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This week’s PPCChat session was hosted by Julie F Bacchini who sought PPCers view on Google Ads past, present and future.

 

Q1: At their event next week Google Ads will be announcing new features – what Google Ads feature of the past few years has been truly innovative, in your opinion?

 

Perhaps custom intent and a few targeting options? Other than that, I’m honestly not sure that many new features have been especially helpful or innovative. @gilgildner

The biggest thing to me is the machine learning aspects. It’s absolutely the biggest change in how we manage campaigns. We’re being pushed to step away from the technical day-to-day and towards actually doing a little marketing. @ferkungamaboobo

Custom Intent for YouTube. Call only ads. Automated bidding that can out perform the 3rd party softwares now. Not earth shattering and not everything worked great at first or even 100% now (looking at you automatin!) but all good things imo. @markpgus

{insert sarcastic remark}, I found most helpful the ending/repealing of enhanced campaigns. After that, the in market audience targeting has been clutch. Please no one say the new UI. @JonKagan

ETAs. Great innovation. I don’t miss trying to cram all my RTBs into 90 characters. @Mel66

Conversion segmentation by household income hands down. it was super fussy and is easier now, but being able to see all the way through to buying behaviour based on hhi definitely helped me up my game. @JuliaVyse

Not *really* a true innovation, but at least close to parity w/ social platform audience capability – Audience/demo bidding & mgt capability. @SEM_PPC_MattV

not sure about innovative but I dig the new audience targeting features for display. @anna_arrow

It’s funny at the time I always get so excited but now looking back I can’t think of any that were really innovative. @elevatedmrktng

Truly innovative AND that I would use? I actually do like Responsive Search Ads (I may be in the minority), but they’ve done some good things for some of my accounts. @amaliaefowler

(Showing my age here) but extensions were pretty innovative. I agree that the expanded text ads (ETAs) were a step forward too! @NeptuneMoon

The biggest is either the UI revamp or some of the newer extensions. @marccxmedia

 

Q2: What feature or change by Google Ads has impacted you most significantly?

 

The loosening and loosening and loosening of keyword match types to “sure it’s close enough”. @elevatedmrktng

Match types for sure. Is exact even exact anymore?? Or is it just close enough. @Mike_Jarmz

The UI revamp took a little getting used to. But on the bright side, we’ve liked the responsive search and dynamic ads. @marccxmedia

Close variants firing absolutely EVERYWHERE, and the query -> keyword intent mapping often does not makes sense. Policing SQRs has become a significant challenge. @SEM_PPC_MattV

The new UI. Not only did it completely eliminate all my training docs and manuals, but it made me look like an idiot on screenshares and also caused a minor internal crisis about how I relate to change in my life.  @amaliaefowler

Continued “fuzzification” of keyword matching and the new UI top my list too. Responsive display ads are pretty handy too – less time working on ad versions. @NeptuneMoon

I’d agree with the new UI and loosening of match types. Both have caused havoc in our accounts. @Mel66

Google’s hard push toward automation recently. Automate everything. Bids. Ads. All. The. Things. @anna_arrow

Automatiom! Seriously we joke about it and it’s not perfect but so many “smart” featureshave moved ppc management into a strategic thing rather than a heavy tactical one. @markpgus

I agree with the sentiment that keyword fuzzification has been a big impact and not usually positive. I would also say that automated bidding is getting much better and has helped accounts with enough data. @robert_brady

The UI update last year pretty much cemented our transition to Google Ads Editor, even for tiny campaigns! @gilgildner

The death of exact match. @MrAguilar_

The new UI had a major negative impact, slowing us down. After that, detailed demographics have really allowed us to hone in on targets better @JonKagan

The new UI. It upended a lot, revoked most of my training slides and has been the launchpad for more and more integrated (no control by me) campaigns. App, Local, Discovery, all integrated, no special sauce from me needed (according to google).@JuliaVyse

The push to smart bidding and removal of multiple levers to control bids, visibility etc. Some positive, some negative. @aevansHMB

 

Q3: What feature or change by Google Ads has felt like a step backwards?

