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Google Announces it is to Entirely Redesign AdWords

     
4:12 pm on Mar 28, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Google has said it will be entirely redesigning AdWords from now through to 2017, and selected AdWords advertisers will be invited to participate in the trials.
The new design takes into account the feedback from advertisers and will mean that AdWords will be "more about your business, and less about our product." Additionally, it'll present more data and insights that users asked for, and will provide better tools to make it easier for advertisers and marketers.

Clearly, this is a big undertaking, and it's the first time Google has decided to announce such a huge change in the fifteen years of AdWords.

What should be most noticeable about this new AdWords experience is the look and feel. This is Material Design, the design language thatís at the core of our favorite Google apps like Maps, Search, and Gmail. While this AdWords may look and feel different, your campaigns will run the same as they run today - with no upgrades or migrations. Google Announces it is to Entirely Redesign AdWords [adwords.blogspot.com]


https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/GRV687LnnWpFCpPcQ6vxjd_kEQKr7DOcqlJr4qHNJZ4RJoet73K4_vmcyN-DV0wl19clkZsqTlWqtXo6bt79gv0R4lpuYIo27duXguYhev0ztoy6IBkPtkGRg4y-EY2ui9XUjfqA
3:20 am on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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For me, no amount of redesigning will replace the trust I've lost in their "Quality Score" and the 1000%+ increase in CPC over the years and precise geo ip targeting.

If you want real transparency, equip your drones who call us every few months to "improve our adwords returns" with proper tools to tell us more about quality score, ROI improvement etc. All I hear is "try this, it may work", "sorry lah, many people have this problem".

Sorry! Material Design? Pig and lipstick come to mind.
7:08 am on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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That more data ... what is it and how will it be collected? Will it impact users (bandwidth/privacy/etc)? This almost sounds like a let's fix something that ain't broke kind of thing ... though there's a lot not to like about the way it works now. :)
8:24 am on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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All I really care about is cleaning-up the advertiser end so us publishers can regain the income we once had. I never had a problem with the reports. 'Course what I don't know... I don't know.
12:01 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I'm actually excited to see this. The java used causes a lot of errors and some days you just get 'this page has changed, refresh now' all day long and you spend more time refreshing the page than you do making changes.

There are a lot of oddities to the navigation where its hard to jump up a level at times or make bulk changes to audience targeting, etc.

The AdWords Editor got a huge update last year; and while its still a bit buggy; it easily allows for a lot of bulk changes the interface doesn't have. While that's not a big deal on a desktop; if you're traveling and just on a tablet; there's not a way to be productive.

In this day and age, users should have all features of a program available on any device. Evernote lead this change in design and functionality principles 10 years ago; and yet with AdWords you need to download a program (or use a 3rd party) to get 'real work' done. Here's hoping that Google is taking their own best practices, design principles, and so forth in mind and allowing users to get work done on any device and leave the actual interface option (editor, 3rd party, UI) to the user based upon their own preferences.
3:05 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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AdWords will be "more about your business, and less about our product."

Change is good, and I'm sure there will be lots of nice features introduced. However, in the end, it will be all about an increase in revenue, and profit for Google (as it should be from their stock holders view point). Its the only reason they would invest so much into this.

Nothing will fundamentally change this medium until the curtain gets pulled back on how "Quality Score" factors into what you ultimately pay for the advertising that your purchasing. There is no other medium that operates (is allowed to operate) in this fashion; purchasing something when, by design, you do not have a clear understanding of the cost and what it is your buying.
3:56 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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you do not have a clear understanding of the cost and what it is your buying


Control isn't perfect, but there are multiple ways to specify what we're buying on both search and the content network, and we can set boundaries for what our costs will be at both the campaign and per-click level.

And. unlike some forms of advertising, we can track quite closely what benefits we get from our ad spend. Or not, sometimes ... in which case we can make changes on a moment's notice.

Where it gets tricky is that those "multiple ways to specify" can involve a big learning curve. I've used AdWords almost since Day 1 and even now I sometimes learn new things.

