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With 2017 almost at its end, we can look back on the trends and changes in PPC management and sum up how we can approach our digital marketing campaigns for the New Year. Although there wasn't a 'big' change in the industry – as opposed to 2013's introduction of 'enhanced campaigns' or 2016's 'expanded text ads' – certain multiple trends have still created an atmosphere of change this year. One of these trends is the use of machine learning – although not exclusive to this year, the usage of machine learning and other AI has become more commonplace during 2017 – suggesting that its usage and impact on our online world will only continue to grow in the future.

In this blog, we're going to have a look at the development of machine learning in PPC this year and how it will continue to be of an influence throughout 2018.

How Has Machine Learning Effected PPC Management In 2017?

Whilst there is still much to do in terms of improving browsing experiences on mobile, we have (and will continue to) see Google push its mobile initiatives, such as AMP for ads and landing pages, purchases on Google and much more. In 2017, however, the biggest shift in PPC management was undoubtedly towards machine learning and other AI – here were the main highlights:

  • Exact search: Now more exact. Machine learning has allowed for searches to become even more exact by stretching themselves to include close variants of keyword searches – using different word orders and/or function words to present better-defined results.

  • An Improved Bid Floor Experience. Ad rank thresholds (that determine the positional placement of the ad on a search page) are now indoctrinated with machine learning in order to take the information presented by a keyword search into consideration when setting the bid floor.

  • A Smarter Ad Campaign. Google's smart display campaigns (which show ads in different formats across their display network) are now almost entirely ran by machine learning.

  • Improved Attribution. Google's data-driven attribution (which gives customers credit for conversions, based on how many searches lead to genuine business) is now almost-entirely powered by AI.

  • Automated Bid Strategy. Both Google and Bing have released new automated bid strategies; Bing, in the shape of their Maximize Clicks option and Google, with their Maximize Conversions.

The Effects Of Machine Learning On PPC In 2017

Machine Learning Means No More A/B Testing

Another subtle change in PPC management in 2017, was Google's Ad Testing. Throughout the year, Google have been moving advertisers away from using the A/B testing model and manually checking how ads perform. Thanks to machine learning, this process can now be done automatically; saving much time in producing ads for marketers.

Earlier this year, we touched on this with our coverage of the change to Google's ad rotation settings that saw the number of options 'trimmed down' to allow for better-optimised ads. As a result, the overall impressions that these trimmed-down ads will make will increase, as Google's own algorithms will be programmed to present the best-optimised ads, based on the keyword search.

Identifying A Specific Audience & Targeting

Fitting in nicely alongside this rise in machine learning is the advancements in audience targeting capabilities. Whilst the keyword will always be the major factor that drives digital marketing, the ability to target specific audiences is constantly expanding. Take Facebook for example – with access to so much data, it can shape its ads to meet the 'likes' and interests of its users. As the world's largest search engine, Google can understand a user by the information they enter, the websites they visit and the locations they browse from – all data that can be used by machine learning to target specific ads at them in the future.

Google Attribution

With so many channels, devices, campaigns and technology around today, attribution hasn't got easier as time has gone on. As a result, Google have launched a possible solution to this issue – Google Attribution. Currently at beta stage, this new product could transform the way many marketers approach attribution for their campaigns, however, the real impact will not be seen until mid-2018 at the latest, when the full product is released.

Google Attribution is ultimately intended to give marketers a wider, more-detailed picture of how their channels and campaigns are performing at all stages of the process. The major benefit of the program is that it can automatically feed collected data back into AdWords or DoubleClick to inform the user's bidding strategies – from this perspective, it gives the user more of an insight into cross-channel performance than AdWords or Google Analytics do currently.

These are just a couple of examples of the improvement of PPC management during this year – as the number of devices and platforms we use to access the world wide web increases, it's inevitable that the marketplace offered by the internet will similarly continue to grow. If you are an eCommerce trader, putting in place an effective plan in regards to your advertising NOW will stand you in good stead for when the time comes to attract this growing user base.

Hire Professional Digital Marketers For Your PPC Campaign

If you are indeed looking to improve your online advertising campaigns, then taking advantage of professional PPC management will help to you create optimised ads that can promote your brand, products and offers to a new and interested audience. Not only is a professional PPC agency fully aware of the latest trends and changes within the industry, their expertise and connections puts them ahead of the game when it comes to creating online ads.

Contact PPC Junkies Today To Learn More About PPC Advertising

Here at PPC Junkies, we are a PPC agency with official Google-accreditation that has worked on countless advertisement campaigns over the years. As the nature of the internet is fast-changing and growing, we have kept up with these developments, using our unique techniques to help our clients to achieve their desired marketing results.

If you would like to know more about how our PPC management methods can help your brand to improve its visibility online, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with a member of our expert team today. Give us a call on 0845 373 0596 or alternatively, you can contact us by sending an e-mail to