Several Google AdWords Changes on the Way

At the Google Performance Summit in San Francisco on Tuesday, May 24th, Google announced many upcoming changes to the AdWords platform. As a search marketer, it’s always exciting to see what new features we will have to play with and how these changes will affect our work processes and the implementation of our digital marketing strategies. Below are some key changes to AdWords that were mentioned at the summit on Tuesday:


Individual Device Bid Adjustments

No longer must you have your base bid be tied to desktop searches. Now, you will be able to have your base bids set on the device that creates the most value for you and apply bid modifiers to the remaining device(s). Tablet and Desktop bidding will also no longer be grouped together and bids can be modified separately for the two devices. Google finally realized there’s a difference between simply accounting for mobile (what they have been doing) and designing for mobile-first (future plans).

Having greater device-level control over ads should be a welcomed change by most advertisers, as with all the data available today it’s apparent to most what device yields the best performance, and now it will be easier to use that data in order to optimize campaigns.


Expanded Text Ads

It was reported earlier this month that Google had been testing longer text ads across different devices. As of Tuesday, longer text ads have been confirmed to be released some time later this year. With the eradication of right-side ads, Google has plenty of space to work with and a lot more flexibility with ads on the top of organic results. The headline, description, and URL will all be seeing changes:

Headline: Instead of one 25-character headline, you will know have the ability to have 2, 30-character headlines. This certainly carries the biggest weight and is the greatest of all the changes, as it more than doubles the amount of text you can have in your headline.

Description: Instead of two separate description lines of 35 characters each, you will know have 80 characters available for a consolidated, one-line description.

URL: The display URL will now automatically be pulled from your final URL. You will still be able to customize the URL Path.


Promoted Pins

With the news that one-third of all searches are local, and local searches are growing 50 percent faster than overall mobile searches, Google announced ‘promoted pins,’ which they are calling the “next generation of local search ads.”  Promoted pins will be branded pins that users will see along their current route, or nearby, when using Google Maps. The update will also include new-look local pages, where advertisers can display information such as local inventory at the store and any promotions they have going on. The goal of promoted pins is to increase foot traffic to advertisers’ physical locations, and will be used by Google to help make online-to-offline metrics available to as many marketers as possible.


Interface Update

It’s been about 8 years since Google touched the interface of the AdWords platform, and I think everyone can agree that an updated interface is overdue. First announced in late March, Google made clear their plans to rejuvenate that AdWords interface and give it more of a modern look and feel. Google has stated there will be no functionality changes, only to the way data is displayed.

There has been no announcement for an exact date of a rollout, but AdWords product management director Paul Feng stated that the goal is to have the platform fully rolled-out by the end of 2017.


A lot of exciting changes are in store for AdWords. For search marketers, It’s very important to plan for these changes before they are rolled out. Being proactive rather than reactive can save a lot of stress and headaches from occurring. Being prepared will allow your campaigns to seamlessly integrate with any new changes that AdWords rolls out over the coming months.

For the full video of the Google AdWords & Analytics Innovations Keynote at the 2016 Google Performance Summit, click here

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Anthony Church

Anthony Church has built several business ventures and provided business consulting to companies throughout the United States. In 2013 he merged his digital marketing firm, Blue Buckle Marketing, with Interact Marketing. He attended Baruch College and SUNY New Paltz where he attained his degree in Psychology and an MBA in Marketing. He is certified by Google in Google AdWords, Google Analytics, and Google Tag Manager and has been a contributing author to several online business publications. He is also an avid fitness enthusiast, certified fitness trainer, fitness writer, and has competed nationally as a drug-free bodybuilder.

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