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5 Potential Adwords Changes to Consider in 2014

With the end of 2013 approaching quickly its a time to take a moment and think about what Google has in store for Adwords in 2014. Before I put forth any thoughts on what the future might hold, reflecting on the past year is in order to set the stage.

Google AdWords Changes 2014I think I might have mentioned this in just about every post I make here, Google is constantly tweaking the Adwords platform and associated products with 2013 seeing a number of major changes. From major overhauls to the Adwords system with the roll out of Enhanced campaigns to the many more subtle enhancements, tweaks, tests and upgrades that are constantly occuring.

At one point early in the year it was not a month goes by without an Adwords change, then toward the middle of the year it was more like “Wow it seems like about once a week there is an Adwords change,” and now at the end of 2013, it is almost a continuous stream of minor tweaks and adjustments on a  nearly daily basis. It does not look like this is going to change in 2014.

Here are some of the top changes I have seen across different Adwords accounts over the last few weeks and months that I think we may be seeing more of and have a greater effect on advertisers in the future:

Ad Extensions Are More Important Than Ever

Ad Extensions were added to the Quality Score formula and if Ad Extensions are not used or under utilized, it is going to affect your campaigns more significantly. Google knows that Ad Extensions produce more Clicks and the use of Ad Extensions are an unofficial requirement for any well run campaign.

Better Tracking – Universal Analytics

I think 2014 is going to be an exciting year for Analytics. With the offering of Universal Analytics, advertisers have better access to a wider variety of information offering greater insights into campaign performance and revealing additional opportunities for improvement. Cross device tracking will continue to improve and the focus shifting more toward cross channel tracking to provider a clearer picture of overall visitor behavior.

Further Integration of Other Google Services

Google Places and Shopping will become more integrated into Adwords allowing for additional options for advertisers. Google is always working towards creating more advertising opportunities across their different properties from youtube to mobile devices, and I am seeing 2014 will accelerate the integration of different Google services and offer new possibilities for advertisers.

One potential negative side effect that is on the radar is the possibility of Adwords no longer offering the Location Ad Extension to business without a Google Places listing. Recently in some accounts when working with a Location Ad Extension, the option to manually ad an address is now situated under the “Not Upgraded” tab. Looks like Adwords is potentially moving towards only offering the Location Ad Extensions to those advertisers with Google Places listings.

A New Adwords Interface

About half of the accounts I work with are sporting a new sleek Adwords Interface with some changes in feature placements. The look is nice and clean and with a little practice the changes to the interface layout are efficient and natural. Time will tell if the new look is rolled out to all advertisers.

Prettier Search Results

Images are going to continue to take more prominence on a wider variety of search result pages. Image ads, PLA images, and banner ads are all being tested or further integrated into search results. This is one of the more exciting possibilities on the horizon for me as the ability to utilize images to communicate to potential visitors is a powerful tool in a variety of ways.

Conclusion

With a few predictions to ponder as we go into the new year my final thought on what to expect from Adwords in 2014 is that regardless of what specific changes happen, the one thing every advertiser can count on is that changes to Adwords will continue to occur, and we can be better prepared by understanding that with Google change is part of the deal.

Wishing everyone a prosperous and happy new year!