How to Win with Google’s Product Updates for August 2016


Written by Nick Yorchak. Posted in Blog

The paid search world is abuzz with Google’s latest product updates, which are extremely powerful and will (hopefully) be well received.

Reflecting the company’s “mobile-first” mantra, these updates will allow advertisers more control and visibility into how their media dollars perform in mobile, tablet, and desktop environments in the wake of the “right-side removal” recently.


To begin with, Google’s “Expanded Text Ads” launched July 26 but probably won’t fully roll out until August. When they do, you’ll start seeing them in more places since the AdWords editor only started showing the option to everyone yesterday.

Expanded text ads are optimized for the screen sizes of the world’s most used smartphones and feature two headlines, each with 30 characters, and one long 80-character description line. That’s nearly 50% more ad text for advertisers to highlight products and services. These ads will compete with standard text ads to enter the auction, so we will be updating (and recommend you do, too) your ad rotation to optimize for conversions to ensure your best-performing ads serve most often. Additional ideas and best practices can be found here, courtesy of Google, but the company’s research found that longer ad headlines are more useful to mobile users because they provide additional information about the query/business before they click an ad.

Below is an example of an expanded text ad – you can see the difference immediately.

google expanded text ads example august 2016 paid search updates



The next big update Google announced (perhaps the biggest in our opinion) is the launch of Device Bid Adjustments in the first week of August, with an expected roll out of 2-4 weeks.

Device Bid Adjustments will allow advertisers to set mobile, tablet, and desktop bid adjustments on ALL AdWords campaign types. Device bid adjustment range is expanded to -100% (opt-out) to +900%, giving us far more control than was available prior. While Google representatives said this change was a request they kept hearing, it make a critical impact as you can now anchor your base keyword bids to the devices most valuable to your business – and then set bid adjustments for each of the other devices. It’s a move away from Enhanced Campaigns, but it’s one we appreciate because of the various search “moments” we’re advertising to. More precision, better results, mobile first.

google's paid search cross device bid adjustments august 2016


The last big announcement in the Paid Search world was the September 6 launch (for ALL advertisers) of the Cross-Device Conversion tracking capability.

Starting then, cross-device conversions will be automatically tracked for all accounts and included in the conversions columns.

While I wish this had come out before the cross-device bid adjustment update, it will no doubt drive even more granular data and illustrate how various touch points in the buyer journey occur and on what devices.

Big Footprint promises another, more detailed post on this topic as the change approaches.

Google Analytics + AdWords Data Cross-Device Conversion Tracking

Google Analytics + AdWords Data Cross Device Conversion Tracking



As a Google Partner, Big Footprint was aware of these changes, but how they affect the larger paid ecosystem is left to be seen. We suspect that ALL sophisticated advertisers will fall in line and utilize these updates, especially expanded text ads. But some marketers might need to see and digest the cross-device conversion tracking data before delving into the world of cross-device bid adjustment.

Need help with your web analytics or paid search? Contact Big Footprint for a consultation, or for a copy of Google’s “Expanded Text Ads Best Practices.”