What’s New in Google Ads in 2024?

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Last Updated on: 22nd January 2024, 06:04 pm

2023 was an exciting year for digital marketing and advertising. But what’s cooking in the kitchen of the biggest advertising platform this year? I took a deep dive to bring you the most important changes to Google Ads in 2024.

Are you ready? Let’s take a look!

Key Changes Coming to Google Ads in 2024:

  1. Three Big AI Changes to Google Ads in 2024: Demand Generation Campaigns, Performance Max Asset Creation, and RSA Assets
  2. The Google Ads Dashboard’s New Look and Feel
  3. Stricter Data and Privacy Controls with Consent Mode v2 and Personalised Ads Policy
  4. Manage First-Party Data with Google Ads Data Manager in 2024
  5. Expanded Regions for the Google Guaranteed Programme
  6. Search Themes in Performance Max
  7. Augmented Reality Beauty Ads for Cosmetics Brands on Google Ads

1. AI Changes to Google Ads in 2024: New Campaign Type and AI Assistance in RSA and pMAX

2023 was a big year for AI, so it’s no wonder that Google hopped on the AI bandwagon. First, I want you to meet AI-powered Demand Gen campaigns for Google Ads!

How Do Google Ads Demand Gen Campaigns Work in 2024?

Google Ads 2024 AI demand generation campaign example
Source: SEJ

The main difference between Demand Gen campaigns and other campaign types is their social focus

They target platforms like YouTube (Shorts) and Gmail, and add new functionality to standard Discovery campaigns (e.g., use short videos and carousels).

But it’s not just the campaign look and feel that will change. Demand Gen ads also allow you to use first-party data to build lookalike audiences and optimise your ROAS with advanced bidding strategies.

Will Google Ads Demand Gen Campaigns Replace Discovery Ads in 2024?

Yes, Google plans to turn Discovery campaigns into Demand Gen campaigns by March 2024

AI Assistance Added to Performance Max Campaigns in 2024

Google Ads has added AI assistance to Performance Max campaigns, as well. The AI will automatically suggest headlines, visuals, and other assets. 

google ads 2024 performance max ai generated assets

I find the changes underwhelming. Is it nice to generate videos and images with one click? Sure! But very few will be ready to be displayed to the leads you hope to convert.

As with any Google Ads change, I recommend taking it with a grain of salt and waiting for further enhancements before you let the AI enthusiasm affect your conversions. 

Automatically Created Assets Are Coming to Google in 2024

Finally, the cherry on top of our Google Ads AI cake is the automatically-created RSA assets (ACAs). Verifying all the possible headline and description combinations in Responsive Search Ads has never been easy, so Google is adding AI to help us.

The new process will automatically generate the assets so you can make changes and optimisations without starting from scratch. Google will get the information from your website, URLs, other ads, keywords, and landing pages. 

Of course, you’ll be able to remove and adjust the ACAs. If you want to A/B test them against the assets you manually created, check your campaign reports for the “Asset source” column. Google will also automatically remove poorly performing ACAs. 

2. The Google Ads Manager Dashboard Looks Different in 2024

2023 saw the changes to the Google Ads Manager dashboard trickle in, with quite a few advertisers still waiting to see the changes in 2024. (I’m one of them!)

new google ads dashboard 2024

The key changes to the Google Ads Manager dashboard include the following:

  • A different navigation menu – One place for all the tooling instead of the three different spots we’ve gotten used to.
  • New navigation category, “Goals” – See your goals and conversion metrics in one place. (And if you haven’t set up conversion tracking yet, what are you waiting for?)
  • New navigation category, “Audiences, keywords, and content” – With all the changes to Google Ads audience targeting, it made sense to consolidate the different ways to reach your ideal leads under one category. 

From what I’ve seen, the dashboard looks much easier to use. It’ll just take some time to acclimatise to it!

P.S. And don’t forget the switch from Universal Analytics to GA4!

3. Privacy Changes to Google Ads in 2024

Privacy is another focus area for Google Ads in 2024. 

