Google Marketing Live 2023 Recap: The Future of Google Ads

Kimberly Magri


Published on 26th May 2023


Google Marketing Live 2023 was a comprehensive 2-hour event showcasing upcoming changes for this year. If it was too long for you to follow along, no worries! We’ve prepared a recap with all the information you need to catch up straightaway.

Google will soon transition to an AI-driven platform with a privacy-first approach. They promised simpler campaign construction, deeper insights and optimisation, and a healthy ROI to drive sustainable, long-term growth. The aim is to help businesses thrive while keeping up with customers’ demands and unpredictability.

According to Jerry Dischler, VP/GM at Google, it will be “Your marketing, multiplied by Google AI”.

Let’s dive right into what’s new and explore the best practices announced during Google Marketing Live 2023:

1. The introduction of Generative AI will change the way we search

Your search process will be transformed with the enhanced capabilities of generative AI. You can explore deeper into a topic with follow-up questions by Google which retain the context from your initial search. Additionally, you can switch to conversational mode to learn more about the topic.

The new generative AI shopping experience takes this even further by providing you with product information such as ratings, prices, and images. Google’s comprehensive database of over 35 billion product listings compiles results to help you find the best deals.

Search Generative Experience (SGE) is a program in Search Labs, that allows access to early search experiments, initially only available in the US. 

2. Performance Max is integrating with AI-Powered Creative Tools

Google will help you create and curate assets effortlessly by extracting data from your website URL. This includes automatically pre-filling the daily budget, headlines, and descriptions for you. Google will also propose custom-generated images tailored to your campaign.

Additionally, you’ll receive new recommendations for bidding strategy and targeting. Automatically generated assets will also be more relevant thanks to Google AI.

Google Marketing Live 2023 - Performance Max

3. Use Broad Match & Smart Bidding for Search Campaigns

Broad match enables you to connect with potential customers whose search queries may not precisely match your chosen keywords. Indeed, 62% of advertisers currently prioritise broad match as their primary match type. 

To optimise performance, Google recommends combining broad match with smart bidding. This allows dynamic bid adjustments based on various signals. Moreover, responsive search ads will facilitate enhanced engagement.

4. Suitability Settings & Campaign Types for YouTube Ads

Improved suitability settings curate ad placements for better reach and brand safety. Aligning with YouTube’s inventory modes eliminates the need for extra exclusions and maximises ad potential. Furthermore, Impact Forecasting offers visibility into how adjusting suitability controls impacts campaign performance.

Meanwhile, Youtube Campaign Types provide the flexibility to optimise for your desired outcomes:

5. Easily create or edit your YouTube videos with Google AI

AI-powered video creation adapts existing creatives to meet the various formats and requirements of YouTube. This technology repackages static images, texts, and app store listing assets from previous campaigns or your website into video assets.

Similarly, AI-powered video enhancement offers three tools to streamline the creative process:

6. AI-Powered Creative & Asset Generation Technology

In Ads Creative Studio, new tools offer suggestions to ensure your assets follow best practices before launching. Product Studio is another tool that allows you to transform your product photos. Google will generate four images for you to choose from based on your prompts.

Eventually, Google AI will also use natural language conversations to help in keyword and asset creation. For now, more standard asset types are being rolled out to increase conversions:

7. New & improved Insights and Transparency

Google Ads will provide more insights into asset performance and help you identify effective search queries for your ads. Discover new trends and leverage the latest search data to enhance your campaign’s relevance. 

Search terms insights will offer historical data, custom date ranges, downloadable insights, and expanded search term categories for understanding customer intent and behaviour. Meanwhile, the design studio flags underperforming assets and recommends replacing them with AI-generated or stock images. 

8. Enhanced Conversion Goals & AI Bidding Strategies

Enhanced Conversions for Leads can measure the end-to-end customer journey, including offline actions. If you accurately categorise conversions as submitted, qualified, or converted leads, Google will prioritise high-value goals. During Google Marketing Live 2023, it was also recommended to switch from target CPA to target ROAS, stating that it can increase conversion value by 14%.

Accordingly, you can choose from 3 bidding strategies when setting up your campaigns: 

Google Marketing Live 2023 - Bidding

9. Innovations designed for retailers to increase sales

Google Merchant Center Next, launching in 2024, automatically links product information from your website. You have complete control over how products appear on Google without manual feed uploads. 

Adding product feeds to apps boosts conversions by an average of 11%. Additionally, you can leverage this inventory to drive in-store sales. Research shows 65% of consumers research online before shopping in-store.

New retail reporting helps you analyse the profitability of your campaign metrics to help you grow your bottom line. The reporting feature also includes product insights to help you understand what’s working and what can be improved and when competitors have stronger offers.

Seasonality adjustments allow you to boost performance during key promotional periods by informing your campaigns about expected conversion rate changes during peak demand.

10. Web-to-App experience to accelerate growth

Web to App Connect is a new tool that directs customers from web campaigns to in-app product pages via deep linking. It enables in-app conversion tracking, faster checkout with stored preferences and payment info, and enhances relevance to customer interests. 

This yields a 2x higher conversion rate compared to mobile sites. Retailers and e-commerce companies agree that app users are more loyal, with higher lifetime value. 68% of marketers anticipate prioritising app use for customer loyalty growth in the next 2-3 years.

11. Privacy-preserving technologies & measurement

One key takeaway emphasised during Google Marketing Live 2023 is the increased emphasis on prioritising privacy. By offering privacy-preserving alternatives to third-party cookies and other identifiers, online privacy for users can be enhanced while still meeting the needs of marketers. This innovative technology leverages the Topics API, contextual signals, and publisher-provided IDs to deliver optimised targeting through durable audience solutions.

12. Connect Google Ads to GA4 for full functionality

Since GA3 will be officially phased out in June 2023, it is crucial that the switch to GA4 is completed to start collecting valuable data and insights. Ensure that this is linked to Google Ads for end-to-end tracking of user journeys, accurate attribution and measurement, and remarketing audiences.

If you need help with this transition, take a look at our blog post with tips to navigate the GA4 interface.


Finally, the platform’s UX/UI will also be updated to align with the changes, improving user navigation. While a few of the mentioned updates are already in place, others will take months or years to fully implement. Some users have the opportunity to join the demo version to start trying the newest tools. 

Google Marketing Live 2023 made it clear that things are changing and marketers need to get up to speed to make the most of the new and revamped features. Are you prepared for AI-powered solutions in your creative process? Follow Google’s AI Essentials Checklist to get started.

This can all feel overwhelming, so if you’re looking for someone to handle your digital marketing needs, feel free to contact us.