Google Ads changed in 2023 FOREVER. This is what works NOW

Jan 23, 2023

I have been running Google Ads since 2010, and I can confidently say that 2022 was the year that we saw the largest fundamental changes to the way Google Ads in that time.

The biggest change is the change to how keyword match types work and function in Google Ads - especially Exact match keywords.

In fact, from a survey, I ran on this channel, 47%, when asked if people could change 1 thing about Google Ads 47% said it would be the return of REAL [exact] match keywords.

Then on top of this, people who use Google Ads in the eCommerce space, saw a fundamental shift from Smart Shopping to Performance Max campaigns. 

That’s why I want to take you through the top 4 things you need for success with Google Ads in 2023.

The reason why I know that these strategies work is that I share the strategies that are working from the data & trends that I see from over 1 million in Google Ads ad spend every month. 


The first strategy that is working right now is Having campaigns with less ad groups

And this is for both search & shopping campaigns. The reason why you need to have fewer ad groups is because of the change to Google Ads now focussing on intent or meaning-based keyword matching rather than targeting the actual keywords that you are using ALL keywords in Google Ads now reach a much wider range of searches.

The perfect example is that if you were running a campaign advertising a skateboard shop previously, you would have had a campaign with 3 x ad groups targeting the KW themes of:

  1. Skateboard shop
  2. Skateboard store
  3. Skateshop

Whereas now the correct structure would be to have the structure of 1 x Campaign with 1 x ad groups which would target all of these 3 keyword themes.

The reason for this is that even if you were using the exact match keyword or [skateboard shop] it would still trigger ads for searches like:

Skateboard store

Skateboard shop near me

Buy a skateboard


The second strategy that is working in Google Ads right now is in relation to your Performance Max campaigns, and this has to do with:

  • Setting your Asset groups up by Product or Service categories AND NOT audiences
  • Along with making sure that you are always growing your impressions


The 3rd strategy that is working now is for you to run monthly ad copy split tests.

Now I know that split tests have always been an important element for Google Ads, but how you run these have changed due to the removal of expanded text ads in Search and the introduction of Performance Max. 


And the 4th & Final strategy that works in Google Ads right and it is the one thing that will always work is to have a structured optimisation strategy

Having a structured optimisation strategy means that you know exactly what you need to be optimising in Google Ads every time you open up your computer because for success with Google Ads your manual optimisations need to work hand in hand with Google’s automated bidding & learning. 

So if you over-optimise your account by making too many changes, you are not giving the Google algorithm enough time to self-optimise and increase your profits through better automated targeting

And if you under-optimise your account, you will very quickly be wasting money by allowing Google to continue running tests of search terms that you know will never convert.