Google Ads is twenty years old. In the five years since 2015, it has grown rapidly. Back then, it was a $60 billion business, and Yahoo was still a contender in the search game. Skip to 2019; Google Ads generated $135 billion in revenue, and Yahoo was no longer anywhere to be seen.
Some of the significant changes Google ads has undergone in the last five years include:
- 2015: The launch of 'Customer Match': This signalled a distinct shift in Google's strategy toward audiences, moving away from run of the mill website retargeting. After this, Google implemented affinity, in-market, as well as interest audience targeting. This year saw the launch of predictive audience targeting.
- 2017: Google allowed user data to be used for YouTube ad targeting, grabbing demographic information and search behavior from all users signed into Google accounts. The introduction of YouTube targeting increased YouTube's ad revenue and enabled the ability for signals from Google search and YouTube to be combined in Google audiences.
- 2018: The age of fully-automated ads and campaign categories began in Google Ads, also automatically running across an array of other Google-owned properties. This was the year responsive search ads (RSAs) also emerged. RSAs use machine learning to predict the optimum combination of ad titles and descriptions to present to a user, based upon historical data and all of the signals available at the time of auction. The way this works, is advertisers create a collection of titles and descriptions, then hand it over to the Google algorithms to do all the heavy-lifting.
Expect to see a whole bunch changes and trends coming to Google Ads over the coming years as technology such as machine learning becomes more advanced, generating additional ways to create optimal ads for users.