Trepidation Abounds Over Google's New Paid Search Advertising Update

The upcoming update to Google's paid search advertising format is causing mixed reactions from the online marketing industry about how it will affect their media strategies.

Titled 'Enhanced Campaigns' and rolling out on 22 July, the update represents the most fundamental change to paid search advertising in years.

The update aims to simplify the process of creating AdWords campaigns so that advertisers can target users across different device types - this is welcomed by many campaign managers as it effectively means that instead of creating device-specific campaigns for mobile, tablet and desktop, all devices can now be served with ads within the same campaign and from the same interface.

Nevertheless, the update will also allow Google to take takes greater control over brands' location targeting by automating how and where an ad appears. In addition, brands without mobile or tablet optimised platforms are concerned that displayed ads may direct mobile users to sites where they will have a poor experience, which will effectively reduce conversion levels.

A further significant worry expressed by both brands and online paid search specialists is the anticipation that the new Enhanced Campaigns will entail the increase of search ad placements, particularly for mobile devices which have traditionally been a great deal lower than desktop. Overall, there is trepidation and confusion around whether the end result of the update will see conversion rates decrease but prices increase.

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