Google makes big changes to its ad products

Google’s AdWords is getting a makeover. The search giant announced today that they have made several updates to make its advertising tools more suitable for mobile.

With an emphasis on location-related mobile searches, a category that Google says is growing 50 percent faster than other searches, the company is introducing new local search ads across and Google Maps. If a customer searches for something like “shoe store,” businesses can pay for their location to show up.

Google is also introducing “promoted pins,” meaning that a company’s logo will appear on a map, making it easier to identify the nearest Walgreens location, for example. (Google previously offered similar ads for Google Maps in Japan, but never brought them to a wider market).

Google promoted pins

Google promoted pins

These changes are “designed to help you increase foot traffic to your stores,” said Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president of ads and commerce at Google. He says Google is “bringing local inventory information into these business pages.”

New expanded text ads in AdWords will also allow for more content to be visible before a user clicks on the link. The 25-character headline is getting expanded to 30 characters and the 35-character description line is getting upgraded to 80 characters. The company says it has found that more preview information increases click-through rates by 20 percent.

Google says it is also enhancing the imagery of its ads, called “responsive ads for display” for a native approach, with the ads matching the look and feel of the content they are browsing.

The bidding process for ads is also changing. In the coming months, advertisers will be able to set individual bid adjustments for each type of device. That means they can pay a different price for ads viewed on mobile versus desktop, as it impacts clicks.

Advertising has always been a critical part to Google’s business. The company is hoping this revamped approach will encourage advertisers to spend more money on its services.