Google Ads’ Personalised Ads Policy

Google’s new personalised ads policy primarily targets the finance sector. Starting from February 2024, if you’re launching credit and banking ads, you won’t be able to use sensitive information such as the following:

  • Gender and age
  • Parental and marital status
  • Zip code

I recommend reviewing your campaigns with a Google Ads professional before February 2024 to stay compliant and keep your campaigns running. 

First came the cookie change. Now come the specifics.

Google Ads Consent Mode v2 now sends two additional parameters to Google Ads, both describing what users have consented to when it comes to personalisation:

  • ad_user_data 
  • ad_personalization

This means that the users who have opted out of this type of data sharing won’t be included in your, for example, remarketing lists. Make sure your cookie notices and policies are up-to-date!

4. Manage First-Party Ad Data with Google Ads Data Manager

I’ve been talking about the need to start collecting and leveraging your first-party data since 2021. Google’s finally caught on to the absolute CRM mess companies have used to identify profitable audiences.

The new Google Ads Data Manager will make connecting all your different data sources (CRM, ads, email marketing, website, etc.) easier. You can even use Zapier for all the apps that don’t offer native integrations! 

google ads data manager 2024

Once launched, the Data Manager will allow you to: 

And more!

It’s a significant step forward, especially in light of all the privacy changes which have made it harder to retarget profitable audiences. Everything is still fully compliant, but it won’t be as hard to aggregate and put all your data to good use within your Google Ads account.  

5. More Regions Join Local Services Ads and Google Guaranteed in 2024

There’s nothing like getting a badge of verification from Google to prove you’re a trusted local service business. Fortunately, the programme is expanding!

Local services ads will now become available for legal firms and real estate agents in the London, UK area. 

google ads 2024 new expansions to the google guaranteed programme

In addition to the Guaranteed (or Screened) badge, you can also include your profile photo and other information in your ad, so it stands out from other listings in your area. 

google guaranteed and local services ads example

6. Search Themes Come to Performance Max in 2024

Performance Max is quite self-reliant when it comes to the targeting you can set up manually. This is often a double-edged sword, and I’ve personally complained that the level of visibility is extremely poor. 

However, the addition of search themes makes it easier to provide your input to Google’s AI. 

performance max search themes

How Do Search Themes Work in Performance Max?

The ideal use case is giving Google Ads more information than it would have typically found. 

For example:

  • Your campaigns don’t have a lot of historical data for the new area you’re targeting with your advertising. (New industry, new products, new promotions, etc.)
  • Your website and landing pages aren’t fully up-to-date on the new details of your offers.
  • You’ve spotted areas that pMax ignored, and you want to ensure they’re included.

In practice, Google will treat search themes like broad match and phrase match keywords. Once you add them at the ad group level, the algorithm will consider how to best place your campaigns with the new information in mind.

Looking at this, it seems that Google Ads is backtracking a little and becoming aware that advertisers expect more control over their campaigns. And I, for one, fully support that!

7. AR Beauty Ads Come to Google Ads in 2024

If you’re in the cosmetics industry, I have some good news! Google Ads now offers Augmented Reality (AR) ads that allow your potential customers to “try on” products like lipsticks and eyeshadows.

AR beauty ads come to Google Ads in 2024

If you’re eligible, you’ll see the Try-on experience as part of your Google Shopping or Performance Max ads. The critical prerequisite is having a Merchant and Manufacturer Centre account. 

Unfortunately, this puts AR ads out of reach for the smaller brands or brands which may not manufacture their own products, but it’s a step in the right direction!

2024 Will Be an Exciting (and AI-Driven) Year for Google Ads!

Just as data was the recurring theme for 2023, artificial intelligence will become the cornerstone of Google Ads changes in 2024. As you test and implement the new features, don’t forget that while the hype is exciting, your ROI comes first.

Review all the new options in front of you and consider how (and if) they fit into your advertising strategy. 

Then, make the best decision for your business. Yes, AI is incredible, but no one knows the inner workings of your customers’ minds as well as you do. 

Remember the foundations (or remind yourself with my best-selling Google Ads book), and if in doubt, contact me for personalised advice

Happy New Year!

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