Bite-Sized Google Updates from the Performance Summit & More

expanded ad text

So we’re almost into the second half of 2016 (can you believe it?) and there’s been plenty of updates that Google has rolled out recently, as well as a lot of testing. We’ve compiled them in into bite-sized snippets for you to digest so that you don’t have to go through all of the blogs!

Earlier this year there was the major change in AdWords which saw 4 Ads at the top of the page (previously there were 3) and the removal of Ads down the right-hand side of the page. The full effects of this on advertisers in regards to competition levels, cost per click and click through rates are still yet to be seen.

In a blog posted by Google off the back of their Performance Summit, it has been announced that Expanded Text Ads will be available to advertisers later this year. The reasoning behind the changes in format according to the source is that there are trillions of searches performed on the engine every year and over half of those occur on mobile. In their words, AdWords has been re-imaged for the mobile-first word.

The new expanded text ads will be optimised to fit the most prominent sized smart-phone screens to provide more ad space, allowing businesses to showcase more information about their products and services. The key changes according to Google are:

expanded text ads

These are certainly exciting changes are show how serious Google are about the growing usage of mobiles and how their search engines fit into that.

Following on from AdWords testing – in our office we have noticed some testing. Does anything seem different about the image below?

adwords green ads

A keen eye will notice that usually the ‘Ad’ is usually in yellow. Is Google trying to blend paid ads in with the organic? Watch this space.

Another main item discussed at the summit and reported on by Marketing Land was a significant change that will give marketers and advertisers more control over device-level bidding. Advertisers will be able to separate bid adjustments for desktop, mobile and now tablets. This will mean that AdWords Specialists can now have more freedom to set bids for the most important device type for the business!

Another huge announcement that came out of the summit is that ‘promoted pins’ or ‘promoted locations’ will be introduced into Google Maps. It has been reported on and off for years that the search engine has been experimenting with paid ads in Maps, and recently they began showing ads in the Local Finder. There will also be aesthetic changes to the pages to include new features and customisation, such as businesses being able to include a range of content types that are appropriate to their category.

This is great news for New Zealand, as local business is very important in most industries.

In SEO news, Search Engine Land has reported that Google is beta testing a real-time indexing API. Richard Gingras, a spokesperson from Google, was quoted as saying, ‘the purpose is to give trusted publishers a way to send Google their content immediately, without Google having any delay in discovering that content. Google can then surface that content to searchers immediately, in real time, without any delay.’

What will the effects of this be on organic rankings? Only time will tell.

It’s certainly exciting times in the world of digital marketing! Even the AdWords interface is going to be updated. Tune back in to keep your finger on the pulse.