2016 Google Summit: The Key Announcements

At the 2016 Google Summit, key changes, new features and product plans for both AdWords and Analytics were announced that are set to drastically shakeup the Google Platforms over the next 12 months.

Google now processes trillions of searches

A rather impressive stat was announced at the summit; Google announced that it now processes ‘trillions’ of search queries per year. This is an extremely high number of searches, it makes the 1999 announcement of 1 billion searches per year look miniscule by comparison. In addition to this, it was also revealed that over half of these searches are performed on a mobile.

Local search ads

When a user is on Google.com or Google Maps, local ads will appear when they search for local shops and suppliers. Google claims this allows advertisers to “showcase their business locations”.

There are currently no plans for this feature to be available in the UK, but we feel it is safe to assume that it will become available at some point in the not too distant future.

A new look for AdWords

Perhaps the biggest announcement is that Google AdWords will be receiving a makeover, and a major one at that. Google AdWords has been around for more than 15 years, and the last time the platform was revamped was back in 2008, so it can be argued this redesign is long overdue.

So, what exactly is going to change? Google hasn’t revealed too much about what’s going to change, most of the information can be gleaned from the below screenshot (supplied by Google).

adwords-redesign

As you can see from the image, the interface looks much cleaner than the one we’re used to. In the image on the left (on the laptop), campaigns and ad groups are shown in the left-hand navigation bar, just as they are now, however clicking on an individual campaign brings up a dashboard view that has been aptly named an ‘Overview’ by Google.

Conveniently, overviews will be available at the campaign, ad group and ad levels. It is essentially a very visual version of the current account-level home screen, offering a snapshot of overall performance.

Another thing you’ll notice is that all of the secondary navigation runs alongside the left side, parallel to the primary navigation. Frequently used options such as Locations, Sitelinks, and Devices have now surfaced in that navigation, rather than being buried under settings.

On the image on the right (on the tablet), the navigation is again simplified. Option for keywords, negative keywords and search terms are shown at the top of the window. Any non-keyword related options are now removed from view.

Expanded text ads

Another big announcement revealed at the Google Summit is that the character limit for text ads will be expanded. This is good news for advertisers, as it means they will have more space in which they can get their message across. As a general rule of thumb, advertisers that use all available space have a higher CTR, so it will be interesting to see what impact this change will have on CTRs.

Upgraded ad componentsCurrentAvailable later this year
More prominent headlinesOne 25-character headlineTwo 30-character headlines
Longer description lineTwo 35-character description linesOne consolidated 80-character description line
Relevant display URLManually entered display URL. Any mismatch between your display, final and landing page URLs will cause your ad to be disapproved.Domain automatically extracted from your final URL to ensure accuracy. You can customise the URL path.

Device specific bidding

This announcement means that advertisers will be able to set individual bids for each device type. This has been a change many have hoped for for a long time, and it’s easy to see why. It’s great for advertisers as it provides them with greater flexibility and control.

Responsive display network ads

One of the major drawbacks of the Google Display Network is how ads function across different devices/screen sizes. Google now seeks to combat this by introducing responsive ads.

With Google’s Display Network visible across 90% of the internet, this is a welcome change for advertisers.

Summary

As you have seen, a great deal of changes were announced at the Google Performance Summit, many of which are major. For the most part these changes appear very positive and so it will be interesting to see exactly how much of an impact these changes will have on advertisers. The question you’re probably wondering is when do these changes come into action? Well, we’re not exactly sure, all we can do is reiterate what Google have said, and that’s that the changes will be “rolling out in the coming months”.

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