Google announces several new AdWords innovations

By Rachel Hand topicIcon PPC

The future of AdWords

Google has unveiled a variety of new features currently rolling out in AdWords, which have been touted as "the next generation" of changes to the leading advertising service.

The features were showcased in front of an audience of marketers at the AdWords Performance Forum, by AdWords product management vice president Jerry Dischler.

A livestream video of the announcements was released yesterday, accompanied by an official blog post outlining the changes.

What's new?

Some of the features announced include:

  • Bulk actions for ad extensions and settings - useful for changing or updating seasonal promotions
  • A testing lab inside AdWords where users can experiment with the ad format, keywords, bids and targeting, and run tests with live traffic
  • Choose whether to maximise the number or value of conversions and automate bidding accordingly
  • Target app advertisements based on the user's previous app downloads, in-app purchases and usage
  • A new app re-engagement campaign type, taking users directly to content within an app they have already installed
  • Measure app conversions including installation, engagement and purchases

Google has also promised to invest more in the popular Estimated Total Conversions feature, and is providing new advanced reporting tools so that analysis can be performed within AdWords, rather than being downloaded and reformatted.

App appetite

These changes were teased some time ago, inviting users to "step inside the future of AdWords". It seems the users being targeted by these changes are predominantly larger 'enterprise-class' users, and mobile app marketers. In fact, Dischler opened his blog post by describing how important apps might be:

"People are constantly connected, moving seamlessly between screens, sites and apps while on-the-go. This makes the best ads more than just messages sent to various devices. Instead, ads are now most effective when they connect people with the information, content and places that matter most to them, at the moments they are looking."

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that Google and Apple are competing to "woo" app and game developers. They are reportedly offering incentives such as prominent placement within the App Store or Google Play to ensure that the most lucrative titles appear on their operating system first - and with a period of exclusivity.

Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword, commented: "Everything points to mobile and apps being a huge area of focus for Google, and this has been clear for some time. Of course, improving features for app marketers will have knock-on benefits for Google, as it could result in increased advertising spend and more purchases through Google Play."