Performance Max is tricking you into overspending on Google Ads.

Here’s how you can identify the signs & understand what’s happening under the hood.

Some of you are probably spending 3x your ad agency’s retainer on junk placements.

Thousands of wasted $ with no extra revenue.

PMAX steals branded search traffic, inflating its performance and tricking you into increasing spend.

Think you’re getting a 3x ROAS? 20% of that attributed revenue is probably brand traffic.

My branded search campaigns look like this after switching back to standard shopping.

Search & Shopping ads only scale to a certain point before they start overspending.

CPCs will increase, and attributed revenue will stop going up.

I’ve seen this trend over and over again in the 200+ Google Ads accounts I’ve managed.

PMAX CPCs stay low when scaling. Why?

The extra budget gets blown on the Discovery network, which is notorious for poor performance.

This account blew $2k on discovery ads that went to random blogs & satire posts.

Instead of scaling down when search trends slow down, PMAX will find a way to spend your money.

That last screenshot shows thousands of low-quality sessions being driven from PMAX.

This one shows how much was spent on blogs and satire posts for the same time period.

(Shopping won’t send traffic to blogs)

Yeah. Ridiculous. I know.

PMAX inflates attributed revenue by stealing brand traffic, then blows the extra cash on their Discovery Network.

Have you noticed extra banner ads on YouTube since PMAX launched?

I sure have.

For those of you who don’t know, the discovery network consists of Google’s “owned inventory”.
Gmail, YouTube, etc.

Google owns these placements, and they don’t owe adsense fees to publishers.

I don’t dislike Discovery, but it requires VERY intentional funnels to be profitable.

I’ve been migrating my book back to standard shopping from PMAX.

Spend goes down, attributed revenue stays the same.

But you have to do it right or you’ll crash your account.

I’ll post a full tutorial here next week in another thread.

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