Every fortnight, Google invites its agency partners to Elevenses – a Hangout on Air that gives a rundown on the latest updates to AdWords products. Last week was slightly different, as in addition to the usual insights, (which this time was about preparing for the May Bank Holiday weekend, especially if your business is in the home and garden sector), there were some announcements about major changes coming to AdWords.

New look interface

After 15 years, Google has decided AdWords needs some tarting up.

AdWords_2016_Interface

According to Google:

“What was once a tool to help advertisers place text ads on search results has become so much more than that. As a result, we’ve seen an increase in the complexity that marketers face every day. For example, AdWords now encompasses display and video media that can be bought on YouTube and across the web. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

This rise in complexity has created the need to reimagine AdWords, and over the past year, our product teams have been thinking hard about how we can make AdWords as relevant for the next 15 years as the first 15. “

The new interface is being touted as easier to use with better insights. AdWords has certainly become more complicated over the years, with Google Shopping ads, YouTube ads, dynamic remarketing ads and display ads as well as many other targeting changes all being bolted on to the existing platform. With so many advertising options now available, it can be difficult for those not well accustomed to using AdWords to set up and manage campaigns effectively.

Google has been listening to advertisers’ feedback, and confirmed that the new design will focus more on business objectives including clearer ways of measuring ROI from campaigns.

The interface is expected to be uncluttered, and the number of clicks to important settings is expected to all be migrated into one dashboard view. This is to help increase efficiency when managing campaigns.

Overall, the changes are set to provide a cleaner looking, easier to navigate platform that allows advertisers to understand the many complexities of AdWords.

More changes to Google Shopping

If you are a reseller of brands, big changes are coming if you don’t already use GTIN numbers in your shopping feed. You may have missed the first warning that this was coming back in February, as Google announced it on Google+ and posted it as an update in the Merchant Centre Help – but not on the AdWords blog where most people would go to check for important updates! At the moment, there is a list of ‘designated brands’ that require a GTIN, but this will soon apply to all new products (this will not apply to used items).

A GTIN, or Global Trade Item Number, is a unique and internationally recognised identifier for a product. After the 16th May 2016, any items in the feed that require a GTIN must have them, or they will be rejected and ads will not run.

Own-brand items and other products for which an advertiser is the only merchant generally do not have GTINs. As a result, Google won’t require GTINs for these products and won’t disapprove the ads, a brand and MPN can be submitted instead.

Google has said that sellers can contact the brands for a list of GTINs, but implementing them is likely to be a nightmare for merchants who stock products from lots of different brands. Those who do not have the back end or resources to ensure that GTINs are added to what could be thousands of products are also going to struggle. Worse still, with less than a month to go, information around this pretty major change is virtually non-existent!

The official announcement from Google can be found here, but for advice on AdWords, GTINs and any changes to Google Shopping, feel free to get in touch with a member of our team.