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It’s Official, Google’s Performance Max Campaigns Cannibalise Organic Brand

Dedicated. Data-driven. Digital Marketing.

By up to 40% based on our tests!!! 👀

PMax is wasting budget, AND claiming conversions for traffic which already had high intent to land on site and convert. ❌

So how do you stop this? You’ve got 3 options! ✅

1⃣ Request negatives via Google support 🧑‍💻

There’s no option to add negative keywords to PMAX campaigns in ads manager, however, if you message Google support with a list of words you want to exclude, such as [brand], then they’ll do it for you in their backend. 🪄

To prove this works here’s the transcript of a recent support email from Google: ✉

“Currently, because of the campaign limitation, we are unable to provide you direct access that may help you add negative keywords to your campaign.

However, in case you have a list of negative keywords that you want to add to your performance max campaign. You can reach out to us and we would be more than happy to apply them to your campaign.”

2⃣ Remove Assets to Force Shopping ONLY Delivery 🛍

Okay, you got me, so this option doesn’t truly block PMAX from delivering on brand terms but it should stop the delivery of search ads appearing above your organic link and effectively wasting your budget. 💸

Although there is no option to choose which Google platforms your ads deliver to. If you create an asset which is only connected to your product feed and nothing else it will force Google to deliver shopping ads 97% of the time. (I have no idea what the other 3% of ads will look like 🤷‍♂️ )

3⃣ Build an Exact Match Brand Search Campaign 🔍

This doesn’t eliminate delivering brand ads of course but it does let you control them. (Particularly important if your brand is a common word/phase or your competition 👿 bid on your brand so you have no option but to deliver brand ads).

If you build an exact match brand search campaign then Google states it will always favour an exact match term over PMAX. This gives you greater control over your bids, audiences and ads; plus gives you oversight of your actual brand spend. 💷

With that said… if your exact match campaign budget isn’t enough to match the search demand then PMAX will be back to cannibalising brand terms. 😬