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How to Turn Off Google Ads Auto-Applied Recommendations and Assets

Google continuously develops machine learning tools aimed at enhancing the functionality and effectiveness of Google Ads.

These tools are designed to automate changes within user accounts, potentially simplifying the management of ad campaigns by suggesting and applying optimizations autonomously.

Despite the allure of automation, there is a notable skepticism regarding delegating full control to Google’s automated systems.

In fact, lots of marketers, including me believe that this feature isn’t that great. (Discussion on LinkedIn)

We’ll show you how to turn off Google Ads auto-applied recommendations and automatically applied assets to avoid the impact of these features.

Let’s get right into it!

Reasons for Manual Oversight in Google Ads

Importance of Personalized Management

The primary justification for maintaining manual control over Google Ads accounts lies in the unique needs and specific objectives of each client.

While Google’s automated tools operate based on general data and trends, they do not account for the nuanced understanding that a dedicated account manager possesses about a client’s business environment, competitors, and strategic goals.

Personalized management allows for adjustments that are sensitive to real-time changes in the market and more aligned with the client’s return on investment expectations rather than broad, algorithmically driven goals.

Discrepancy Between Google’s and Clients’ Objectives

A critical aspect of managing Google Ads is recognizing that Google’s automated suggestions often prioritize the platform’s key performance indicators, such as increasing engagement or maximizing clicks, which do not always correlate with the client’s objectives, such as achieving a high-quality lead generation or maintaining a specific budget cap.

Manual oversight ensures that decisions are made with a clear understanding of how they impact the client’s specific marketing and financial strategies, thereby preventing misalignment that can result from automated management.

How to Turn Off Auto-Applied Recommendations in Google Ads

You can turn Auto-Applied Recommendations On or Off in Google Ads:

  1. Navigate to Campaigns > Recommendations > Auto-apply
  2. Tick or untick the settings in Maintain your ads and Grow your business
Navigating to Google Ads auto apply settings

How to Turn Off Automatically Created Assets in Google Ads

Another auto feature in Google Ads is called automatically created assets. This setting will automatically create headline and description assets for your ads.

How to Check Automatically Created Assets in Google Ads?

Navigate to Assets > Filter by source > Automatically created

How to Turn Off Automatically Created Assets in Google Ads?

Assets > More (3 dots) > Account-level automated assets > More (3 dots) > Advanced settings

How to Turn Off Automatically Created Assets in Google Ads on a Campaign Level?

  1. Open campaigns tab
  2. Click on the gear icon of a campaign you want to change this setting
  3. Navigate to Automatically created assets
  4. Turn Automatically created assets On or Off
  5. Save

Which Auto-Applied Recommendations are Available in Google Ads?

Ads and assets

  • Add Responsive Search Ads
  • Improve your Responsive Search Ads
  • Add dynamic search ads
  • Use optimized ad rotation

Bidding

  • Adjust your CPA targets
  • Adjust your ROAS targets
  • Bid more efficiently with Maximize click
  • Bid more efficiently with Maximize conversions
  • Bid more efficiently with Target CPA
  • Bid more efficiently with Target impression share
  • Bid more efficiently with Target ROAS
  • Biddable store visits
  • Maximize conversion value
  • Set a target CPA
  • Set a target ROAS
  • Set a bidding strategy target
  • Add store visits as an account default goal

Keywords and targeting

  • Add audiences
  • Add audience segments for reporting
  • Add broad match keywords
  • Add dynamic search ads. Headline assets will come from content on your website
  • Add keywords
  • Add keywords (Smart bidding)
  • Biddable store visits
  • Expand your reach with Google search partners
  • Remove redundant keywords
  • Remove non-serving keywords
  • Remove conflicting negative keywords
  • Use targeting expansion
  • Use Display expansion

Measurement

  • Upgrade your conversion tracking

More about auto-apply recommendation settings

Types of Google Ads Automated Suggestions

Overview of Automated Suggestions

Google Ads offers a range of automated suggestions aimed at optimizing account performance.

These suggestions appear in various forms and locations within the Google Ads interface, primarily flagged in the recommendations tab.

They are algorithmically generated based on the analysis of account performance data and trends across the platform.

Categories of Automated Suggestions

  1. Auto-Applied Suggestions: These are recommendations that Google can automatically implement in your account unless manually deselected. They typically include changes like adding keywords, adjusting bids, and switching ad rotations. While they can simplify account management by reducing the manual workload, they require careful consideration to ensure they do not deviate from established account strategies.
  2. Optimization Score Indicators: Located prominently within the recommendations tab, these indicators provide a numeric value representing the supposed optimization level of the account. Google suggests actions to improve this score, which often involves adopting new features or increasing budgets. It is essential for managers to critically evaluate these suggestions to confirm they align with client goals before implementation.

Analysis of Specific Automated Suggestions

Bidding and Budgets

One of the most frequent automated suggestions from Google Ads pertains to budget adjustments and bidding strategies.

For instance, Google may suggest increasing the campaign budget to capture additional traffic, often projecting an increase in optimization score as a result.

Another common recommendation is to adopt bidding strategies like Maximize Conversions with a Target Cost Per Acquisition (CPA).

While these suggestions can theoretically enhance performance by harnessing Google’s machine learning capabilities, they also raise concerns about overspending and losing control over campaign cost efficiency.

Account managers must evaluate these suggestions against the backdrop of existing budget constraints and campaign goals, deciding whether these automated recommendations truly align with the strategic direction of the account.

Measurement Enhancements

Google also frequently recommends enhancements in how conversions are tracked and valued.

Suggestions such as setting up enhanced conversion tracking or assigning monetary values to specific types of conversions aim to provide a clearer picture of campaign performance.

Although these are often beneficial, implementing them without a clear understanding of the implications for data privacy and integration with other analytics tools can lead to complications.

It is advisable for managers to thoroughly assess these recommendations and ensure they fit within the broader analytics framework and compliance requirements of the business.

Automatically Created Assets

Concept and Implementation

Automatically created assets in Google Ads refer to ad components, such as headlines and descriptions, that Google generates using machine learning based on existing content from advertisers’ landing pages, ads, and other relevant sources.

This feature is designed to augment the ad creation process, potentially increasing ad relevance and performance by dynamically generating content that aligns with the ongoing performance data of the campaign.

Considerations and Controls

While automatically created assets can streamline the ad development process and introduce potentially high-performing ad variants, they also present challenges.

The main concern is the lack of direct control over the message and tone of the generated content, which may not always align perfectly with the brand’s voice or strategic messaging.

To manage this, Google provides options to review and approve these assets before they go live, allowing advertisers to maintain a level of quality control.

Advertisers should approach this feature with caution, opting in for specific campaigns where the potential benefits outweigh the risks and where constant monitoring is feasible.

Conclusion

Final verdict, auto-recommendations aren’t yet on a good enough level, so for now I’d recommend using your expertise and doing these tasks without the help of it.

Hopefully, these recommendations will get improved in the future and be able to help us improve our efficiency.

I’d like to recommend our PPC tools which can help you improve your efficiency.

Now one of the features in Google Ads that are really cool and worth checking out is Transparency Center. Check out our guide and learn how to use transparency center for competitive research.

Michael Schroder

Michael Schroder

Michael Schroder is a Google Ads and SaaS marketing consultant. He has been managing $200k-$300k monthly ad spend and has worked with 200+ SaaS companies. The thing that makes him unique is his data-led approach and his focus on SaaS businesses.