For those working with Google AdWords, it can sometimes seem daunting when Google announces new changes to the already complex system. In fact, we’ve become used to it now and here at Digital State Marketing, we set time aside every month simply to carry out research to ensure we understand how each upgrade impacts clients and their AdWords accounts.

At the end of August, many users suddenly realised the trusty old ‘keyword tool’ was no more. Leaving a new and more sophisticated ‘keyword planner’. This, as we reported recently, had received a rather lukewarm welcome although as the months have gone by, further improvements to this part of the system have made the transition better and more worthwhile.

Since then, Google have been playing with the look of mobile ads, they’ve added conversion estimates to the bid simulator, there’s a new “copy and paste” function and they have made alterations to the mechanics behind location targeting.

Earlier this month (October 2013), Google announced a change to their AdWords ad ranking formula. This although announced quietly, is a major thing for advertisers.  Historically, ad rank was a calculation based on your maximum cost per click and quality score. The emphasis, of course, being to increase quality score wherever possible and work towards reducing the required cost per click yet still gain the top advertising spots. Now however, the calculation will also take in a third component – the expected impact from the ad extensions and formats. In line with this, they’ve increased the importance of ad rank in determining whether the ad will be eligible to be displayed with extensions. In a nutshell, it means that if 2 competing ads resulted in the same cost per click bid and quality score, the ad with the more expected reaction to it’s extensions will in effect be placed higher.

This is handy for any Google AdWords user who already uses extensions with great effect. For those who have never used extensions, they may suddenly find themselves penalised. Using extensions appears to no longer be a luxury or something to work on if you have time. It’s now become compulsory.

All these releases have occurred in the past 2 months. Who know’s what the next 2 months will bring in the lead up to Christmas.  Along with ensuring Google AdWords campaigns are performing at their optimum, here at Digital State Marketing, we are constantly engaged in industry research and in house training to ensure we are always aware of any releases and industry alterations. If you like any advice or help with your AdWords account, please contact us today.