I'm hoping the new design will make it easier to discover more of the possibilities in the system.
5:14 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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However, in the end, it will be all about an increase in revenue, and profit for Google (as it should be from their stock holders view point). Its the only reason they would invest so much into this.

So I look of the new UI and I am reminded of how they massacred the keyword tool (AKA keyword planner). The keyword planner changes seemed to have two goals. 1) Make it easier for the novice to understand and 2) Make it easier for the novice to spend (lose) more money. I would expect this to be another move towards getting brand advertisers to blow their marketing budgets more quickly. Perhaps they will surprise me, but you know what? Everything I see from them is a money grab...
6:00 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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However, in the end, it will be all about an increase in revenue, and profit for Google (as it should be from their stock holders view point). Its the only reason they would invest so much into this.

For the customer, the important thing is whether it makes the service better or easier to use.
6:27 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I agree, EG. I've used AdWords since the very beginning. When Overture and then AdWords came out it was easy and straightforward. Jump in and start bidding. Then as competition dwindled the AdWords user interface became progressively more labyrinthine. For all the lip service Google gives to the user experience, the Google AdWords interface is a letdown and is the opposite of a pleasure to use.

Change is inevitable and it's great that AdWords is responsive to that. But change has come at the expense of a good user experience. Some local search small business people I have introduced to AdWords are daunted and don't want to touch it. They are afraid of it and don't want to deal with it, even if their competitors are using it.

Then there's the whole thing where the bidding is rigged to charge the maximum. So if it's a longtail phrase they shut down your bidding and herd you into more competitive phrases that aren't as targeted. That's a departure from keyword bidding I miss, the ability to bid on whatever keywords I want without being told I could not. Money grab is the right word. The AdWords experience is aggressively engineered to separate you from your money similar to the way casinos are.
8:35 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Some local search small business people I have introduced to AdWords are daunted and don't want to touch it. They are afraid of it and don't want to deal with it, even if their competitors are using it.

I think there's always going to be a tension between "simple enough for Joe the Plumber or Barbara the B&B owner" and "versatile enough for professional media buyers and automated programs." Maybe the changes to the AdWords program will make it easier for Joe and Barbara to buy ads without being exposed to options that make their eyes glaze over. (I'd guess that bringing people like Joe and Barbara into the fold is part of Google's plan.)
8:43 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I think they'll keep trying to make something necessarily complex, appear more simple.

Like hiding the video tab, when you don't have videos, for example.
Better to leave all features visible and locked in place.

Pilot: Where's the wheel's down lever?
Tower: We noticed you don't use that lever very often, less than 1% of the time, so it's now hidden from normal view.
Tower: And, brand new students told us the learning curve is too steep, so we've made the instruments dynamic, they will all completely change, depending on what aspect of flying we think you should be doing at that moment. And where they were 127 gauges, now there are just 4, so newbies will magically discern understanding, because the gauge count is far lower. Flying is now so simple, anyone can try it, and feel like they've virtually mastered something.
9:57 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I'm pretty much open to whatever changes they want to make with Adwords. It's pretty terrible as-is and has been for a long time.
11:12 pm on Mar 29, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I am a complete newbie to Adwords because I never took the time to understand it I guess. What has always baffled me is that I may think of a nice phrase to use for a product of mine. And when I search on Google maybe only one advertiser will be on the page for it. So then I put a bid in for say £0.10, as I would presume I would be 2nd in position, but then it says sorry your bid is below the estimated £0.55 to be on page 1! Never quite understood this so then never bothered with it. I hope they make the user experience more easier as I would most likely use it if it was.
2:50 am on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

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but then it says sorry your bid is below the estimated £0.55 to be on page 1!


I like to think of it as extortion. Pay us what we want, even if there is no competition for your keyword phrase, or else no ad showing for you!
6:24 am on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I honestly don't care about a change of scenery or data that they want me to see vs the data I want, the only thing that would wow me was a fundamental change in how they value clicks. They lost me since I read about an experiment in which a gentleman set up a webpage about a fictitious word and then tried to buy ads for that zero competition fictitious word and was told it would cost him $2+ per click due to "quality".

