9 Changes that Impacted Google Advertisers in 2021

By Tinuiti Team

2021 saw no shortage of updates for Google Advertisers. 

In this post, we’ll outline some of the most important Google Ads and operational updates that Google rolled out in 2021 – so you can stay on top of the competition in 2022. 


1. Sunsetting of Expanded Text Ads


Starting June 30, 2022, responsive search ads will be the only Search ad type that can be created or edited in standard Search campaigns. Meaning after June 30, 2022, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit expanded text ads. 

What are Responsive Search ads?

Here’s what Google has to say: “Responsive search ads combine your creativity with the power of machine learning to help you show more relevant ads to more people. This is a powerful combination: advertisers that switch from expanded text ads to responsive search ads, using the same assets, see an average of 7% more conversions at a similar cost per conversion.”

To prepare for this change, Google recommends that you have at least one responsive search ad in every ad group in your Search campaigns by June 30, 2022. You can learn more about how to set up your responsive search ads for success.


2. Enhanced Conversion Tracking


Due to an increasing drive for privacy, first-party data has become a coveted source for marketers. It’s reliable, direct data which provides countless benefits for your business. Google’s latest enhanced conversions option leverages consented first-party data (like email addresses) when third-party cookies are not available. 

The new conversion tracking feature enables more accurate conversion measurement by increasing observable data and improving the overall quality of conversion modeling. Google Conversion Tracking also allows conversion tags to capture hashed customer data advertisers collect on their conversion page (e.g. email addresses) and then matches it against Google logged-in data.

In fact, Google reports that advertisers who implement enhanced conversions see a conversion rate improvement of 3.5% on Search and 12% on YouTube.


3. Consent Mode 


Continuing with privacy, Google has also introduced Consent Mode into their advertising ecosystem. This tool provides advertisers with more detailed conversion insights when a user decides to “opt-out” of the consent form. 

Consent Mode allows you to adjust how your Google tags behave based on your users’ consent status to Analytics and Ads cookies. It enables Google’s tags to adapt, only utilizing measurement tools for the specified purposes when a user has given consent.

According to Google, Consent Mode recovers nearly 70% of conversion journeys lost due to user consent choices. As of now, brands and marketers can enable these new features in their Google Tag Manager settings.


4. Image Extensions


Image extensions allow advertisers to upload their own visual content to complement their existing text ads. With images alongside your text ads, compelling visuals can often help drive more conversions. 

However, there are a few key items to note before diving straight into Image Extensions. 


With Image Extensions, you can upload up to 20 images that are relevant to your keywords. Designed to enhance your text ad’s message, the primary elements of your ad remain unchanged but are given more chance to capture users’ attention with an image component.


5. Integration with Shopify


With the new Google integration with Shopify, it’s easier than ever before to get started selling or marketing your products on Google.The Google integration automatically syncs your products to the Google Merchant Center and creates Google Smart Shopping campaigns from within Shopify using the Google channel.

Additionally, If you want to create Google Smart Shopping campaigns in Shopify, you’ll need to connect your Google Ads account to the Google channel while you’re waiting for your products to sync.


6. “Deals Results” Page


With the Deal Results page, Google showcases their newest deals and features a variety of new ways for consumers to discover deals through Google Search and Shopping. In other words, brands will be able to directly promote their discounts to shoppers, making it easier for buyers to find discounts, and brands to increase their conversions.

The Google Deals results page launched in July, with deals available to see right inside Google. For example, if a customer is searching for an item, they will see a new section that competitively organizes discounted products and pricing from multiple vendors across the web.

While there is no exact date at this time, Google also claims that deals will begin to appear on their main search results pages. Offers shown here will be based on multiple factors, like the total discount value, as well as the popularity of the items and the online store. 


7. Performance Max Campaigns & Audience Signals


Performance Max combines Google’s ad channels and Google’s automation technology to help advertisers maximize conversions and value across multiple performance marketing objectives Right now, the beta is available for lead gen advertisers and those who drive online sales without using the Google Merchant Center product feed.

Performance Max Campaigns also include Audience Signals. These were designed to “help advertisers speed up the campaign learning period while also steering automation with the best of Google’s automated targeting technology.”  When searchers who are considered “most likely to convert for your goals” are identified, your ads will be automatically shown. Advertisers can help to speed up optimization even further by inputting their own audience signals, but this is optional.


8. New Bidding Strategies


Google advertisers can now leverage value-based bidding by setting a target return on ad spend (tROAS) for their Video Action Campaigns. Instead of optimizing against the predicted conversion rate, tROAS bids optimize against the predicted conversion value.

Moreover, by providing Google with information about the value of each of your conversions, you enable them to better optimize toward the highest ROAS. Advertisers can assign differing weights to every individual conversion action in relation to how valuable that action is in relation to their overall business. The conversion values you provide to Google help them to better predict how valuable future conversions with the same values might be.


9. Smart Shopping


Smart Shopping campaigns include product shopping ads, local inventory ads, and display ads (including remarketing ads and Similar Audiences). Advertisers are able to choose a campaign objective and budget, and Google will leverage their machine learning technology to automatically bid on the advertisers’ behalf, and ultimately deliver their ad to relevant shoppers across a range of Google networks. 

Smart Shopping is an effective tool to help advertisers get started advertising their products on Google.It is also an effective tool for established advertisers to experiment, and test out new features exclusive to Smart Shopping.

Which Google 2021 updates were you most excited about? What are you looking forward to in 2022? Let us know in the comments!


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