Google announces some major AdWords changes

Google announces some major AdWords changes Rachael Power writes for TechForge Media, writing about marketing tech, connected cars and virtual reality. She has written for a number of online and print titles including the Irish Times, Irish Examiner, accountingWEB and BusinessZone. Rachael has a passion for digital marketing, journalism, gaming and fitness, and is on Twitter at: @rachpower10.

Google has announced some major changes to AdWords bidding, workflow and measurement.

In a blog posted by senior vice president of ads and commerce, Sridhar Ramaswamy, after this week’s Google Performance Summit, the company announced the changes alongside the news that half of trillions of Google searches now come from mobile devices.

And the AdWords changes reflect this consumer shift toward mobile. “The shift to mobile is no longer a change on the horizon. It’s here, Ramaswamy wrote.

According to Google, location based mobile searches are growing 50% faster than all mobile searches, so it’s also announced ad changes based around Google Maps.

Expanded text ads

Earlier in 2016, Google removed right hand side ads on desktop so both consistency between devices and search experiences could be improved. In addition, over the next few months, it’ll be rolling in expanded text ads in AdWords, which will be optimised for screen sizes of the ‘most popular’ smartphones.

The key changes to these include more prominent headlines (two 30-character headlines), a longer description line and a relevant display URL, including a customisable URL path.

Early testing suggests an increase in clickthrough rates on expanded text ads of up to 20%.

Responsive ads for display

Another new feature is responsive ads for display. These will unlock new native inventory so ads match the look and feel of content users are browsing.

Google’s also giving access to cross exchange inventory which includes more websites and apps worldwide.


In the next few months, Google will allow marketers to set individual bid adjustments for each device type (mobile, desktop, tablet). It’s also giving users a wider range to adjust bids, of up to 900%.

In a few months’ time, users will be able to anchor a base keyword bid to the device most valuable to you, in addition to setting bid adjustments for other devices.


Google’s introducing new local search ads across and Google Maps. With this, advertisers using location extensions can showcase their business locations when consumers search for keywords. It’s also experimenting with a variety of ad formats so users can find businesses as they use Maps.

For example, someone driving down the road using Maps may start to see promoted pins for i.e., local coffee shops. It’s also giving local business pages a much needed revamp.

What do the changes mean?

Mobile, mobile, mobile. As the stats above suggest, Google’s realised it’s no longer the distant future, but the here and now of advertising. And allowing advertisers to set different bids for mobile, desktop and tablet means they can choose which medium they want to focus on the most. 

If you’re interested, you can watch the full announcement from the Google Performance Summit online.

What do you think of the upcoming new features? Comment below. 

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