Google Ads is one of the most popular and effective online advertising platforms, and staying informed about the latest Google Ads updates is crucial for business owners looking to stay competitive and achieve success online. From the retirement of familiar ad formats to the adoption of cutting-edge audience targeting techniques and the ever-present focus on data privacy, you need to know about these Google Ads updates.

Smart Shopping Campaigns Make Way for Performance Max Campaigns

Google has revamped its advertising landscape by transitioning Smart Shopping campaigns into Performance Max campaigns. Performance Max goes beyond the confines of Smart Shopping, offering advertisers the ability to tap into various Google Ads formats, including Search, Display, YouTube, and Discovery. This broader reach allows advertisers to connect with their target audience across multiple platforms, expanding their ad presence significantly. Performance Max leverages machine learning to optimize ad placements and bidding strategies automatically, offering a more comprehensive and versatile solution for businesses looking to maximize their advertising impact.

Similar Audiences Are No Longer Supported

On August 1, 2023, Google Ads discontinued support for Similar Audiences, also known as similar segments. Similar Audiences, which used to help advertisers reach users similar to their existing customers, is being replaced by Optimized Targeting, a more dynamic and AI-driven approach.

Optimized Targeting analyzes user behavior and intent in real-time to deliver ads to the most relevant audience segments, optimizing for specific goals like clicks or conversions. Unlike Similar Audiences, Optimized Targeting doesn’t rely on predefined audience segments but adapts to changing user behaviors.

This shift aligns with the broader industry trend of using AI and machine learning to improve ad targeting and campaign performance. It allows advertisers to leverage Google’s advanced algorithms to reach the right audience effectively.

Research your Competitors’ Ads Directly in the Search Results

In 2023, Google launched a new feature that allows you to research your competitors’ ads directly in the search results. This can be a helpful way to see what your competitors are doing well and what you can do to improve your own campaigns.

To use this feature, simply type in a keyword that you’re targeting and then click on the “Ads” tab. You’ll be able to see a list of all the ads that are currently running for that keyword, including your competitors’ ads.

Introduction of New Google Ads Campaign Type

In June 2023, Google introduced Demand Gen, an AI-powered campaign type that is designed to help advertisers reach and engage new customers across Google’s most visual, entertainment-focused touchpoints, including YouTube, YouTube Shorts, Discover, and Gmail.

Demand Gen aims to engage and convert consumers effectively with immersive, attention-grabbing, and visually appealing creatives. It focuses on driving conversions, site visits, and actions like sign-ups and cart additions across YouTube, including Shorts, Discover, and Gmail.

Key features of Demand Gen include the ability to use video and image ads in a single campaign, create Lookalike segments to find new customers similar to your existing ones, optimize for various goals including conversions, and utilize ad previews for better creative optimization.

More focus on AI and automation

Google is also moving towards a more AI-powered and automated future for Google Ads. This means that Google will be using AI to help advertisers with everything from creating their campaigns to optimizing their ads.

Some of the ways that Google is using AI to automate Google Ads include:

  • Automatically generated ads
  • Smart Bidding
  • Audience insights
  • Performance recommendations

Limited Ads Serving Policy to Boost Clarity and Prevent Scams

The policy is intended to combat scams and help prevent misleading ads. Under the policy, Google will limit the reach of campaigns from advertisers that it is unfamiliar with until trust is established. This is done by implementing a “get-to-know-you” period for these advertisers, during which impressions for their ads might be limited.

The policy applies to advertisers who are targeting certain brands with their ad campaigns, such as when the relationship between the advertiser and the brand is unclear. For example, Google would implement this policy when an advertiser uses the name or logo of a brand in their ad creative without having a clear relationship with the brand.

If you are a new advertiser on Google Ads, or if you are targeting certain brands with your ad campaigns, you may be subject to the Limited Ads Serving policy. This means that your ads may not be seen by as many people as they would otherwise.

Work with the Experts at Horton Group

A good way to keep up with Google Ads updates is to have a professional digital marketing company by your side. At Horton Group, our digital marketing specialists are here to help create and manage your Google Ads and ensure that you’re reaching your target audience.

Contact us today to get started.