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Edward Kozlowski

Edward Kozlowski

Digital Ads Lead

Ed has more than ten years’ experience in SEO, PPC, and email marketing for both B2B and B2C organizations. He’s certified in Google Ads and Google Tag Manager and uses analytics and research to develop exceptional digital strategies. Ed enjoys helping each client determine where they sit in the digital landscape and finding ways to improve. In his free time, Ed is an avid rock climber, and loves spending time with his chocolate lab mix Benson. 

Google Ads Updates Marketers Need to Know About

May 8, 2023 | Edward Kozlowski, Digital Ads Lead

5 Minute Read

As digital advertising evolves, digital advertisers must evolve with it. Keeping up to date with the latest advancements and tools is crucial to optimize campaigns and drive better results.

So, it’s important for marketers to understand some recent and significant updates that Google has made to its advertising platform, including changes to attribution models and improvements to Performance Max campaigns.

Attribution Model Changes

On April 6, Google announced its plan to remove the first click, linear, time decay, and position-based attribution models from Google Ads: “These models assign a fixed value to each advertising touch point, which doesn't allow for adaptation to changing consumer journeys.”

Data-driven attribution will become the default attribution model. This model uses Google AI to determine the impact of each touch point on a conversion. This model, when combined with auto-bidding, improves performance.

In June 2023, advertisers will no longer be able to select these models for conversion actions in Google Ads that do not already use one of these models. By September 2023, Google will switch all conversions still using these models to data-driven attribution. Advertisers who prefer not to use data-driven attribution will have the option to use the last-click model.

This shift toward data-driven attribution reflects the latest trends in digital advertising and the use of machine learning. Advertisers who haven't yet adopted data-driven attribution should consider doing so to stay up to date with advancements in the field. The rules-based models will disappear from reporting throughout Google Ads, including the Attribution tab's Model Comparison Report and Overview page.

Performance Max Updates

In February, Google announced and launched several updates for Performance Max campaigns, including budget pacing insights, campaign-level brand exclusions, page feeds, and experiments. These tools and features help advertisers optimize their campaigns and drive better results.

Account Level Negative Keywords

You can now add Account-level negative keywords, which affect flow into Performance Max campaigns. Account-level negative keywords save advertisers the time and effort of applying negative keywords to each campaign. The downside: This works at the Account level and blankets all campaigns within a given account. So be very careful about which keywords you add. (I would prefer to be able to add negative keywords to individual Performance Max campaigns.)

Campaign-Level Brand Exclusions

This feature gives you control of the brands your campaign matches, including your own brand. These exclusions apply to Search and Shopping traffic in Performance Max, and you can apply different exclusions for each campaign or use shared lists across multiple campaigns.

Upload Page Feeds

A page feeds feature will launch in the coming months. Page feeds allow you to upload a feed of page URLs to refine your results when you use the final URL expansion feature. By utilizing this additional feed, you can provide Google's AI with more information and increase its understanding of the importance of certain URLs. This feature can be used to add specific URLs to your Performance Max campaign in a more efficient manner, as well as limit matching to only those URLs.

Test Uplift with Experiments

Experiments can be used to compare the effectiveness of a new Performance Max campaign with your current campaign mix and assess its impact on generating conversions or higher conversion value. Experiments allow you to test a Standard Shopping campaign head-to-head against a Performance Max campaign and measure the true impact of using Performance Max. If you have campaigns that are optimized for the same conversions, you can include them in your experiment. These features provide powerful tools to optimize your ad campaigns and maximize your results.

Video Creation Tool

On top of these updates, you can use a video creation tool to make videos that will reside in the Asset section of your Performance Max campaigns.

Asset Level Reporting

Google will add the ability to report on the Asset level (vs. just the campaign level).

Budget Pacing Insights

In the near future, you'll be able to take advantage of budget pacing insights. These insights will help you automatically identify opportunities to optimize your budget and performance. With this new feature, you'll be able to see how much your campaigns have spent and are projected to spend, as well as your current and forecast conversion performance. This will give you a clear understanding of how your campaign is pacing and reveal opportunities to adjust or redistribute your budget to drive more conversions.

Google's recent updates to attribution models and Performance Max campaigns reflect the company's commitment to leaning ever further into machine learning. The shift toward data-driven attribution means that advertisers must use machine learning to stay competitive. With Performance Max updates, advertisers can leverage new features to optimize their campaigns and achieve better results. Some of these updates provide advertisers with more control over their ad campaigns and make it easier to reach their target audience and maximize their ad spends.

Need guidance with your digital advertising strategy, help with execution, or just want to make sure you’re on the right track? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!