How to Remove Automated Ads Extensions from Google Ads

If you’re not careful you can burn through money very quickly with a Google Ads campaign. Here’s one way I was losing money and how I corrected it.

Google Ads automated ads extensions

I was looking at my site statistics recently and was irritated to see that Google Ads paid clicks were going to a completely irrelevant page on my site.

How could that be?

I had no idea, so I contacted Google Ads support and was told that Automated Ads Extensions were activated by default and I needed to disable them.

Automated ads extensions are ‘sold’ to unsuspecting newbies to Google Ads (me!) as generating extra traffic to my site. But, like all of Google’s recommendations and default settings, they are designed for the benefit of Google, not you.

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Automated ads extensions may be a good idea if your ads are generally focused on just getting people to your website. They take bits of information from the page you are promoting and add them to the end of your ad. That includes links to other pages on your site.

What that means is that people seeing your ad could click through to any of the links being displayed in your ad, and those links may have nothing to do with the page you’re promoting.

As an example, one of my paid ads for a specific service included links to my Contact page – completely irrelevant as a landing page for that particular ad!

If you are running a very focused Google Ads campaign, with tightly focused ad groups and ads, leading to a carefully crafted landing page, the last thing you need is for Google to insert links to your contact page in your ads.

If this is you, then you need to disable automated ads extensions, and here’s how to do that:

Do leave me a comment if you have any questions or need me to clarify anything!

Cheers,

Martin Malden

Martin Malden
Owner – WealthyDragon

About the author: Martin has been working online since 2006 and focuses on two areas: 1) affiliate marketing and 2) designing and building websites based on WordPress. He has his own WordPress agency, and serves clients in Hong Kong, Australia and the UK.

What do you think?

6 comments… add one
  • Norman Richards Jan 29, 2019 @ 20:24

    I did not know this about Google adds but it is good to see that you found out and was able to resolve the issue. I myself have been thinking about google adds also. This information has opened my eyes and will help me and others that are thinking about using these adds and also others that are now using them.

    • Martin Malden Jan 30, 2019 @ 6:25

      Hi Norman,

      Google Ads can be very effective, but also very expensive. Especially as the default settings and recommendations are actually designed to benefit Google, not the advertiser! Basically they want you to spend as much money as possible.

      So it’s a bit of a cat and mouse game.

      I always start very small and with a limited budget while I optimise a campaign and then, once it is working well and cost-effectively, I increase my daily budget.

      Cheers,

      Martin.

  • Darci Jan 30, 2019 @ 0:36

    Martin,
    This is great! I am about to enter into a segment of training on this exact subject, and there seem to be so many small technicalities that can be a pain! Thank you for clearing this up, and for walking me through the process in the video! Very helpful indeed.

    -Darci

    • Martin Malden Jan 30, 2019 @ 6:21

      Hi Darci,

      Yes, I’m afraid that Google Ads has an enormous number of settings that are often hidden away in obscure places..!

      The problem is that Google’s recommendations and default settings are not designed to help you – they are designed to help Google by getting you to spend as much money as possible!

      Approach with caution 🙂

      Cheers,

      Martin

  • Matt Lin Jul 13, 2020 @ 14:35

    Hi Martin,

    Thanks for letting us know how to correct the Google Ads automated ads extension before we run out of the budget!

    It seems that auto-activation of the extension is stealing our money, and Google Ads should mention this clearly beforehand.

    For the ads, how can Google direct people to an irrelevant page (your contact page) instead of the specific pages you are promoting? I don’t want to be negative, but it makes me feel bad & it’s a waste of money. So if we disable the automated ads extensions, our Google ads will be normal & connect the targeted audience to the specific page we’re promoting?

    I worry that there might be some other default settings that will steal our money like this too.

    Thanks,
    Matt

    • Martin Malden Jul 15, 2020 @ 8:17

      Hi Matt,

      As I said in the article: Google is in this for money, and their enhancements are designed at least as much for their benefit as for the advertisers.

      The problem is that Google’s real target market for Adwords is the corporate sector – and they usually have huge marketing budgets.

      I don’t doubt that these ‘extras’ bring more traffic in response to ads, but definitely at a price!

      Small businesses or individuals need to treat any of Google’s extensions with extreme care and the best way to do this is to make campaigns very focused and track performance very closely.

      This would enable you to avoid at least some of the extensions until you’re really on top of your campaign. At that point it would be worth reviewing whether an extension would be worthwhile.

      Cheers,

      Martin.

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