The optimal place to focus your digital marketing efforts is where you can reach your audience most effectively.
Google alone dominates search. This makes it the place to be, in order to drive business growth and success.
Google Ads is an ever-evolving platform, introducing updates to enable you to reach your target audience.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss the latest updates and their impact on ad campaigns in 2024.
We’ll also share tips on making the most of these changes to get the best campaign results.
So, let’s begin!
Here are the top Google Ads updates you need to know about in 2024:
1. Expanded Text Ads No Longer Supported
Google has withdrawn support for creating or editing expanded text ads. Instead, responsive search ads are the only Search ad type that you’ll be able to create or edit in standard Search campaigns.
You’ll still be able to see performance reports for existing expanded text ads alongside responsive ads. You can pause and resume expanded text ads and delete them when needed.
2. Smart Shopping & Local Campaigns Upgraded
Smart Shopping and Local Campaigns have been upgraded to Performance Max campaigns so as to help you reach the ideal audience at the right time across Google’s ad inventory and formats.
The Smart Shopping and Local Campaigns features will also be important for new inventory and formats, encompassing YouTube, Search text, and Discover.
3. YouTube Audio Ads to Boost User Engagement
Although YouTube offers users a spectrum of choices, the introduction of Audio ads will empower advertisers to provide the optimal ad experience to listeners.
Audio ads are now accessible globally through Google Ads and Display and Video 360. They are delivered to users who engage with content through a Google Nest smart speaker.
4. Better Search Ad Campaigns Now Possible Using AI-Driven Tools
AI-driven tools play a pivotal role in aiding advertisers to adapt to evolving customer behavior. Therefore, Google has introduced the functionalities of ‘automatically created assets’ and ‘conversational experience in Google Ads’.
‘Automatically created assets’ is a campaign-level feature designed to enhance Search ad relevance. Once you enable this setting, it will help you consistently improve the strength of responsive ads.
Taking advantage of the latest advancements in Large Language Models (LLMs), the conversational experience within Google Ads enables you to generate keywords, headlines, and images for Search campaigns.
5. Vehicle Ads Upgraded to Performance Max
Vehicle ads were introduced as a new Search ad format to enable automotive advertisers to showcase vehicle inventory. Existing vehicle ad campaigns created through Smart Shopping campaigns will automatically upgrade to Performance Max.
This will help car advertisers reach prospects across multiple touchpoints in their research and shopping journey. However, the option of creating new vehicle ad campaigns through Smart Shopping campaigns is no longer available.
6. Transition from Discovery Ads to Demand Generation
Google has introduced an innovative AI-driven initiative called Demand Gen, to amplify your creative potential and stimulate demand.
This cutting-edge solution is tailored to help social media advertisers convert prospects using relevant visual ads.
Demand Gen campaigns offer powerful new features such as:
a. Leveraging a variety of ad formats within a single campaign
b. Finding more prospects with Lookalike segments
c. Driving high-value customers to your website
d. Launching campaigns with new ad previews
7. New Insights Features to Boost Holiday Ads Performance
Advertisers aiming for online sales targets in Performance Max campaigns can now optimize for new customers with a high predicted lifetime value. This empowers you to target fresh, high-value customers and engage with your customer base.
To ensure a seamless omnichannel experience, Google has enabled the following features:
a. Implemented ‘Pickup Later’ annotations for all merchants without a local inventory feed.
b. Expanded access to the Search top slot ad format for businesses using Performance Max for store-related objectives.
c. Streamlined onboarding for local inventory ads, introducing a novel local store unit ad format.
8. Google Ads Mandates EEA & UK IAB TCF Compliance By Early 2024
Google introduced a new mandate for Consent Management Platforms (CMPs) in collaboration with the European Economic Area (EEA) and the UK.
Starting 2024, all publisher partners utilizing Google AdSense, Ad Manager, or AdMob are required to utilize a Google-certified CMP that integrates with the IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF).
This means that Google Ads will no longer participate in bidding for personalized ads inventory on EEA or UK web and app platforms that don’t adhere to the IAB’s TCF requirement.
9. Gen Z Music Lineup for Different Platforms & Devices
Since Gen Z plays an instrumental role in shaping the cultural landscape, Google has facilitated a diverse musical experience with Gen Z Music lineup.
It is an innovative opportunity for advertisers to associate their brands with music appreciated by Gen Z.
This advertising solution continuously updates data encompassing audio, long-form content, and YouTube Shorts, enabling the identification of songs currently making waves among Gen Z listeners. Google AI then curates and packages relevant music videos into the Gen Z Music Lineup.
10. First Click, Linear, Time Decay, or Position-Based Attribution Models to Go Away
The first-click, linear, time decay, or position-based attribution models will be disabled for conversions in Google Ads.
Existing conversions that are currently not using these models won’t have the choice to opt for them. Accounts that were utilizing these attribution models for conversions could only use them until September 2023.
11. New Brand Settings in Search & Performance Max Campaigns
Google is introducing new brand settings in Search and Performance Max campaigns to improve your control over brand traffic and improve ad performance and customization.
In Search campaigns, brand restrictions for broad match enable you to pinpoint your reach to specific brands or related products. On the other hand, in Performance Max campaigns, brand exclusions give you the ability to exclude certain brands, including your own from ad placement.
Brand restrictions in broad matches will be rolling out globally, providing flexibility without keyword expansion. Brand exclusions offer control over which brands to exclude, allowing you to avoid specific queries, misspellings, and foreign language search.
