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Google Ads' 20th Birthday

A retrospective to the 5 most important changes in the last 5 years

Google Ads turned 20 on the 2nd of October this year. It was initially called “Google AdWords” and at its 15 milestone the business generated $60 billion. 5 years and a rebrand later, in 2019 Google Ads had a revenue more than $135 billion.

The experts from Search Engine Land have collected the 5 most important trends and changes Google Ads made in the last 5 years. Below we have synthesized the main parts of every paragraph:


1. Rise of audiences

Since the introduction of Customer Match in 2015, Google Ads is constantly working towards improving the growing of audiences. One of the most important changes which occurred in this direction, happened in 2017. The account data of Google users started to be used for YouTube targeting, “including demographic and search behavior information from users signed into Google”.

In 2020 “Google introduced predictive audiences based on purchase or churn probability that are powered by the new Google Analytics 4”.

2.Decline of keyword (match types)

The new privacy and regulations policy is complicating keyword management. In September 2020 Google limited the search terms it reports to advertisers. “Only queries that are searched by a “significant number of users” are reported.”.

It has become critical for advertisers to adopt new approaches like a negative keyword management. According to them they have lost “visibility into 20% or more of the queries that drove users to click on their ads.”.


3. Automated campaigns and ads

In 2018 Google Ads incorporated a few important features. The fully-automated ads and campaign types were of big importance for advertisers. They could now only do a few inputs, according to which “every facet of a campaign” could be automated.

Responsive search ads (RSAs) were also introduced 2 years ago. “RSAs use machine learning to predict the best combination of ad titles and descriptions to show a user, based on historical data and various signals available at the time of the auction.”.

4. Surfaces across Google

“Surfaces across Google” is specific to Google Shopping. Thanks to this options, retailers can gain visibility on their products organically on multiple surfaces – Google Images, Google Shopping, Google Lens and Google Search.

What is more, “Google continues to expand where ads can appear on its properties”.


5. Online-to-offline

The pandemic led invariably to changes in customer behavior. Therefore several new features were added to Local campaigns and Local Inventory ads by Google. This way they tried “to emphasize buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) options including curb-side pickup badges.”.


There is no doubt that Google Ads has grown quite a lot for the past 20 years. Since business is fully dependent on political and economic events, only time will show where we will be taken. If you are interested in reading the full article by Search Engine Land, click on the following link: https://searchengineland.com/google-ads-turns-20-the-most-important-trends-and-changes-of-the-past-5-years-342645