Get ready to pay more on Google AdWords!

After Friday’s Google announcement regarding AdWords Enhanced Campaigns, what are enhanced campaigns you may ask?  Well, we need to be given the full picture – Google’s cost per click (CPC) has now fallen every quarter for the last year, previously CPC prices rose for 2 years.

Smart advertisers using services like our mentoring programme have gone to town optimising campaigns and driving conversion costs down.

Clearly profits are under threat at Google and then there’s the problem of Amazon creeping in the back door whilst Google foolishly fought Facebook.

Google now needs to restore those lost profits. So far it has tried the dynamic Search ads which have turned out to be a financial disaster for Advertisers.  But now it’s got a new trick.  Enhanced Campaigns – The catch: You may not like the new Campaigns as you’ll lose a lot of granularity and visibility into campaign data.  We all know from experience that going with AdWords default options is a result in profit for Google but disaster for you.

We pride ourselves on transparency here at Click Convert.  I have a nagging feeling that these changes to AdWords are not in the best interest of Advertisers.  From our perspective it potentially means more training for clients which is good for us but for clients it adds another set of unneccesary changes from Google that we all have to find work arounds for. Clearly Google has become bloated and there are too many Techies, Managers and telephone support staff with a vested interest in keeping their jobs, rather than leaving things that are not broken well alone.

It appears that Enhanced Campaigns will try to take back control from you the Advertiser and at same time throw back into the mix a lot of manual options such as location bidding and time of day bidding that will nowbe automated  and hidden from you.  Items such as Geo bidding has worked well for a few, but it’s rare and time of day bidding fell out of favour a long time ago all of which appear to be encouraged by the new Enhanced Campaigns option from Google.

Enhanced Campaigns are designed to bridge issues between multiple device usages on the conversion path. 90% of users move between devices, mobile, tablets, Xbox, PC and laptops on their quest to purchase products online.  It appears that Google wishes to track conversions across devices, which is encouraging.  The downside is Google is aiming to get you to pay more for clicks on mobiles and other non PC devices.

Many of you may recall the Free AdWords reviews offered by Google over the last 18 months – a veiled attempt to get you to separate out your campaigns on mobiles often accidentally forgetting to add negatives.  Well, this strategy has back fired with mobile ads costing less and with mixed conversion results; revenue fell as advertisers became discouraged.  Google is now telling people to group desktop and mobile back into one campaign. It’s not that this is poor advice; it’s that the one size fits all approach doesn’t work.  The truth is that every Advertisers situation is different and what works for one will fail for another even for the same product.

Depending on where a user is in respect to you, Click prices will begin to vary by location. Effectively the nearer a user is to an advertisers location the more the click will cost – now you see how Google maps is going to pay for it’s self.

Ad extensions will also automatically change depending on your device and time of day. Reading the AdWords press release there does appear to be a large focus on encouraging users to download apps.

The real issues here are not that enhanced campaigns will not work, it’s that;

  •  Users cannot depend on Google’s advice.  One minute it’s go for mobile ads and when the revenue falls for them, its hey, go back to how you had it.  I’ve maintained that in asking Google for advice, you must bear in mind that they want to make money out of you. They are not going to tell how to really optimise your account; it’s not in their interest to.  You expect others to deceive you, but not Google! Wake Up.
  • By merging campaigns in ‘let Google make the choices for ‘ Enhanced Campaigns, it has created a hidden market where you are fooled into believing Google works in your best interests.
  • You’re site may not be tablet or mobile friendly, too many Advertisers don’t fully test their site as it is. But Google aims to remove the option for mobile and tablet altogether.  For the advanced advertiser it might not appear an issue, but the sudden appearance of competitors on mobiles and tablets will push up prices. Often it’s not the smart advertisers that are the problem, it’s the average Joes on their way to making losses on AdWords that pushes up your prices.
  •  The technology behind the Enhanced Campaigns – Smart Pricing is a laughing stock amongst AdWords experts. It hasn’t delivered results and now it’s the new saviour.
  • Smart Pricing is dangerous. It cloaks Google behaviour. Quality score is bad enough, but imagine what will happen with Smart Pricing. If you convert well, Google may increase your costs.

The truth is Google’s money earner is in trouble. They’ve continually changed it in the name of progress but what happens is they end up fleecing normal Advertisers with wasted traffic.  AdWords at its core is a brilliant system and works incredibly for our clients.  But Google can’t help themselves, they have to take advantage of normal advertisers; for two years its advice has been to separate mobile campaigns. Now that it’s not working out for them, it’s change it back. Product Listing Ads (PLA) are the vogue, but I foresee them killing normal text ads.  If Google now think mobiles were a bad idea, Product Listing Ads are so cheap that it will dramatically reduce their profits unless they can get more advertisers on to increase prices.

We’re already on the beta programme, so we’ll let you know how the Enhance Campaigns work out over the coming months.

I must admit I am not holding too much hope in what they have planned.

In the meantime if you’re experiencing issues with AdWords performance or would like to improve your skills and knowledge of AdWords so you’re more in control, give us a call.

Next week I promise I’ll send out the top five AdWords info-graphics many of you have asked for.

John Langley

John Langley


I am the founder of Click Convert, an Award Winning agency, here to deliver great marketing for Small and Medium Businesses. We’ve created over $1.1 billion in sales for clients. We’re one of the top digital marketing companies in America and the UK for small and medium businesses digital marketing. We’re a Google Premier Partner, a Google Top 50 agency and our work was recommended by Google’s CEO in 2020. Outside of family and Click Convert, Cars, Adventure and Pizza are my passion. Our vision is to Inform, Empower and Deliver to help both clients and readers.

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