Google is evolving to adapt to user behavior, says Steven Wyer, founder and CEO of Third Coast Interactive (3Ci). Recently, Steven Wyer discussed that Google had revealed a few subtle changes to ad layouts designed to make the search process more mobile-user oriented.
Text ads expanded
A small number of advertisers have been selected to try out Google’s new ad format. Steven Wyer explains that ads are getting longer, making room for more substantial information. Google’s long-running 25-35-35 ad format is being phased out in favor of a 30-30-80 layout. According to Steven Wyer, another important change is that the URL associated with an ad will no longer have to be entered manually. In response to customer demand, Steven Wyer says Google will now automatically extract the relevant domain name from the customer’s final URL. Though domain paths may still be customized, this should get ads up and running sooner. According to Steven Wyer, this is the first change to Google’s ad character count in 15 years.
Google has stated these changes will take a “reasonably long period of time,” says Steven Wyer, so ad buyers need not rush to change their copy if it has already proven successful. Steven Wyer notes the new format will run alongside the old. Google has pledged to offer plenty of notice before phase out begins.
Steven Wyer also mentions that Google is also shifting from multicolor displays to a simpler grey and green scheme. Previously, ad headlines have been bright blue with the ad tag a vivid yellow and deeper yellow star ratings underneath. However, as more and more people turn to smaller devices such as phones or tablets to perform Google searches, it has become necessary to mute the colors, says Steven Wyer. Ad tags are shifting to green while the star system may be going away altogether. Some users have reported understated percentage ratings in place of the familiar 5-stars. “Should this be rolled out it will have a major impact on the way consumers evaluate a business” says Wyer.
Customer targeting updates
It seems that Google has also decided to make a few behind-the-scenes modifications to its advertising capabilities, says Steven Wyer. Demographic and similar audience targeting is out of beta for YouTube and Gmail. While still in its infancy, Steven Wyer believes that targeting potential customers based on activity that is similar to existing customers will have a positive effect on advertiser results. Demographic targeting using age, income, and gender, is still in testing, says Steven Wyer. Google should be rolling out this capability soon for Search since many have already adopted the practice in other ad placement platforms.
Device bidding returned to Google in May of 2016, says Steven Wyer. This allows advertisers to decide in advance which type of device they can target in their marketing campaigns. Steven Wyer says many businesses have seen a huge jump in mobile ad conversion as customers are acclimating to an “information-on-the-go” way of life.
Prepare now for changes
Steven Wyer says that these changes – especially the new ad length – means advertisers will need to rethink entire ads. Updating existing text likely won’t render the same results. According to Steven Wyer, the new ads should be built around the changes, using plenty of descriptive words to capture a customer’s eyes. Shorter attention spans mean more aggressive bid strategies and creative efforts are in order.
Google’s hope is that the modifications will have a positive effect on advertisers’ bottom lines, says Steven Wyer. Happier businesses lead to more paid ads which, in turn, works to ensure Google remains the crown king of search engines.