Paid Search Predictions 2017 – 17 Predictions


Paid Search Predictions 2017 – 17 Predictions       

2017 is turning out to be an eventful year for paid search with Google already instituting many AdWords changes that are altering the entire landscape. Projecting further forward, more changes are still in the works with new trends taking hold, others remaining steady and yet others being abandoned. Here are 17 predictions on what the rest of 2017 holds for paid search.

The evolution of search ads

Search ads will continue to be more audience focused in a bid to capitalize on the benefits actuated. This trend, already observed through 2016, is easily deducible by looking at recent AdWords changes and those slotted for implementation in the coming months.

Diminished keyword focus

A shift towards audience focused ads automatically means that keyword components will mean less and less in paid search going forth. The amendment of exact match to include typos, synonyms, and misspellings is a perfect embodiment of this fact.

Increased emphasis on context

In 2017, context will take center stage in part due to it being a core component of an audience oriented ad serving strategy. The commitment to understanding search contexts and what motivates searches will continue in a bid to drive personalized targeting.

Audience targeting over click hunting

The obsession with clicks is slowly losing ground in paid search as audience targeting takes hold. The value of clicks in terms of the quality of traffic actualized will gain increased prominence as opposed to a concentration on the quantity of clicks.

Voice search

The projected growth of voice search will continue to alter the paid search arena as industry players make bigger efforts towards taking advantage of the same. Ad strategies tailored to common questions will become more popular.

Machine learning

The utilization of machine learning in paid search will become more pronounced as Google increases its use of the technology. Other paid search service providers will by default follow Google’s lead making the effect more absolute with time.

New UIs

For AdWords, a new UI has already been announced and it is slotted for December. Bing and Yahoo will probably take similar steps to level the playing field.

Life event based targeting

Getting a child, moving up the social ladder, marriage and other life events come with distinct needs. Google has already availed life event based targeting and the related dynamics are projected to improve within the year to boost efficacy.

Search intent

One of the primary goals of new technologies in search such as machine learning is to comprehend search intent to offer appropriate content and ads. Efforts to this end will increase in 2017 and beyond as the said technologies become more advanced.

Better ad testing environments

The environment for paid search campaign experiments will become more advanced in a bid to boost the insight professionals can glean to improve performance. Google has already made telling moves in this regard.


Paid search and analytics go hand in hand and the obsession of incorporating analytics more comprehensively into all paid search endeavors will definitely continue as advertisers consistently thirst for more data.

More campaign management options

It is an absolute that Google will continue their tradition of adding more management options to AdWords to give more power to campaign managers. The remaining industry players will most likely follow suit as is always the case.

Changes in metrics of importance

As paid search evolves and becomes more audience based, metrics of interest will mirror the shift. Focus on keyword oriented metrics will reduce with entirely new metrics coming into play and others gaining more value. Third party analytics tools will also gradually portray these changes.


Campaign management is a lot of work and there has been deliberate and continual effort to automate repetitive tasks by paid search platforms with Google at the forefront. Campaign managers can expect changes and options that will eliminate redundancy thereby freeing more time to focus on high-performance tasks.

Locational focus

Google has espoused location based targeting as core with it playing a big part in how sites are ranked in organic search. This theme is set to continue as paid search platforms seek to capitalize on serving location-relevant ads to boost performance.

Improved landing page loading times

There is a direct relationship between ad driven conversions and landing page load times. To bridge this gap that research has already highlighted, more paid search users will take advantage of existing technologies such as HTTPS and AMP to boost load times and thereby, conversions.

Landing page optimizations

Landing page optimizations aimed at ensuring seamless ad to content transition to maximize conversions will take center stage. Related tests to determine the impact of differently styled landing pages on conversions will also grow in popularity.

Final thoughts

With technology advancing at such a rapid rate, 2017 still offers a lot of promise and forward oriented change for the paid search industry. Prudent campaign managers should always put an ear on the ground and strive to align themselves beneficially.

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