Google has announced some notable new updates to its online advertising service AdWords, and the focus of the refresh is very much on mobile.

Unveiled during the annual AdWords Performance Summit event, the new “mobile friendly” ads cater for fingers rather than mouses. “Based on your feedback and our insights about how people search for information, we’ve built a whole new generation of ad experiences that are richer, more engaging and designed for screen-swipes instead of mouse-clicks,” explained AdWords VP Jerry Dischler, in an accompanying blog post.

AdWords has emerged as one of Google’s main revenue generators, one that lets brands pay to have their company or product hoisted up alongside user-generated search terms. Ultimately, Google’s move to more mobile-friendly ad formats makes a great deal of sense, given the rise of mobile devices across the technological spectrum.

Indeed, at the AdWords event today, Google said that more searches now take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries — including the U.S. and Japan — and this is what’s driving Google’s shift to more mobile-friendly advertising.


Among the new advertising products announced today are Automobile Ads, which take a user directly from a Google Search result into a carousel of images.

According to Google, this is designed to reflect how people actually search for cars on the web — roughly half of all searches on Google lead straight into a Google Image search, according to the Internet giant.

With this new ad format, car sellers can serve up photos of the inside and outside of the automobiles, and with a “tap” users can surace more details around the features. There’s also a “Dealers” link that guides a buyer to sellers located nearby.

Back in March, Google also unveiled its new Hotel Ads format, showing real-time prices for hotels and letting people make bookings directly. It has been in use with a number of hotel partners for a while, but it’s now starting to show up in mobile searches around the world.


Above: Mobile Ads

Image Credit: Google

Elsewhere, Google Compare in the U.S. now also lets you compare mortgages in addition to car insurance, comparing terms and interest rates across multiple providers.

Google made a number of other AdWords-related announcements today, including a new reporting dashboard and simulation tools for automated bidding, as well as recommended category targets and cost-per-clicks (CPC) for Dynamic Search Ads. There was also a handful of new features related to AdWords attribution and cross-device conversion tracking.