3 Trends in search engine advertising 2021: More data, more competition, more automation

The journey will also continue in search engine advertising in 2021. One thing is already certain. Google will continue to maintain its market dominance in paid search. Find out here which trends will be important in search engine advertising in the coming year.

Trend 1: Less data

Since the end of 2020, access to search query data in Google Ads has been limited and it is therefore no longer possible to fully evaluate which search queries generated clicks. As a result, valuable data is lost that could be used in the past to reduce wastage within search engine campaigns. The exact alignment of campaigns is therefore more important than ever. (More on the topic at searchenginejournal.com)

Due to data protection regulations, more and more data on user behavior is also being lost, as many users no longer agree to the use of cookies or block cookies from the outset via browser plug-ins. It is therefore important to develop strategies to generate cookie consent on the website, while at the same time complying with data protection regulations. In addition, the collection of anonymized data is becoming more important, since this data can also be collected without the consent of cookies.

It will also be interesting in 2021 to see what advantages the new Google Analytics 4, which is based on artificial intelligence, will bring.

Trend 2: More competition

Digitalization is advancing in leaps and bounds, and more and more companies are venturing into digital marketing. As a result, competition is also increasing significantly in search engine advertising. This will lead to a further increase in the cost per click.

For this reason, professional campaign optimization will become increasingly important in 2021, as it will only be possible to generate profitable business with search engine advertising in fiercely competitive markets with a clear goal orientation.

However, the increasing competition will also lead to certain environments in search engine advertising simply becoming uneconomical, as the costs per click will increase so exorbitantly that even a fully optimized campaign will no longer be able to generate economically justifiable conversion costs.

Cooperation with competitors is therefore also becoming more interesting. Because you have to accept one way or another that users will compare different offers. This is where you can start a comparison platform together with other competitors. The costs for search engine advertising can be shared and thus perhaps lead to economic acquisition.
The increasing competition will also lead to the fact that search engine advertising on other platforms (e.g. Bing Ads) will probably become more interesting, since the competition is far less intense here. However, the number of users in other search engines is unfortunately quite limited.

Trend 3: More automation and less control

Google is increasingly pushing automation in search engine advertising. Some of my customers, for example, have already deactivated the function to create regular text ads. Instead, it is now only possible to insert responsive ads in which Google itself determines which of the entered text blocks are displayed in which combination.

Also automated campaign strategies are increasingly pushed by Google. In my experience, these sometimes bring better results – but by far not always.

Due to the increasing loss of control, it is therefore more important than ever to influence exactly those parameters that can still be controlled. A profound knowledge of all functions and the mechanics is therefore essential.

Search engine advertising 2021: Conclusion

2021 it will be more important than ever to professionalize search engine advertising. Only then it will be possible in the long term to compete with the competition and to run campaigns that are profitable not only for Google but also for your company.

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Christian Wagner
Christian Wagner
Founder RiskPlayWin | Owner & Founder of the digital marketing agencies morethandigital.com & searchads.agency