 

Their great new support! Seriously awful. They aren’t helping anyone anymore. Straighten saws reps now. @markpgus

Anything that takes away control for the advertiser and gives it to google. @stevegibsonppc

Reducing transparency!! The black box drives me crazy. @aevansHMB

Match type changes. What about ‘exact’ doesn’t mean ‘exact’ to Google? Also the smart campaigns they push on SMBs. I realize those are an ‘advancement’ but I think they’re irresponsible. @amaliaefowler

The reduction of reporting/control in integrated campaigns. App campaigns without even a placement report? shut up nerd, give me my data! @JuliaVyse

Removing the easy way to exclude mobile apps. Feels like the early days of the old content network where we were automatically opted in and couldn’t exclude placements. @Mel66

The new ads editor. Do. Not. Update. @anna_arrow

The high sales pressure around automation adoption. If it improves results, awesome, we’ll scale it. If it hurts results, we’ll do less of it – this shouldn’t be a point of contention.@SEM_PPC_MattV

The new UI is glaringly obvious. After that, the lack of transparency with map placements has really felt like days of yesteryear. @JonKagan

Going from dedicated account reps to quarterly reps to missing reps to..@MrAguilar_

Sometimes those “recommendations” seem like are trying to take me a couple steps backwards. @Mike_Jarmz

It’s not really a change but @GoogleAds needs to make a change. The cost per clicks has gotten ridiculous and they can no longer compete with companies like @facebook. They are going to continually lose ad dollars till they advance their pricing model. @elevatedmrktng

Maybe some of the keyword management UI elements.@marccxmedia

The changes in the display network targeting – having to accept app traffic to get mobile traffic is… not good.@NeptuneMoon

 

Q4: What feature or change by Google Ads has made your work easier?

 

The new UI has made reviewing campaigns and ad groups easier. @marccxmedia

Ironically, the new UI has made me appreciate and use the Editor more…@NeptuneMoon

I am like the only person who likes a lot of the simplifications — the keyword match type stuff really simplified and justified a lot of the structure I’ve used. @ferkungamaboobo

Account level negative keywords. Oooooh yeaaah. @MrAguilar_

it’s gotten easier to move money to Facebook. @aevansHMB

hot take here for sure. THE NEW UI. I love the visualization and being able to work off of it all. And automation. Like I said it’s a lot more strategic in running an account now. @markpgus

The recommendations are getting much better (though they’re getting a little pushy with them) and I really appreciate having the Editor tool. @robert_brady

I don’t want to be bitchy this early in the morning, but I’m struggling to come up with something. @JuliaVyse

With the claim that voice is 20% of queries, really any way to report/monetize it would be clutch at this point. @JonKagan

Responsive Display ads helped to expedite the ad creation process and cut out the need for a graphic designer in most cases. @NathanK_TX

I’m grasping for straws here. I’m not really sure. If anything we’ve found that going simpler is always better for clients – a lot of the new features are fluff. @gilgildner

 

Q5: If you could request a new feature or change for Google Ads, what would it be and why?

 

Just stop pressuring us all to adopt things that don’t make sense for our clients. Also don’t automate things without transparency. Also give me back my dimensions tab. Also, train your support team better. @amaliaefowler

More data, particularly in placements in app campaigns and local campaigns. @JuliaVyse

Ability to exclude certain date ranges for smart bidding algorithm. If tracking goes down or there’s a blip in performance, it can take weeks to recover. @aevansHMB

Fix the match types and have exact match work the way it’s supposed to. Bring back the dimensions tab. @Mel66

I REALLY want a “bad match” reporting mechanism. The machines need help in understanding nuance in terms (and sometimes not even nuance). More transparency in automated things – like which RSA combos were served and what their results were. We still want to know what resonates/works to be able to build on it in all places. @NeptuneMoon

The AdWords support team could use a little work. Maybe show them Academy for Ads before they call me. @Mike_Jarmz

Google support needs some help. I talked with someone for TWO HOURS to end up fixing an issue myself. Also, if you want us to adopt these automations then give us the data to support our pitch to our involved clients. @anna_arrow

I believe Google has some sort of program where you can get videos created/edited if you commit to spending a certain amount on YT? Not sure of all the details. I would emphasize the need to put thought into quality creative when testing video. Wouldn’t want them to write off video advertising all together because the creative was junk @timothyjjensen

Can we *please* go back to Exact = Exact, Phrase = Phrase? Also, a toggle/opt-out option for Close Variants would be so, so great. @SEM_PPC_MattV

Find a better way to manage budgets, the overspending feature is very inconsistent some days. @Mike_Jarmz

Getting away from my UI rant, I’d love to see competitive metrics at geo graphic levels, ie what is my impression share in Toledo. That and I really want them to bring back a working GDN planner tool. @JonKagan

I’d love to see some additional reporting with ad versions for responsive ads. Then I can learn from what their algorithm is learning. @robert_brady

Ads on Google home. @elevatedmrktng

Dialing in late. But, I want the ability to choose my own location extension with affiliate location extensions to any place on Google Maps & also get store visit conversions for them. @jstatad

Fix Google Ads support while you’re at it. My last interaction with them was abominable. Stop making reps sell stuff we don’t need. @Mel66

Insight into smart shopping. @PPCKirk a way to tag the search query in the URL for shopping campaigns for cross channel. @markpgus

Make my budget go further change the pricing model or I’m moving money elsewhere. @elevatedmrktng

Coming in Late. More insight into their “smart” data. How about a search query report so we can at LEAST add negatives properly! **full disclosure: I do not use “Smart” anything**. @jmloquist

Please have your reps stop calling me once a quarter. I don’t want to turn on broad match and I don’t want to add a third ad to this group, thank you.@gilgildner

Better management of keyword match types would be wonderful. @marccxmedia

Being able to only display dynamic formats when using responsive display ads in a dynamic retargeting campaign. @traffric

 

Q6: What are your predictions for their announcements at this year’s Google Marketing Live event? What do you think they will be rolling out?

