On 24th May 2016, the annual Google Performance Summit took place, which revealed the AdWords and Analytics product roadmap for the coming year. As many expected, a number of changes relating to ad formats and bidding options were introduced, due in large part to the meteoric rise of mobile.

What’s more, Google also went into detail about the sheer size and scale of search, which is evolving at an astonishing rate. But because so many subjects were covered at the Google Performance Summit, Essex-based digital marketing agency SEO & Web has created this list of the most important.

Google to enable mobile-based bidding by splitting tablet and desktop on AdWords

Arguably the biggest piece of news from the Google Performance Summit is the decision to break up tablet and desktop on AdWords, which will enable marketers to make mobile-based bids. Currently, bids are tied to desktop even though mobile usage has been increasing exponentially. Therefore, it has been difficult to scale mobile when linked to a limited desktop multiplier.

But now, advertisers will given more control over device-level bidding with the ability to set individual adjustments for mobile, tablet, and desktop. “This lets you anchor your base keyword bid to the device most valuable to your business and then set bid adjustments for each of the other devices,” said Sridhar Ramaswamy, senior vice president of Ads and Commerce. “You will also have a wider range to adjust bids, up to +900 per cent.”

More on this significant change can be found on SEO & Web’s blog.

Google to introduce Expanded Test Ads for all devices

Seeing as Google has been busy testing longer text ads in search results across all devices, this latest announcement comes as no surprise. Expanded Test Ads, which will have two longer headlines of up to 30 characters each and a longer description line of up to 80 characters, will be available to advertisers later this year.

“These upgrades help your ads work harder across screens, especially for the on-the-go mobile consumer that wants to know exactly what you offer before tapping into your website,” explained Ramaswamy. The change is possible since Google removed right-side ads from result pages, allowing greater flexibility for a more uniform look on desktop and mobile.

Google brings “Promoted Pins” to Maps on account of growing local searches

For quite some time, Google has been playing around with ads in Google Maps. But now we are living in a ‘mobile first’ era, Google is taking it much more seriously and will introduce “promoted pins” or “promoted locations” on Maps. This means that users can see branded pins along their route or nearby, while marketers will gain more “branded and customised experiences.”

For example, businesses will be able to include promotions and discounts to encourage store visits as well as a range of content types to their pins, like a local product inventory for retailers. However, Google says promoted pins are still undergoing testing and experimentation.

Google has measured over 1 billion global store visits from AdWords

Around 18 months ago, Google introduced a store visits metric in AdWords to measure the impact search ads can have on customer footfall. Since then, Google has tracked more than 1 billion visits globally to prove the influence of online advertising on offline traffic.

It also said AdWords store visits measurement is now available to 1,000 advertisers in 11 countries, including automotive dealers such as Nissan. Its UK-based division found that six per cent of mobile ad clicks, both brand and non-brand, led to a dealership visit.

Google will expand store visits tracking to a broader range of advertisers

Not content with its current self-proclaimed title of “the largest omnichannel measurement provider in the world,” Google has plans to expand store visits tracking to even more advertisers and eventually small businesses.

However, it remains to be seen how long this will take, as the current methodology isn’t accurate enough for small businesses, mainly due to challenges regarding scale and location precision. To overcome this, Google may augment store visits with beacons, which would help verify that a user is actually present inside a store location.

Google introduces natural language voice recognition for Analytics

In spite of the advantages that mining for data on Google Analytics can provide, several users find it difficult to negotiate this complicated landscape. But it should be much simpler in the future, as Google has introduced natural language voice recognition to Analytics, enabling you to speak the stat you want and get the answer straightaway.

Babak Pahlavan, who heads measurement and analytics products for Google, showed off the coming capability at the summit, which is made possible by machine learning. According to Pahlavan, machine learning will aim to understand what the user is saying and figure out how to parse the answer.

Google AdWords set for complete redesign

The AdWords platform is now more than 15 years old, with the last touch-up coming way back in 2008. Therefore, Google has made plans to redesign and rejuvenate the interface for an easier, more efficient experience. Google even released a sneak-peak of what the brand new layout could look like, but warned not to expect it anytime soon.

“This re-imagining process is going to take some time, but we’re excited to finally talk about what we’ve been working on for the past year, year and a half,” said Paul Feng, AdWords product management director.

Google handles at least 2 trillion searches a year

The last piece of major news from the Google Performance Summit is that after four years, the search engine giant has finally released an updated figure of how many queries it processes year. Although an exact statistic was not revealed, Google says at least 2 trillion searches are handled per year, which means it could be even higher still.

But if you use 2 trillion searches as a foundation, this also reveals at least:

  • 63,000 searches per second
  • 8 million searches per minute
  • 228 million searches per hour
  • 5 billion searches per day
  • 167 billion searches per month