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3 Important Changes to be Aware of in Google AdWords

Embrace the change before you lose conversions

If, like many other businesses, you rely on Google AdWords for your paid advertising, then you need to keep on top of the developments that are taking place right now. There are so many changes that have either taken place recently, or are taking place in the near future.

Google are always changing the functionality of AdWords and Analytics and without warning, new features appear in the system which can change the way you run your campaigns and measure your success.

Digital agencies need to keep on top of all the changes to make sure that their clients’ accounts aren’t affected by any new developments. If you’re a one man band it’s even more important to keep ahead of the game, as you don’t have someone to tell you when these changes are taking place.

So, what exactly are the changes?


Change No. 1

One of the biggest changes that has started to roll out this month is the way in which conversions are reported. From mid-October, AdWords began to only report optimised conversion actions.

According to Google, campaigns that use the Conversion Optimizer achieve a 21% increase in conversions while decreasing CPA by 14% on average.

What does this mean to advertisers? To sum it up, if you haven’t optimised your conversions you may be left with a significant drop in conversions and a massive headache.

If you do see a massive drop in conversions, don’t panic, it may not be down to your website. It may be the way in which your conversion tracking is set up.

Traditionally, the conversions column would show any conversion action that had been set up but now the column will only show conversions that have optimisation selected. This added customisation lets you prioritise the conversion actions that are most meaningful to your business.

As part of the changes the Conv. (Opt.) column will be removed since its data will now appear in the new and updated conversions column.

If you want to see every conversion, even for those which you turned off optimisation, there will be an “all conversions” (All Conv.) column.

To sum up, you need to make sure that optimisation has been turned on for all the conversion actions that you want to see in the conversion column. If you have any automated rules that reference “conversions” it would probably be best to review and update your settings.

The same would be true of any saved filters and custom columns.

For more information please refer to this document:

Change No. 2

The changes in conversion reporting coincide with the roll out of the new Report Editor, which began in August and is expected to take a “few months” to be added to all accounts.

The new Report Editor makes it a lot easier to put together all your reports into pretty graphs for the world to see. It’s also great for digital marketing agencies like us to report information to clients with ease.

If you’re a smaller company and work on your own Adwords account, it provides a quick way to produce graphs for your boss and can highlight any areas in need of improvement.

The simple system allows you to grab and drop any elements of your campaigns into the system and create a bar, line or pie chart within minutes. This takes out the faff of downloading data into an Excel spreadsheet and all the steps that have to be taken to create a graph.

Change No. 3

The third major change is that Google have also provided advertisers with a new feature to further target their customers, called Customer Match. The feature allows advertisers to upload a list of email addresses, which can be matched to signed-in users on Google in a secure and privacy-safe way.

Google explains how it works in this customer match blog post

  • Let’s say you’re a travel brand. You can now reach people who have joined your rewards program as they plan their next trip. For example, when these rewards members search for “non-stop flights to New York” on, you can show relevant ads at the top of their search results on any device right when they’re looking to fly to New York. When those members are watching their favourite videos on YouTube or catching up on Gmail, you can show ads that inspire them to plan their next trip.”

With this new setup customers can also control the ads they see, including customer match ads, by having the option to opt out of personalised ads or by muting or blocking ads from individual advertisers through their Google ad settings.

Using customer match you can target lapsed customers that may have unsubscribed from your email newsletter. It will also be less ‘creepy’ than traditional remarketing because they don’t work with a soon-to-expire cookie pool so it may be less obvious you are following these customers around the web.

Another area where customer match can be useful is targeting customers that have purchased on a specific date such as Black Friday. You can then retarget them around or on the same date the following year. If you were using traditional remarketing methods the cookie would have expired and it would be impossible to target them a year down the line.


  1. Are your conversions set up correctly?
  2. Have you used report editor yet?
  3. Have you set up customer match campaigns?


If you’re looking for more Adwords help check out our previous PPC Checklist blog post.

Sian Morley

Author: Sian Morley

Sian is PPC Manager here at Midas Media. With 11+ Years’ in the digital world, Sian has a wealth of experience in Account Management, SEO and PPC. She also enjoys extreme ironing and wine.

  • Customer match has potential as a simple function of ubiquitous laziness. People don’t seem to care anymore.

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