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Latest Google AdWords Updates 2018 – Latest AdWords News, Updates & Features
Get here latest Google AdWords Updates for 2018. Top News and AdWords updates that will change Ad campaign management in 2018 have been compiled here.
It has almost become a trend, that AdWords updates are always in the news in every month as Google has introduced several updates in its tool. This is because Google has realized AdWords’ continuous increase in popularity and its concentration in the hands of the big players. Here, you will find all of the latest AdWords updates, News and features that have been introduced in 2018.
#1 Google Introduces ‘AdWords Reach Planner’ Tool for YouTube
Google has come up with a new tool known as ‘Reach Planner’ for YouTube and other video platform ads on AdWords. This tool will help to predict the reach and conversion rate of a particular video campaign on YouTube and other supported media platforms. As the name suggests, Reach Planner estimates the reach of various video campaigns and helps to plan future campaigns and to connect with audiences properly. It also helps to select the appropriate YouTube ad format based on the marketing objectives and budget.
Who will get access to Reach Planner tool? If you have Google sales report, you can place a request for it. However, right now this tool is in beta version, but we expect Google will release its fully operational version pretty soon.
#2 Google AdWords Comes Up with Advanced Expanded Landing Page Report
With the new AdWords interface, advertisers have started experiencing some new updates in this year.
AdWords is introducing the view of full reporting metrics for expanded landing page URLs. Landing pages are the prime factor to get conversions from paid traffic. So, it is important to review the performance report of landing pages for each URL (both Final URL and the Mobile Final URL). This feature was available earlier but, from now on you will also get the expansion of the landing page URLs in the same report.
What is an expanded landing page URL? As per Google’s explanation, an expanded landing page URL is the URL that people reach after contextual substitutions (for example: a keyword) have been made and after custom parameters have been added to the landing page URL.
It assists you to locate how traffic is coming to each landing page of your website. You also will get information like “Mobile-friendly click rate”, “Valid AMP click rate”, and other performance metrics data such as clicks, cost, conversion rate, etc. from each URL.
#3 Google Launches the New AdWords UI
Google has come up with a new interface for AdWords. Many new features have been introduced in the new UI. The reason why advertisers continue to toggle between the new and old UI is because some important features are missing from the new AdWords UI and these include:
- Display Remarketing Audiences
- Price Extensions
- Message Extensions
- Automated Extensions Report
- AdWords Lab
- Bid Adjustment for Targeting Methods
- Advanced Editing
- Business Data and Shared Library
Unless the company adds all features of AdWords in the new UI and creates it as the primary interface, people will continue to use the old UI. So, if you are used to the old UI, you may face difficulty in locating every element in the new UI.
#4 Google Introduces Promotion Extension
Promotion Extension has been added under ‘Ads & extensions’ tab. It appears with a tag icon on search text ads that helps the ads to stand out on SERPs. It is something that can be quite beneficial for Ecommerce sites. It can be used to showcase a special promotional sale or specific offers presented by the website. The benefits of Promotion Extension are:
- It can increase the CTR of the ad by as much as 10%
- The promotional message in the ad may appear twice, once with the ad copy and on the second occasion through the Promotion Extension.
- The fact that you can use limited characters in the ad copy, using the Promotion Extension really helps.
But, the new feature is only available on the new interface of AdWords.
#5 Google Reduces Ad Rotation Setting to Optimize and Rotate Indefinitely
In August 2018, Google has declared that advertisers will now be able to optimize and rotate indefinitely the ads and try to succeed. Till now, advertisers used to get the following four options only:
- Optimize for clicks
- Optimize for conversions
- Rotate evenly
- Rotate indefinitely
Going forward, advertisers will get two options only, where they will be allowed to test an ad group with one ad (A) against an experimental ad group with three ads (A, B, C) or more with rotation set to be optimized. There is some amount of complexity in setting ads with rotation, because the first ad will be displayed for 20% of the total time, the second ad for 10% of the time and the third ad for 70% of the time. This uneven time management is actually challenging as you need to optimize your ads accordingly to get improved results. You can even add a new ad in the rotation section to improve clicks and conversions.
#6 Google Brings Changes to Product Listings Ads
In August 2018, Google has come up with a new variation in product listings under the “Shop Now” category. They have started showing prices along with a little detail about the product in a swipeable carousel manner, resembling the price extension format in mobiles. It includes a hyperlink, price, detail of the product, availability details and shipping option.
