77 announced changes for Google Ads in 2019

Raphael Sebbag

People sometimes wonder what managing a Google Ads account actually requires on a daily and weekly basis. Don’t you just turn the ads on and… wait? 

In fact, Google Ads management requires a deep understanding of the Google Ads platform as well as constant attention and frequent optimisations to ensure your account is bringing in more of the right leads for your business. And that requires being on top of the ever-changing Google landscape.

With that in mind, here are our Top 5 most notable changes that will affect how we manage your Google Ads account in 2019: 

No more average position, now replaced with Impressions Top & Impressions Absolute Top: whilst we used this metric in most of our strategic keyword bidding methods and scripts, we were a little taken aback at first. But once we digested the changes and got used to the new metrics available, we found the new features clearer and more helpful to structure bids with a stronger, data-based approach. Averages can often lie or at least mislead, and it did in the case of Average position because average position was also taking into account your ad position when at the bottom of the page. This was not helpful because we believe that “eye line is buy line” meaning most of the conversion action occurs at the top of the search results page, often a 1000% increase. 

Source: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/9263492

Responsive Search Ads Now Live to all advertisers: With this type of ad, you can now write up to 15 headlines and up to 4 description lines, allowing Google’s machine learning to rotate and test messages based on performance. Whilst we have generally preferred to write very specific ads for very specific ad groups, this type of ad is allowing us to experiment faster, powered by machine learning. However, we have found that one cannot be lazy and put it whatever you feel. Because the system can rotate the order of headlines and description lines, you have to think a lot more about the ad copy and try to be more persuasive in each entry. 

Source: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/7684791

Keywords moving towards the same meaning/intent: With keyword match types for search queries, you have exact match, phrase match, broad match and broad match modified. Last year Google made Exact match to also include the same intent, as per the table below. 

Now phrase and broad match modified are also broadened to be triggered for searches that have the same meaning as per the tables below.


Basically one needs to review and monitor search query reports more closely and be more attentive on how to use negative keywords. 

With one client that we reviewed recently, we found that with this new change Google was able to get away with more than $4000/month in clicks the client does not want. We had to put in a vastly tighter negative keyword structure to stop this algorithmic money-grab, because the reality was that the searches made and being clicked on, were related, but, not the same intent!

So be careful and definitely, definitely review your search query reports!

Source: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/9426627

  1. Accelerated delivery has gone: previously there was standard delivery of ads, which basically spread your ad budget evenly through them. However, when budget allowed, we were also able to set it to accelerated delivery, which meant that we told Google to spend my budget as fast as you can, or get as much traffic as you can as fast as possible – this suited accounts, for example, which had larger budgets that could cover 100% of the traffic volume out there. Now that Google is pushing for more automated bidding, they took this feature away as they felt that their automated bidding took various signals into account to boost performance. But whilst automated bidding is still lacking in many cases, we generally stick with manual biding for many accounts (even though it is more time consuming), as we have tested and seen results to be far better and more reliable. It’s only when you get into the massive amounts of traffic data you start to see automated bidding get better results
  2. Lead form extensions: this is one for the more recent additions to the mix. Basically, you have a range of ad extensions, such as site links, call extensions, callouts, snippets and more. Basically, it means you can get leads directly from the ad interface, without the searcher even going to your site. Whilst this can results in faster leads because it is in beta phase, the jury is still out whether the market is ready for this innovation. We plan on testing it out, but it is a little cumbersome as the advertiser has to either log into their portal and download a spreadsheet to see the leads or they have to integrate it with their CRM system, which many small to medium business do not have yet, or at least those systems that integrate with Google Ads

Source: https://support.google.com/google-ads/answer/9594220

The outlook for 2020

The speed of changes will accelerate as Google continues its drive to be an AI-first company, with machine learning driving much of their innovations – so one needs to keep pace with the changes. Though many of us prefer things to remain the same, change is the only constant!

These faster changes mean that we as consultants, strategic marketers, business growth consultants, or business owners in general, must trust our intuition and be creative in how we manage the marketing and business strategy side of things – much of which computers cannot replace, yet. Like any industrial or technological change that has come before us, we can leverage it, rather than see it as our enemy. 

How do you cope with all the changes being made in your industry?

For some strategic Digital Marketing advice, get in touch with us here

If you want to go even deeper, check out the Periodic Table Of PPC Optimization & Measurement (2019) which encompasses all the buttons and levers available for growing the performance and quality of PPC campaigns. WARNING! It’s not light reading, but SUPER informative.

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