AI in PPC Advertising is Irrational

All things being equal, do you believe Google will benefit you more than it will benefit your competitors?

Which means, Would you mind evenly splitting your sales with all your competitors?

Some people seem to think that Google is their friend – that it is some kind of egalitarian computer system that has no agenda. Sorry to break it to you. Google does what it does to make money. And they make a lot of money.

Its no surprise then that Google encourages you, at every turn,

to use their AI (Machine Learning or fully automated bid strategy) to manage your pay-per-click ad campaigns. This automation doesn’t cost you anything extra. After all, you can do-it-yourself, set-it-and-forget-it. Eazy peasy!

“You mean I can just click a button and Google will take care of everything?” Yes!

“If I click the button and let Google run my ads as it sees fit, what happens when my competitor does the exact same thing?” Exactly!

Which means you would not mind evenly splitting your sales with all your competitors.

AI or ML or Automated Bid Strategy – whats the diff?

The more buzz words around something, the more suspicious you should be. What is Machine Learning? Well it’s also called Artificial Intelligence. Sounds almost magical, doesn’t it? – as if it’s beyond comprehension by we humans. These buzz-words are marketing terms for something that has been going on since the 1950’s. Its called computer programming to automate a process. It is simply writing instructions (software, code) that makes computers calculate to produce a result. They calculate – nothing more – following instructions written by people. People write that software – to benefit Google – maybe?

The Plan

“But I am seeing better performance. I’m getting more clicks for my money.”

If your are still looking at total clicks, maybe you need help. But even still, don’t you think that might be part of the plan? Google is not dumb. They prove the pitch is true with increased results…for a time…and then time passes and the spend (in your mind) has been normalized. All you have to do now is increase your budget every now and then – maybe get more sales, pay your credit card bill every month and hope you remain profitable – fingers crossed. Google wants you to Set-It-And-Forget-It. What could be better than a constant revenue stream (for Google). This has all been well-planned and written into the Machine Learning.

Smarter Than You

Is Google’s (machine) learning? Yes!

Its learning about your entire business, your marketplace, your margins, etc, so that Google can make the most money, while allowing you to just get by.

They intend to maximize returns without loosing customers. Google’s Machine Learning is really learning how to make the most money. Its only following instructions written by people. Its not magic.

Our Pitch

We don’t do magic. We write the programming that does calculate the correct bid price per keyword. We do not believe you should evenly split your sales with your competitors. You should not Set-It-And-Forget-It and hope. You will (win) spend less, get more sales, and maintain your margins.


August 27, 2023 – Google says It’s important to acknowledge, however, that AI can’t drive marketing success by itself. AI is capable of multiplying business results and growth, but only when it’s paired with human expertise.” Brendon Kraham June 2023

Well that’s an admission! Google’s ML (AI) alone is not going to benefit you in a competitive environment such as Ads bidding. Which means the concept Google puts forth, that ML campaigns are a better use of your marketing dollars than any other campaign type, is not true. Yes. They just said so.

My conclusion of this article still holds: that Google will be using ML (AI) to figure out how to get you to spend more.