In 2022, Google is replacing Smart Shopping and Local Campaigns with Performance Max. This is a new type of advertising campaign that should make life easier for advertisers. Google is moving toward hard automation. To have 1 button – “Run ads” and that’s it. According to the idea of Google, a new type of campaign, Performance Max, will show our ads in absolutely all placements. Unfortunately, it’s not much fun for professionals when we can’t control everything we want.
In all of my projects, Smart Shopping has worked fine. Even without creating any creatives. Just selected a product group and it worked. But standard search and DSA doesn’t work everywhere. Search campaigns are unprofitable on many eCommerce projects.
I would like to exclude Google Search Performance Max campaigns on those projects where the search has already proved to be not the best. But Google does not give us such an opportunity. But you can simply do not create an advertising set (Asset group) and do not set text objects (titles, descriptions). Then Google should not show ads in search, as text ads. As shopping, of course it will.
If the web interface does not allow you to publish campaign without assigning Asset, you can create campaign through the Ads Editor and then configure them in the web interface. The most important thing in the Ads Editor is to set the ID of the Merchant Center and the country of sales at the level of the campaign:
I saw that my Smart Shopping campaigns, which I upgraded to Performance Max, have no sets. Yet they are spinning and converting just fine. I decided to check with Google support and they confirmed to me that there would be no search ad impressions:
Of course, believing the manager of the chat room is often a dubious idea. But here everything looks quite logical. Also on reddit I met an opinion that this will work. I think this trick will work until Google starts implementing auto-generation of ads. But I don’t believe that they will add the ability to manage placements. Google’s goal is to make more money from advertisers. The less you can control, the easier it is to make money off of you.
The quality of the kit will be “Good”. This is enough for the campaign to unscrew and give good results.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to test on the same category with and without Assets. I have 4 PMax campaigns running in parallel on 4 different categories of the online store. Exactly as it was when using Smart Shopping. Here are the results of the last 2 weeks:
In the top 2 campaigns in the screenshot I added titles, descriptions and images. And in the 2 lower ones I did not set anything. ROAS is different because of the different average price of goods in each category. But the conversion rate is clearly higher in PMax without showing in search. Of course not the fact that it is related to search. But for projects where search does not work well, this method can be used as long as Google allows you to do it.