Google is the world’s largest search provider, and arguably the world’s largest advertising company. In 2014, the company generated revenues in excess of $65 billion, with more than $45 billion being generated from Google’s Adwords and Search Advertising Business. While most end-users will never see a direct monetary cost associated with Google services, the company’s primary model for revenue generations comes from its ability to understand its users, make that information actionable, and provide advertisers with a platform to serve relevant advertisements.
It was estimated that Google captured 55%, or nearly $82 billion, of all search advertising dollars in 2015. It is easy to overlook the fact that Google is providing a service to the agencies and businesses that utilize the AdWords platform, and with that in mind Google has started to unveil a refreshed UI and an enhanced platform that will benefit the administrators of the service. This revision marks only the second major revision to the platform, and the first in eight years. AdWords launched over 15 years ago with only 250 clients and has since grown exponentially into the billion dollar cornerstone of Google’s business.
AdWords has over one million unique customers, and while there are certainly many large Fortune 100 companies who utilize the service for millions of dollars annually, Google is making this change with the smaller companies in mind as well. Data has defined the last ten years, and it hugely important in advertising, where excellent data allows for more informed choices that enable a better advertisement served at the exact right time in the customer lifecycle. With that being said, Google’s primary focus for this update is not to adjust the backend of its service, which is incrementally updated to ensure that more information is captured and advertisers have added freedom. Google even opened their advertising platform up to additional networks recently, which means that potential revenues may not flow directly to Google, but will (at a minimum) flow through Google.
With data being the buzzword, how does a UI refresh work to enhance the average user experience? Visualization is key. Something that Google has made very clear in their revisions is that not every user of AdWords is a data scientist or a specialist in data analysis. With that being understood, Google is taking a step toward automated visualization and is providing users with an easy way to visualize their data to better understand the insights. Further improvements in visualization and presentation allow for an easier interpretation of campaign success across various mediums. The spreadsheet-style layout that has been key to the presentation of the user dashboard will be replaced with more elegant and responsive charts, drawing increased focus on performance as opposed to the actual words.
While this may seem like a small step, Google is redesigning the administration of AdWords for the foreseeable future in a cross-channel world with greater access for all users. The services offered by Google are powerful and robust, and can be critical to the success of any business. Understanding the value and the capabilities offered in the tools is the first step to success with AdWords, and thanks to a redesign by Google, that reality of closer than ever for most users.