Google Ads is the new name for Google AdWords.
Introduced way back in 2000, Google AdWords was quite a revelation at the time. All we had before it came about were pages upon pages of organic results. Then Google announced that people could PAY to get their keywords above all the search results. And below them. And to the side too.
I remember being very cynical about the search engine’s move. Because that’s all Google really were back then, a search engine. And other search engines were available. We had Inktomi and Hotbot, MSN Search, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, Altavista, Excite, WebCrawler, Infoseek, Dogpile, Lycos, LookSmart, Magellan… Who remembers those?
There was so much competition and so many search engines to choose from, all offering a different experience and different results, if you’ll pardon the pun.
But about being sceptical of the search engine’s new service, I was actually quite upset that all my hard work optimising websites for the organic search results could be overridden by someone being able to pay to get ahead of my hard SEO work. Pay to play. Pay to win. That’s what I thought of it all.
However, for one particular website I was heavily involved with, it wasn’t possible to rank #1 for ALL the pages we published, so Google’s AdWords actually had a very useful purpose – we could pay to get our results ahead of everyone else’s.
So that’s what we did – we had a mix of excellently performing organic content and then supplemented the search terms where we had stiff organic competition with paid search results or Pay Per Click (PPC).
Those were the days when you could pay just 2p per click and we’d scour the Keyword Planner Tool to find terms that were cheap and had high search volumes. That was when we used to put our faith in Keyword Effectiveness Indicators (KEIs).
And here we are, 18 years later and Google AdWords is here to stay.
Except that it’s now called Google Ads.
And the ads aren’t at the side anymore.
And mobile phones are the dominant devices over desktops. Mostly.
But we’ve also got internet TV, the Internet of Things (IoT), voice search, Siri, Alexa, Amazon Echo and Echo Dot… The world has changed a lot since AdWords first came about.
That is why Google decided to have a serious re-brand.
It actually started a couple of years ago when Google announced the redesign of the AdWords interface. Google could see mobile usage finally tipping the balance as it had been predicted to do. The re-imagining of AdWords followed a business-led approach not a product-led one and so, after a couple of years hard work, Big G announced the new interface last year.
After nearly 20 years of being used to the old AdWords I again had my reservations about the fresh new interface. And I still do. But there are features in the redesign that make sense – such as the ease of the Landing Pages tab, resizing tables to full screen and the speed with which I can filter and edit ads.
There are still some bugs, IMO, but the new interface is here to stay so we took the approach that we should learn to use it as soon as possible and learn to love it because it would help us support our many happy clients better.
The final piece to this puzzle is that, with the change in the interface and the evolution of the way we interact with ads, it’s only natural that the name changes too.
And so Google Ads it is.
Google AdWords is dead. Long live Google Ads.
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