Google is constantly updating their services to provide users with the most streamlined and effective tools possible. Advertising is continuously improving, and as we head through 2022, there are a few Google search ad updates of which digital marketers and businesses alike should be aware.  

Keyword Matching Behavior

Back in September, Google announced improvements to broad match and new rules for prioritising keywords. These changes are part of an effort to help users maintain control over which keywords match in a search, reduce the complexity of the account by improving control over where traffic goes and allows users to attract high-performing traffic with fewer keywords. 

Google’s bidirectional encoder representations from transformers (BERT) algorithm technology is now being applied to keyword matching behaviour. This makes it more predictable and precise for broad match. 

Essentially, Google will decide what to show based on relevancy as well as ad rank if you have multiple match types for keywords relevant to a query, but not identical.

Expanded text ads

In August, Google announced that expanded text ads (ETA) will no longer be supported by June of 2022. They’ve largely been replaced by Responsive Search Ads (RSAs).

Good and bad news: You definitely won’t be able to create new ETAs after June of 2022, but you can run existing ETAs indefinitely. You can’t edit these ads, but you can pause and remove them as needed.

With 15% of search queries per day being new, automation is going to be critical to keep up with these trends. Automation does mean a reduced control over ad copy, but Google expects that RSAs will “help you compete in a wider variety of relevant auctions” and “drive incremental conversions with fewer ads.”

1st party cookies 

Google is currently transitioning from 3rd to 1st-party cookies and will continue to do so throughout 2022. They announced this update in their Google Marketing Livestream in May of 2021. This is part of an effort to improve user privacy and data tracking.

1st-party cookies are created by the domain. For example, a user might be shopping on an eCommerce website and might add a few items to their cart. They may then click out of the website and return to it a few days later. The items will still be in the cart, and the website will be recommending certain products to the user based on the initial items that were added and viewed.

3rd-party cookies are non-domain created. If a user is shopping online and leaves the website to visit others, they will be seeing ads from the first website. The website can continue to “follow” the user as they browse other websites, which is known as retargeting.

Google believe 1st-party cookies are part of creating a “privacy-safe, ad-funded internet.” They assert that this will enhance business-customer relations, allow organizations to obtain proper consent for data collection, and improve privacy overall.

New ‘about this ad’ page

Google is continuing to take privacy and quality assurance measures for consumers. According to its September 22 announcement, users can now see an “about this ad page in Display, Video, and Shopping ad placements. On that page, they can click to see other ads that the brand has posted within the last 30 days.

This is to help advertisers to show that they’re credible and consumers to know that the content they’re viewing is credible. To adapt to this change, be sure to always be running high-quality and consistent ads.

A roundup of Google search ad updates 

As we make our way through 2022,  it’s important to keep an eye on PPC trends and updates that will influence how we shape our campaigns (and how users will interact with them). These are some of the most significant and impactful PPC trends and updates right now, so make sure that you’re fully prepared to adapt.

If you need a helping hand navigating the sometimes confusing world of Google ads, please give our team a call on 01752 746890 or email us at [email protected].