#7 Google Includes Bid Adjustment Facility for Interactions
In the month of July 2018, Google has come up with an update called bid adjustments to give the facility of interactions. They have come up with bid adjustments for calls to get call extensions in mobile search ads. This has been included in the “Advanced Bid Adjustment” section under the Ad Campaign level of AdWords. In case of all sitelink extensions, you must have noticed that even though you design your ads along with some extensions at the ad campaign or ad group level, they may or may not appear in mobile search ads. But, this time, Google is giving a better opportunity to ensure that your mobile ads will appear along with call extensions. But, this is only applicable for placing a call-extension or a campaign with call-only facility.
#8 Google Introduces Household Income Reporting
A new facility of “Household Income” reporting and targeting has been introduced for search campaigns. In the new interface of AdWords, it is available from the ‘Demographics’ tab and in the old interface, it is available from ‘Location’ targeting.
#9 Google Helps to Identify Shifts in Ad Performance in Report Editor
Recently in July 2018, Google has come up with a new update for comparing two date ranges in the Report Editor. This will help to identify the significant shifts in ad performance over a period of time. The Report Editor is a tool that allows you to engage with your performance data through multi-dimensional tables and charts. You no longer need to download the data to study it, you can simply drag and drop the interface and create tables and charts to work on it directly. It allows advanced filtering and sorting of segmented metrics, supports multi-segment analysis and helps to create customized charts. This date comparison feature on Report Editor is now available not only in new accounts but also on new AdWords UI. However, it has been assured that the feature will be rolled out to more accounts over the next couple of months.
#10 Google Launches AdWords Editor 12
One vital update came in June. It is about introducing a new version of AdWords Editor which has a fresh look and some new features to simplify the workflow. AdWords Editor 12 is available for all advertisers to successfully manage their ad campaigns. It helps to create customer rules based on your own best practices. AdWords Editor will suggest which ad campaigns or ad groups matches the eligibility criteria with your best practices before you post any change. You can either accept those recommendations or again create custom rules. It allows faster account download of new version or transfer of data from previous versions. It portrays a cohesive visual experience across AdWords Editor and it also supports ad bidding to maximize conversion rate.
#11 Google Introduces Automatic Bid Adjustment Mechanism
One more update is automatic bid setting facility. As a marketer, your main aim should be to maximize conversions from your different marketing strategies, so AdWords has introduced Maximize Conversions, a new smart bidding strategy. When you are setting your marketing budget and investing in it, your focus should be towards setting the right bid for each keyword. Bid adjustment is a vital task for a marketer to get the maximum out of it. You can either manually adjust your ad bids or trust on this new automatic mechanism that will set the right bid within your daily budget and will help to increase your conversion.
Now the question is- how will smart bidding help the marketers? In smart bidding, machine learning algorithms help to get more accurate predictions about each bid that impacts conversions, which is far better than the performance of a single person or team. It includes attributes like device and location, plus it gives contextual signals. It helps to optimize search bids and set performance targets that match your unique business goals. It also acts as a reporting tool that gives insight about your bidding performance and helps to deal with any issue quickly.
#12 Google Brings a New Audience Solution
Every month, Google goes one step ahead and introduces a new feature or mechanism in AdWords. Each of these changes is to help marketers use the tool most effectively and maximize profit in their respective businesses. Another update was the new audience solutions that helps to find the next customer who is similar to your best customers with search and shopping. Here AdWords uses Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) to reconnect with people who have already visited the site. Apart from those, the feature engages both new and loyal customers which is equally important for a business. Research says that targeting similar customers can increase the conversion rate by 22%. As the new audience solution feature targets eCommerce businesses and has a strong impact on shopping, it includes Customer Match for Shopping to help you use your own data to reach the right customer, with the right message.
#13 AdWords Tools is Really Complex for Small Businesses
The reason for many changes in the Ad tool is Google willingness to take on the several challenges faced by AdWords users. One of the biggest challenges faced is the need to bridge the ever-widening digital skills gap with 60% of small business or businesses having zero digital presence.
Recently, there was a news- Google has made a confession that AdWords is very complex and not at all easy for the small businesses to understand and operate. Google Product Marketing Manager, Duncan McGrath said, “AdWords is very powerful and there are amazing technologies and capabilities for whatever niche target you want to reach or how you want to bid or what ad format you want to use. But that said, it’s very complex.” Most insiders would state that smaller agencies or newcomers to the field also have a tough time dealing with this tool.
