Google Ads goes dark: your questions answered

Last week, Google’s ad platform suffered an outage and the news cycle went into meltdown as thousands of marketers were unable to access their accounts. PMW spoke to a search marketing expert to provide clarity and advice for any future reporting blips.

Several days ago, thousands of Google Ads users were unable to access the platform for a two-hour period, with the company stating at the time that they were “investigating reports of an issue”.

Google’s ad service garners over 246 million unique visitors per month, so it’s no wonder why advertisers were concerned over the implications of the ad software going dark - even for a minute.

Although the precise number of those who were impacted hasn’t been reported, Google has since resolved the issue but provided no information detailing the cause of the problem. With thousands of global businesses relying on the platform to enhance their online visibility and drive growth, is this grounds for re-evaluating their investment?

“Every advertiser should still have alerts setup on accounts”

Daniel Foot, Vodafone’s Paid Search & YouTube Lead is an expert on the platform and provided some clarity regarding the implications of the outage and how advertisers should respond.

He said: “Fortunately, advertisers lose no money during an outage like that as all ads keep running, the problem is just a reporting issue with the Google Ads user interface.

“Issues like that happen between one to three times a year, but not for much longer than an hour or an hour and a half.”

Although the consequences of these outages seem far from disastrous, Foot emphasised the importance of advertisers’ safeguarding their accounts.

“This issue is impossible to plan around and overall has very little impact on activity running but every advertiser should still have alerts setup on accounts to make sure they are always serving,” he said.

“With all the news coverage around the problem I would say it confirms just how important Google has become, but the ramifications are very much being over hyped.”