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Overview of Some of the Largest Announcements at the Latest Google Performance Summit

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Just recently Google held their annual Google Performance Summit, held in San Francisco this year on May 24th. In years past there hasn’t really been much to discuss from these summits that would generally affect all Adwords marketers, but this year was an exception to this trend. The obvious winners of the most popular changes went to the new ability to now bid on all devices instead of just mobile devices, and the new expanded text ads.


Google will be rolling these changes out to all later this year, but if you are lucky enough to work for a larger marketing firm you may have the opportunity to get some of your clients White Listed to start playing with some of these new features before everyone else. There were other announcements though, including dynamic native ads on mobile, as well as GDN targeting will be increasing their reach to additional ad exchanges, and lastly similar audiences for search. All of these will have some type of impact on marketers everywhere. So let’s get to it and start the review!


By far the most popular change addressed at the Google Performance Summit last month was the fact that Google is basically reintroducing the ability to adjust your bids by device. Ever since the days when Adwords Marketers would separate their individual campaigns into three different ones that targeted each individual device, advertisers have been chomping at the bit to get this ability integrated again. Google didn’t really win anyone over with that change years ago, but at least now we will have control over these bidding options once again. It remains unseen as of yet whether or not we will have the ability to duplicate our current campaigns into “device only” campaigns again, but there doesn’t seem to be any indicators out there that say otherwise. The question is whether marketers are going to want to do that or not.


The other option here to advertisers is that, instead of breaking campaigns out into three different device-specific campaigns, they can now do this from a single campaign settings tab. By having on device identified as your baseline you can then adjust your bids up or down for both mobile devices and tablets as well. This isn’t quite the same as being able to specifically set and view your individual keyword bids for each device, but if you can trust in Google (wow… I can hear you laughing now) the system will take care of this for you by making the bid adjustments when a search is performed on a designated device (mobile or tablet). There are some advertisers out there that believe that because of this ability to manage these device-specific bid adjustments from our current campaign, that in fact the new expanded text ads are actually the biggest change to come for advertisers. So, let’s take a moment to review that.


“Expanded Text Ads”, also referred to as “ETAs”, are viewed by some as the hands-down biggest news to come out of the Google Performance Summit. I guess by “biggest” they must mean “largest”. As in the “largest” amount of work that will need to be done by advertisers (wink, winkJ). That said, be careful what you wish for because this is something that we have all been asking for since the start of Adwords… more characters! Well, here you are. Now what? There are going to be a number of you out there that are going to say “…well all I really wanted was a couple more characters in the Headline.” Google answered with not one, but now two Headlines each with a total of 30 characters.


Now you ask “…so what did they do to the Description Lines, get rid of them?” Well no. They actually put them together into one large Description Line much the same way that Bing Ads has done all this time. However, instead of the 72 characters that Bing Ads utilizes Adwords is now giving us 80 total characters for our Description Line. So, what do you think about that? I think we have a lot of work ahead of us. We can still use the basic premise of our current existing ad variations, but that leave some room to “expand”. We will need to expand on our current expressed ideas in our ads which will, of course, take some time especially is you have larger accounts.


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I don’t foresee Google immediately removing our current regular text ads right away, as there will need to be a transitioning period for people and companies to create their new expanded text ads, but I can see that people that are quick to the game and make this transition fast may benefit with a boost in their Quality Scores. This is just a best guess, but we have already seen them do this with extensions in the past. So, I don’t think it’s far-fetched that they would apply this here as well.


On another note there have also been indications that the mobile-preferred checkbox is also heading out the door as well. The Adwords API appears to show this indication in a note identifying that this will in fact disappear when Expanded Text Ads are implemented. So, no more mobile-preferred ads, which I think is great as far as I’m concerned. That about wraps it up for now, but click here to watch the Innovations Keynote and learn about more of the changes coming later this year. Enjoy!


– Ed Cehi, Senior SEM Manager


With fourteen years of Internet Marketing experience, Ed Cehi joined That Company as a PPC Account Manager in 2008 after previously working at another high profile Florida Web Design and Marketing Agency located in Ocala, Florida for the six years previous. He started his career in Internet Marketing as a Web Designer after graduating from The International Academy of Design and Technology in Orlando Florida with his degree in Web Design. He soon moved on to Search Engine Optimization and then graduated into Paid Advertising following that. Ed now holds the position of Senior SEM Manager at Th@t Company located in Leesburg Florida, just outside of Orlando. You can find him online in multiple social mediums such as Twitter (@edsaxman) and LinkedIn.

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