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Google Redesigns AdWords Interface For the First Time in 8 Years

White Shark Media

8 years ago



It has been a year since the world’s leading search engine officially released that over 50% of searches take place on mobile devices than on desktops.

Now, Google announces another game-changing update. In response to significant changes in consumer behavior, the AdWords interface will be redesigned. states, “Of course, it’s not just about a shift towards mobile. The web has evolved to a multimodal, multimedia world, and advertising has followed.” This has made online search marketing complicated and Google is quickly catching on.

On Monday, March 28, Google announced the start of a major redesign aimed to adapt to the shift in consumer behavior to multi-platform use. The last facelift of this caliber AdWords received was in 2008. I suspect this interface change may go hand in hand with Google Analytic’s recent launch of 360 Suite, also designed to further integrate customer insight data in a multi-screen world.

Users Spoke And Google Listened

AdWords arrived in October 2000 to connect businesses, large and small, with consumers who were rapidly turning their attention online. At 15 years old, Google is now redesigning the AdWords interface to enable businesses to thrive in a world where the smartphone has become consumers’ added body part.

adwords redesign update 1

The idea of a redesign emerged to keep AdWords relevant for the next 15 years. To understand what they were doing well and where they were falling short Google met with many of its users – large and small. From there they moved to prototyping and testing in usability labs.

Search Engine Land interviewed Paul Feng, AdWords product management director, to get the scoop on what their research revealed. These are the three common themes Google recorded among advertisers:

1) AdWords should focus less on the product and more about advertisers’ business needs.

2) AdWords should enable relevant data to be at advertisers’ fingertips.

3) The fundamental design looks and feels outdated.

What Will Be Different?

The focus of the redesign is on updating the way data is displayed. The way campaigns are set up and run will remain the same.

Currently, AdWords comes with an unintuitive platform and a high learning curve. Users are forced to dive through all sorts of subpages and even then, they’re greeted with a vague chart of their ads’ performance. In a time where running online advertising campaigns has become more complicated than ever, the platform screams for easier user navigation and usability.

Search Engine Land provides these Google-supplied screenshots of what the new interface is expected to look like, compared to what it currently looks like.

adwords redesign update 2

adwords redesign update 3

The redesign will only display what is necessary, as opposed to the current interface that bombards users with navigation they may not use. Search Engine Land states an example, “Google is not going to show a “video” tab if you’re not running video.”

Google states their new AdWords will incorporate Material Design, the design language that’s at the core of Google apps like Maps, Search, and Gmail.

What We Have To Say About It

In the last decade, new marketing channels have surged to create an unprecedented amount of consumer insight to analyze. AdWords has lived through it all – the rise of social media, integrative video experience, e-commerce, etc. The platform ended up stacking features one on top of the other to keep up. This ultimately resulted in the complex and over-stuffed interface we have today.

adwords redesign update 4

The world of online searching has become complicated enough for advertisers. Users want powerful tools to manage their data, without the clutter. According to, surfacing real insight—trimming away the fat to reveal the content—is probably the largest challenge in modern data visualization. Google is attempting to overcome that challenge through their redesign. They want to make AdWords with its users in mind.

I predict this change will make AdWords a less intimidating platform. It will now be easier to manage and understand, which will mean higher transparency towards business owners from those third parties running their AdWords campaigns. Users will see data that matters, as well as gather useful insight for other marketing efforts.

It Will Be A Year-Long Process

According to Google, over the next 12 to 18 months, areas of the redesign will roll out to select advertisers — big and small — for testing and feedback based on the capabilities they’re using. This is through invitation only.

The goal is to have the redesign fully rolled out to all users by the end of 2017. There will be no extra costs for using the new UI and current campaigns will not require upgrades or migration, Google said.

What do you think about the interface change? 

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