5 Game Changers to AdWords – News From Google Performance Summit 2016

Spring fatigue is even more overwhelming when it comes hand in hand with Google’s annual changes and updates. Have you noticed how the kick ass search engine kicks in, every new season, by sending in a new man in town? That man is never fooling around…

Before you call me crazy, remember 2013? It was the year they introduced us to the Enhanced Campaigns. Little did we know, at the time, that it was just one of the many steps towards providing a wide range of mobile and desktop campaigns, with different ad types and a dazzling amount of ad features.

2016 respects Googles tradition, announcing not one, but five big changes that will enhance the way we craft our paid ads. As if grasping the best practices of pay per click ads wasn’t intimidating enough, from now on we will have even more tools to get confused about. The good news, however, is that if you get these ones right, you have a serious chance to get ahead of your competitors.

No really, you will.

You just need to understand these changes presented at the recent Google Performance Summit.

Of course, you will also need to put them into practice, whether from your internal digital marketing team, or a dream team Pay-Per-Click (PPC) team like we offer.

Enough already ?


1. Google Maps’ Roads Will Be Paved With Local Search Ads


Long story short, they are introducing local search ads right into Google Maps. And they call it the “next generation” in terms of local search ads since users are going to bump into these nasty little ads pretty much everywhere: across Google.com, on the mobile and desktop versions of Google Maps, on the dedicated Google Maps app – I did say everywhere, right?

These new ads will indicate on the map surface not just the brand logo, but also a link to the offer itself. Here’s an example of how these ads are supposed to look:

Notice how clear the logo of the advertised business shows on the map. And once you click on it, you will… navigate towards a mobile ad like this one:

Wondering why the heck did they decided to serve up ads in Google Maps? Well, perhaps it’s because of the 1.5 billion destinations that people reach annually through this app…

Alternatively, because location-related searches make the subject of almost a third of all the mobile searches.

Or because users’ inquiries in terms of location searches have been skyrocketing, growing with 50% faster than any other online searches.

As a society we are either becoming more and more disoriented from all the medicinal marijuana, or we’re all beginning to make so much money we can afford to travel a lot more – whatever the reason, people are using Google Maps more and more.

How could Google have ignored these strong signals?

How could you ignore the chance of having your business advertised in the very place where people look for directions?

Now hold your breath for a moment because there is more than meets the eye about these map ads. Actually, it is rather what meets the pin, because the promotion pins will make the next new ad format.

If you make a search by yourself, you will notice how you have the pin on the map and the full details of the promotion right underneath the map. As if all these were not enough, they are adding two extra perks inside the Maps:

  • advertisers will now have the option to highlight their in-store promotions;
  • users will be able to search local inventory.

Not sure what this means? Here is an example:

Can you picture your business advertised on Google maps? You like what you see, right?

Well, before you get too excited and need to change your underwear, you may need to take a few Adword courses at the local community college. This adds a host of new metrics to laser targeting your ad, and Google takes more than the queries into account. Personal browsing history, time of day, similar users, behaviors and interests will also play the game and decide the faith of your ad display.

2. Text Ads Will Be Put Under Scrutiny From Now On

Since February, those right side ads from the desktop search results mysteriously disappeared. Looking to shape a more unified experience across all devices, Google is now tweaking the format of text ads.

In a nutshell, they will stop being so stingy about the length of a headline, but also about its sizeText ads will get more characters (30 instead of 25) and more lines (2 instead of 1).

That old saying “the bigger, the better” seems to work wonders in here as well, since this small change of… size increased the CTR with up to 25% during the early testing.

Now here is what putting under scrutiny looks like:

Do I need to spell it out? Yes, this is a huge change. Smartphone screens will take even more advantage of this enhancement. And Google increases the stake by announcing that users will be able to choose between a single description line of 80 characters and two description lines of 35 characters each.

Even the display URL will be automatically extracted, allowing you to add in one or two paths afterward, and enhance your display URL.

To sum up, from now on you will have the chance to make your text ads stand up even more. Either you do it right away, or your competitors will do it first. And you don’t want to stay in their shadow with your tiny, wittle baby ads. ?

3. You Won’t Need A Fortune Teller To Measure In-Store Conversions Anymore

Ever try determining how many people who clicked on your ad eventually set foot in your brick and mortar store? It was easier going to Madam Ruby than getting this answer, right? And just as accurate…

The good news is that Google is now looking for better measurements on this chapter. And they have been doing it with over 1 billion store visits so far, for the last 2 years, still testing and counting.

How the heck are they going to know instead of guess or estimate? For one thing, they will look at the user’s phone location history and determine if that person who clicked your ad also ended up entering your store. Pretty simple, right?

Hard to believe?

The guys from Nissan UK are more confident than you! Google cited them and indicated that 6% of those who clicked their ads also visited the closest dealership. That turned into a 25 times bigger ROI. It kind of makes you wanna believe that too, right?

4. The Stiff Old Ads Will Magically Become Responsive Display Ads

Does your team often feel the urge to punch you in the face? Hopefully, they won’t anymore. At least not for your Google Ads, because the search engine will do the hard work of optimizing your ad formatting.

You will only have to provide the URL, the headline, the image and the description and they will make a responsive ad out of it. Depending on where they will display the ad, the right format will be automatically presented to the end-user. It almost looks like heaven, doesn’t it?


5. Happy Bidding To Different Devices Will Soon Be More Than A Dream

Now it’s beginning to look a lot like heaven! Remember how complicated it was to set mobile bids as multipliers of the base desktop bids? And how annoying it was that tablet bids were thrown in the same place with the desktop bids, despite their low traffic?

From now on, you can forget all these since you should be able to place individual bids for individual devices. Mobile bids, tablet bids, desktop bids will be set up as desired.

Just don’t get too excited and jump into the last two options when Google is making it clear that mobile is the future!

The giant engine scores trillions of searches every year and 50% of them come from mobile users. Google is following the trend, adjusting its updates to tailor the needs of these users and so should you.

Start considering all these, familiarize yourself with your new options and become an expert in promoting your business through AdWords while things are still stable.

Beginning with 2017, they already announced a change of design and who knows how moody or annoying the newly designed platform will. When the next big change will hit…

  • Will you be someone who still blabbers for the most productive ads?


  • Someone who already has all the aces up the sleeve?

It’s your call

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