This year Google has some new and somewhat shocking changes to their new partner badge requirements.
Some changes are pretty much expected, like the increase managed spend from $10000 to $20000 which isn’t too significant for agencies and consultants who are used to this threshold.
The main concern regarding the new updates to this year’s updates has to do with the requirements that have to do with company performance.
The requirement updates are as follows:
The current performance requirements are much more flexible and mainly require that a company spend and manage effectively on a 12 month horizon.
The new requirements require an optimization score of at least 70% across a managed account.
The Optimization Score is Google’s metric for defining a successful Google Ads account. This includes budget, keyword, and ad copy optimizations.
The problem with this change is that many experienced paid search specialists will confirm that the recommendations are not always in-line with business objectives.
It is also known that Google leverages recommendations that tend to influence users to increase their overall advertising spend.
How does the change to these requirements negatively impact Google Ads Management?
For one, many business do not always have effective account structure and keyword mix in their account.
I’ve had the chance to prove this out recently on a few smaller accounts where the budget needed to be effectively managed in order to not over spend on broad search terms.
In many cases the issue with using recommendations to increase “conversions” is that many accounts do not have a strong attribution model for measuring their KPIs.
I’ve seen accounts that count behavioral on-site engagement which leads to inflated conversion numbers. An example of this could be a “page view” conversion in Google Ads.
This would influence Google’s recommendations which may drastically change the quality of your traffic.
Would you want Google to shift your ad spend towards keywords that drive more page views?
Just because that metric dominates your current measurement strategy.
Another concern is that Google’s recommendations continue to leverage automated bid strategies that like the example above, would allow your account to bid for positions in the auction that are not necessary for optimal performance.
An example of this would be turning on a maximize conversion strategy on a “conquest” campaign.
You may get more phone calls and leads however, many of those phone calls may be wasted dollars bidding more aggressively on your competitor’s brand.
As you can see these are just a few of the many concerns I have with Google’s new approach to partner badge requirements and further validates that Google is chasing money and not helping users actually improve their advertising efficiency.