The ever-changing PPC world continues to live up to its reputation. From targeting, interface and 40% click through rates, Google has continued to keep AdWords users on their toes. Here’s our rundown of the top PPC changes and new features.

The removal of right-side ads

Back in February, Google removed the right-side text ads from results displayed on desktops. This brought the SERPs closer to the mobile experience. Although surprising at the time, figures from WordStream showed that 85% of paid clicks came from top results rather than side and bottom results, so it’s removal hasn’t changed the user experience a great deal.

Gmail Ads

Gmail Ads allow advertisers to show ads to users within their Gmail inbox. What excites us most about Gmail ads is the degree to which they can be targeted. Where on conventional search advertising you target ads based keywords that people search for, in Gmail, you target ads based on keywords that people are talking about. (Yes, talking about!) To give you some idea of the effectiveness of this feature, we achieved a 40% click through rate on the first day of using it.

Bid Segmentation

In May, Google introduced the ability to segment your bids between desktop and tablet, after research highlighted rapid growth in mobile search behaviour. This gives AdWords users more accurate device bidding, allowing for more ‘mobile-first’ AdWords campaigns. It works by setting a base bid for one device (let’s say mobile), and then you can adjust the bids on the other two devices (desktop and tablet) from minus 100% to a 900% increase.

The introduction of AdWords expanded Text Ads

The aftermath of the removal of right-side ads brought about Expanded Text Ads. The new expanded version of the text ads that we are used to feature two 30-character headlines and an 80-character description line. This change was designed to better suit the mobile browsing world, and early testing suggested that CTR (Click Through Rates) had increased by up to 20%.

Local search ads

Designed to increase footfall in businesses’ brick-and-mortar stores, Google introduced new advert formats in Maps. Amongst the formats were promoted pins, in-store promotions and local inventory search. This opened up AdWords to businesses that do not necessarily follow the usual e-commerce model. With messages that are unique to your area and your customer base, you don’t need an ‘add to cart’ button to get an ROI from AdWords.

In-store Conversion Measurement

Google are trying to improve the measurement of conversions for non-ecommerce businesses. Google analyses your phone location history and assess whether people that clicked on your advert actually visited your store.

This measurement system still has its issues. The number of variables in the gap between clicking the ad and visiting the store are too vast to track with any great accuracy. Many people don’t allow Google to use their location too, which makes measuring your ads ever more difficult.