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Sometimes it can be difficult to keep up with the ever-evolving and changing world of digital. Pay-per-click (PPC) is no exception. From big industry updates to smaller in-engine refinements, the sheer number of things going on can be daunting.

As paid search marketers we want to understand the latest and greatest. It’s part of our job to know what’s going on in the industry.

The year 2017 has been no different than previous years in the amount of changes that are happening. Here are some of the changes and trends that marketers should be aware of:

Audience Targeting

  • The growth of audience targeting has allowed advertisers to move beyond using just keywords to reach the user
  • In market and similar audiences for search and shopping were released in 2017
  • Bing allowed advertisers to exclude lists in remarketing campaigns and will likely roll out more custom audience options

Machine Learning

  • One of the hottest topics in PPC right now is machine learning and using artificial intelligence to power paid marketing campaigns
  • The new Google ‘Smart’ display campaigns released this year are powered by machine learning
  • Google announced that it is expanding the meaning of close variants in exact match and will ignore word order. Machine learning is being used to make sure that keyword matching remains relevant.
  • Changes to ad rank thresholds began happening in May to account for the contextual meanings of search queries

Ads

  • Google added a green outline around the ‘ad’ label
  • Google has started to test a second description line in expanded text ads. This has not officially rolled out.
  • Google continues to roll out updates to ad extensions:
    • Price extensions rolled out on all devices
    • Google is experimenting with multiple extension types in a carousel format
    • Google continues to roll out automated extensions to advertisers

Google AdWords UI

  • Google continues to roll out its new interface AdWords Next. It will available to everyone by the end of the year.
  • Historical quality score became available in AdWords
  • The bidding interface changed in AdWords to show bid suggestions in different page positions
  • Bing Ads released upgraded device targeting allowing advertisers to create mobile only campaigns

Whatever the second half of 2017 brings, our clients can be confident that we will be staying on top of the industry changes so that we can make the best decisions for their campaigns.

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