Top 3 AdWords Updates of 2017

By Michael Knight | @michaelaknight | Senior Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

Google had a lot of AdWords updates in 2017, and there were several that had a huge impact on how can we optimize and change our strategy. For some runner-up examples, custom intent for display, smart display including life events, sharing negative lists across accounts, view-through conversions for Gmail Ads, and much more.

This post could have easily been 5 or even 10 top Google AdWords updates over the past year, but I wanted to offer up 3 of the most impactful changes that will be just as useful as we move into 2018.

IF Functions – January 2017


This 2017 ad customizer changes the text based on either an audience or device to make the ad more relevant to a user.

Use your current audience lists to create built in RLSA text if you run audiences inside current search campaigns using bid modifiers.

Also with the removal of separate mobile ads, using IF functions can allow for specific messaging for mobile (or desktop) users while still using the final URL or mobile final ULR to send users to the relevant page.


Being able to create multiple ads in one that dynamically change based on specific variables is key to allowing Google to show the right ads to users while still being given flexibility to the text and landing pages.

IF you want to read more on  how to implement IF Functions or find out why they should be in your testing rotation, make sure to read more on PPC Hero.

Similar Audiences for Search – May 2017


Audiences have been used in search for RLSA and audience bid modifiers, but now, we can create and add similar users to search campaigns.

This can be used to put more value on a search visitor who has not yet engaged with your brand. Some of the ways to use this in search is bid higher on similar users to your converters, or those who have visited a relevant and key page of the site.


This allows for some advanced targeting strategies as well as basic “get more new traffic” goals. From an advanced standpoint, this could essentially create a campaign that targets only fitting into those similar to your selected visitor while decreasing bids by 100% on all current visitors or traffic. Making it truly a new highly targeted visitor campaign.

Promotion Extensions – November 2017

This final top AdWords update changes how we change ads for promotions that come and go. With Google’s new push for a stead 3-5 ads in rotation and a focus on optimizing ad rotations means switching out or pausing ads for a single, short promotion isn’t necessarily the best for optimizations or for showing the new promo ad. Instead, by adding a separate, scheduled specific promotion, you can add additional text to your ads while showing the details of the offer; Including a specific URL.


As mentioned above, with the new ad rotations in place and not upsetting the google-verse with short run ads, promotion extensions can have high value in showing specific sales or promotions and run them as an extension while still showing high value through direct clicks and conversions from the promotional link.

To learn more about setting up promotion extension and specific data cases showing why it works, read why promotion extensions are a quick and easy boost for ecommerce campaigns.


Google had a big year of AdWords updates and if you want to read about all of them, you can at Google’s 2017 New AdWords Features support page.

If you have found other updates to be as or more impactful than these, reach out to us on Twitter and let us know what you found to be useful to you!