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November 23, 2017

The Biggest Changes In PPC Throughout 2017

The digital world as we know it is constantly changing, with new trends emerging within the world of SEO every year. Throughout 2017 alone, we have seen some pretty significant changes in pay-per click (PPC) procedures, and last year, we saw the revolutionary effect that the mobile is having within the digital media industry. Now that the dominance of the mobile has been confirmed by the likes of Google, it’s now time to focus on the transformation of PPC this year, from new launches to tweaks in already-existing processes. Here, we explore some of the biggest changes that PPC has, and is going through this year.

New AdWords

For those of you experienced within the world of PPC, you will understand how vital Google AdWords is in order to generate a higher volume of paid searches. In January, Google launched ‘Ads Added by AdWords’, and over 2,000 different accounts decided to participate with the launch. Simply, this addition by Google automatically adds adverts into a testing rotation of the ad groups. However, due to the success of the Google text ads, the entire “Ad” label became an official addition to the new PPC applications that already exist on Google AdWords.

The transformation didn’t end there though – March saw the page feed being added to Dynamic Search Ads, where expanded text ads were now supported by Google. For businesses trying to generate effective, gripping PPC’s, they could now use extra characters within their advert description, allowing their target audience to engage with them further.

Quite possibly the biggest transformation of PPC in terms of AdWords is the input from AMP which is now available. Google launched a beta this year which allowed advertisers to point their search ads towards landing pages, all of which are AMP-enabled. As last year has strongly proven, we can expect mobile phones to dominate the world of digital media, which is why an AMP landing page is so imperative for those using PPC methods. The reason? Using these pages allows e-commerce companies to offer an AMP experience that is better suited to mobile search audiences, hitting the biggest amount of web searchers.

Machine Learning

To fit within the theme of digitalisation, Google announced this year that AdWords is expected to be loaded with artificial intelligence (AI), allowing machine learning to control PPC management processes. However, the biggest impact that machine learning will have on PPC was announced in mid-March this year, as Google revealed that it would be expanding the meaning of close variants in exact match, and would also begin to ignore word order as well as add or ignore function words within exact match keywords.


In April 2017, we saw Bing Ads add inventory feeds as well as search query reports at the product level. To build on this idea, Merchant Promotions for US Shopping Campaigns was later added by the search engine to allow merchants to highlight any offers that they have in their product ads. If anyone is interested in what they’ve seen within the PPC ad, they can fill out a form online to apply for the campaign. Google has jumped on the same bandwagon, with Retail Shopping ads becoming a new PPC feature, which are displayed on home design and fashion retail sites. However, a lot still needs to be done in regards to Google Shopping, as this feature is currently in the centre of the record fine charged against Google in EU for antitrust violations.

Conversion Attribution & Tracking

For a few years, PPC users have been using to AdWords Converted Clicks, but this was actually disabled during the first half of 2017, and replaced by Google Attribution. This new PPC feature grants access to attribution data in AdWords and Analytics for search marketers, but that isn’t the only advantage of this tool. In addition, Attribution pulls in a larger volume of multichannel conversion data, and then feeds this back into AdWords for bidding strategies. By using this new PPC channel, the generation of effective ads will become more seamless for organisations looking for paid searches.

Additions to bidding strategies didn’t end there though, as May saw the introduction of Maximise Conversions into the mix. Therefore, for those of you who use AdWords regularly to import all offline conversions, these can now be scheduled to make your PPC plan easier to manage. In-store sales measurement programs have also received a significant make-over from Google, as retailers now have the ability to upload their personal loyalty card or other customer email lists in AdWords. Alternatively, in-store sales conversions will show up in AdWords automatically, alongside a program powered by partnerships that Google has with other financial vendors.

ux-789162_960_720Alterations in the User Interface (UI)

In order to perfect your chosen method of PPC, you need to receive frequent analytical data updates to outline any successes or failures that need to be changed. Well, Google provided PPC advertisers the opportunity to view Quality Score data, as well as change the way that bid suggestions are shown for a variety of different page positions. Already this year, another million advertisers were granted access to AdWords Next, which is the new interface for PPC, and it’s predicted that by the end of the year, every advertiser will have access to it.

It isn’t all about Google though, as Bing Ads introduced an expanded version of device targeting, allowing advertisers to set up campaigns solely for mobile usage. Plus, at the beginning of March, all advertisers were provided with access to Bing Ads Editor for Mac, allowing PPC ads to be made from and for almost every digital platform.

What Does The Future Hold For PPC?

These factors alone show the massive changes that PPC has faced, but the transformations are only set to increase. As AdWords Next has completely revamped the UI, we can definitely expect to see more advertisers eligible to use this innovative PPC tool, providing all advertisers with the same fair advantage of successful ads.

But, a more important question that you should ask yourself is “what benefits does PPC hold for my company?” If you’re an organisation looking for an increase in paid searches, why not get in contact with our PPC specialists today? We can help you to streamline your PPC management process through the use of smart, innovative search engine tools, increasing your conversions whilst reducing your overall marketing spend.



Evaldas Balcius

As our in-house PPC genius (and SEO technical expert), Evaldas knows everything there is to know about paid search. A Google AdWords and Google Analytics Qualified Professional, he has over seven years’ practical experience in the online marketing sector and also boasts a Master’s diploma degree in Business IT.

Having worked client side and for dedicated search agencies it’s safe to say he has an unrivalled understanding of expectations from both parties. Originally from Lithuania, Evaldas loves exploring England, especially places of historical interest, as well as spending time with his family.

Email e.balcius@absolutedigitalmedia.com

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