There were plenty of big announcements during the Google Performance Summit at the end of May. The usual spring-time buzz was in full effect as the search giant unveiled a number of upcoming changes to AdWords and other Google platforms – plus more details on the AdWords redesign and other announcements already made across the year. Here’s a quick recap of the biggest news to come out of the Google Summit.
Local ads on Google Maps get serious
Google now tells us nearly a third of all mobile searches on its platforms are location based and it plans to make more of that – starting with local ads on Google Maps.
— Larry Kim (@larrykim) May 27, 2016
The new ads will include brand logos and special offers directly on the map, rather than beside it. Users will be able to click on stores with relevant offers and shop directly from Google Maps. Business pages will also be getting a revamp and the changes will roll out across the app, Google Search and mobile searches retrospectively.
Test ads are getting bigger
Text ads are also in line for a makeover, including bigger headlines and more text. In fact, you’ll soon be able to have two headlines of up to 30 characters on your ads – up from the one of 25 characters.
— Core dna (@coredna) May 25, 2016
Google says the change has increased CTRs by up to 25% in tests. We don’t quite buy that optimistic figure but we do expect it to have a positive impact on CTRs. This will depend on how you use the extra text, of course (and we’ll have some tips on that over the coming weeks).
Display ads go responsive
Google talks a good game when it comes to mobile but many of its platforms still don’t follow the same mantra. Display ads are about to be excluded from that list, though, as Google makes them responsive.
The overall design of display ads is getting a much-needed upgrade too. The idea is to make them look more like the Google mobile experience we recognise today, so they feel more like a seamless part of the experience – especially when they break up content as you scroll down mobile single-columns.
Google fixes device bidding
One of the worst changes Google has made in recent history was bundling tablet and desktop traffic into a single bid option. Well, that’s about to be put right as Google once again separates desktop, tablet and mobile bidding – easily the most popular announcement from Google at the event.
As you can see, the emphasis is all on mobile with the upcoming changes to AdWords. No surprises there, of course. The features themselves prove there are some really interesting things coming to AdWords over the next 12-18 months (including the redesign) and we’ll have plenty of new features to experiment with between now and the next Google Summit.