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Google Announces Major AdWords Changes at GPS 2016


Google held its Google Performance Summit – GPS 2016 – in San Francisco today. The summit featured a live demo of Google’s newly redesigned AdWords platform, as well as several announcements about the latest AdWords developments. Below are some of the highlights of the AdWords news, as reported by Search Engine Land and a Google Inside AdWords blog post.

More Flexibility in Setting AdWords Bids by Device

AdWords advertisers will start having three different device options for their bid adjustments: desktop, tablet, and mobile. They simply choose any one of these three devices for their default bid and make bid adjustments for the other two devices. Prior to this change, advertisers had no choice but to use desktop/tablet for their default bid and make adjustment for mobile—which didn’t always work out for those who wanted to take a mobile-first approach, or those who wanted to target tablet users differently than desktop users.

Room for More Copy in Text Ads

Google is giving advertisers more space in their ads to promote themselves. Advertisers will have more than double the headline space, going from one 25-character headline to two 30-character headlines. They’ll also go from having two 35-character lines to one 80-character line, as well as the ability to customize their URL paths.

Responsive Mobile Display Ads by Google

Google will begin providing dynamic display ads that automatically adjust in size and format to better match the content of various content publishers. According to Search Engine Land, this helps to “unlock new native inventory” within the Google Display Network, specifically across mobile sites and apps. This provides more options for advertisers using the ad network.

New “Promoted Pins” (Local Search Ads)

Google will be offering the option of “promoted pins,” which are branded pins that appear in Google Maps. Meanwhile, businesses will now have more content posting options on their local listing pages, such as discounts and promotions, as well as the ability to showcase product inventory. Google mentioned at the summit that it is testing out different local search ad formats. Check out our recent blog post discussing some of Google’s recent experimentation.

Improvement of Store Visits Tracking

Google’s Store Visits measurements allow businesses to track store visits that resulted from AdWords ads. Since Google launched this tracking option in December 2014 (only available to 1,000 advertisers), it has tracked more than 1 billion store visits. Google announced that it will be making Store Visits available to more advertisers, and it is working to improve its location accuracy through beacons (technology that many retailers have started using to track in-store shoppers).

Similar Audiences in Remarketing Ad Campaigns

Google announced that its AdWords advertisers will be able to target “Similar Audiences,” or people who have search patterns that are similar to patterns of users who have visited their websites.

Google’s newly redesigned AdWords platform is set to fully launch in 2017, though users will have the chance to opt in and access it this year. With the new interface, new search campaigns will follow a guided path based on the intent of the campaign.

Continue reading our blog for regular updates on Google’s latest developments, as well as helpful Internet marketing tips! We write about marketing best practices for law firms, home service businesses, franchises, and healthcare providers.