Switching off Google Ads automatic applied recommendations (AAR’s)

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If you are new to Google Ads and set up a campaign Google Ads will now automatically apply recommendations (AAR’s) unless you opt out. They introduced this feature in April 2021, so it has been rolling now for a year – as have Microsoft in their advertising platform.

Google Ads can have fantastic results for a small business, delivering valuable traffic from intent audiences in your target area through pay per click (PPC) advertising.

I have, however, personally come into accounts where clients have been taking calls from Google Account Strategists (3rd party companies who advise on changes to your account). These clients have agreed to apply suggestions upon their advice. These recommendations can create some terrible results and guess what… lead the client to spend more money with Google.

Why do Google now automatically apply ad suggestions (AAR’s) by default?

One explanation is that AAR’s help the inexperienced or those who rarely visit the portal to review the suggestions themselves, or perhaps it is to increase their own revenue by making suggestions which ultimately lead you to spend more.

Spray & Pray

The most common recommendation I see is change your keywords to broad match. This spray and pray approach to keywords can lead to some clicks for completely irrelevant searches.  For example, a furniture removal company may get clicks for people searching ‘hair removal’. By knowing your audience and targeting key search terms using phrase match and exact match you may receive less clicks but watch that CTR (click through rate) increase.

Another gem is TCPA (target cost per acquisition) – or as Google likes to phrase it, “stay unconstrained by budget”.

You can prevent automatically applying suggestions by manually opting out with these easy steps.

  1. Go to Settings in Google Ads
  2. Go to Account setting on the left-hand side of the page
  3. Choose Don’t automatically apply ad suggestions
  4. Click Apply to change your settings

Here is what it looks like

Removing AAR's step 1
Removing AAR's step 2

Note: When you opt out, any previously applied ad suggestions will remain active. You can edit, pause, or remove these previously applied auto suggestions under the change’s history. Also check your ads and extensions area for any changes you may wish to edit.

If you are looking to run Google Ads for your small business and would like professional support with your campaign, get in touch today.