Google Adwords (as it used to be known) was first launched on 23rd October 2000. It was initially created as a “self-service advertising program” offering ads that would appear only on the right hand side of the page, as well as functions for keyword targeting and web based reporting.
Today, we’ve reached a point of evolution where soon using Google Ads won’t even require keywords, as Google’s machine-learning components take the platform into the next phase. But what changes in Google Ads have led us here over the years and how is the platform increasingly becoming a focus for the future?
A brief history of Google Ads, past, present and future
The first version of Google Ads was simple and streamlined, available only in English and originally in beta. From 2005, site targeting enabled Ads users to start choosing specific websites to appear on and keywords were no longer the only way to target.
In the same year Google integrated its Analytics function into the Ads platform and logins through Google became the primary channel of access. The local business ad was first introduced in 2006, and then in 2007 Google introduced the Pay Per Action pricing model based on advertisers being charged on completion of actions such as sales, leads or pageviews.
From 2008, landing page load time became a factor in the Quality Score that first appeared the year before, and from November 2009 US users could see ads being served against certain product searches as a result of the introduction of Product Listing Ads. Remarketing was released in 2010, followed by the option to add negative keywords to lists in 2011. Also in 2011 the placement of ads changed, moving from the right hand column to underneath search results.
2013 saw a range of improvements, from better geo-targeting to improvements to Ad Rank with Ad extensions. Over the next six years, Google Adwords would go through even more change, with the addition of new features, such as the Shopping Engagement Metric and the rebrand from Google Adwords to Google Ads last year.
Google Ads in 2019
As a result of all this evolution, creating ads today is much more complex than it was when the platform was first launched – but there are also a myriad of additional opportunities to get results. These are our top tips for getting to grips with Google Ads in 2019:
The benefits of working with the professionals
Today, getting the most from Google Ads requires considerable prior Google knowledge and experience – a digital marketing agency with the right expertise can help you to get results.
Customisation is key
Google often tries to push “recommended” options when it comes to settings but these won’t necessarily provide benefits and sometimes just make Ads more expensive.
CPC has increased
Costs for some keywords have more than doubled in the last four years – be wary of those you opt for.
Quality is key
Google rewards quality campaigns now with ad ranking and lower CPC.
Voice search is changing everything
More users are accessing Google search via Voice Search. This is paving the way for a very different approach to keywords, as more are used when complete questions are asked.
Remarketing with Google Ads is becoming more effective
Remind the customer of your brand and product via remarketing to persuade them, over time, to convert.