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Importance: (If you use or manage Google AdWords)
Recommended source: Google Blog
AdWords is now over 15 years old. Not a lot of platforms survive that well in the fast-moving digital landscape. 15 years ago computers were big boxes that stayed in one place and had less computing power than we all have in our pockets now. It's easy to see why some platforms have died away and others have taken their place. Yet stoically AdWords has remained, and in many ways thrived. It is Google's main source of revenue, and given that Alphabet (Google's parent company) is now the most valuable company in the world, it's probably the single most successful web application in the history of the internet.
The last time the AdWords interface was updated was back in 2008, when the smart-phone had only just come out and mobile marketing was all rather new and untested. The fact all the new applications that have come with new advances in marketing over the past decade have had to be bolted onto this platform mean it has become clunky over the years, creaking under the weight of hundreds of new features. So Google's announcement on Monday the 28th that they are re-designing AdWords for the mobile first world will be music to the ears of those who use PPC advertising.
Google are still building the new platform, so haven't announced anything concrete yet, but we do know it will both look and feel very different, because of the objectives the design team has announced.
Built around objectives
The current layout of AdWords is built around products and features, and with hundreds of new features being added every year it's grown clunky and complex. The new platform will be simpler and easier to pick up and learn. Crucially it will focus the layout around business objectives rather than features.
Google say they want to put the data that matters to users right at their finger tips. That means handy overview screens with data presented in a visual manner showing the metrics relevant to your business.
More intuitive, less clutter
The new platform will have a more intuitive workflow, and will design the platform so that tools for managing ad extensions and building reports are all in one place. The idea is this will let you do more in less time, saving effort and money.
Cleaner look and feel
This may sound a bit like a non-point, but in-fact in may be one of the most important aspects of the re-deign. Google are coding the new AdWords in their Material Design language, and it will let them create a solution with works seamlessly across devices with a crisp, clean layout that will let you get the information you want quickly and easily. Google have released an image of what they envisage the basics of the program looking like, so you can get a bit of sneak peak of what the platform will be like.
Google have said they are planning on rolling out the new platform, which is currently still being built, to selected advertisers over the next 12-18 months. They aren't planning on having it live for all users until the end of 2017, so unless you are one of a lucky few big advertisers Google will be reaching out to, you've got another year of the clunky old AdWords to get through.
By Robert Allen
I am the Editor of Smart Insights. I manage the Smart Insights blog and write on a range of subjects- Marketing Technology trends and latest tech developments are a regular focus, as well as exploring key marketing concepts. You can get in touch with me on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn.
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