Google Ads can be frustrating with their policies around charging you for clicks rather than calls, and their disinterest in revealing the Google Ads Search Partners for the possibility of optimizing.
But I commend their multi-billion dollar team in constantly, and rapidly updating the Google Ads platform, to the point of not even releasing any information on these updates.
Nonetheless, here are some of the updates that I've observed/discovered in their platform (which requires updating my Pay Per Call Marketing Course constantly).
Google Ads And A Whole Bunch of New Updates
Since I am mostly focused on the Pay Per Call Marketing space, most of the updates will be centered around Pay Per Call.
Table Of Contents
- New Call Ads & Clickable Link
- New Call Recording Feature & Caller Number & Details
- Search Terms Report Removing “Low Click” Results
- Automated “All Callers” Audience”
- Hyper Targeted Location Reports
- Business Verification Required
- YouTube Search Terms
- Optimization Scores
- Refine Keyword Planner Update
- Improved Status Messages
- Adgroup / KeyWord Creation Small Update
The Call-Only Ads have been renamed, and are now “Call Ads”.
The main additions being 2 custom display path text, for example: domain.com/ path1 / path2.
As well as the addition of a clickable link, which I've found useless so far for mitigating the “Clicks but no calls” catastrophe with Google Ads.
The new Call Ads seem to take a slightly longer time to get verified as well (read “Improved Status messages” below for more info)
Also, Google Ads editor 1.4 no longer allows Call-Only ad editing or creation. Only Call Ads.
Google Ads now allows you to listen to call recordings from your callers and in some cases see the phone number. Previously this was only possible with a call tracking platform such as RingBa, or MarketCall's built-in Call recording feature (you can only listen to non-converted calls).
This is great if you simply want to listen to calls for free and collect a couple phone numbers, but otherwise, you cannot route calls based on geographics, schedules, or various complex conditions like you could with a proper call tracking platform.
Interestingly enough, you need to somehow verify that the site is yours, despite having your verification URL in the Call Ads.
As of this writing, I have been unable to get my website verified with Google Ads, despite implementing all of the Google Ads Call Recording URL Verification requirements (I've linked my account with Google Search Console, added a conversion tag AND a re-marketing tag on my site but still no luck).
Finally, there is still no way to see which Search Queries generated which calls (if they generated a call at all).
This seems like one of the most ridiculous and annoying updates to have been made recently to google ads. As of September 2nd, 2020, the ‘Search Terms Report will only include terms that were searched by a significant number of users'.
So I looked at my search terms data from the previous day, and after filtering for only search with ‘clicks > 0', you can see that only a fraction of the search term clicks are visible.
In the image below, you can see that an enormous 16% of Search Terms are missing, which accounts for 21% of Ad Spend!
Honestly, this is disgusting, because we are PAYING for this data, and Google has decided to hide it from us, thus preventing you from building out a proper negative keywords list from some completely useless queries such as “3213 keyword 241” or “كلمة رئيسية keyword”.
Their response? “Privacy”, which is shameful because for the last 20 years we've been able to see this data…
This one popped up out of nowhere back in April 2020. While trying to create an audience to filter out repeat callers, I noticed that I had an automatically created audience in my Google Ads.
This seemed like a life saver, because now I wouldn't have any more repeat callers.
Unfortunately, a caller has an expiration time of 30 days, thus, they ARE able to click on your ads again within 30 days, thus you end up paying for repeat clickers/callers.
Furthermore, you need to maintain a constant 1000+ audience size, so you are constantly fighting the expiration of callers.
Very quickly this audience became useless because I would rarely get this audience to the 1000 monthly members threshold.
So I had to create my own audience using phone numbers collected using a call tracking platform such as RingBa.
I contacted Google Ads support several times about increasing the expiration time to 540 days or infinite duration, and they said there is nothing that can be done for now.
Google Ads added the ability to view highly granular segmentation of location data. Previously, you could only view a few metrics such as; Country, Cities and Region. But now the list includes the following:
This is great because this can provide you with a rich set of keyword suffixes such as “keyword + neighborhood, lawyer + keyword + borough”.
Example: “Lawyer Bayville NJ”. Furthermore, you can be hyper-granular in your location targeting and location data collection.
While this is a bit too granular for me, it's beneficial for successful campaigns that want to milk more cash OR campaigns that are right on the edge of being profitable.
This one can be scary for many affiliates since Google has a history of being anti-affiliate. The Google Ads Anti-affiliate strategy is good when it removes those affiliates that run Blackhat offers, and Blackhat call centers.
Simply put, you receive an email from Google Ads asking you to verify your Account details – whether you are a business, an agency, or an affiliate.
I first received the Business Verification questionnaire back in July 2020. After filling out the forms, I believe it only took about 5 business days for my account to be verified, and everything was good to go from then on.
Since then, various affiliates asked me how I would answer the questions, and it seems to me that they are constantly updating the questionnaire, because more questions have been added / modified.
I may have missed this in the previous version of the Google Ads interface (pre-2018), but as of now, you can see which search terms people click on to view your content on YouTube Video Discovery Ads (I like to call them YouTube Search Ads).
When bidding on keywords for YouTube Discovery Ads, keep in mind that they will always be “broad match”. I've tried phrase and exact match, and they end up being broad match anyways.
Also, negative keywords don't seem to work properly at the moment for YouTube Discovery Ads.
Google Ads likes to algorithmically recommend adding certain things to your ads to make them more presentable and potentially increasing your clicks. Although they can sometimes be detrimental because of click-happy google users who end up simply burning through your budget instead.
These optimizations include things such as;
- call-out extensions
- adding more keywords (without Broad Match Modifier unfortunately)
- recommending burning your cash with their automated bidding strategies,
- and implementing the useless “Search Partners” option.
I personally, removed the “Optimization” column from my campaigns, because I have a deeper understanding of my campaigns than what Google would recommend.
Furthermore, I disabled “Auto apply ad suggestions after 14 days”, because for a more advanced Google Ads user, these suggestions will only burn your cash if they are not appropriate for your campaigns.
You can find them from the “All Campaigns” view, and on the left side of your screen in the “Settings -> Account Settings”.
Although the Keyword Planner is the least competitive way to get keywords (thus increasing your bid costs substantially), it is still the most direct way to get Keywords straight from Google.
Google Ads keyword planner will actively suggest keywords for you to bid on such as with the new “Broaden Your Search” feature.
Furthermore, the Google Ads algorithms have been actively categorizing the keywords so you can expand with associated keywords:
This feature is new, but I'm sure will have a lot of use for those that are savvy enough to understand “associated keywords” are one of the best ways to find cheaper keywords.
The Google Ads developers made it a bit clearer what status your ads are under, as well as making everything more or less one click away (Help, Ad Preview, Test).
But the status remains ambiguous when the ads are under a more thorough review by saying “We currently can't determine why your ad isn't showing”. In cases like these, you simply need to wait it out. Sometimes it's just a few minutes for an automated review, and can sometimes last up to a month (I've had this happen back in May).
To make things a bit simpler for Google Ads newbies, a small change was made to simplify the Keyword creation process. So far, this only shows up when you start a new campaign (doesn't show up when you try to add additional adgroups).
Either way, the keyword suggestions may be great, but I still recommend adding a ‘+' (plus sign) in front of all keywords to make them Broad match modifier keywords.
Anyways, this is just a sample of the updates that were made to Google Ads. Obviously there will be many more down the road, and I will keep this article updated as things progress.
If you have any suggestions, or saw something new, let me know 🙂
Finally, if you want to learn more Advanced Pay Per Call Marketing strategies, go here.
Your internet marketing buddy
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