2019 Google Ad Platform Changes

Google is known for consistently improving its ad platforms and 2018 was one of the biggest years in terms of changes made.

We saw the brand change from Google AdWords to Google Ads, with a brand new user interface and new campaign types, being rolled out. A few examples of changes were responsive display & search ads, new targeting options and tools.

What does the new year hold for the search giant and what can we expect from the Google Ads platform in 2019? Let’s take a look at the two biggest changes that has everyone talking! Audiences & Automation.


Google’s ability to segment audiences has tremendously improved over the past few years. We have reached a point where keywords are not the most important factor when considering your targeting options. Drilling down into your audiences, a form of targeting based on a user’s habits and combining them with relevant keyword targeting will become a must-have to remain on top of your game in the world of search.

With audience targeting, you can show your ads to a specific audience based on who they are, their interests and habits, what they’re actively researching, or how they have interacted with your business. By using keywords you are actively trying to match search terms, relevant to your business, with the terms/keywords being searched by users to reach your business. The above targeting also applies to the Google Display Network (GDN) where users might be searching for content and visiting different websites, relevant to your business’s industry.

To primarily use audience targeting means you are shifting focus away from match based targeting and onto context and people. Even though keywords still remain important, it will become equally important to utilize audience targeting to maximise performance in 2019.



The Google Ad platform gives you more insights and more recommendations based on performance. This will allow you to spend less time micromanaging your account and spend more time creating ad copy, better audience segments and reports.

Automation in Google has been a subject for a while now, but in 2019 we will be seeing automation becoming an integral part of managing ad campaigns. With various new “smart” features being added and responsive ads being launched, it has become possible to run a successful Google campaign by just using automation features.

What rings true, however, is that campaign managers still have the ability to create unique processes to leverage the Ad systems and come out on top against competitors. Google ads are providing better recommendations as well, which will help campaign managers focus more on the customer than worrying about mundane tasks such as bid management (bidding for digital marketing campaigns).


Automation comes from the “machine’s learnings”, basically a form of AI (artificial intelligence). Even though AI is on a fast track to becoming more reliable than humans, it’s not the case just yet, and what divides the average campaign manager from the great ones, would be their ability to leverage the system. Essentially, layering smart campaign management on top of the system’s automation abilities will produce the best results for your campaigns.


In summary, the goal for 2019 would be to find the most practical way of combining keyword-based targeting with Google’s new automation features. Including responsive ads in both Display & Search campaigns, combined with consistently testing your ad copy, will result in increased returns over the long term. These changes will allow for more client communication and planning to meet your assigned goals and expectations by saving time on repetitive campaign work.

At Elemental, we believe in staying ahead of the curve. Implementing the above-mentioned features throughout 2018 and continuing to do so in 2019, helps us to drastically improve our client’s campaign results. Get in touch with us if you have any questions on how we provide a return on investment for our clients with Google Ads!

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Having been established in 2005, in Cape Town, South Africa, Elemental is primarily focused on providing web development services and digital marketing campaigns.