I'd also like them to iron out the recent adsense changes that introduced new quirks. For example if you happen to set the reporting time to be your local time instead of Pacific(google) time your reports will never be the same again, even if you revert the change. From that point on you will see the option for both and your dashboard will randomly choose one or the other. Once done, cannot be undone, and I really hate that.

I still love the platform as a whole, and especially that it has a long reach onto a lot of quality websites beyond just search result pages, but I'm no fan of change for the sake of change, it has to be an improvement.
8:30 am on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I have a number of friends that run smaller businesses and most of them are confused by the overcomplexity of the AdWords UI and jujst use the basic setup. I have showed them numerous times and it's helped them understand it, however, they often just go to AdWords, check it's still working, check the spend, and then log out for another month.

There's no doubt that the features have expanded since the early days of AdWords, and, I suspect, that's also part of the problem. Agencies and big advertisers, where Google makes most of its money, will be up-to-speed, whereas, the smaller business that was attracted to ease and simplicity of AdWords, having been given a voucher to try, slowly became out of their depth.

I'm sure Google is interested in every advertiser, however, they do need to go back to the roots of AdWords if they are to retain the smaller advertiser, and to give them something specific to the smaller business.

As for bigger business and agencies, trends and reactions, charts, reporting, multi-user, and flexibility are some of the important features required to operate the account effectively.
1:06 pm on Mar 30, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I'm looking forward to this as well. I train people how to use AdWords and they always tell me they had no idea certain features existed. Lowering location bids by a percentage is just two dashes. Unless you know to click on that how would you know to make that change. They have added so many features in the past without a redesign that they are just sticking them haphazardly all over the place. They really do need to rebuild it with marketers workflow in mind. Also as eWhisper said it is very buggy now.
9:58 am on Apr 2, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I make anywhere between 100 and 400 $$ profit from AdWords and it's been like that for 10+ years. I simply will not invest the time and effort into trying to increase that measly amount because AW is a total mess. I'm really hoping this is one step towards making a product that is TRULY user friendly, but as others have said, the bottom line will always be priorities number one, two and three with G so I'm not holding my breath.

I think I gave up trying to answer the question "will my ad show based on search term 'xyz'?" about 8 years ago. G's policies quickly became profit-based confuscation and to be honest, a new graphic skin probably won't change that.
5:07 pm on Apr 2, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Too bad, they won't be getting another dime from me regardless. So far I had $160 down the crapper and not a single conversion the entire week for the campaign (even though on "non zombie" days it worked fantastically well). Everything Google does is a money grab, from putting all the ads at the top to reducing clickable space with their ridiculous answer box. Greed knows no bounds.
5:14 pm on Apr 2, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It has become WAY too complicated. You have to have a PHD to navigate the maze of settings and reports. Even the Adwords Reps don't have a clue. Poor ROI. I'll be shutting it down until they work out their bugs because knowing Google, there will be bugs. Like everything they do, a never ending work in progress.
7:23 pm on Apr 4, 2016 (gmt 0)

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AdWords provides a lot of tools to make sure you get the most for your money. I agree that most of it is hidden and not very intuitive. I teach my students about all the features and different ways to use them. AdWords is not a set it and forget it kind of thing. It has to be managed. It does not have to be managed by a professional and it does not take a lot of your time. if you get the proper training you can do it yourself.

The biggest mistake is that people think they should immediately get a positive ROI in AdWords. It takes at least a week for a new account to get settled in, even if it is set up perfectly. You need to set a budget for your launch that has nothing to do with your normal budget. Your going to waste some money your first month. Once you get all the kinks worked out your account can make you a lot of money.
7:07 pm on Apr 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Once you get all the kinks worked out your account can make you a lot of money.

