Of all other things about SEM, its high volatility causes more challenges than any other factor to those who manage it. That is why, more often than not, we see online marketers (especially the newcomers) tend to get intimidated by sheer demands of managing paid search campaigns. Such circumstances also lead many of them to get assistance of autopilot, as a result of which their paid SEM campaigns are comprised a great deal, whether they realize and accept the fact or not.

SEM and Autopilot

Not only does SEM involve a myriad of variables (CPC, Quality Scores, Impression Shares, Ad Performances, Seasonality Impacts, etc), but the level of changes these variables are subjected to, is a problem in itself. The frequency of changes in all these areas is so high that PPC management services simply do not even afford an unnecessary blink of eyes. Unfortunately, this compels many online marketers to go for employment of autopilot in their campaigns, hoping to get the desired results without much of effort, the outcomes being otherwise in reality, however.

What might a Paid Search Campaign be missing due to Autopilot?

There is not just one thing but many that a PPC campaign can miss out due to autopilot’s inability of different types. Given below is a list of some most important of them:

1              Missing out Targeting with “Negatives”

Comprehensive mining of raw search queries helps a great deal in analyzing not only the keywords that increase the significance of your ad campaigns, but it also helps pinpoint keywords that a PPC manager might add as a “negative” to discourage triggering their ads when those particular keywords are used. When it comes to autopilot, it is simply unable to make such segregation, which can affect a campaign badly.

2              Inability to Uncover Additional Targeted Keywords

Yet again, mining raw queries not only counts for finding negatives, but it also assists in identifying highly targeted keywords that were not made part of the campaign earlier. Such highly effective keywords can be added into relevant ad group(s) for enhanced performance of a campaign.

3              Failure in segregation of mobile traffic performance with non mobile traffic

Lately, social media optimization has not surfaced as the only addition to online marketing arsenal base; PPC managers also have to be very prudent in analyzing response of mobile traffic towards a particular campaign as compared to performance of the same campaign for non mobile traffic. Once again, autopilot simply fails in this area as well.

4              Seasonality

There is yet another dimension to managing paid search campaigns, i.e. seasonality. It involves analyzing seasonal impact on the response of audiences towards a particular campaign to see how it affects CPC, budget, impression share, and other elements of a campaign. If a campaign is not being monitored this deeply, it is going to miss the opportunity of adding many new variations according to seasonal demands of audiences and this means missing out many potential conversions. This should also serve as a repellant in going for autopilot option for a paid search campaign.


The points listed above are definitely far from complete as far as negative impacts of leaving paid search campaigns to autopilot is concerned. However, these must serve enough to convince any wise player of the game to keep away from doing so. If not, damages are to speak for themselves; so you better beware.