38 – What Changed in 2018 in Google Ads
In the podcast:
02:13 – New AdWords Interface
03:12 – Retiring of the Display Planner
04:23 – Removal of AdsenseforMobileApps.com
05:45 – Expanded Text Ads Got Bigger
06:52 – Launch of Responsive Search Ads
08:22 – Exact Match is no Longer Exact Match
09:31 – Promotions Extensions
10:23 – Additional Competitive Metrics
11:28 – Wrap Up
2018 was a big year for Google AdWords (now called Google Ads!). In this episode we cover the biggest changes we saw occur which had an impact on the accounts and campaigns we run. Be sure to listen to all the latest updates.
Welcome back to talking with marketing, I’m your host Ilana Wechsler. And today am going to be talking about all the big changes that happened in 2018 in the AdWords system. I do find these end of year,as a really nice time for reflection. And it’s a time to really look back and think about what’s happened in the year. And then it’s also a time really nice time to look forward to what’s going to happen in the next year. So in this episode, we’re going to be talking about all the big changes that occurred in the AdWords ecosystem. In 2018, it’s worth mentioning, I’m not going to go through every change, because we would be here for quite a while, if I went through every change, I’m just going to go through the major updates that occurred, which really had an impact in the accounts that I manage, and the campaigns that I run, so I’m not going to go through everyone, I’m just going to cherry pick the most important changes.
New AdWords Interface
So the first biggest change I found happened in 2018 for AdWords was the new AdWords interface, the new system. So if you logged in, you would notice that it looked really, really different to the old AdWords interface. And for a long time, you could actually toggle between the old and new interface for a really long time, and 2018 saw the retiring of this old interface. So everyone now needs to use this new AdWords interface. And it is really, really different. And I have to say, it did take me a long time to get used to it, I am used to it now, I’d still prefer the old one to be honest. But what can you do changes the only constant in the scene industry. And the new interface is well and truly gone for good. So we need to change and adapt accordingly and use this new interface.
Retiring of the Display Planner
Second big change I saw in AdWords was the retiring of the Google Display planner. And this is, I guess, kind of an extension of point number one, which this was launched with the new interface, the fact that there is no more display planner, if you’re not sure what the display planner was, it was kind of like the keyword planner. But for display campaigns, it was really a good way to find some high traffic websites that were relevant to your niche or niche for American listeners. And it was a way of finding interesting topics and YouTube channels. And the new interface has saw the retirement of this Google Display planner, which is really sad, because actually, I use the display planner a lot. And I really thought it was a really powerful to, but it’s just further emphasis that Google is going more down the route of less kind of very granular ad management and more towards the whole artificial intelligence side of things, which we’re going to get to in a little bit. So unfortunately, this was a big change in 2018, which saw the end of this, which was quite sad.
Removal of AdsenseforMobileApps.com
The third big change that we did see was the removal of the placement, AdsenseforMobileApps.com. So what do I mean here? Previously, you used to be able to put in this negative placement URL of AdsenseforMobileApps.com, which prevented your ads to show on any kind of mobile apps, be it on a mobile or an iPad, all those in app ads that you would have seen when using some apps and a lot we’ve had a lot of these were inadvertent clicks and wasted a lot of money. So if you use to put this negative placement into your display campaigns that would prevent your ads from showing on these little pesky apps, basically, literally, millions of apps. So unfortunately, Google have, once again, I think in a blatant revenue raising initiative, removed this placement. And now that the whole another way to remove these mobile app placements from coming up, so this will no longer work. So this is really important to know. And now you need to do the alternate method to remove these mobile app placements.
Expanded Text Ads Got Bigger
The fourth big change that we found happened in AdWords was that the expanded text ads got even bigger. So when AdWords first launched expanded text ads, they were two headlines and it description. But now the expanded text ads are even bigger, you have three headlines, each of 30 characters and two descriptions, each of 90 characters. So you have a lot of ad space available in your text ads. And still, when we are ordering accounts, and looking at people’s ad accounts, even now, so many people are not using this extra real estate that is available to them. So it’s such a missed opportunity, because you certainly don’t pay any more for it. So please log into your account and have a look if you are utilizing this extra space, or extra expanded text ads, because chances are, if you haven’t logged in for a little bit, you can create even bigger ads for exactly the same cost.
Launch of Responsive Search Ads
Alright, the fifth biggest change that we saw in AdWords was the launch of responsive search ads. And this is really leaning on Google’s artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities were kind of continuing on this new expanded text ad sort of bigger format, you can give Google up to 15 possible headlines and up to four possible descriptions. And they will mix and match them accordingly until they find the best performing one. So as mentioned before, an ad has three headlines, each of 30 characters and two descriptions. And with responsive search ads, you give them up to 15 possible headlines of which they will only choose three and four possible descriptions of which they will only choose two, and they will find the best one by mixing and matching all the different headlines and descriptions. So we are actually having a lot of fun with response search ads in our client accounts. And if you haven’t played around with them yet, I’m sure it’s probably hit your account because it was in beta for a long time. And some of their accounts took a really long time to get it. But it’s pretty much rolled out now. So definitely check it out. Because as I said, we’re getting some really, really good results with this.
Exact Match is no Longer Exact Match
The sixth biggest change we saw is that exact match is no longer exact match. Yes, it is quite deceptive. And a another way which Google is I don’t know, I think an additional revenue raising opportunity they see. And basically, when you choose an exact match keyword type, it does allow for some level of keyword variation or search term variation in it. So be mindful of that, that it’s no longer exact match, there was a recent poll that I saw, amongst other advertisers, what they should actually call exact match now, considering it’s not really exact match, and someone suggested “exact-ish match”. And I think that’s quite appropriate, because it is exact-ish. So just know that going in. And be sure to check the search terms for your exact match keywords, because it’s not necessarily exact match.
Alright, the next biggest change we saw were the launch of what’s called promotions extension. So this is just another one of the ad extensions that are available to your ads, which, as I say, they are in extension to your text ad. And the promotion extensions was one that was initially rolled out as just available in the new AdWords interface. But now the ad was the new AdWords interface is fully rolled out, you should be using the promotions extensions where you can find an appropriate use for it. And it’s just a way of, you know, basically showing any coupon codes or percentage discounts that you could offer to if it’s sort of appropriate for your kind of business. So definitely check them out.
Additional Competitive Metrics
And lastly, the biggest change we saw was the launch of what’s called additional competitive metrics, you know, before you could see how you’re performing compared to your competitors through like impression share, you know, last for example, and to see where you’re at was, was all about your ad position, etc. And now Google have become a little bit more transparent with their launch of ad position beyond I guess, average position. So there are some new metrics that you can add into your interface called absolute top impression and impressions, top impression, etc. And this is really to see when your ad was at the top above the search results and where it was in the absolute top to the number one ad position so be sure to check that out as well. So there you have it, that’s a review of the biggest changes in hope you found this episode helpful.
We’re going to make a resource available for you in our show notes. So if you want a summary of all this, you don’t have to write it all down you can download it just go to TalkingWebmarketing.com and it will actually redirect you to the podcast section of our website, teachtraffic.com/training. And if you like the information we talked about, you might want to check out our membership at teachtraffic.com/training and we have live monthly q&a sessions where you can ask me any questions as well as latest training, etc. So be sure to check it out as well. Thanks for listening. Happy New Year and we’ll catch you in 2019!