The digital marketing industry is always changing. Strategies, platforms, and tools are always in flux, and Google Ads is no exception.
After all, Google Ads used to be called AdWords—and then that changed in the summer of 2018.
If you’re still calling it AdWords though, you’re not alone. Old habits die hard. Of course, the new name isn’t the only big change that you need to know about in the world of paid search.
We’ve rounded up 5 big updates from Google Ads that you need to know about.
1. AdWords becomes Google Ads
Okay, we’ve already covered this update—but here’s the lowdown. In June 2018, Google announced a lot of big changes.
The shift away from “AdWords” was part of a larger Google rebrand. Google AdWords became Google Ads, DoubleClick and Google Analytics 360 became the Google Marketing Platform, and DoubleClick Publishers and Ad Exchange became Google Ad Manager.
Google explained that these updates represent “the full range of advertising capabilities” they offer. Be that as it may, we’re still used to saying AdWords.
2. Updated user interface
For months, Google Ads (formerly known as AdWords) was testing a new user interface in beta. In July 2018, they started moving accounts to the new interface permanently.
As of 2019, all paid search accounts are on the new UI. While it took some getting used to, the new interface has clear benefits. It’s far more visual than before and includes a nifty Overview that makes it easy to glean quick insights about campaign performance.
The Overview includes information on clicks, conversions, cost, CTR, top ad groups, devices, keywords, and more.
Also, the new UI is faster and provides better recommendations for keywords and other ways to optimize your campaigns.
3. Responsive search ads (RSAs)
In May 2018, Google introduced a new beta—the responsive search ad (RSA). In the rest of 2018, RSAs opened up to more and more advertisers. So what are RSAs?
They increase the number of headlines and descriptions that advertisers can use in their ads. Google uses machine learning to determine what combinations of headlines and descriptions perform best.
RSAs can have up to fifteen headlines, three of which will display and four descriptions, two of which will display. Also, the RSA descriptions could have 90-characters, instead of 80.
RSAs featured more ad text and take up more real estate in the SERP. In our RSA experience, we’ve seen increases in CTR and decreases in CPC.
4. New text character limits
After the RSA beta became open to everyone, Google updated their general ad character limits for text ads. Now, the new standard for text ads is three 30-character headlines and two 90-character descriptions.
This means you don’t have to necessarily use Google’s machine learning or be interested in testing a variety of copy in order to get the benefit of more characters in search ads.
Of course, it should be noted that all three headlines and two descriptions may not show at all times—but it’s highly recommended that you do take advantage of the new real estate on the search engines results page!
5. Google Smart Shopping
Google Smart Shopping campaigns bring all the latest automation and machine learning to Shopping. It features automated bidding and automated ad placements across all Google Display platforms in order to maximize your conversion value.
Smart Shopping ads can show up on the Google Display Network, YouTube, and Gmail. This new system made it easier for advertisers to optimize bidding, ad design, and placements. Smart Shopping was first introduced as “Universal Shopping,” but then was released in late July 2018 as Smart Shopping.
If you haven’t tried Smart Shopping for your e-commerce campaigns, you should. Keep in mind that you must have at least 20 conversions over the last 45 days across existing Shopping campaigns to utilize Smart Shopping.