Well, it’s official – Google AdWords is now Google Ads. The search engine behemoth announced earlier this summer that it would be rebranding to simplify its various advertising options. The new name – complete with a new logo, new URL, and new Help Center address – is just the beginning of the changes Google has made to its search engine marketing repertoire.
First, a little background. For those who aren’t familiar with Google AdWords – let alone Google Ads – the platform allows advertisers to bid on certain keywords so that their business’s (or client’s business) clickable ads show up in Google search results. The service was launched nearly 18 years ago a simple mission: to make it easier for people to use the web to connect with local businesses, delivering valuable ads that were relevant to what people were searching for in the moment.
Since Google AdWords first launched, the world of internet browsing has seen a major shift from desktop to mobile, and people quickly switch from searching for products to consuming content, playing games, watching videos, and more. In Google’s words:
“As a result, marketers have more opportunities to reach consumers across channels, screens and formats. The opportunity has never been more exciting, but it’s also never been more complex. Over the years, Google ads have evolved from helping marketers connect with people on Google Search, to helping them connect at every step of the consumer journey through text, video, display and more.”
That evolution included the introduction of additional advertising products, like DoubleClick, Analytics 360, DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange. As part of the recent rebranding, these services are being consolidated and simplified alongside Google Ads. More on that below.
Google AdWords Becomes Google Ads
The Google AdWords rebranding is meant to demonstrate Google’s capabilities as an advertising platform go beyond copy – Google Ads represents the full range of campaign types available, including Search, Display, and Video.
Google Ads will also make it easier for small business owners to learn how to use the service and get started with online advertising. The default ad experience, Smart campaigns, allows small businesses to “create ads in minutes and deliver real results” It does so by tailoring the innovation and technology in Google Ads to small business owners, who may not be familiar with the lingo and user experience in the way that digital marketers are. Google shares the Smart campaigns experience in the video below:
Does this mean that digital marketers who have years of experience with Google AdWords will suddenly find themselves client-less? Of course not. Smart campaigns represents an opportunity for small businesses owners to understand the power of online advertising and, eventually, they may turn to experienced marketers to take their campaigns to a more sophisticated level.
DoubleClick & Google Analytics 360 Suite Are Now Google Marketing Platform
Google Marketing Platform is Google’s solution to digital marketers juggling changes in technology, an explosion of channels, formats, and data, and the need to put customers’ privacy first when it comes to planning and executing campaigns. The new service combines DoubleClick and Google Analytics “to help you plan, buy, measure and optimize digital media and customer experiences in one place.”
According to Google, the new platform will help marketers deliver more effective advertising while respecting customers’ privacy and giving them control over their data. Google Marketing Platform will also include tools and insights to help marketers better understand their customers, a priority revealed in a recent Google survey of global marketing organizations.
Google Marketing Platform features a new “Integration Center” to easily set up connections between products, like DoubleClick advertising and Google Analytics, so that marketers can use the insights and data gathered in Analytics to better inform their campaigns – all in one service. The platform also supports 100+ integrations with exchanges, measurement solutions, and other technology providers, making it simpler to choose what media to buy and how to measure it.
Other changes that accompany the arrival of Google Marketing Platform include Search Ads 360 (formerly known as DoubleClick Search). Search Ads 360 will continue to help marketers plan, buy, and measure search campaigns across Google and other search engines. Google is also introducing Display & Video 360, which brings together features from display advertising products like DoubleClick Bid Manager, Campaign Manager, Studio and Audience Center, and allows marketers to execute ad campaigns, end-to-end, in one place.
DoubleClick for Publishers & DoubleClick Ad Exchange Become Google Ad Manager
In an effort to become an ad platform “for the next generation of content,” Google has unified DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange under one platform, Google Ad Manager, breaking away from the constraints of ad servers and Sell-Side Platforms to build new programmatic solutions. According to Google, Ad Manager is “a complete ad platform that helps you earn more and grow revenue, no matter how you sell.”
Ad Manager functions as a complete sales channel, allowing users to optimize revenue across all buyers and monetize the new places and platforms where are watching, playing, or engaging with content. In Google’s words:
“Ad Manager gives you a single platform for delivering, measuring and optimizing ads wherever your audience is engaging—including connected TVs, Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), mobile games and other apps, and platforms like YouTube and Apple News.”
Additionally, Google is using Ad Manager to guard against issues that have been plaguing the digital advertising agency, like ad fraud. Ad Manager has over 30 controls to help users manage their ads and ensure they meet brand values, preventing spam and malware and other problems that degrade user experience and hurt a company’s reputation.
Resources for Those Just Getting Started with Google Ads
As with everything in this digital age, change happens quickly – and often – and Google’s advertising products are no exception. The internet giant is paving the way toward a more streamlined online advertising experience, lowering the entry barrier so that small businesses can seize the opportunity, while at the same time making it easier for veteran marketers and agencies to execute sophisticated campaigns.
Google AdWords may now be Google Ads, but the process of familiarizing yourself with the platform remains the same. If you are just getting started in the world of online advertising, we have gathered resources to help get you started on a path toward success:
- Google Academy for Ads: Fast and easy training from Google
- PPC University: WordStream’s free courses on pay-per-click marketing
- Udemy’s Google AdWords for Beginners: Video tutorials on everything you need to know to get started with Google AdWords (now Google Ads). This course is not free, but is often on sale.