Last month, Google AdWords got rebranded as Google Ads. This is the latest piece of news in the digital marketing space and as a business owner, you should take the time to understand how it impacts you.

If you’ve toyed around with Google’s ad brands - including AdWords, AdSense and DoubleClick - you probably know how you had to navigate through a crowd of all these products and tools, which was confusing for many online marketers. That’s about to change.

As the Senior Vice President of Ads and Commerce at Google Sridhar Ramaswamy stated at a press event announcing the big change, it follows in the wake of “consistent feedback” that there were too many different ad products to keep track of.

From July 24 onwards, a complete rebrand of several Google’s advertising products has come into effect. In addition to the update of AdWords, the Google Ad Manager and Google Marketing Platform has also been launched, which combine previous products onto one platform.

To help you sail through this brave new world of Google advertising, we’ve considered some the pros and cons of the new Google Ads. Here’s what you can expect.

Pro #1: Many older features remain, and the new product offers a simpler and seamless experience

The new update will not affect your existing campaigns. You can still use older features such as the search network, display network and video. However, what Google Ads now offers you is a unified platform that combines all these features and channels to create a more rigorous and user-friendly platform. The update attempts to make it easier for advertisers to find their audience as well as their ad strategy with Smart Ads - easier ways to create ad plans and improved ad suggestions for better results.

Pro #2: Google Ads offers even more opportunity for small businesses

Whether you’ve just started up in your garage or you’re a mid-sized company, you can take advantage of machine learning integration that’s better with the Google Ads rebrand. You don’t have to do all the analysis or hard work now, and allow the algorithms to suggest your next move. Smaller businesses can also take advantage of the new ‘Smart Campaign’ feature which makes the process smoother and quicker to set up.

Pro #3: This change reflects Google’s move away from just keywords

The integration of text ads, images, video ads and other mediums indicates Google’s shift of focus from just keywords; some people even believe that this is also reflected in Google’s choice to remove the term “word” from the new brand name. Now, advertisers can spend more time on strategic inputs and let the platform do much more than ever before with automated tools. The focus on multi-channel advertising is definitely a step in the right direction, as it gives your brand a competitive advantage and increases the chances of a positive ROI.

Pro #4: The new updates give the power back to the customer

Even though a number of marketers and brands find this problematic, this is actually a good thing. Customers can now control what ads they see through Ad settings, and this will lead to narrower and more focused results — that’s good for your brand in the long run, even if you’ll get fewer eyeballs. Google has also strengthened the ‘Why this Ad?’ feature to let people know why they are seeing a certain ad.

Con #1: There could be some surprises along the way

As with any major technological update, a lot of the actual changes influenced by the new platform could take a while to reflect. You should keep a close watch on your ROI and metrics, and it would be safe to attribute unexpected outcomes to the new platform, to an extent. Study what’s working well and what isn’t, and tweak your settings accordingly to stay on track, while keeping in mind the new platform changes.

Con #2: There are no shortcuts to riding out this transition

Even if you had managed to bring your Google AdWords strategies close to perfection over the years, you may need to be patient this time around. There will need to be some trial and error to figure out the right combination of strategies for your unique product or service, even if you follow all the expert suggestions. Work with small budgets at first to figure your way around the new platform.

While change in the user interface and the integration of older products may take you a while to become familiar with, the core functionality of Google advertising is not changing. In fact, Google does not expect businesses to need any training or migration as a result of the update. Stay on top of these changes and make sure your future strategies take advantage of these new and powerful features, and you’ll stay ahead of the curve.

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