiser's budgets for the rest of the 90 clicks .

 

So there is still a reasoning for programming such money eating default settings, to limit click volume per advertiser and get money for the rest of the clicks from more advertisers.

 

Also true that Google gave up the default "Search and Display (recommended)" which was not at all recommended. On the other hand how many other options did AdWords insert in the software in 2014 ? Over 100 new features with their own defaults ? This sounds to me like 1 or 2 retreats and 100 advances.

How many defaults from the new features open new gates for overspending for each advertiser ?

 

--------------------

 

"Mobile bids:  How would Google be able to determine the performance of an Account before it runs? "

 

Not before it runs but during the campaign setup.

I would not allow the user to bid on mobiles by default without going through this workflow :

 

1) Ask the user what domain they want to advertise in that campaign, during the campaign setup

2)  test it automatically for mobile performance

3) Make a suggestion for what mobile bid would be appropriate for that domain.

If the mobile score is 20/100 , use a minus 80% mobile bid.

 

Of course users can setup different domains in each ad group, but the vast majority of users probably have 1 website per campaign, so a default software behaviour should follow the trend of 1 website per campaign.

 

-------------------------

"Video Ads:  Again this is a choice the user must make, much like the choice between Search or Display,"

 

This is an equal opt in by default for 2 ad formats, even if these ad  formats have "views" not paid through an equal method, this is why it is unfair to op in by default for both Video Ad types.

If the "TrueView In Display" Video Ads were charged also after a 30 second view not after a click, I would have nothing to comment about the default opt in for both Ad formats.

 

Thank you for offering me a nicely drafted professional feedback, I appreciated reading your opinions .