As we enter 2022, Google Ads remain one of the most dominant avenues for PPC digital marketing. As such, any news regarding changes to Google Ads is worth paying attention to as it will inevitably affect a large portion of advertisers utilising this service.
Google Ads in February 2022
Google Ads Unified Advertiser Verification Program
This program looks to integrate Google Ads’ advertising and business operation verification programs into one combined program. This decision was made in an effort to streamline the application process and use of Google Ads services by businesses and advertisers alike. The main changes, expected to come into play over the course of March, impact:
Business operations verification
The combination of the previously disparate verification programs is aimed at making the application process simpler and more intuitive. In an effort to also lessen the need for an admin in setting up a Google Ads account, advertisers will only need to pass through the new verification system in the future.
‘About Your Business’ page
In an attempt to better link its users, Google Ads will now ask additional questions about advertising parties’ related Google Ads company accounts. This is said to be in service of identifying whether the specific party is a direct or indirect provider of the product being promoted.
Rather than have to abide by a host of different submission deadlines, all verification applications will now be processed within a time period of 30 days. After that period, the account is either approved or paused if the information submitted was not sufficient.
Testing new features in ad design
Google Ads is testing a new ad indicator for ads within search results on its platform. A green box outline encasing the word ‘Ad’ as well as a raised and solitary position at the top left of the ‘box’ containing a search result indicating that a particular search result is an ad, rather than the previous indicator which was merely the word ‘Ad’ bolded and placed in front of other details about the search result. These changes are intended to help with people’s discernment of advertised content within their search results, allowing them to better tell more organic content apart from the ads. This potential new feature is in line with Google’s move towards transparency in the ads they provide.
Changes to Google Ads automated extensions
Coming sometime mid-March, some features are expected to be added or updated in the Google Ads automated extensions function. The main three outlined are:
- Multilevel integration to allow simultaneous use of different functions
- Features like callouts, more organised content from higher levels and site links will now be able to be implemented alongside lower-level extensions.
- Automated and manual extensions will now be able to be shown together
There will now be a section in the ‘Ads & extensions’ tab that details ‘Automatically created’ extensions where you can further manipulate them, enabling, pausing or removing them according to necessity.
These changes are expected to ease and expedite advertising actions taken by Google Ads users, as well as improve navigation of the UI.
What do these changes entail for SMEs in particular?
Any SMEs using Google Ads to any degree should keep on top of upcoming changes to the platform they market through. For instance, the primary consequence of any future implementation of ad design changes on Google’s search result pages that skew towards clarity of the search result being an ad may result in a fall in clickthrough rates, as people are able to more easily identify what are ads and what aren’t. Knowing the possible reasons behind any decreases in performance will help SMEs plan alternative methods to boost their advertising strategy and make up for the discrepancy.
Meanwhile, the changes to verification processes or Google Ads extensions relevant to the online marketing of SMEs will allow users of Google Ads’ various services to utilise these new features to the fullest, rather than potentially remaining ignorant of them and losing out on business in the process.
For SMEs, it’s necessary to use whatever resources there are available to them to the fullest in order to increase their company growth and profits. Current information and regular updates on Google Ads services also serve to help SMEs avoid unnecessary penalisation or miscategorisation due to information on their Google Ads profile being out of date or incompatible with any changes they’ve made in their business practices. With less of an established name, SMEs are also more dependent on effective advertising and marketing efforts for attention and traffic on their online platforms. Hence, SMEs should pay attention to any forthcoming information, not just on Google Ads but also any other service they might use to similar ends.