Google AdWords Flashback 2016 – A Recap Of The Big Changes

SocialB Digital Marketing Blog Last modified: 20 Dec 2016 by Pooja Shevade
Paid Search (PPC)

For search marketers all over the world, 2016 will be remembered for some significant changes to Google AdWords PPC.

In this article, we recap some of the significant changes and useful features added to AdWords in 2016.

Right Side Ads Removed

Earlier this year, in February, Google got rid of right side text ads for desktop searches. This was done primarily to complement its mobile-first strategy. With this latest change, the mobile and desktop search results now appear similar to each other leading to a better user experience. A fourth ad spot was also added above organic search results for “highly commercial queries.” This caused quite a start amongst search marketers with many predicting that paid search would become more competitive and expensive. However, there are no proven results for this yet.

Expanded Text Ads

Another major change rolled out this year was the expanded text ads.

Google calls them the next generation of text ads, designed for a mobile-first world with both users and advertisers in mind. AdWords will phase out the old text ad format as of Jan. 31.

Expanded Text Ads now have two 30-character headlines and one 80-character description line which gives advertisers twice the more ad text to play with. Google expected CTRs to increase by as much as 20 percent with the newly expanded ads.

Demographic Targeting For Search Campaigns

In September, Google rolled out the Demographic Targeting feature for search campaigns. This was a very powerful and much-needed addition to search campaign management.Similar to display campaigns, this feature allows you to target age and gender demographics within your search campaigns.

You can now access performance data for age and gender and create bid adjustments for different demographics or exclude people of a certain age or gender from seeing your paid search ads.

Message Extensions

In October, AdWords introduced a new type of mobile ad extension called the message extensions.

Message extensions allow people to see your ad, click an icon, and contact you directly by text message. With message extensions, you can create a pre-populated text message to be shown once the user clicks on the extension and opens the messaging app on their phone.  Message extensions can help you grow your business by giving people another option to reach you.

Responsive Display Ads For Mobile

Earlier this year, Google also announced new innovative display ads that will adjust themselves depending on the size of the screen they’re being delivered on. The new display ad features 25 and 90 character headlines, along with a 90 character description, image, and URL. Google will adjust the look of the ad, to dynamically adapt to the diverse content across various sites.

Do you have any features to add to this list? We would love to hear your feedback in our comments section below.

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