Yana Krotova
30th Mar, 2016

Google announced last Monday the start of a redesign process that would give AdWords a better and improved interface.

AdWords product management director Paul Feng said over the phone that the re-imagining process would take some time, what with the concerns raised by advertisers that need to be addressed. But there is much excitement about finally being able to “talk about what we’ve been working on for the past year, year and a half”.

Last June in Seattle, during a keynote discussion at SMX Advanced, AdWords head Jerry Dischler dropped hints about the AdWords overhaul, and it is finally happening.

According to Feng, there are several reasons that AdWords is being rebuilt.

  • It is more than 15 years old with the last touch up done way back in 2008.
  • It was launched at a time when Google was still trying to understand what search advertising was really all about.
  • It was designed for a desktop world, but the world today has shifted to mobile.
  • There is now an increased demand on AdWords as a platform.

Three common themes for the redesign have emerged, and are based on talks with advertisers across the spectrum. People want AdWords to be built around the needs and the objectives of marketers instead of products and features. They want the platform to be easy to use and navigate, instead of the present complex platform with a high learning curve. There is also a call for a redesign of the platform itself. Google is set to use Material Design, the company’s design language, as the basis for redesigning AdWords.

Several changes will happen during the course of the redesign process, but the functionality will be retained. How campaigns are run or structured would not be affected, as the focus is on updating the interface.

An Overview screen will be integrated with Campaigns and Ad Groups feature on the left-hand navigation. Clicking on an individual campaign will bring up a dashboard view of a graphical snapshot of a campaign performance. 4 main metrics will be displayed along with Clicks and Conversions. There will also be a snapshot of Top ad groups and a view of performance that can be seen at a glance across Devices.

All secondary navigations, such as Devices, Locations and Sitelinks, will be seen along primary navigation, instead of being hidden under Settings. Keywords, Negative Keywords and Search Terms will be displayed at the topmost part of the window, while non-keyword related navigation is removed. This aims to simplify navigation and how keywords are viewed.

In AdWords new design, only relevant navigation will show in each view. If a display campaign does not run a video, the video tab will not show on the surface. If it doesn’t have keywords, the keywords tab will be hidden from view.

When asked about when the completely redesigned platform will be rolled out, Feng said that the goal is by the end of 2017. But they will expose features over the next 12 to 18 months, as they become available, to a small number of advertisers for testing and feedback.

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