Originally at https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/02/09/adwords-smart-goals-not-a-smart-move-for-advertisers/

If I told you that your company could automate your paid search advertising bids based on the conversion data of thousands of other businesses, but not your own data, would you tell me to take a hike?

I think it’s safe to say that many of us PPC professionals disagree with Smart Goals for various reasons – and think this new offering from AdWords is just downright dumb.

There’s certainly been some heated conversations around the web on the issue of Smart Goals, and this post from Julie Bacchini of Neptune Moon has some very good points.

Let’s look a little closer at what I believe the issues to be, and I’ll end on a positive note by highlighting something interesting that Smart Goals is doing.

smart goals

Companies that might use Smart Goals are not all that unsophisticated

First, it really doesn’t matter if the company that would use Smart Goals is a local brick-and-mortar storefront or an enterprise business. In my opinion, the data is not providing anything valuable to anyone.

However, AdWords talks it up as something that the small to medium-sized business can use, because, hey – if they’re not using any tracking conversion at all, they might as well use some kind of data.

From the announcement (as linked to previously):

To generate Smart Goals, we apply machine learning across thousands of websites that use Google Analytics and have opted in to share anonymized conversion data. From this information, we can distill dozens of key factors that correlate with likelihood to convert: things like session duration, pages per session, location, device and browser. We can then apply these key factors to any website. The easiest way to think about Smart Goals is that they reflect your website visits that our model indicates …

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