What I Fell in Love With: The Next Evolution of Search

There’s a lot to love about working in the digital advertising industry. The demand for services is high, yes. But the demand for new (and better) features from the likes of Google, Bing and Facebook has never been higher. This means the features just keep coming, forcing us to continually learn something new. Over the past year, the search landscape changed and evolved considerably – and I LOVE it! This is a topic I love, as shown here, and here… OK, you get the picture.

The Dominance of Shopping

All the product ads. All of them. Everywhere. Fill all white space above the fold on SERP’s. Put ’em on YouTube. Let’s make carousels of popular verticals, cuz why not?!?!? Love it!

(image source – The SEM Post)

It would seem ludicrous if it didn’t WORK or there wasn’t DEMAND for product ads. Shopping Campaigns are uniquely powerful for e-commerce retailers. Google and Bing recognize that demand and are racing to figure out how to monetize accordingly.

Expanded Text Ads

Who doesn’t like more ad copy? The Expanded Text Ad unit has been somewhat controversial with the PPC crowd as they haven’t performed better than Standard Text Ads for everyone. OK, so maybe some people don’t like more ad copy. I digress…

(image source – Bing Ads Blog)

On the whole, ETAs have been a positive this past year. Higher character limits mean more complete sentences and readable ad copy. That fits in nicely with Google and Bing’s missions to provide quality, relevant search results to their users. Bing jumped on the ETA bus almost immediately after Google did, so the experience for us advertisers was smooth. And beyond all of that, for those of us who have spent a LOT of time writing ads in social channels… we’ve gotten used to writing well-read ad copy and ETAs bring that trend into search. Love it!

Dynamic… Stuff

Dynamic Search Ads didn’t happen in the past year. I know. Nor did ad customizers. Nor did DKI. Hell… DKI has been around for a crazy long time. So why include dynamic “stuff”? For starters, the popularity of DSA’s and dynamic ad features has grown. Advertisers have grown comfortable with the dynamic elements of Upgraded URL’s to customize their tracking. As a presenter and professional trainer, I’m seeing an increase in comfort level with dynamic elements within search. Love it!

Which brings me to the new AdWords ‘IF’ function for ads. HOLY DYNAMIC ADS BATMAN! (Which reminds me, if you haven’t seen The Lego Batman Movie, do it now. NOW. Love it!) In short, serve different elements of the ad based on device or audience. ETAs and ad customizers got together and had a baby… That is MIND BLOWING STUFF. Love it. Love it. Love it. Love it. See it in action:

(image source – Wordstream)

Ad Extensions

The ad extension train just won’t stop. Every week I seem to be left thinking, “what will they think of next!?!?” But that’s OK. Ad extensions make the SERPs a living, breathing place with a wealth of information for the searcher. That’s a good thing. Love it!

Click to Message (Google)

(image source – Search Engine Land)

Video Extensions (Bing)

(image source – Search Engine Journal)

What’s Next?

The evolution of search isn’t over, friends. In fact, I’d argue we are on the verge of a revolution. Looking ahead to the future of voice search and chat bots (conversation as a platform) and how Google and Bing monetize these screenless searches is EXCITING to say the least. The future is bright. Love it!

Are you excited about the evolution of search? If so, lets discuss in the comments!