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Just before the end of the year, we are trying to summarise some of the biggest changes that took place in PPC. This year we have to admit it’s been tough to summarise the top changes in a list of the 10 biggest changes, as so many changes took place. Google does realise a lot of BETAs and product updates but 2016 was a year with some big changes for PPC on the look and feel of the ads and SEO.

  1. The biggest change this year was the bid changes for Desktop and Tablets. This takes us back a few years when google merged Desktop and Tablet. After a few years, Google enables again advertisers to have separate bids for each device.
  2. Expanded Text Ads launched in BETA and then early on released on all accounts worldwide. The deadline for all accounts was for October but this is now moved to January.
  3. Right-hand side text ads dropped and in February, Google removed text ads displayed on the right sight of the SERP on desktop search results. Instead, text ads displayed above and below the organic search results would increase from the typical two or three, up to four.
  4. GTIN Requirements for Shopping Ads, Google enforced that all advertisers using shopping feeds will need to supply GTIN codes for each product. Google stated that this will help them to understand more about the products the advertisers sell but also offer a better user experience with more relevant products.
  5. RLSA audience lists on a campaign level. On the 8th of December Google started rolling out the option to use RLSA audiences on a campaign level.
  6. Demographic targeting for Search campaigns was another great change. We are now able to target users based on age and gender. Previously available for GDN but not Search.
  7. Message extensions a new extension for mobile devices that enables users to send a text message from their mobile on the SERPs directly to the advertiser.
  8. Responsive display ads, with this new type of ad, you provide a URL, headline, description, and image, and Google creates responsive display ads for you. These ads adapt to the content of the websites they’re on and apps in the GDN.
  9. New Local search ads available with new map ad formats aiming at driving more footfall on brick and mortar stores.
  10. Bing is also on fire and this year they have been very fast in adapting to ETAs, site links and RLSA audiences.