More like once you get the kinks out and start making money, for years, along comes the zombie traffic and non-converting clicks. If there is anything in Adwords to turn off the zombies, please let me know.
7:16 pm on Apr 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Invent that tool and make a real fortune. :)
7:18 pm on Apr 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I have clients that use fraud detection software that gets them a lot of money back. Also you would be surprised how much traffic is not zombies but just weird people that just lick to click on things. It is not always a conspiracy.
12:33 pm on Apr 11, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@ogletree, that's a possibility but the fact so many webmasters have seen it at around the same time blows the door off that theory. We're all used to clicks that aren't productive from anyone, but en masse, zombie traffic for lengthier periods of time with less "on days" is highly suspicious. Especially when campaigns haven't changed, yet the conversions are complete drops instead of having natural variation.

Let's not forget that Google has already been involved in some serious click fraud in the past, 90 million dollars worth. A fine they probably paid quite happily in case things got investigated more deeply. Maybe they have just figured out how to get away with it more cleverly. I don't know. But either way, for all the webmasters funneling money into their pockets while this carries on... please send me piles of money instead :)
7:28 pm on Apr 19, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Agree with everyone's sentiment.

News to arrogant folks in Google. Your clicks are not worth what you charge. I personally don't care how Adwords interface looks.

GIVE US (ADVERTISERS) OUR PROFITABILITY BACK.

I'll repeat from another thread.

It seems to me that after bumping cost per click 1000% and more from about 10 cents in late 2000-th to above $1 (and $2 in some places in my niche), Google is clearly looking to get paid even more. Yet, IMHO, PPC clicks are becoming more and more worthless. So they are limiting inventory to keep prices up and focus on niches where there's competition and very high PPC ROI.

And they are insane on "mobile" because all these fake billion dollar magical unicorn mobile startups, 3 out of 4 of which will be bankrupt just like pets dot com sock puppet. But as they have these fake valuations, they buy insane amounts of mobile clicks. Good luck trying that mobile traffic for anything other than obvious downloads, music and related that falls into visual/social/"want now". But real mobile is leveling.

Everything else is blowing smoke.
4:08 am on Apr 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It's still just a casino without the free drinks and with zero entertainment value. I wish I could sell "thin air".
4:48 am on Apr 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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If your not making money with AdWords you don't know what your doing or you don't understand advertising budgets. I have been working with lots of people with AdWords since 2003 and anybody who put the money and time into it has had a positive ROI.

I really get tired of all the fraud complaints. Yes it does exist but it is easy to work around. Get a clickfraud service and optimize your account to avoid it. AdWords is not easy and it is not cheap. Your have the opportunity to get your ad in front of a lot of people. Too many people think they should be able to set up an account and never have to look at it again. You have to spend time on AdWords. There are a lot of features and strategies that most people just don't know about or don't know how to use properly.

If AdWords did not work people would not use it. If you can't afford it don't use it.

All that said I do agree that Google seems to have worked very hard to make AdWords a money pit for the average person. You really have to know what you are doing. I spend 8 hours just teaching the basics of AdWords and people still need more time working with their accounts and sometimes more classes before they have a decent understanding of AdWords. I have been working with AdWords for over 13 years and I still learn new things every day.
2:54 pm on May 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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ogletree , ok I am all ears.

Please share your high wisdom and explain advertising budgets. And how it can work for a Mom-and-Pop that's not backed by a million dollar+ venture fund.

I've been in adwords since 2005. There's a marketing guy' failed logic that you can pay for visitors what their total cost is , LTV (LifeTime Value). Because you also need to own staff, do support , handle free shipping, returns, pay for office and pay yourself (owners). And if you are mom-and-pop you need to MAKE MONEY NOW on every click to do this. Because LTV may be in 3 years when you are dead. And for small businesses those expenses I describe are not small part of your budget vs. a larger shop or someone with funding.

When G makes average CPC to be $1-$2, all that is impossible to have and/or unsustainable, because technically you need to bring a lot of customers and then stop advertising and make money off of these existing customers. And if you are an online retailer with competitors (especially Amazon) that's not easy.
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