Google rebranding AdWords & DoubleClick to Google Ads should come as no surprise to anyone and it’s shocking that it has taken them this long to do so. AdWords / DoubleClick has long been a barrier of entry for newcomers, smaller businesses, and less digitally savvy folks due to its confusing interface and multiple entry points. There is a line in this article from Reuters about this that tells the whole story, in my opinion, of what the issue has been:
“Advertisers have been befuddled when told that they need to go to Google AdWords to buy ads on YouTube.”
If that doesn’t scream “something is wrong” to people, then I don’t know what would.
What Google is trying to do here is answer a question that has long been looming for them: “How do we make this platform more accessible to less digitally savvy users?” The answer to that question is worth millions of dollars to them, and this rebranding and consolidation is the first step.
The unfortunate problem is the overall attitude towards change taken by most folks in our industry. People still like to believe that Google is this evil organization that only changes things to make marketers lives more difficult; this is especially true for folks in SEM & SEO positions. There is always this negative vibe about any change Google makes because it disrupts workflows and doesn’t allow people to sit back and relax and watch their sites grow.
The simple fact of the matter is that Google needs to change and disrupt on a regular basis to keep people interested in their search engine. They are not obsessed with making our lives more difficult, they are obsessed with user experience because the lion’s share of their revenue comes from paid ads. Without a good U/X people will lose interest and stop using them over time, which means less searches, less ads to serve, and less revenue. They change because they want to stay relevant for transactional terms for the foreseeable future, especially with their largest threat/competitor looming in the not too far distance. No, not Bing – Amazon.
We don’t only see this on the actual SERP’s either, we see it in how Google is constantly iterating on how it interprets our sites. Over the last several years Google has taken on a user-first, quality over quantity strategy in their search algorithm and I think the rebranding and consolidation of AdWords is that strategy bleeding over into how they interact with customers in their other products.
Overall this is a good thing and making these services more accessible to the general user base will most likely pay dividends for them in the future, as there have been countless people who have just given up because it’s too confusing.