Groundbreaking Changes announced following Google Performance Summit

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Google’s annual Performance Summit is a much anticipated event held for key AdWords and Google Analytics customers.

Throughout the event keynote speakers from Google discuss their latest research findings, important industry trends, and their projections for the future. This year they talked a lot about their product plans and where they see their current offerings fitting into an ever mobile world.

Well, this summit certainly did not disappoint. Google is very much a company driven by data and the products they announce at these summits only come after months of research and testing. This year there was a very clear theme to the data and product announcements presented at the summit - and that’s Mobile.

Every year there are more than one trillion searches performed on Google - with half of these being performed on mobile devices and tablets. Of those mobile searches, nearly a third of them are related to the searchers location - location-related searches are growing at a 50% greater rate than any other queries being performed on a mobile.

Based on these online marketing statistics they announced the following changes advertisers will see this year:

1. Local Search Ads in Google Maps

This new feature is set to roll out across Google Maps (including the app) and in google.com. Advertisers will be able to add brand logos and offers which will appear directly on the map, rather than beside it. This will dramatically help local businesses stand out in the maps and drive visits and calls to their local store.

As mentioned earlier location-related searches are growing at a 50% greater rate than any other queries being performed on a mobile. This is an incredibly important statistic for local businesses to take action on. This new feature is another way local businesses can capitalise on mobile.

2. Responsive Ads for Display

Responsive ads for the Google Display Network (GDN) will be rolled out by AdWords later this year. These new ads will adapt to the various different sizes across all websites in the GDN - all advertisers will need to do is supply a headline, description, an image and the URL. Google will take care of the rest!

3. New Demographics for the Search Network

Currently in beta, this new feature, called “Similar Audiences” essentially allows advertisers to target customers who might have visited their competitors sites. Advertisers will be able to target customers who have searched for similar products they offer, but not visited their site.

Advertisers will also now be able to target gender and age with their advertisements.

4. Individual Bid Adjustments for each Device Type

This feature has long been asked for since Google gave its advertisers the ability to make mobile bid adjustments 3 years ago. Finally advertisers will be able to bid up or down for all three device types - not just mobile.

5. Expanded Text Ads in AdWords

As discussed in our previous blog Expanded Text Ads has been the biggest thing to happen to AdWords since its launch 15 years ago. With the new layout, advertisers will essentially receive 50% more characters to reach potential customers.

Google revealed that this was a major drive behind their decision to remove right-hand side advertisements from the search results. This gives users the same experience whether they’re on mobile or desktop, and also makes more room for the expanded headlines and descriptions.

Conclusion

With these announcements set to roll out over the coming months, local businesses will be more empowered than ever before to take full advantage of what mobile can offer them. Throughout the summit it was made clear by all speakers that mobile is Google’s sole focus for the coming year, and with this latest release of products we can agree they’re backing this claim up.

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