What does the end of Google Adwords mean for you?

By Charlie Carroll, July 17th 2018 in Ad words
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As many of you know Google Marketing Live is one of the most important Marketing events of the year. Speakers across nearly all the technical and marketing departments from Google take you through their thoughts and developments whilst the keynote speaker runs through Google direction and key focuses for the next year.

I attended this year along with Steve Hyde who founded Push 11 years ago with Ricky Solanki

The key takeaways from my point of view.

  • Privacy is incredibly important to Google and privacy was mentioned at least 5-6 times across different talks over the 2 days. This is not just ‘lip service’ as they take it very seriously.
  • Google brand names are changing. Google Adwords will now be Google Ads, Doubleclick will now be Search Ads 360. Doubleclick and Analytics 360 will not be rolled into one platform called Google Marketing Platform.
  • Audience Data is huge and nearly all talks focused on using data to create personas and target specific ads. Businesses & Agencies avoiding display targeting will need to get to grips with it quickly as we’re moving away from just keyword targeting and more into audience and intent buying.
  • More and more automation! New Google shopping, display, entry-level(small business) campaign types are being released which hand almost total control over to Google.10% of Ad Agencies are expected to disappear in the next 2-3 years if they do not adopt and embrace automation and machine learning.
  • Businesses investing in marketing will have the opportunity to outrun their competition if they take advantage of automation in marketing.

Privacy and User Control

Data and privacy has been a huge talking point over the last year in Europe with the new GDPR rule changes coming into play in May. However, it’s not just Europe. Some of you who have previously run Gmail targeting campaigns will know that this was seen as controversial (targeting by content in people’s private emails) and this was stopped this year. Most sessions on how to use data to target effectively started with three key points:

  • Valuable
  • Transparent
  • Trustworthy

The trustworthy part continually mentioned user options and privacy being integral to everything Google do.

Google pushed that you can actually customise your privacy settings on your Google profile. For anyone interested to see how Google profiles you in terms of what you like and what you’re in market for you can see your profile here and customise it:

https://adssettings.google.com/authenticated

My advice – you’re going to see ads anyway so they might as well be relevant so don’t go crazy on it!

Googles Rebranding

Google Adwords is (was) no longer all about targeting words and words only. You can target by interests, ‘in market’ signals, on videos, in emails, image and pop up ads on the display network, native ads and so much more. Keywords is still the core product but the future isn’t about keywords targeting. As we switch to voice search more and more the future of keyword targeting is becoming uncertain.

At some point we will realise we can speak to a device by voice 5x faster than type on a keyboard.

With a far more diverse product range calling something Google ‘Adwords’ no longer fully represents what Adwords does to new users. As a result Google Adwords will now be called Google Ads officially starting 24th July.

Google’s other main changes are their Doubleclick platform and analytics 360 (both enterprise level solutions for programmatic buying and reporting) are being rolled into one and being renamed the Google Marketing Platform. Whilst this won’t be relevant for smaller advertisers, anyone using Doubleclick already will benefit from a stream of new features.

A Focus On Data

Taking into account ‘voice’ and the future move away from a keywords focus new features are already on their way; The days of complex, 30 campaign, 10,000 keyword accounts could soon be a thing of the past. Everything you do in your campaigns needs to be done with data and numbers in mind. The improvements in AI and machine learning mean you need to be utilising Googles bidding and automated campaigns at some level in your business. These work best when you have campaigns and ad groups with large numbers of conversions to work with.

They will be nowhere near as effective with campaigns segmented by device and match type and specific terms where each ad group only generates 1 or 2 conversions a month.

If this is how your accounts are structured then you need to have a rethink asap.

The future is about signals and buying intent. The in market technology Google use is getting better and better all the time.

This is used for display targeting, enhanced CPC bidding, CPA bidding, smart goals and smart lists and bidding and lot more.

How it works is Google tracks users behaviour across youtube, searching on Google, what sites are read etc in the past 5 days and measures signals that highlight someone is looking for a holiday in France for example. The liklihood they are ready to buy then influences what the value of each person at each stage for bidding automation and where and when to serve ads.

