Key changes for Google advertising in 2021

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2021 may not have been the return to normal that the world had hoped for, but Google continued to update its services as the year progressed. The year brought with it a streamlining of services, but also a reduction in options. This blog takes a look at the biggest news from the world of Google Ads over the past year.

Goodbye to expanded text ads

Google announced in late summer that it will remove expanded text ads from its range of search ads in summer 2022, meaning that responsive search ads will become a standard option this year. I blogged about this last year. Advertisers should prepare for this change early and, if they wish, create evergreen ads that can remain up after the change. It’s also worth creating responsive ads now if you don’t already have them. It will be interesting to see how this will affect ad performance in the coming years.

Goodbye to broad match refinement

Broad match refinement, better known as broad match modifier, also saw its sunset in 2021. Previously, this was a way to refine broad match keywords in a search campaign. Today, these features are baked in with phrase match. This further increases the usability and usefulness of phrase matching.

Transparency in advertising

Last year, Google took steps to make its advertising and advertisers more transparent. For customers, this is reflected in the “about this ad” section of display, video and shopping ads, for example. Here, customers can see, among other things, what other ads the advertiser is currently running. As an advertiser, the best way to deal with this is to produce quality ads.

On the advertiser side, Google has started to ask for confirmation of the advertiser’s identity, for example, in the form of VAT certificates and ID cards. This is Google’s way of ensuring that advertisers are trustworthy. The measures for verification are clear and notification of this will be given in good time. It is therefore advisable to take this action as soon as possible before the deadline, otherwise, the display of ads will be stopped.

Updates on shopping campaigns

For the end of the 2021 shopping season, Google made updates to the shopping campaigns. The update allows customers to support brands such as small businesses, women-owned businesses and ethically produced products. Sellers can add these items to their data if they belong to these categories. The update also makes it easier for customers to search for products by delivery time and free returns. People appreciate fast deliveries and free returns, so these should be offered to customers where possible.

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Author: Juho-Petteri Kivirinta, Mahon Digital Finland

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