Google launched AdWords in 2000 with just 350 clients on board as advertisers. This new platform revolutionized online marketing. By 2015, it was generating revenue in the tens-of-billions range for over 1 million companies. Google saw exponential growth during this time. Even so, some of the platform’s most important changes took place from 2017 to the present.
Google Ads Change Records: 2017
2017 saw many new SEO advertising changes brought to Google Ads. These pitched the company even further ahead of its competitors.
Eliminated Standard Text Ads: Standard text ads were once the staple of the online marketing diet. Google announced several end dates for this ad type. The date kept getting pushed back. Finally, at the end of January, expanded text ads became standard.
Added Automated Call Extensions: It became possible for mobile phone users to call companies from the contact number in the ads. This was due to an automated call extension feature. To work, the ad needed a qualifying phone number on the landing page.
Expanded Price Extensions: Price extensions had been available on mobile searches. The feature now became available for desktop searches. This made it easier for consumers to compare prices across products based on the results of just one search.
Adjusted Close Variants: Search results were now also based on similar queries. To do this, the new Google algorithm began to ignore some articles, conjunctions and prepositions. It did this if they didn’t affect the meaning of the search.
Provided Historical Quality Scores: Marketers could view the quality scores for keywords over a period of time. The earliest date this info became available for was January 22, 2016. Marketers could now better see what adjustments created positive results. They could also note which ones did not perform as expected.
Extended Remarketing to Gmail: Gmail browsing now helped to inform the data used for remarketing. People who viewed emails related to certain products or services received targeted ads based on them.
Made Promotion Extensions Official: After more than a year of testing, Google made this extension more widely available on the new interface. Advertisers could re-use existing or expired promotions by clicking the promote button.
Created Custom Audiences: This Google Ads change is one of the most important optimization features. Marketers now benefited from AI’s ability to assess a company’s online real estate. AI used this data to create a custom audience of consumers most likely to engage.
Added Ad Drafts: Few people can come up with a perfect ad on the spot. Google started helping with the drafting process by adding ad variations, simplifying the processes for testing and comparing variations.
Aggregated Product Reviews: Google pulled reviews for products from several sources. It used this to create new five-star reviews consumers could use. This made it even easier for consumers to compare products without doing more searches.
Google Ads Change Records: 2018
By 2018, Google had managed to nearly perfect its craft. It made far fewer changes to the Google Ads platform, though the changes it did make were no less impactful than those of the year before.
Overhauled Google Grants: Google made big changes to “free” accounts for nonprofit organizations. It created new criteria for opening an account and maintaining one. This helped to level the playing field with companies.
Offered Outstream Ads: Prior to this, video ads were mostly reserved for YouTube. This feature allowed publishers to run video ads instead of just photos or moving GIFs and banners in other ad spaces. Videos stay muted while they play and consumers can choose to listen to them.
Launched Fully Functional New System: The new interface for Google Ads finally completed testing and received Google’s badge of approval. The tech giant reassured marketers that it had all the same features as the old interface.
Renamed the Platform: Google rebranded Google AdWords into Google Ads. The company explained that this was part of its effort to simplify marketing for its clients. It also represented a refresher after 18 years of success.
Added Another Close Variant Upgrade: Google used machine learning to condense the many ways people search for the same thing. This reduced the need for marketers to optimize for multiple phrasings of the same general keyword. It also improved search results.
Optimized Videos for Vertical Mode: For some people, viewing a video in landscape mode makes obvious sense. For others, it’s a nuisance. This compelled marketers to make two different videos. Google’s update eliminated the need for this. It also encouraged advertisers to try square videos for mobile users.
Google Ads Change Records: 2019
Like the year before, 2019 did not see a large number of changes compared to 2017. Most changes focused on improving the bidding process and offering new ad display options.
Simplified Portfolio Bidding: Google waited until the summer of 2019 to make any big changes. The first was the removal of manual or portfolio eCPC. Individual eCPC strategies replaced this. Average daily budgets also replaced target spending for managing budgets.
Added Close Variants to Broad Match and Phrase Match: In its simplest terms, this enabled Google to use synonyms in searches. It also identified similar meanings for whole phrases. This finally took Google out of the era of matching exact keywords when people searched for information.
Implemented Smart Bidding: This change benefited advertisers who wanted to max out their budget. It ensured that the conversion value correlated better with the maximized spending to ensure high ROI.
Gave More Bidding Control: Advertisers became able to override the AI system or better inform it when conditions change. They could do so by making adjustments for seasonal changes, such as a Black Friday sale.
Launched Bumper Machine Tool: This tool made it easier for advertisers to turn their longer advertisements into six-second ads. These fit into YouTube’s video advertising slots.
Improved Discovery Ads: Advertisers now had the chance to create ads for Google feeds to capitalize on the power of intent. This stemmed from Google’s belief that consumers buy within 24 hours once they are on the verge of purchasing.
Introduced Gallery Ads: Advertisers could now more images for consumers to scroll through. They can use these to either tell a story or provide way more information than one “card” could do before.
Made Images Shoppable: Google joined Instagram in showcasing images that consumers can buy from. The company also decided to expand its Merchant platform. This made room for shoppable posts and other features.
Google Ads Change Records: 2020
The year has only just begun, but Google has already made three noteworthy changes. The company has even stepped into the political sphere.
Updates Political Ads Policies: Advertisers who want to run election ads must now get certified. This takes effect in the U.K. and the EU this year. New policies also limit foreign involvement in U.S. political ads.
Improves Standard Delivery: Advertisers will now experience an improved delivery process when it comes to their ads. They can even decide what times of the day their ads should show.
Introduces Parallel Tracking: Google has mentioned the importance of fast mobile sites for some time now. Parallel tracking of user behavior assists with this. It reduces load time by five seconds. Parallel tracking becomes mandatory as of March 31, 2020.
Prepare for the Next Google Ads Change
Google is a business leader when it comes to fighting complacency. It continually improves its products. In fact, the company publishes new algorithms every day. These improve every aspect of the way it operates, particularly when it comes to its search engine. This can make it difficult for business owners and small marketing agencies to keep up.
Thankfully, business owners can turn to Boostability for professional assistance. We are an award-winning SEO company that knows Google’s updates inside out. We also provide white-label SEO services to smaller agencies. Our expertise helps them to better meet their clientele’s needs. Give us a call at (800) 261-1537 for more information.