Eight Answers to Commonly Asked Performance Max Questions

September 15, 2022

We know there’s a lot of interest right now around Google Ads’ Performance Max (PMax) campaigns now that they’re available in the new Search Ads 360. You have Performance Max questions, and we have answers! Here are eight commonly asked questions we field from our clients, along with our responses, advice and recommendations. 

Top Q&A on Performance Max

1) What is Performance Max?

Performance Max is a new campaign type that maximizes performance across all channels in Google Ads. It includes elements of traditional keyword-driven search, display via GDN, video via YouTube and shopping campaigns (if applicable) to connect your content with customers at the right moment across all ad formats more efficiently than you could realistically achieve manually.

2) How quickly should I adopt this new feature?

Being at the forefront of Google Ads automation and machine learning algorithms has historically proven to be very fruitful for search marketers, and Performance Max looks to be continuously evolving and improving. Ultimately, the speed at which you adopt it comes down to opportunity cost. Waiting until next month, next quarter or next year to test this campaign will likely mean missing out on increased performance during that period.

3) How do these changes impact what I am running now?

Performance Max will absorb all Smart Shopping Campaigns (SSC) in the future, and during testing, PMax campaign inventory will take priority over other campaign types, which could impact their performance. You will not be able to use SSCs in the future (estimated cutoff is in late Q3/early Q4 2022). However, PMax will continue to give you the same Smart Shopping and Local campaign base features with additional access to new inventory, formats and bidding controls.

4) Will this update actually improve my performance?

We have been given every reason to believe that Performance Max campaigns will improve the overall performance of your account. While this feature is still fairly new, Google has run extensive alpha and beta tests to ensure the machine learning algorithms will benefit clients when used correctly. Based on those tests, using Performance Max yielded an increase in conversion volume and a higher return on ad spend (ROAS). The Adswerve team has seen similar results. The biggest concession is that you will not have as much visibility and control over Performance Max campaigns and reporting as you might be accustomed to.

One caveat is that some clients have noticed decreased performance if they are converting a SSC to a Performance Max campaign and adding no additional assets. While there is a forced migration looming, it is important to remember to add all available assets to your Performance Max campaign in order to get the best performance.

5) When is the forced migration for Smart Shopping?

Smart Shopping campaigns will likely be automatically switched to Performance Max campaigns sometime in Q4, but that could be extended until 2023 depending on Google’s discretion and depending on your specific account.

6) How do I migrate from Smart Shopping to Performance Max?

Many users can transition SSCs to Performance Max campaigns with one button click via the recommendations page, Google Ads Editor or within the campaign table. Please see this video for further details. It is anticipated that all Smart Shopping campaigns will be automatically switched to PMax campaigns sometime in Q4 but Google has yet to confirm a specific switchover date.

7) Does this take any additional tagging?

No additional tagging is required so long as you have a Floodlight and/or a conversion pixel already present in your Google Ads campaigns that you would like to bid toward.

8) What assets are required and in what format/specs?

Text Ads

Recommended Specs:

  • At least 3 x 30 character headlines
  • At least 2 x 90 character descriptions
  • At least 1 x 90 character long headline


Recommended Specs:

  • At least 1 x 600×316 landscape
  • At least 1 x 300×300 square
  • At least 1 x 128×128 logo
  • Recommended: 1200 x 628
  • Max file size: 5,120KB


Recommended Specs:

  • At least one file >10 seconds in length is recommended 

Other Tips:

  • While you are not required to provide a video, we recommend it, as not including one will result in Google auto-creating a slideshow based on static image assets, which will not be optimal for converting.
  • You will need to upload videos to YouTube for inclusion in the campaign; they cannot currently be uploaded directly into the Google Ads account
  • You do not have to include audiences, but we highly recommend it as Google will use them to enhance bidding.

Additional Resources

For more information, please check out these recent articles by Google:

Upcoming Adswerve Webinar: What to know about Performance Max (PMax) Campaigns in Search Ads 360

Have other Performance Max questions? Check out my recent webinar, Performance Max Campaigns in SA360: What You Need to Know or reach out to our experts for more information.