The good news is that Google has understood the requirement of a much simpler and effective version of AdWords and why it is necessary to be introduced in the digital marketing world for the betterment of all kinds of players. For a professional renowned digital agency offering digital marketing services, it is an easy task to deal with any version of AdWords, be it as simple as it was in the initial stage or may be as complicated as it is today. But, today, a small business owner or a non-technical person who has no knowledge of online marketing, finds that working with this Ad tool is a mammoth task.
Besides making Google AdWords simpler for the beginners, Google has come up with some new changes for the experts.
#14 Google Introduces New Ad Rank Thresholds
Google has rolled out a new Ad Rank thresholds update due to which your bids will now carry more weight and it will start considering the meaning of the query. Though it announced about this rollout in the beginning of the month of May 2018, many AdWords users are still not noticing its impact. They are expected to notice it at the end of May or beginning of June.
To understand the new Ad Rank thresholds, you first need to understand the meaning of Ad Rank. Ad Rank is nothing but the value given to the ad as per the position on search or web page. There are various factors involved in calculating the Ad Rank- the bid amount of the ad, the Quality Score and impact of the different ad extensions such as visual sitelinks, address sitelinks, timing sitelinks, etc.
Changes brought to Ad Rank calculation can be categorised into two types:
1. Bid Weight Related:
Depending on the meaning of the query, the weight of the bid will change. Bid can be weighted high or low in the Ad Rank calculation, but this will also bring about changes in the CPC.
2. Query Related:
Google will start holding thresholds high for a news-related query rather than a product-related query, because Google is trying to analyse the meaning of the query and serve searches accordingly.
#15 Google Unveils a New feature ‘Visual Sitelinks’ for Mobile Search Ads
One of the most significant AdWords updates of 2018 is the introduction of ‘Visual Sitelinks’. It is a feature where images are displayed in sitelink extensions of Google Search Ads. This feature has been spotted on mobile phones in a swipeable carousel manner and here the images will appear along with the text in the sitelink extension.
#16 Google Adds Quality Score Metrics
Google has recently added seven columns in the reporting interface of AdWords for the better visibility of keywords. Google has added-
a) 3 status columns for Quality Score (QS):
- Exp. CTR
- Ad Relevance
- Landing Page Exper
b) 4 columns for the historical Quality Score (QS):
- Qual. Score (hist.)
- Landing page exper. (hist.)
- Ad relevance (hist.)
- Exp. CTR (hist.)
Here, advertisers will be able to see the Quality Score of current keywords in the present day as well as track the keyword’s history. PPC advertisers will be able to get last known QS and daily historical QS for the selected date range.
#17 Google Introduces Automatic Call Extensions in Mobile Ads
Google has brought another update by introducing a new feature ‘automatic call extensions’ in Mobile Ads. This new feature has been added to improve the CTR (click through rate) of the mobile ads. The update aims to benefit the local businesses as it has made easy for the customers to get the set phone number of the brand and contact them instantly.
#18 Google Allows Scheduled Conversion Imports
Another recent update that is going to create a huge impact on you PPC campaign is the Scheduled Conversion Imports. Here as an advertiser, you will be able to see the impact of online ads on your offline sales and other valuable actions. Now, you can import conversions from clicks and calls into individual or manager accounts on a daily and weekly basis.
It involves some steps to import your conversions, such as:
1. Prepare Your Data for Import
- Download conversion upload template in the form of Excel, CSV, or Google Sheets
- Choose the format to enter your time zone in the file.
- Enter the time zone
- Add a new row for each offline conversion and fill the columns
2. Import Your Conversions
You can either upload it at one time or you can schedule it for future.
#19 Google Adds Expandable Extensions in Carousal Format on Mobiles
Google has now included extensions in ‘expandable manner’ on the bottom of the ads. Generally, the bottom lists the prices and the costs of the products and services, so it is also named as price extension.
Google has introduced the expandable extensions to utilize the space in a better way because if each ad started adding extensions, then the organic searches will come below the first fold or even below that.
Keeping the mobile searches in mind, they have once again introduced the carousel format to showcase different data. This time, if you keep on scrolling till the end, it is no longer giving the option to view more.
After coming up with so many news and updates on a continuous basis within one month, it is obvious that Google is paying more attention towards its tool and that is the main reason why it has even come up with free training sessions via Digital Garage, a new online training tool of Google.
#20 Google brings a mixed result of Local Inventory Ads (LIA) with Local Pack
With the beginning of this year, Google has tested a new look for local search results where they mix local inventory ads (LIAs) and local pack. But in Google Maps, somewhere it is giving privilege to local packs, somewhere to LIAs only or somewhere to a mix of both. By adding this feature, Google has surprised everyone with an unusual update.