Google Ads account changes, made by a Google Ads reps, may be hidden from the logs in your account’s “Change history.”
This is kinda OK, if you authorize the changes…. but what if changes are being made without you authorizing or knowing?
*** I’m not accusing anyone of anything or jumping to any conclusions, but Google is still investigating my case, described below: ***
Last Monday I wrote about finding keywords in my client’s Google Ads account with no record in the change history of ever being added. Turns out that these were added by Google’s Beta. Google support gave me a link to this Beta’s dashboard, and I opted my client out.
Exploring this dashboard, I remembered another account that had keywords spontaneously appear, with no trace in the change history, but this account was not opted into this Beta.
“J Did It.” Who is J??? I called Google Ads support about these changes. They said that my Google Ads Account Manager (I’ll call him “J”) made these changes.
The problem is that I never heard of J, and neither had the client. They gave me his email and said to discuss it with him… so I emailed J.
(Disclosure: the following is based on my recollection of my call with “J”. Some of what I quote may be slightly paraphrased from what he actually said)
Be Cool, It’s A Simple Mistake. J called me this morning, and I asked why he made changes without client authorization. He said that he is the account manager, working out of Tempe, AZ, and that he spoke with someone from the client’s “877 number.”
I asked for this person’s name, but he didn’t know or remember. He then said it was done by mistake.
There was no “sorry” or anything. He just calmly said, “It was done by mistake.” Shocked at his coolness, I decided to focus on making it right for my client.
Why Pay for a Mistake? When I asked how the client will get refunded for this, he answered, “Refunded for what?” I told him for the effects of his “mistake”… but I decided to get more precise by analyzing the changes, and calculating a specific figure to request a refund.
Proprietary = Can’t Share What I Did. I asked J to share what changes he made in the Google Ads account, since he can see the changes logged in his interface. He said that he just accepted the changes from the Google Ads’ Recommendations section and only added a few keywords.
When I asked him to send me a full specific list of changes, he said that his interface is proprietary, so he can’t. I said he can copy and paste the simple text into a Word or Google Doc, but that I need to know exactly what was changed in my account.
He said he’ll look into it and get back to me, “hopefully today.”
Getting the Record Straight. Hours later, I got on a call with the Google Ads support rep from yesterday and asked exactly what changes were made in the account. Here is what he said:
There were 4 changes were made on October 9th by “J” in the span of one minute (1:54pm to 1:55pm):
- One keyword match type changed from “Phrase” to “Exact”
- Two audiences added in a campaign
- 11 Exact Match keywords added and set to a Max CPCs of $21
- Avg CPC for this campaign, for that month, was $7.03
- Many of these were not relevant and when they overspent, we found out they exist.
- 2 responsive ads added
Only J Can Help You with J. I told this rep that this is inconsistent with what J told me, and that I’d like to speak with a manager. He said that I need to go through J… so, I emailed J and I’m waiting to hear back.
Sharing is Caring. No company is perfect, and mistakes happen. But I strongly believe that Google should not hide any changes from the change history. Having a record of every change in an account will allow customers to at least follow what is happening, and to hold anyone accountable for the actions taken in their account – whether its opting into a Beta or “making a mistake”.
Hiding records of account changes from the customer, who is paying for the advertising, seems kinda “off”… don’t you think?