A Summary of the Google Performance Summit

After an hour-long, meaningful presentation from the team at Google, the highly-anticipated Google Performance Summit came to a conclusion. At present, the office is buzzing with speculation, excitement, and commentary on the new features Google announced—our PPC team is the most vocal, and understandably so.

In short, what did the team at Google have to say? What are the new AdWords and Analytics features?


We were first introduced to the term “micro-moments”—or, those “my car ran out of gas”, “how will I get through the day”, and “I can’t figure this out” moments when mobile search is invaluable. Understanding these moments, and the importance of their context, is critical to success in mobile advertising. Bombarding a customer with ads that are out of context or don’t properly align with user intent is annoying, unnecessary, and doesn’t create the conversions you need.

A Mobile-First World

Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President of Ads & Commerce
Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior Vice President of Ads and Commerce

Sridhar Ramaswamy, the Senior VP of Ads and Commerce at Google, claimed that the rise of “mobile changes everything”. In fact, more searches take place on mobile than desktop computers, and half of all web traffic comes from smart phones and tablets. “For many of us, our phone is the first thing we pick up in the morning”, he commented, and mentioned that it is also the last thing we use before bed.

A simple question was posed: how should ads be designed for mobile-first ads? How should marketers measure impact in a mobile-first world? 3 years ago, our industry experienced a “seismic shift” with the roll out of mobile-friendly demands from Google. While controversial at the time, it is now the cornerstone of ad performance and marketing campaigns.

Designing Mobile-First Ads

Text ads introduce consumers to who you are as a business, and what exactly you do. As we noted about ten days ago, Google extended the length of their page titles, as well as certain meta descriptions. It was highly recommended that advertisers and marketers take advantage of this extended length to promote your business, and further expand on what you do. Utilize the characters as much as possible, as those who have saw a 20% increase in click through rates.

Google will enable more effective ads that will include a headline, description, image, and URL. Google AdWords will also include individual bid adjustments—something that prompted cheers from our PPC team.

Local Search Ads

Vice President of Search Ads Jerry Dischler took the stage, and announced that location-related Google searches conducted from a mobile device are growing 50% faster. 1/3 of mobile searches are related to location, which actually drives in-store purchases. It is critical for marketers to understand that most local customers want to visit the store, and see the product in person. For instance, someone shopping for a certain product through Target or Macy’s may

Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Search Ads
Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Search Ads

view it online, then visit the store to try on an item of clothing and shoe, or see a piece of furniture in person. Either way, the mobile search prompted an in-store visit.

Jerry then said that Google intends to roll out a new generation of local ads. They will include promotional text in the local search result (generally seen on Google Maps), which can include sales, in-store deals, etc. If a user clicks on the result, it will expand to include real-time inventory and promotions that will provide businesses with the opportunity to promote their brand and their products, which may prompt customers to visit them in-store. Many users admitted that they hesitate to visit a store if they are unsure about the store’s inventory.

A study conducted on 10 big box stores found that the number of incremental store visits exceeded the amount of online purchases made. This is highly indicative of a customer’s intent to see a product in person, and the important role that online advertising plays in a customer’s purchase. Google will also enhance the accuracy of existing local search data using beacon signals.

Intent+ Context, Interests, and Demographics

Brad Bender, VP of Display and Video Ads, spoke of the importance of a user’s query in the indication of intent. Google Display Network will be giving you access to cross exchange inventory, including the same high quality traffic and precision that is currently part of successful remarketing campaigns.

Google has built in a new offering as well—remarketing can be used for similar audiences in search. If a customer has shopped for a product, but didn’t visit your page, you can effectively remarket your product to that particular user. Brad also stressed the importance of using demographic search ads, which consider age and gender in your marketing efforts.

New Google Analytics 360 Ads Marketing

Matt Lawson, Director of Performance Marketing Ads, announced that Google will begin rolling out the new Analytics suite in the next few months. It is specifically designed based on user feedback, and will include integrated tools, especially integrated ads and analytics tools. One of the more exciting features is the ability for team

Samantha Lemonnier, Director of Engineering, AdWords Platform
Samantha Lemonnier, Director of Engineering, AdWords Platform

collaboration at once, similar to Google Docs real-time collaboration. There is also built-in intelligence that can process data, and will provide valuable surface insights.

Samantha Lemonnier, the Director of Engineering for the AdWords Platform, briefly spoke on the upcoming ability to accessorize your campaign based on your marketing intent. You can target ad scheduling, location, and demographic by simply specifying your end goals, and Google will provide recommendations based on your goals.

Data Studio 360 Beta

Babak Pahlavan, the Senior Director of Measurement and Analytics, gave an exciting preview of the upcoming Data Studio 360 Beta, which will be available for certain users of Google AdWords and Analytics. It will provide a simple method for assembling and reporting data based on information from different platforms used, including AdWords and Analytics, Google Sheets, Attribution, and even YouTube Analytics. Your team members collaborate in real time, which makes the construction of a report easier and more streamlined.

The page is also dynamic, which gives you the ability to easily adjust it and specify the information you want displayed. Users can now access a paid beta version, and Google will also launch a free version of Data Studio, allowing users to create up to five reports. Data Studio will also include a built-in data intelligence assistant for analytics to answer any marketing or business questions


The summit was full of valuable information and new features. I highly recommend taking the time to find the video in its entirety, and give it a watch.