Google Ads turns 20- What are the important changes that occurred in the last 5 years?

Once my favorite author Jenifer Mesenbrink said,


“if you build it, you may still need Google AdWords.”


This proves Google AdWords has now become a cornerstone of every marketing campaign which helps you advertise on search engines successfully, and enable you to get your messages in front of a massive audience that may turn into a regular lead.



If you believe this makes Google Ads a piece of cake, then you are wrong! Though yes, it could be an entirely delicious thing- but only if you apply it correctly!



So, being a Google AdWords professional, I am feeling quite excited to announced that Google AdWords has now turned 20 in 2020…!



When its completed 15 years of a milestone in 2015, I got a chance to study AdWords Evolution and was surprised to know that it has already evolved into a whopping $60 billion business in the industry.



Fast-forward, just five years later; it rebranded later, introduced several new elements tremendously, and doubled the ad revenue that even exceeded from $135 billion in 2019.



Now you must be interested to know what indispensable changes have been introduced by Google AdWords in the last five years that even compelled Yahoo search engine to surrender search ads to Google, and transformed the whole mechanism of advertising.



So, let’s have a look at some imperative changes in the past five years that may also predict where it’s heading in the next 10 years.


The rise in the regular audience


Facebook and Twitter social channels instigated their first-party targeting ideas for maximum conversions, then after years of demonstration, Google set up a Customer Match in the year 2015.



Now, this strategy marked a leap into audiences even more than a simple website retargeting solution.



After that, it launched something similar to the above approach, called in-market targeting also known as interest category marketing.



Now in 2020, Google has already launched the predictive audiences’ strategy which is based on the user’s purchase ability that is further managed by the Google Analytics 4 property.



Yet, one of the most considerable changes marked in the past five years is, Google allowed user’s account data to be utilized for YouTube advertising based on people’s demographics, preferences, and search behavior when people sign in to their Google account.



This new targeting tactic has also impacted YouTube’s ad revenue positively and generated the sound ability to gather all the signals from its Google and YouTube searches.


Declining keywords based on match types


I must say that the way search engines consider all the close variants entered by users over the past few years has been extremely valuable.


The evolving use of machine learning mechanisms to match the search queries with the keywords entered by users has already forced all the potential advertisers to think twice about running the advertising campaign from the structure of the ad to its keyword management.


Now, the concerning points are, privacy change impacts, as well as some important rules & regulations, are complicating the entire system of keyword management.


So, in September 2020, Google tends to limit significant search terms it reports to the potential advertisers. Only some specific queries entered by a particular group of the audience will be reported.


When search engines expanded the use of close variants, many advertisers followed a clever trick and considered a negative keyword management approach in order to optimize competitive keywords.


This proves search terms reports have had become a considerable tool. According to many advertisers, they lost more than 20% clicks on the queries that once triggered people to click and visit the ad.


Automated ad campaigns


Based on the outcomes I experienced from multiple Universal App campaigns, 2018 tuned out as a year of fully-automated ads as well as different profitable campaign types.



“Campaign automation is no longer limited to some specific elements like bidding or crafting catchy headlines. Now, all the facets of your advertising campaign such as creativity and targeting can easily be automated after adding some basic inputs from the marketer”


That’s what I highlighted frequently in my articles after Google set up its automated smart shopping and local campaigns in 2018.



Another major change I observed running these campaign types is that it’s easy to run these campaigns automatically across different Google-owned platforms and related properties.



You would be surprised to know one more change was introduced in 2018. This was basically a year when responsive ads launched and grabbed the attention of many marketers and advertisers.



Now responsive search ad mechanisms implement machine learning processes so they can better predict the reliable combination of the titles and descriptions of the ads for the users, based on their historical data and different elements associated.



Many advertisers prefer adding different title variations and create dynamic descriptions, and then hand it over to the Google algorithms so it can efficiently assemble all the suitable combinations.



In August 2020, I came to know that Google was trying to test responsive search ads as the default type.


Campaign types and channels across Google


If you are an AdWords expert, you must know about “Surfaces across Google” which is the most specific and reliable option in Google Shopping.



This is basically a merchant center program that enables all the products to appear in different free listings which include Google as well.



Therefore, when you choose Surfaces across Google you can show the ad or products to platforms like Google shopping, Google ImagesGoogle Lens, and Search. It consists of a vast theme that introduced various new practices in the past years.



So, advertisers tend to choose all the expansion of surfaces through which search engines can show ads to all the users. While you still have a chance to run effective search campaigns in Google AdWords, almost all the campaign types automatically launch ads using different reliable channels. Google also continued to expand the channels where ads could be further displayed.



For example, according to the recent testing, Local ads appeared in the auto-suggest results Google Maps.



Have a look at different campaign types in Google and other associated channels for ads


  • App campaigns
    These campaigns basically run on the home feed of user’s YouTube as well as run in the in-stream video inventory besides appearing in searches, Google Play, or Google display network.



  • Local Campaigns
    Local campaigns are usually best for YouTube feeds social tabs and Gmail promotions.


  • Shopping campaigns
    Shopping campaigns are good to show up on YouTube, Images and search network.


  • Smart shopping campaigns
    These campaigns are basically useful for all the platforms including Gmail, YouTube, Search, Shopping, and Display channels. They even take inventory priority over standard Shopping advertising campaigns.


Domination of online to the offline economy


As 2020 has been a drastic year for the business, but when it comes to E-commerce, I observed that the industry has surged due to the Covid19 pandemic.



However, search engines are also much stable and in a position to dominate this online to the offline business economy. Luckily, this is an outcome of continuous hard work of 1 decade.



Despite different complications and challenges, some Local Inventory Ads also become an important marketing tool for online sellers so they can promote their business to all the relevant and nearby audiences.



Above all, they effectively measure all the impacts of the ads on every click, visit, and store purchase. So, this year, the search engine has announced automated bidding optimization to make better store sales.



With today’s changing user search behavior amid Covid19, search engine added multiple amazing features to run Local campaigns as well as Inventory ads so they can put more focus on “buy online pick up in store” (BOPIS) solution including curbside pick-ups.




Google’s search policies are innovating every year to offer a great compelling experience to its audience.



The key is to reach your audience at the key moments when they need your help the most. In order to make that experience more pleasant and welcoming, Google AdWords brings a lot of dynamic changes every year. In fact, there are a lot of notable changes expected to become a part of Google AdWords strategy that offer people more benefits and opportunities for growth.



I am sure the new AdWords experience is going to blast the world due to its unprecedented features and updates. In fact, the UI features are also expected to receive massive upgrades in the future.



So, the new experiences are now opening the doors of huge success for your business so it’s a must for every advertiser to take the golden advantages of Google AdWords for their business.



The new features and updates may take some to get used to, but once you incorporate them and experience the benefits, you will be able to weigh all the positive points more effectively. Therefore, if you want to make your campaign vastly superior, it’s time to put special attention on your advertising campaigns and learn how it targets the most relevant audience for your business.


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