All agencies and businesses need to start testing this technology in 3 ways:

  • Start using Google automated campaigns like smart shopping, DSA, smart display campaigns etc.
  • Switch from manual bidding to test ROAS bidding, CPA bidding, enhanced CPC bidding, maximise conversion bidding and more.
  • Use intent based audiences for both search and the display network. This includes the new release of ‘Life Event’ audiences which I recommend you Google after reading this!

The recommendation on where to start on the audience side from the event for advertisers of all sides:

We need to move away from just search and start testing intent based targeting on the display network. There’s three key areas Google have pushed for advertisers to start this journey with.

  • In market audiences on the display network
  • Custom intent audiences on the display network
  • In market in market and custom intent audiences on search to reach new audiences and tailor ads.

Custom intent in particular is a very creative way of creating your own audience and Google showed multiple case studies to back this up. How it works is by entering keywords that you know your target audience would use and Google will then go find a list of people that have done that or something similar. Start with your current keyword list and it will take less than 5 minutes to set up.

New Tools and features

Finally, there are some fantastic new features and tools coming available to marketers (this is the juicy stuff for account managers!) most of which involving some level of automation. Have a look through and any questions on these don’t hesitate to reach out to us:

 

  • Hotel Ad Campaigns
    Previously hotels could create these using a third party provider. This looks to now be a thing of the past. These new campaigns will take your hotel inventory and allow marketers to bid in the hotel ad space and allow customers to check dates, prices and book directly through these ads without even reaching your website.

  • Responsive ads for Search
    Push have been running these in BETA but they look like they’ll soon be rolled out. Currently only available in English speaking countries on beta, these ads will allow you to write 15 different headlines and multiple description lines and Google will mix and match using machine learning to decide which ads work best. This will save huge amounts of time setting up split testing. Not only do they save time, The ads will also sometimes show 3 headlines and 2 descriptions meaning you can almost double the amount of content you can fit in your ads.

  • Cross Device Marketing
    Coming soon to analytics, new reporting on cross device activity will allow advertisers to get extremely useful insights and conversion data on customers searching on one device and returning on another. Not only this you’ll be able to now target remarketing to someone visiting on their phone on their desktop.
  • New Smart Campaigns
    These campaigns are designed for small business without the time or knowledge to quickly start advertising online. This will replace Adwords Express. Businesses will be able to set up their account and start advertising in just a couple of minutes and will not have to worry about finding keywords or writing ads. Google will scan the website and do this for you! A new product later down the line is also in creation for businesses that don’t even have a website. where Google will generate one for you with tracking set up included.
  • Automated Feeds
    Struggling to set up a product feed? This could be a problem of the past! Google will soon launch a new automated feed tool that will scan your website and set up the feed for you. It will then allow you to set up the new SMART shopping campaigns (often known as Universal shopping campaigns) which essentially manage your shopping campaigns completely through machine learning. Google is also partnering with Shopify to allow management and creation of shopping campaigns directly through their platform without even logging into Google Ads.
  • Trueview to Action
    Many advertisers using trueview Youtube ads often struggle to justify the marketing spend due to no conversions or direct response from their campaigns. The new True view to action will allow calls to actions to appear at all times when the video is showing like ‘buy now’, ‘get a quote’ etc. Google will also soon be launching Trueview form ads too which will allow conversions to come directly from your ad.


All in all it was a fantastic event and there are so many new exciting features and tools becoming available to advertisers across the rest of the year. The key focus from Googles side is on data management, privacy and automation. Advertisers not using any automation need to adopt it now and fast. We’ve been using scripts and automation for 3 years now and I cannot tell you how much it has helped our business!

We are offering free and paid scripts to agencies and in-house marketers so if you want to give some a try and have a quick chat about them please do get in touch!


Charlie Carroll

Search Director - Push

Charlie is our results focussed Customer Relationship Director. He loves data and has over 10 years of experience managing all aspects of PPC. He runs our PPC team and his passion is ensuring our customers have long term relationships with Push. Likes extremely spicy food and is constantly eating.

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