Some things never change and for the past 15 years very little has altered with Google Adwords; but we had confirmation today from one of our contacts over at Google HQ that Adwords is going to be redesigned and relaunched.

The last time Google tidied up Adwords was back in 2008 and with the speed in which advertising evolves this is somewhat confusing to some. AdWords head Jerry Dischler hinted at this overhaul in a keynote discussion at SMX Advanced in Seattle last June, now we are getting the first glimpse at what’s in store.

“The reason we’re rebuilding AdWords is because the world has changed so much in the past two years. AdWords is now over 15 years old and launched when Google was just figuring out what search advertising was. We rebuilt it several years ago for a desktop world — smartphones were only a year old. Now we are in probably the biggest shift since AdWords was introduced (and I’d argue perhaps ever) with mobile,” said Feng, “And there is now increased demand on marketers and on AdWords as a platform — advertisers are running ads in search, display, shopping, mobile, video. Ultimately, that’s why we’re re-imagining AdWords.”

The redesign will be managed to meet the requirement of modern day advertisers; by discussing with advertisers what they would like. Feng went on to say “How the navigation is laid out can be un-intuitive and comes with a high learning curve,” said Feng.  Second, the platform has grown complex, with hundreds of features launching every year that stack up on each other. And third, the basic design looks and feels kind of dated. “The goal is to create a flexible platform for the future,” added Feng.

There will be no functionality changes; which means the changes will not effect the way campaigns are setup and run.

The screenshot Google has sent out gives some insight into the changes. They show a graphical snapshot of performance — kind of like a more narrowly focused and easier-to-read version of the account-level Home screen in AdWords now. In this view, there are four main metrics surfaced with Clicks and Conversions highlighted and charted below. Then there is a Top ad groups snapshot, as well as an at-a-glance view of the performance split across Devices.

google adwords redesign bigfusion

Another thing we can see in the redesign views is that all of the secondary navigation runs along the left side, parallel to the primary navigation. Options such as Locations, Sitelinks and Devices are surfaced in that navigation rather than buried under Settings.

In the screenshot of the Keywords view on the right, the navigation is again simplified with the tertiary nav options of “Keywords,” “Negative Keywords” and “Search Terms” shown at the very top of the window and any non-keyword related navigation removed from view. Now, comparing the above to the complexity of today’s Keyword view makes the future of ad words looks very refreshing.

current adwords view bigfusion

Feng also confirmed roll out timescales; a handful of marketers will be able to test the platform but they will be selected by Google; it’s estimated the changes will be available for everyone for the end of 2017.

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