Google has made changes, and there are mixed responses. Some of the negative response comes out of the change that we are all constantly amidst. Google established a digital world in which every brand competes to climb to the top of search ranks to win exposure to consumers. To make this competition fair and keep robotic systems from beating the game and taking coveted, top positions that could be occupied by brands in which consumer have a genuine interest, Google continually changes the rules of the game that we are essentially all playing. We won’t lie; it has been exhausting. Keeping up with new rules, added elements and priority shifts just as we have been adjusting to the immediately preceding change is not easy. SEO has become a full-time job, and most commonly, a full-time job for an entire team.
Most recently, Google has enforced restrictions on data that until now, has been available to the masses. The restrictions were set to prevent abuse by robotic systems. Google put forth its best to make sure that it is a consumer-centric platform.
This means that I, as a searcher, am the priority. As a company owner, I take the back seat. You might remember a day when you searched for a particular item and several of the links you clicked on at Google’s suggestion were dead-ends. They busied your eyes with dancing ads or offered products that were not totally relevant. Sometimes no products were available at all. This rarely happens today because the search engine giant does such an incredible job of making the algorithm too complex for robots to manipulate. This is why there are constantly so many changes and advancements in the way that we have to navigate the platform to achieve success.
So, while Google keeps firing twists and brands are reacting, we should remember that they are making the platform better for the user, not the sellers. Our job is getting more complicated, yes. But the search engine was not created us. It’s for users! And we should be supportive of this mission because we all have come to rely on Google to provide us answers and brand matches to every query and desire.
Let’s look at what’s new.
One key element we are all well-versed in by now is Google AdWords. The advertising service displays ads on the search engine and its relevant advertising network. The platform has enticed so many brands by only requiring payment when ads are clicked on by consumers. So far, keywords have been the driving force behind successful ads.
Until recently, there was a tool that allowed anyone to perform searches and learn which keywords they needed to include to boost their ad’s relevant visibility. Google downsized the scope of this feature because robotic systems were taking advantage of the free service and slowing it down for all real users. Now, Google wants us to use the forecasting feature in Keyword Planner. There are more elements involved in the Keyword Planner that make keyword search result more robust. Some of these factors include bid, budget, device and maximum searching volume per advertiser.
Additional changes to AdWords:
- Ability to bid for installs and in-app actions
- Promotion of iOS and Android apps
- Easier updating of customer match files via automatic hashing and replace function.
- Automatic tracking of Android in-app purchases from ads via Google Play
- Creation and assessment of campaign groups based on marketing objectives and performance targets.
More change with which to assimilate, sure. But overall, an enhancement to the engine’s performance and its offering to its audience: searchers. Keeping up with the change takes effort and patience, but keeps us all primed for tech navigation, right? Let’s see what other developments they’ve unleashed:
Local search ads now appear on Google Maps
This is the next generation of local search ads. They appear within the app and desktop version of Google Maps. Brand logos and offers now appear at the surface of the map instead of alongside it. Google Maps won this huge change because it now has more than a billion users, helping them get to 1.5 billion destinations. We know location-based searches are hugely influential, and right now, they account a third of all mobile searches, marking a growth rate of 50 percent faster than all overall mobile searches. Business and commerce via location-based searches are bigger than ever. Hence, the change.
Expanded text ads now allow double headlines and more characters
Longer headlines are projected to be more useful for advertisers and to get better traffic for advertisers. The change will be present on both mobile and desktop. A win for the advertisers! Thanks, Google!
Ninety percent of sales still happen in-store. Google now uses location services to determine if after a user clicks on your ad, they actually walk into the store. This is huge! It’s not totally new, but it is more efficient than ever and hugely helpful for analyzing in-store conversions.
Google will now create responsive display ads for you. You provide the URL, headline, description, and image, and Google adapts it to the website content on which it will run. This means you no longer have to create dozens of formats for one ad. Google will do the work for you. Another win!
Drum roll… Mobile and desktop bids no longer have to be separate! You have the option now to bid separately or make the two dependent on one another. Desktop bids no longer have to come first which makes sense as the world shifts toward mobile-first preferences.
It’s a lot of change, but isn’t life? If you need help navigating this constantly evolving search sphere, please get in contact with our team at Executive Digital. We’ve made it our job to stay on top of the search engine’s transformation, navigating every shift expertly and keeping our clients at the top of Google’s search rankings. Reach out to our team for an initial consultation, and we’ll take the rest from there!