I’ve been working accounts in gAds for 10 years now, and have managed >$100M in spend during that time, having driven >$1B in revenue. Over the years I’ve tried just about everything: the most successful strategy – hand’s down – was SKAGs.

NOTE: I want to be clear: they have been the must Successful strategy. Not the most Easy. Not the most Fun. Not the most Simple to train colleagues to do. Not the most Clean. Not the most Organized.

But – definitely – the most Successful.

With Google making it increasingly difficult to make SKAGs work, I’ve been trying to make their auto-magic stuff outcompete. In September I was finally successful: with a combination of SIAGs, RSAs, TROAS, and a whole lot of negatives, I was able to give my SKAGs a run for their money.

So that’s it: SKAGs are finally dead right?

Well… not so fast.

I’ve recently configured a new kind of SKAG: I call it a SSKAG (Super SKAG). It works like this:

  • Ad group contains only closely aligned exact match terms (And I mean close. Think: [solar panel for roof], [solar panels for roof], [solar panel for roofs], [soler panel for roofs], etc. Yes, I include spelling errors)
  • 3 RSAs per group, but each RSA with only a single (pinned) entry for each field (yes – basically ETAs)
  • A script that runs every night that negatives-out any terms that don’t match exactly

I’ve built some tools that allow me to monitor their performance at scale. I’m able to administer hundreds without much difficulty right now, and I can probably scale these tools to allow me to administer thousands. Setup is a pain, but they’re largely set-and-forget, until one of my scripts alerts me to a performance issue.

Results so far are good: I consistently out-compete my SIAGs, and have largely worked around Googles attempts at making this type of micro-managing approach irrelevant.

My question: has anyone else had a similar experience? Is this just a fluke, and eventually it will stop working again? Or does the good old “term/copy/page alignment” principle still win?

submitted by /u/Alarming_Issue_2318
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