Mastering Google Ads: Avoid Extremes for Success

google ads Jun 18, 2024

When it Comes to Google Ads, Which Type of Person Are You?

Are you the ultimate Google Fanboy, who believes everything Google says and can't wait to open the Google Ads dashboard to blindly accept all of Google’s recommendations?

Or are you the jaded, untrusting Google Ads professional who sees Google Ads as a necessary evil and will reject anything that Google recommends just because Google made the recommendation?

My view is that Google is neither good nor evil.

Do I believe that Google has my best interests at heart for my business and does everything it can to ensure I don’t waste any of my advertising budget? No. But I also do not believe that Google is proactively wasting my ad spend with fake clicks and spam bots.

Taking either of these extreme positions is very dangerous and provides long-term bad results for your business and Google Ads campaigns. In this blog post, I will explain why both of these extremes are wrong and show you how to best walk the Google Ads tightrope for success with your campaigns and business.

The Danger of Being a Google Ads Fanboy

Blindly accepting everything that Google recommends can lead to disastrous results. Here’s a real example:

On October 24th, a "Portfolio Maximise Conversions" bidding was added across all campaigns. New campaigns with over 200 brand match keywords were added. Duplicate campaigns were created even though those keyword themes were already targeted in the main search campaign.

What went wrong?

  1. Duplicate Keywords Spending Across Different Campaigns: This led to inefficient use of the advertising budget.
  2. Maximise Conversion Bidding Strategy: Applied without enough conversions over the previous 30 and 60 days to inform the strategy.
  3. Maximise Conversion Strategy Added to New Campaigns: Ineffective due to lack of historical data.
  4. Very Broad Keywords: Led to untargeted and inefficient ad spend.

By taking on all of Google’s recommendations with simple one-click actions without considering the current campaigns or strategy, this approach caused significant issues.

The Danger of Being Too Anti-Google

On the other hand, being too resistant to any changes that Google makes can also hurt your campaigns. Here are the three biggest issues that people often resist:

  1. Google Changing Match Types: The shift towards broad match targeting and changes to exact match and phrase match keywords have caused concern. However, broad match keywords are now often necessary for success. Sticking rigidly to old methods can limit your campaign's effectiveness.

  2. Google Conversion Attribution: Some professionals refuse to move away from last-click attribution, fearing that data-driven attribution will overinflate real conversions. However, the online ecosystem has changed, and conversions now often result from multiple touchpoints, including search, direct, remarketing, and social traffic. Ignoring these changes can lead to a misunderstanding of your campaign’s performance.

  3. Automated Campaigns like Performance Max: These campaigns target similar audiences based on conversion data, not just search terms. Misusing Performance Max by creating asset groups based on audiences instead of search or product themes can lead to poor results.

While it’s understandable to be cautious, it’s crucial to adapt to the changes and leverage Google’s tools effectively. Google owns the game and rewards accounts that align with its algorithms.

Walking the Google Ads Tightrope

To achieve success with Google Ads, you must strike a balance between following Google’s guidelines and critically analyzing their recommendations. Here’s how:

  1. Optimize Your Campaigns Correctly: Make sure your campaigns are structured and optimized to meet Google’s criteria while also resonating with your target audience. For help with optimizing your campaigns, you can use my optimization checklist.

  2. Understand What Google Wants: High click-through rates (CTR) and relevancy are crucial because they ensure Google gets paid and your ads resonate with users.

  3. Develop a Strategy: Look at the rules or what Google wants and build your strategy around that. This involves creating high-CTR ads that Google wants to show and ensuring those ads are highly relevant to users.


Success with Google Ads is about balance. Don’t follow Google blindly, but also don’t reject everything they do. Generate highly relevant ads that get clicks so Google will show your ads, and create ads that resonate with users so they buy your products and services. By walking the Google Ads tightrope, you can achieve great results for your campaigns and your business.