 

Google keeps going for the big ‘wow’ factor things, when really we’d all be more impressed with tiny fixes we are spending months and years asking for. I’d be more impressed if they heard us and solved a few of these issues than announced the next “big thing”. @amaliaefowler

Smart home, assistant, etc. type of stuff I expect to be hyped. More things for big brands to play with and increased automation aimed at “small businesses”. @NeptuneMoon

A new feature that helps you “get more results” while obstructing your view as to how it’s all happening. More black boxes. @markpgus

More AI and smart bidding and machine learning. We should make a drinking game. Honestly? Probably nothing that will either be accessible to me in Canada or that I’ll use. @amaliaefowler

Anybody else notice how google is saying we need 4 text ads now as well as RSA? Maybe I’m behind in the game but I think Google is going to introduce more “best practices” that won’t work for my clients. @anna_arrow

Bold prediction – keywords going away/being phased out. @SEM_PPC_MattV

More match type changes? @Mike_Jarmz

More machine learning stats..@elevatedmrktng

Call me pessimistic, but I don’t have high hopes. They will tout some map stuff, brand safety, probably 1 or 2 attribution things, and going to assume there will be some image style ad unit that will rotate in the SERP and then shut us all up with booze and food. @JonKagan

My hope is that they talk more about Stadia, I expect to hear about the integrated campaigns. Locals and Discovery in particular. I think more and more they’ll be pushing these ‘Julia Not Needed’ products. @JuliaVyse

Monetization of Google My business features… @elevatedmrktng

Probably announcing less automation amirite? @SEM_PPC_MattV

I wouldn’t be surprised if they announce the monetization of GMB. @amaliaefowler

 

Q7: If you were talking to a Google Ads product manager, what would you say to them?

 

Why doesn’t your support team you keep sending me to, know how to do their jobs? @JonKagan

Please apply an automatic 10% CPC discount for my account  @markpgus

Focus on your feedback for the current functions. Match types, UI, recommendations, budgets, app exclusions. These are the things we want. Give it to us. @Mike_Jarmz

My clients have entrusted me to use your platform to get the best possible results for their business. I’m tasked with analyzing, optimizing, and reporting on performance. What works for one biz does not work for another. Give me the tools to optimize for MY clients. @Mel66

Just because something works in a majority of accounts doesn’t mean it works in this particular account. Knowing when NOT to recommend/use a feature is as valuable as knowing when to use it. @robert_brady

“I know you’re tryna take away my job, and yeah I know I’ll be irrelevant in 5 years, but I also control the ad budget and I’m taking it ALL to Bing cause they’re slower than y’all.” @gilgildner

Leave me alone. @anna_arrow

your platform is very powerful. So powerful that awful people sometimes do awful things. If the only tool you give me to protect my brand is an on/off button, I MUST turn things off. Give me more tools/access so I can actually manage. @JuliaVyse

I’d ask about how to best leverage voice search via paid media channels, specifically for non-retail/e-com firms. Best practices right now & future. @SEM_PPC_MattV

I’m all for them going all-in on really helping companies get the most out of the platform. Do some in person training, get folks to really understand what they’re buying when they run ads. @ferkungamaboobo

Listen to the people who use your platform regularly. We have a granular understanding as users. At least take our opinions into consideration to improve the experience for all advertisers. @amaliaefowler

 

Q8: What are the things you most want to know from Google Ads about where their product is headed? (I will be at the event next week and will ask as many questions as I can for us!).

 

Right now I want to know more about leveraging voice search home devices for paid media channels. Future state I want to know where automation is ultimately heading. @SEM_PPC_MattV

What I most want to know, is are they planning to deprecate keywords. I hate the idea, but I feel like maybe they will. @JuliaVyse

Ask them how they plan to improve support. It’s an area they’re struggling in. @robert_brady

For years the outlier indicator was lower and lower CPCs and CPMs (explained away as YouTube clicks), but this year it was lack of revenue growth. What was the major cause of that? Just maxed out inventory or something else? @ferkungamaboobo

 

PPCChat Participants

 

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