There’s a bit of upheaval in the world of online advertising with Google this week announcing the rebranding its ad services and killing off two old favourites.

Google Ads will replace the search giant’s money-spinning Google AdWords and DoubleClick will be combined with the 360 Analytics platform to create the Google Marketing Platform.

This is potentially a softening of the brand image by ditching the more technical baggage that AdWords and DoubleClick carry, just as those tools become more user-friendly.

Google knows big name brands count on it and are secure in their reliance and relationships.

But it is now recasting its products to have more appeal to smaller enterprises as well, pulling on some user-friendly clothes as it seeks to squeeze ever last penny out of online advertising.

Everyone knows Google already but this rebranding is so that people who are new to this kind of service can more easily get in the door. Until now, you had two valuable platforms with the latter only really available on a need to know (and need to spend) basis

Paid media specialists

Google AdWords is the weapon of choice for paid media specialists, often allowing for a digital foundation on which other channels and top of funnel activity can be built. 

It has powerful tools for developing ad campaigns that are served up as results on Google’s SERP as well as display banners on websites, sponsored promotions in Gmail and video ads on YouTube.

And you can’t underestimate the value of YouTube advertising. It’s the second most-used search engine behind Google, which owns it.

My theory of Google improving its accessibility to increase revenue could be labelled as cynicism. Fair enough (but if you’ve ever had a set of recommendations from your AdWords reps, I guarantee one of them will have been to “try increasing your bids”).

Technology is decreasing the need for manual input across the vast majority of industries and there’s no doubt that the machine learning and algorithmic improvements allow for better and quicker decision-making, which will improve performance.

This simplification of the processes is mirrored in the way Google is simplifying the way it presents itself. Reducing two streams to one makes sense if you’re trying to make what your company is about look easier. The rebrand serves to make the creation of campaigns frictionless across platforms.


People will know what Google Ads is and does because it’s all there in that name. But when it’s DoubleClick and Google AdWords, it’s less appealing, more technical looking, more overwhelming, less user-friendly.

And in a future that’s increasingly about the prevalence of voice searches – 20 per cent of traffic and rising fast – the switch to Google Ads branding makes perfect sense. A newcomer to the world of online advertising might not know about AdWords. But they know Google does ads.

The name Google Ads is just a more natural search term, and voice search is all about what comes naturally – search intent remains the same, but search terms differ greatly if they’re spoken, rather than written.

If Google is adjusting its Search for voice search, it just underlines the importance that any business does the same.

There are advantages of having all the ad products in one place. For example, once you’re in one product, you’ll be able to easily find the other products as well.


But this slicker functionality and ease of use doesn’t mean anyone can set up and run an optimal digital advertising campaign. Like all things, there’s value in experience and expertise.

What the launch of the new interface and reliance on algorithms does is give advertisers more time for optimisation and help to measure and adjust campaigns performance more effectively.

We’ll be able to allocate more time to crucial campaign tactics and strategy because of the greater freedom gives us, compared with the old manual methods.

So whilst Google is making it easier for non-marketers to build and manage their ad campaigns, it will still be crucial to have an experienced and skilled marketer running campaigns for a number of years to come. Like someone once told me: “You can do your own dentistry if you really want to, but it’s not necessarily a good idea.”

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