Google says Performance Max ‘intentionally’ doesn’t show channel-specific KPIs


Google confirmed that it deliberately withholds channel-specific KPIs for Performance Max campaigns because it could be “misleading.”

Some advertisers suspect Google is not being fully transparent about PMax campaign performance data because doing so would impact its ability to push automation.

What Google is saying. When an advertisers asked why Google doesn’t offer channel-level reporting for PMax campaigns in the Google Ads Help Center, a spokesperson replied:

  • “It intentionally doesn’t show channel-specific KPIs because looking at aggregate ROAS or CPA for a single channel within Performance Max can actually be misleading and doesn’t accurately represent the value of a given channel.”
  • “One channel may seem better than another with stronger ROI on average. However, this doesn’t account for the marginal cost of the next conversion on that channel. The ‘best’ channel in one auction isn’t the best option in another auction.”
  • “Performance Max makes a real-time decision about where to place your ad based on which inventory it predicts will deliver the most cost-efficient, high-ROI conversion at that moment.”

Reaction. Julie F Bacchini, President of Neptune Moon LLC, shared a screenshot of the exchange on X and commented:

  • “New PMax questions answered from Think with Google… From the first answer… Paraphrased – we won’t show you the stats for channels within PMax because you might get the wrong idea about their performance if you actually see it.”
  • “Trust us to always do what’s best.”

Why we care. Advertisers want more transparency in how their campaigns are performing because even though AI can be highly effective, it’s not perfect. And since Google’s products are designed to benefit Google rather than advertisers, many would feel more comfortable having insights to ensure that decisions about their campaign performance prioritize their brands rather than Google.

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Deep dive. Read the full Google Ads Help Center Q&A for more information.


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