2023 Google Ad Updates.

Paid Search, Performance Marketing

We all know that Google are constantly adapting and streamlining their ad offering. Over the past few years big changes have been made in an effort to make campaigns more AI and algorithm driven with the reasoning being that ads become more efficient and better performing.

Some of these changes have been met with trepidation by marketers but it doesn't look like Google are slowing down when it comes to platform updates.

Here are all the updates that you need to know about, so far.

Google Analytics 4.

The most talked about update is the transition from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4. This transition has been occurring gradually over time, allowing marketers to set up their new dashboards and start gathering data now before UA is turned off completely. If you haven't already set up GA4, we'd recommend you make this a priority as data will not be transferred from UA into your new property in GA4.

The benefits? 

Brands are able to collect data from both web and app. This allows marketers a fuller picture of overall marketing/ channel success across their digital platforms. In our opinion, event set up seems to be simpler and although some measurement parameters have changed, it does seem to be geared up for better accuracy.


Google Optimize.

Recent news has advised that Google will be sunsetting Google Optimize by 30th September 2023. If you are currently using the platform as part of your CRO or testing strategy, now is the time to start to look at alternatives. Programmes like Optimizely, VWO or Adobe Target are all great places to start your research.

The why? 

Google have suggested that there will be more A/B testing features available in GA4 as they begin to further develop the platform and in order to streamline their products decided that it would be best to sunset Optimize. Stay tunes for how this might develop.


Expanded Text Ads.

We wave a final goodbye to Expanded Text Ads within Google Ads. Over the course of 2022, Google has been reminding advertisers to move away from ETAs in favour of new Responsive Ads. Whilst we hope that most brands have already begun or completed this transition, we assume that many will still be hanging on. It has been confirmed that you are now unable to create or edit ETAs so now is the time to start looking at incorporating RSAs into your campaign structure.


Audio Ads.

Audio ads are set to hit Youtube and Smart Speakers in full force this year and have been broadly available since this start of this year. With podcast listening having increased over the past 3 years, it is not surprising to see Google develop products in this area to rival Spotify Ads.

Ads are served to users who exhibit signals of listening (rather than watching) such as accessing content through a smart speaker like Google Nest.

While in testing, 87% of measured beta audio campaigns drove lift in ad recall and 81% of measured beta audio campaigns drove lift in brand awareness.(Google Brand Lift studies, 2020-2021)

Audio Ads are now available globally in Google Ads and Display and Video 360. Learn more about setting up audio ads here.


Ad Privacy Hub.

Google have now launched their Ad Privacy Hub to help brands measure performance more effectively.

The Ads Privacy Hub claims to support businesses of all sizes as a dedicated resource to -

  • Help marketers understand new privacy changes and how those changes may impact ad performance.

  • Learn how you are able to build a privacy preserving ad strategy through a first party database.

  • Learn more about Google's privacy first solutions for measurements and use these strategically to strengthen your campaigns.

  • Have access to answers of common questions brands and marketers have about Google's privacy solutions.

  • Received a customised measurement plan by answering a few questions relating to your account set up.


We're sure to see further developments within Google products over the next 12 months so be sure to check back in as we stay updated with the latest news.

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If you or your brand are looking for support with a particular service or have a question about what you've just read, get in touch and we'll be happy to help!