Monday marked an official transition for Google Adwords as the search engine giant began transitioning all of its existing AdWords campaigns into what it calls “Enhanced Campaigns.”
Google has already been encouraging advertisers to upgrade their campaigns for some time but as of Monday, they will begin upgrading accounts automatically.
According to Google, the Enhanced Campaigns platform was designed to make it possible for advertisers to “reach people with the right ads, based on their context, like location, time of day and device type, across all devices without having to set up and manage several separate campaigns.”
International Business Times called the changes “one of the biggest changes to paid search since the dawn of the Internet.”
In the words of Google, client reaction to the transition to the new platform has so far been “generally positive.”
However many advertisers aren’t so crazy about Enhanced Campaigns. They perceive the changes as forcing them to relinquish a substantial amount of control to Google.
Most regard the change in platform as Google’s attempt to curtail the growing losses the search engine giant has been incurring, as more users transition away from desktops and laptops towards smartphones and tablets.
In the second quarter of 2013 Google’s advertising revenue fell by six percent year-over-year, marking its seventh straight quarterly decline.
As users go mobile will ad dollars follow?
Mobile ads are far cheaper than desktop ads. So even though Google’s overall number of clicks continues to rise, more users looking at more ads on mobile still equates less revenue. And with over 90% of its revenue stemming from advertising, it’s clear that Google has to do something.
Google’s ushering in of Enhanced Campaigns is likely centered around raising revenue on cost-per-clicks. However mobile devices have smaller screens than desktops; a factor, which has thus far made CPC advertising on such screens more difficult to monetize.
Demonstrating the value of mobile to users
With the Enhanced Campaigns Google is hoping to demonstrate the value of mobile ads to users.
According to an official Google post:
“Campaigns were configured, like all new AdWords campaigns, to reach customers across all devices. Upgraded campaigns require a mobile bid adjustment setting, which influences your bids, ad position, and click volume on mobile devices.”
Effective mobile advertising remains a challenge and not just for Google. For while people may use their phones to search for a store where they can make a purchase, they rarely make such purchases directly through their mobile devices.
Managing campaigns across different devices
Google claims its new product will make it easier for marketers to manage campaigns across different devices and difference audiences. However critics remain wary of what they perceive as ceding too much control to Google.
But for Google, launching a viable mobile ad strategy is becoming mission critical. People’s mobile devices go with them everywhere after all. But despite that fact, a viable solution for how to successfully monetize mobile advertising has remained elusive.
While Monday marked the beginning of the process, it's estimated that transitioning all existing campaigns over to Enhanced Campaigns will take several weeks.