6 Significant Google AdWords Updates in 2014
With reference to paid search, 2014 has been a pretty busy year. Many people are debating and discussing the changes that took place to organic searches, but there have been some noteworthy alterations to paid searches, especially to Google AdWords.
The Ones that Matter
These deserve a look because of the impact they will have on how paid searches work in the future. Let’s take a look at 6 important updates to AdWords:
#1 Shopping Campaigns
With reference to product search, Google has been in strong competition with Amazon. The former wants to attract more merchants to participate as advertisers and wants a larger number of users clicking on ads.
With this objective in view, Google introduced a campaign format for the Product-Listing-Ads (PLAs) – these are called Shopping Campaigns. They have a simpler set-up process compared to the original PLAs & are simpler to manage too. Google continued to invest heavily in PLAs right through the year and it seems to be paying off for advertisers.
#2 Consumer Ratings Annotations
Google also began adding consumer-ratings annotations to the ads. This was done to highlight different industry-specific ratings, all of which were based on various consumer surveys. Google also revealed that the company had been conducting a number of surveys on merchants and brands & that it would begin automatically-populating ads with the ratings.
Upto 3 of the best-ratings would be displayed just below the text of the ads. There would be a link to some more ratings as well. These are automatically-enabled annotations and do not require any setup.
#3 AdWords Editor Version-10.4 Release
This long overdue update is worth a mention because the AdWords Editor had been lagging in the UI space. This had led to a great deal of speculation that Google might discontinue supporting it completely. But in April, the company released the new version of the AdWords Editor; this included the support for engagement ads, viewable impression bidding & automated-bidding strategies etc.
#4 Security Enhancements
This April update created a big buzz among the paid-search community. When the company posted this update they also stated that there was some discrepancy in the manner in which keyword data was being handled in paid-search in comparison to organic search.
Everyone is aware that Google does not provide keyword data from the paid-queries result for organic clicks on a site. However, the company was permitting advertisers to pay for the ads & to receive the data in analytics. Very simply put, Google was adding “Not Provided” to the paid search function.
But even now, the search queries are available to customers who use AdWords. In addition, the “Matched-Search Queries” report in Google Analytics’ AdWords is still there & continues to populate with new data
#5 Close-Variant Matching
The internet giant started applying close variant keyword-matching to all the exact & phrase-match keywords. Google said that at least 7 percent of searches in Google are misspelled. Even with these spelling mistakes, people want to find the links they are searching for. Close variant keyword-matching is how Google returns the correct results even when a person has searched with incorrect spellings.
This had been first introduced in 2012 and the company said that advertises had seen some solid results. This was already a default setting for ad campaigns and a majority of advertisers will not notice any changes in keyword-matching behaviour. But the option for disabling close-variants was removed in September.
#6 Website Call Conversions
This launch became a very popular feature for a number of AdWords advertisers. The new website call-conversions give advertisers the ability to effectively track calls from the users who had called their business when they were led to the website after clicking on that company’s ad.
When Paid Search Helps
There were some more updates that came in too, but these were some of the important ones that 2014 saw. Advertisers are now waiting to see what 2015 will hold for them and what changes Google makes to AdWords. Millions of online marketers in Australia use this paid search function and even as Google hones and polishes it, the changes make it more effective and profitable for businesses to use it as part of their digital marketing campaign.
Thanks for reading,