Google Ads Upcoming Changes That Affect Your Ecommerce Business

During the livestreamed keynote at Google Marketing Live 2018, Google executives announced a slew of new initiatives, features, and updates that will change the way marketers use Google to advertise.

While machine learning and artificial intelligence are bandied about by large tech companies in a way that waters down their meaning to the public, the reality is that Google Ads (the new brand name for AdWords) is entering into a new, more automated phase.

The best part? The majority of these updates and new features are aimed at small-to-medium e-commerce businesses that do not have the resources or know-how to effectively leverage certain features within AdWords.

This is why we believe that every e-commerce business needs to pay attention to Google Ads upcoming changes. We’ve created a rundown of the announcements and translated what these features could mean for your business.

Google Shopping Campaigns Take a Gigantic Leap Forward

Shopping ads are arguably one of the most intimidating campaign types to set-up if you have no prior experience with Google advertising. This is unfortunate given that Google Shopping ads consistently drive the most traffic and profit for e-commerce businesses. Cue Smart Shopping.

nikeshoes We call these placements Shopping ads, because they're more than a text ad--they show users a photo of your product, plus a title, price, store name, and more. They generally appear above or to the left of Google’s search results.

Google has leveraged machine learning to create a more seamless set-up and optimization process for shopping ads. Bid adjustments, ad placements, and which products are featured – based on a wide range of factors, from seasonal demand to pricing – are now automatically done for you.

We are particularly excited about automated feeds, which will allow you to create a product feed based on your product page data with the click of a button. Creating a product feed on your Google Merchant Center dashboard (where online businesses manage their appearance across all Google ecommerce products and make changes to their online listings as needed) was one of the most challenging components of setting up shopping ads, especially so if you sell a large number of products.

Finally, Smart Shopping is now integrated with leading e-commerce platforms such as Shopify; meaning that you can track and manage your ads right from your CMS. Exciting, right?

Responsive Search Ads for Automated A/B Testing

Responsive search ads are an incredible value-add for small businesses that do not have the time to meticulously A/B test their search campaigns ad copy.

Responsive search ads allow advertisers to enter as many as 15 headlines and four descriptions, which can be up to 90 characters instead of 80 (as a value-add). Responsive search ads can also show as many as three headlines, instead of two, and up to two descriptions instead of one 80-character description.


Google automatically serves the combination deemed to most closely match the user’s search query. The more varied the inputs, the more opportunities the ad group has to enter auctions related to the keywords used in those inputs. This should allow your ads to be more effective and reduce the amount of time needed to optimize and manage them.

Lead Ads on YouTube

At MarketTap, we are big fans of Facebook lead ads and achieve great results for our clients with them. We’ve always wondered what a Google version would look like. Now we know! For e-commerce businesses, these leads have been a fantastic way to drive email sign-ups (especially powerful if an offer is attached to them).

Lead ads on YouTube will allow you to do the exact same thing, only using the huge reach of the world’s most popular video platform.


Like most technological changes, the benefits accrue most to those who are early-adopters. Nowhere is this truer than in the world of digital advertising, where any small advantage over your competitors can lead to significant material benefits.

While Google has been trialling out various machine learning applications for their ads, industry thought has tended to lean toward manual management as the best approach. With this new set of improvements and features, it seems like it’s making significant progress on previous iterations. The kind of progress that could make marketing your e-commerce store that much easier.

Interested in learning more about MarketTap and how we can help you sell more online through Google Ads? Book a free consultation call today.