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Google Smart Campaigns vs Normal Campaigns: A Review

As you may or may not know, a couple of years ago Google launched “Smart Campaigns” – a new type of campaign which requires the minimum Google Ads knowledge of the user and brings in data from the businesses website, Google My Business account and other information provided by the user. 

We come across a lot of businesses who try out Smart Campaigns for size, yet don’t achieve their desired results, and so we’d like to review the differences between Smart Campaigns and normal Google Ads Campaigns to allow you to make an educated decision as to which route is best for your business.

So, let’s start with the most important question.

What are Smart Campaigns?

Smart Campaigns are a partially automated campaign type which let you target your audience with minimal Google Ads knowledge or experience.  It was rolled out last year and now lives in the Google Ads Experience, in place of the previous AdWords Express.


One of the most common mistakes most of the business owners make while setting up their campaigns is their reliability on Smart Ads. How? Well, Smart Ads makes it easy for you to run ad campaigns but there are a few drawbacks. Which are:

  • Although Smart Campaigns are said to be easy-to-use, you have less control over your campaigns, and it also lacks access to detailed analytical reports. 
  • Technology is not human – Yes, I know that technology has changed the way you advertise your business but it isn’t smart and mature enough to be relied upon. So, while running smart campaigns, you may still need to do some basic tasks such as placement exclusions.
  • Conflict of Interests – While running Smart ads campaigns, it’s Google A.I. who controls each and everything, not you. And you may be needing to spend more as compared to the manual campaign.
  • Lack of control over your campaigns – Its Google who has total control over your campaigns, not you. And it may let you spend more while the results may not be as expected.

There are many other disadvantages or cons of Google Ads Smart Campaigns such as wastage of budget while defining campaign targets, setup of a higher CPA target to rank, and some other risks.


You must be thinking that Smart Ads are a disaster but let me tell you there are some positives too, which are:

  • Ability to create an online ad instantly
  • It works on PPC module. If there are no clicks, Google won’t charge you.
  • Smart tools to reach the right audience based on behaviour, device, location, and other aspects.
  • Saves a lot of time

Wondering which one is the best choice for you, Smart Ads or traditional search campaign? Let’s have a quick review.

Smart Campaign vs Search Campaign

With Google Smart Campaigns, Google takes control of everything after you set it up and keeps working on it until it gets the best results which may be unrealistic sometimes. While in traditional search campaigns, you can set up your goals by yourself and then make changes according to the results.

Smart campaigns save you lots of time while traditional search campaign requires your attention and some extra time but this extra time pays off and you get better results as compared to the Smart campaigns.

Google Ads Smart Campaigns are easy to set up and Google configures everything else for you while the old search campaign needed to be configured in detail.


We can say that Smart Campaigns are smarter but no more than a human and it will take them some more time to be mature and give you the real results.  With Artificial Intelligence, the thing that is needed for it to be successful is data.  If you are running Smart Campaigns without any previous data for Googles brain to work with, you’re flying blind.

So, to summarise, do it right manually the first time and then take advantage of automation once you know what really works.  That’s when it could be time to let Google make some moves.

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