Google begins AdWords redesign for “mobile-first” market

Google Inc. has announced it will be redesigning AdWords, its signature online marketing service, in response to changing user habits and the evolving nature of its content.

In a March 28 blog post, Jerry Dischler, AdWords’ vice president of product management, acknowledged that while Google has adapted to changing browsing habits, which have shifted from predictable, desktop-based sessions to the multiple short bursts of mobile activity the company calls “micro-moments” in the 15 years since AdWords was introduced, its innovations have made the service itself more complex and difficult for marketers to use.

“This rise in complexity has created the need to reimagine AdWords, and over the past year, our product teams have been thinking hard about how we can make [it] as relevant for the next 15 years as the first 15,” Dischler wrote. “From creating a single shopping campaign to updating thousands of text ads, we needed to do this in a way that works well for all advertisers around the world, regardless of size or objective.”

With more than half of all Google searches now taking place on smartphones rather than computers, the current version AdWords already encompasses everything from product details to directions to phone numbers to videos in an effort to deliver the best available results wherever users happen to be, Dischler wrote.

Consequently, in redesigning the platform’s user interface the company is focusing on three other pillars, each one based on interviews with advertisers large and small:

  • To make AdWords more about your business, and less about Google’s product: “From the way you express business goals to the way you measure and manage your ads, we want to make it super easy to execute and optimize campaigns based on your unique marketing objectives,” Dischler wrote;
  • To have the data you care about at your fingertips: Whether you’re trying to figure out which campaigns resulted in the highest profits or the percentage of mobile traffic visiting your website, Google wants to make sure that any insights from AdWords are presented in an actionable way;
  • To provide simple, yet powerful tools that help you complete more tasks in less time: “You should be able to complete your most important tasks, like managing ad extensions and building reports… in one place,” Dischler wrote.

Thus far, Google has released only one image from the new AdWords interface (below), which will run on Material Design, the same language that powers Google Maps, Search, and Gmail, and while it may look and feel different, all present AdWords campaigns will continue running the same way, with no upgrades or migrations needed, Dischler wrote.

New AdWords image
Google’s new AdWords interface (click for a larger version).

Google will continue developing the new version of AdWords throughout 2016 and into 2017, inviting advertisers to provide feedback along the way – though invitations will be “based on a number of factors,” Dischler wrote, so as of this writing there is no way for marketers to ensure their participation.

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Eric Emin Wood
Eric Emin Wood
Former editor of turned consultant with public relations firm Porter Novelli. When not writing for the tech industry enjoys photography, movies, travelling, the Oxford comma, and will talk your ear off about animation if you give him an opening.

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