12. Google Ads Will No Longer Support Similar Audiences
Google is changing search ad campaigns. They will no longer support Similar Audiences.
Since its inception nearly a decade ago, Similar Audiences has been the cornerstone of Google Ad campaigns.
In November 2022, Google announced that it will be unavailable for addition to new campaigns and ad groups by May 2023.
In August, it was removed entirely from targeting campaigns. This update is an opportunity to explore new strategies that can help you reach the right audience with the right message.
You’ll also need to focus more on optimizing campaigns for better results.
PRO-TIP: Update your audiences ahead of the transition to position yourself to better absorb the impact of the change. Start relying on first-party data from Customer Match to build new campaign audiences.
13. Third-Party Cookie Deprecation Pushed to 2024
To protect user privacy, Google stated in January 2020 that third-party cookies in Chrome would be eliminated by 2022.
This update is a response to increasing pressure from regulators and privacy advocates to protect user data and behavior.
However, the move caused concern because Google Ads have been a critical source of third-party data for many years.
Since then, Google has been developing cookie-free tracking and advertising alternatives.
Due to their ongoing need for testing and implementation, Google has pushed the initial date to 2024.
The deprecation of third-party cookies will impact user targeting, as well as campaign measurement.
You’ll need to start making changes now and ensure that your campaigns are not affected when this update takes effect in 2024.
This decision will give you more time to investigate alternative techniques for user data tracking.
PRO-TIP: Get creative with new ways of collecting first-party user data. Leverage the power of third-party data for as long as you can.
14. Text-to-Speech Voice-overs for YouTube Ads
Advertisers must have various options when seeking to match brand voice.
However, scripting and recording authentic voice-overs for marketing are resource and time-consuming.
In July 2022, Google announced an update enabling advertisers to use text-to-speech voice-overs in ads.
Text-to-speech technology has been around for a while, however, this is the first time it has been applied to YouTube Ads.
Google examined 5,000 YouTube advertisements to create seven distinct voices.
This new feature makes it easier for you to create engaging and effective ads with natural-sounding voices, without needing expensive voice actors.
It also enables you to reach a wider audience and get viewer engagement.
You can access this functionality within the Google Ads asset library, which utilizes AI to convert text scripts to voice-overs.
15. Highlighted Business Names and Logos
Small-to-medium businesses often need help differentiating themselves from their competition on SERPs.
Google has taken a step towards enabling the creation of verified business names and logos that are highlighted.
Only verified advertisers on Google Ads will be able to access new assets, which are visually appealing on Ads, and aid in improving ad performance.
Google aims to combat impersonation and fraud with this update. To be able to use this feature, you’ll need to go through a verification process audited by Google.
16. New Voiceover Characteristics for Video Ads
To address the rise of TikTok and other short-video platforms, Google has announced multiple features and updates.
One such feature enables you to add voice-overs to video ads without extra editing.
Google Ads with voice-overs have seen a 25% increase in ad recall and reduced Cost Per Conversion by nearly 50%, compared to ads with no voice-overs.
You can also select from eight different voices, listen to previews, and edit ads right from Google Ads without needing third-party editing software.
17. Performance Max Campaigns
Earlier in 2023, Google introduced its newest ad campaign type, Performance Max.
It optimizes ad campaigns across search, display, and shopping ads and enables businesses to better target prospects and buyers.
Performance Max campaigns give reach across new ad places, such as Google’s Discovery feed.
It enables you to boost conversions with a reduced Cost-Per-Acquisition, without having to manage more campaigns due to increased reach, placement, and automation.
Performance Max campaigns also need more user data, as well as a budget before they can operate effectively.
You can operate this campaign on any budget, on average. However, marketers see better results when they spend within the $100-150/day range.
18. Expanding Smart Bidding Campaigns With Broad Match
Google Ads has announced an update that enables advertisers to expand Smart Bidding campaigns with Broad Match.
This will enable you to reach more prospects and improve ad performance.
Advertisers can set up Smart Bidding campaigns using Broad Match as the primary bidding strategy.
This will enable you to get better results from ad campaigns by targeting the right audience at the right time.
Broad Match keywords produce high-quality impressions and better conversions as time progresses.
Integrating Broad Match with Audiences enables you to optimize Smart Bidding further.
PRO-TIP: By using Smart Bidding with Broad Match, you run the risk of overshooting your budget. Ensure that you don’t overspend on irrelevant queries.
Learn how we managed $1.5 million in ad spend for a Fortune 500 Company.
19. New Competitor Advertising Insights on SERPs
In 2021, Google said it would open up its advertiser verification programme.
This was to enable users to see who was targeted on & off SERPs, with added transparency.
Google announced My AdCenter in October 2022, helping users better understand how marketers reach and target them.
‘Advertiser Pages’ is one of the features of My AdCenter. Here, you can view every other advertisement that the advertiser has run over the previous 30 days.
You can also filter search results to show text, video, or picture. With the new Google Ads update, you get insights into competitor ad campaigns.
20. A Broad Match Beta Test Leaves Us…Uncertain
In October 2022, Google launched a restricted beta program that enabled broad keyword targeting at the campaign level.
They have been persistent with the new Broad Match combined with Smart Bidding. So, is a world without keyword match types possible?
Well, Google has confirmed in an official statement that match types will remain.
Everything In A Nutshell
Google Ads is evolving constantly, and the latest updates have made it easier to create effective ad campaigns and rank higher on SERPs.
Understanding every update on Google Ads means knowing when it will be rolled out, and why it is being implemented.
It pays to keep your ear to the ground and stay ahead of your competition by adapting to change, first.