“Better Every Day” is our motto at Adlucent and it was certainly the theme for paid search this year. 2016 was a very busy year for digital advertisers as we saw Google introduce many new features, ad formats, and change up the desktop SERP. There were certainly some interesting notes—Pokémon Go managed to connect the dots between augmented reality (AR) and retail while GTINs became a thorn in the side of online retailers. During this year, personalized ads went from “nice to have” to the expected norm, and mobile continued its device dominance. Here is a breakdown of some of the top trends in paid search this year:
Google has made big changes in 2016 to capture on-the-go mobile shoppers by making improvements to their own tools, ad formats, and the SERP all in an effort to keep ads looking uniform across devices.
With the right rail gone, Google had an opportunity to add more characters to text ads and ETAs (Expanded Text Ads) were introduced. We talked about our early testing on ETAs in this post, Bigger is Better with Google’s Expanded Text Ads. ETAs provided advertisers with mobile optimized text ads that allowed for a longer and more prominent headline and creative, all of which enables ads to look more uniform and work harder across screens.
At the Google Performance Summit in late May, Google discussed a number of other new innovations all geared toward helping advertisers reach the right customer, with the right offer, at the right time. One mobile-oriented change worth pointing out was the introduction of Device Bid Adjustments (DBAs) which allow for bid adjustments to be done for each device type separately – desktop, tablet, smartphone. Read here for more highlights!
Getting product feeds in compliance with Google’s Global Trade Item Number (GTIN) requirement was a real sore point for many retailers this year, but a necessary one. Given the importance of PLAs, their excellent performance on mobile, and higher percentage of click share overall, this new requirement was a notable change in 2016. Read Why Add GTINs to Your Google Shopping Data Feed? to learn more.