The unthinkable is happening – Google Adwords is no more!
As Google’s cash cow though, it is just the name which is going away – not the product. Google Ads is the new incarnation, in a bid to move away from the natural association that the word ‘Adwords’ has with keywords, search and text ads.
This is part of the latest phase in Google’s desire to be the one-stop platform for multi-channel acquisition and the product suite includes Maps, Google Play, YouTube and Search.
DoubleClick and GA360 products are being unified into a single suite of products called the ‘Google Marketing Platform’. This also includes Tag Manager 360, Surveys 360, Google Data Studio and Optimise 360.
With so many changes, Google will be sunsetting the DoubleClick brand entirely:
Eventually Google’s plan is to fold all DCM, Studio, and Audience Centre capabilities into ‘Display and Video 360’.
In addition, DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange will come together in a programmatic platform under a new name – Google Ad Manager.
DoubleClick has a long, by internet standards, history of acquisitions, rebranding and mergers. The DoubleClick name originated from the merger of the IAN (Interactive Advertising Network) and Poppe Tyson, a traditional ad agency, and it became its own subsidiary in 1995. It was acquired by Google for $3.1B in April 2007, following two further changes in ownership in the previous years. DoubleClick Bid Manager itself, was what became of Invite Media following its acquisition by Google.
So there has been a history of rebrands, mergers and consolidation across Google products and the latest move is an attempt to simplify, integrate and streamline all those services into a structure that is easier to understand and, ultimately, use.
For true integration and a more powerful cross-channel attributional system Google should look at unifying tracking cookies. As it stands, advertisers often have different tracking pixels for Adwords, Analytics and DoubleClick plus other 3rd party cookies potentially. Results always differ consequently. Although the products are integrated it would be easier to manage with just a single pixel and a uniform attribution model such as DDA.
This announcement is all about the rebrands, there are no new product announcements as such. There is a new campaign type, however, that is going under the radar – Smart Campaigns.
“Smart campaigns provide businesses with real results, like phone calls to your business, actions on your website, and store visits. Smart campaigns are easy to set up and our smart technology will continuously improve and manage your campaign to get you better results, so you can free up time, and focus on running your business”. Google
It is a product aimed at small businesses initially, although the actual details are somewhat scant at the moment except to say it’s easy to set up and run, if not totally hands-off. It could be another step towards total automation and the eventual elimination of keywords. Time will tell if it’s a good or a bad thing.
Though Smart Campaigns will be the default campaign type I don’t think the change is as big as, for example, when Enhanced Campaigns were introduced with wholesale changes to device bidding and other elements. Whether they will work as well for larger advertisers as small businesses remains to be seen but innovation is the name of the game and is welcome, in most cases.
In Search the only constant is change, though I do think it will take a long time before people stop using the term ‘Adwords’. ‘Google Ads’ just doesn’t roll so easily off the tongue, does it?