Google dominated search marketing news in 2017. This should come as no surprise to anyone within the industry: as of last December, nearly 78 per cent of global searches were made through the tech giant, meaning changes to AdWords, search algorithms, and search engine results page (SERP) layouts are big news to marketers. With that in mind, what Google news garnered the most attention from the digital marketing industry over the past 12 months?

SERPs: In February, Google officially stopped showing paid ads to the right of desktop search results. The global update reduced the number of ads presented on search results pages, and in particular limited the number of ads searchers can see without scrolling down the page. The addition boosted competition for those highly coveted spaces and made desktop searches more visually similar to mobile.

AdWords redesign: Google announced a full AdWords redesign in March, the first such update since 2008. The platform’s ongoing rejuvenation comes in response to the growing dominance of mobile search, and to address marketers’ new variety of advertising choices, including video, display, and product listings.

ETAs: This July, Google announced Expanded Text Ads (ETAs), which drastically changed the appearance and makeup of paid search advertising. The new, longer ads feature double headlines of up to 30 characters and an 80-character description. In October, ETAs became the established norm, as advertisers lost the ability to create or upload standard text ads.

Possum: Algorithm updates are always greeted with great interest by search marketers, and September’s Possum update was no exception. This update was primarily focused on local search, and had a particular impact on Google Maps results and results in the local three-pack.

As a Google Partner All-Star Agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media works hard to stay on top and ahead of the latest search marketing news to ensure that your business remains visible to your target audience.