Changes at Google
PAID & ORGANIC SEARCH, SEM

Major Changes Shake Up Google Ads and What They Mean

Changes at GoogleDespite the ongoing turbulence currently engulfing the world, Google Ads has rolled out several new changes to the Internet’s largest ad distribution system in recent months.

Google Tests Removal of Expanded Text Ads

Initiated at the end of August, Google began removing the ability to create expanded text ads from Ads accounts. The only options for new ads were responsive search ads (RSAs) and call-only ads. Responsive search ads offer several distinct advantages over expanded text ads, including periodic optimization suggestions from Google and the benefits of machine learning.

Although Google stated that the removal of expanded text ads it is an “experiment” and its permanence has yet to be determined as users can revert to expanded text ads from the RSA creation screen; the movement toward machine learning-driven, RSA-only campaigns have taken another major step closer toward the inevitable.

Google Search Term Filtering

On September 2, Google began to filter search terms in Ads accounts. While Google claimed the change was in the name of privacy, the new practice raised eyebrows in the paid advertising community. Search queries that generated clicks and cost money are now hidden from view, raising questions about what the search terms were. Search terms are critical to the creation and optimization of ad campaigns as PPC specialists utilize search terms in several key ways:

  1. To create negative keyword lists
  2. To find new campaign/ad group keywords
  3. To determine whether ad targeting is accurate

Advertisers can do some math to figure out what the daily percentage is of hidden search queries but it’s the lack of transparency regarding ad spend that is the real concern for advertisers. Some sources have reported filtered reports with up to 20% of search terms not shown, and thus 20% of ad spend not quantified, it remains to be seen how long Google continues this practice.

No More Custom Affinity or Intent Audiences

Previously, advertisers could create custom affinity audiences based on website URL names, website visits, app usage, and relevant keywords. These audiences could be highly specific and usually had higher CTRs and lower bounce rates.

Custom intent audiences allowed advertisers to target users based on what they were already searching for online, whether it’s a particular product, topic, or answer to a problem.

Google Ads unified affinity and intent into a new custom audience option. Audiences are built by targeting users who have particular interests/purchase intentions or people who used specific search terms. From there, you can drill down by app usage or defined interests.

Keep Your Google Ads Current with Efferent Media

Ensure that your Google Ads campaign stays current with management by Efferent Media’s Google-certified Ads specialists. Our dedicated PPC specialists regularly monitor Google changes and continuously optimize client Ads accounts, ensuring that campaigns remain competitive in an increasingly crowded environment. To discuss your PPC management, call Efferent Media today at (631) 867-0900.

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