In 2016 Google made several updates and added a number of features inside of AdWords. These five changes from 2016 that are going to make big impacts on your 2017 campaigns.

AdWords Expanded Text Ads

Google has made it a point to begin designing their ecosystem with user intent in mind. Expanded texts ads give advertisers more room to tell users about their services and products. The extra space also allows users to better understand what an advertiser offers before they click on an ad. Expanded text ads differ from regular text ads in a few ways:

  • Two headline fields (up to 30 characters each)
  • A single expanded description field (up to 80 characters)
  • A display URL that uses your final URL’s domain
  • Two optional ”Path” fields, used in the ad’s display URL (up to 15 characters each)

Google has stated that starting January 31, 2017, they will no longer support the creation or editing of standard text ads. Standard ads will still run after this date, next to their larger counterparts, but you’ll lose the ability to make any changes or updates.

Expanded texts are already in most AdWords accounts so you can experiment creating new ads with longer text. These new ads with the extra space should help marketers and users communicate better and make a better connection between a user’s intent and a product or service.

Local Search Ads on Google Maps

One thing Google has struggled with in the past is connecting people online to places in the real world. Consumers often search online for places and services nearby them but Google never had a good way to track if a user actually when to the business after a search. Their newest solution to this issue is running ads in Google Maps. Google has launched ads the appear on desktop as well as mobile versions of Google Maps, and these new ads can lead people directly to your business location.


Users viewing these ads on mobile have ads with extra features like call and directions buttons to make it as easy as possible for people to find your business. These buttons are also for users to find information like store times and other locations.

These local search ads are able to show in two places: in the search results list beneath the search box, and second on the actual map. Ad locations appear on the map with a purple icon and business name.

These new ads are great for local business looking to capture more foot traffic

Cross-device Remarketing

The current mobile experience has created an entirely different customer journey than anyone could have expected. Often times people begin researching a brand or a product online only to make the purchase on another website, or make the purchase several days later on another device. This crossover of devices has been the thorn in the side of digital marketers everywhere. Users engaging with content multiple times on different mediums has made it hard to give attribution to the channel that really drives people to convert.

Google has taken on the challenge of closing this loop by introducing new cross-device remarketing for Google Display Network and DoubleClick Bid Manager. If a retailer and wants to build a customized weekend hiking campaign, now with cross-device remarketing, you can reach your customers with an “Order Now For The Weekend” ad on their phone during the morning commute. Later in the day, you can follow up with a limited time offer on packs, water bottles, and other hiking gear when they’re browsing a tablet at home.

This new remarketing is giving marketers the ability to tell a cohesive story across all devices no matter when or where a user interacts with a brand.

Individual Bid Adjustments for Device Types

Google in an effort to help in this ever growing mobile-first world has updated AdWords to accommodate these changes. In an effort to separate mobile, tablet, and desktop traffic into their own channels AdWords now lets you set bids on each separately.


In the past mobile clicks, were tied to the fate of tablets and would frequently perform poorly because all non-desktop traffic was lumped together. Often times mobile bids would be reduced by 70% or more to reduce their cost per conversion to be in line with their better performing desktop counterparts.

Now with individual bid adjustments, if mobile is performing significantly better than your other devices you now have the ability to make bid changes across all three devices to increase your overall campaign metrics.

This changes finally allows for marketers to treat mobile, tablet, and desktop traffic different and market to each one of these groups separately.

A New AdWords Interface for 2017

AdWords was introduced 16 years ago and since then we’ve seen a huge departure from the how people search the internet. In 2000 online searches only happened on a computer and were longer sessions centered around a single search topic. Today searches happen across multiple devices with waning user attention, which creates shorter more fragmented searches throughout the day.

To deal with all of these changes in search habits AdWords has become a very complex system to find data and to manage all of the campaign types within its interface. AdWords now encompasses display, video, and email campaigns just to name a few. To make managing large amounts of data and several different campaign types easier AdWords has created a new more powerful tool that is simpler to use. Google has vowed to create a tool that is more in tune with advertisers objectives regardless of experience or size.


The new dashboard looks pretty stylish and some accounts already have the ability to preview the new interface. Google has said the new look will make AdWords easier to navigate and will make it easier to find the data you need to optimize your account. The update isn’t mandatory just yet, so if you preview the new interface you can switch back to the old AdWords look.

There were a number of changes to AdWords in 2016 and this list is just the tip of the iceberg. To keep up to date with all the changes that are happening in AdWords make sure to check their Official Blog. As AdWords becomes more popular and more powerful there will be more changes, and hopefully, these changes continue to facilitate the conversation between advertisers and the end user.