Groundhog Day is a 1993 American fantasy comedy film directed by Harold Ramis from a screenplay by him and Danny Rubin. Starring Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, and Chris Elliott, it tells the story of Phil Connors (Murray), a cynical television weatherman covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, who becomes trapped in a time loop, forcing him to relive February 2 repeatedly.
I copied that off Wikipedia and didn't even try to change the wording, just so you know.
Groundhog Day is also a 2024 "real life" documentary, where despite another lap around the sun and less than a week into the working year, I'm still encountering businesses who fall hook, line and sinker for the unsolicited advice that Google Ads 'account specialists' offer when bombarding advertisers phones and email inboxes looking to share for free 'recommended optimizations', 'new features' and so on.
Occasionally there are exceptions (and I appreciate that larger advertisers get a better level of support) but as a general rule the advice that these 'account specialists' share WILL benefit Google but MIGHT benefit your business ... emphasis on the might.
The objective of the account specialist when they get you on your complimentary call is to get you implementing new features, spending more, and ultimately giving Google more money. Anything positive that happens for your business is a secondary outcome. There's no recourse for you if the changes negatively impact performance (which is more likely than a positive improvement).
I've got nothing against Google trying to 'upsell' its services, in the same way I've got nothing against the car salesperson trying to sell me a better vehicle, or the airline trying to get me to upgrade my seat. It would be remiss of any business to not try and sell more of its product or service.
However, because Google (at least in many people's minds it seems) occupies a position of being a trusted authority, and because of the language and approached used by this account specialist/support system that is clearly designed to disguise the sales-y nature of the process, many businesses seem to drop their guard and lose sight of the fact that there is ultimately no such thing as a free lunch - and this is no exception. In fact, you are the meal! I also really dislike the pressure tactics used on the free calls that are designed to get you making changes there and then.
My New Year's request is therefore this:
Next time you get one of those phone calls asking you to book your free consultation, ignore it. If you do want to hear what the specialist has to say, then go in with an open mind but don't implement anything on the call and 'sense check' any suggestions. At the very least, understand that the entire point of the process is to get you spending more and being a guinea pig for new features.