How to Make the Most out of the Changes to Google’s AdWords Interface

There have been a lot of changes to the AdWords interface over the last year. Most of these changes are minor organizational shifts, intended to make it easier to manage ad campaigns. Some other changes have introduced new display options and features, such as the new Venn diagrams and keyword statistics. In my opinion, these changes are small but have a large impact. As someone who usesAdWords several times a day, the increased efficiency of the new format saves me a surprising amount of time.

Format Changes

The major change to AdWords in March was the combination of the Audience and Topics tab into a single tab called Display Network. The Display Network tab allows you to see an overview of your keywords, placements, topics, interests and remarketing, broken down by campaign. It makes it possible to bid and optimize all your campaigns without switching tabs.

In March, Google also introduced Venn Diagram summaries to AdWords. These diagrams provide a visual representation of your current targeting settings as well as at-a-glance estimates of your ad campaign’s reach.

This visual display is complemented by new, impressive data analysis tools. Also introduced in March was Keyword Contextual Targeting, which allows you to assess your ad campaigns’ performance down to the keyword level.

The second big set of changes was in June, which introduced different Types that you can use to organize your ad campaigns. Now, when you select a Campaign, you also choose a Type. This Type determines the default settings of your AdWords Campaign. These preset settings include not only functional settings like where your ads will appear, but also display settings. For example, a Standard Search Network Only Campaign will contain all the required presets to run the campaign, as well as display settings that make sure only the most relevant information to a Search Network Only Campaign is displayed in the Display Network tab.

Where Did My Old Stuff Go?

None of these changes have reduced the number of tools in AdWords in any way. If you can’t find a tool or tab that you previously used, it has only been moved, not removed. Here is where to find the moved features of the new AdWords:

Audience and Topics Tabs

These have both been grouped under the Display Network tab. Instead of having totally separate tabs, the Display Network tab now contains all the information for Keywords, Audience, and Topics. You can highlight each by pressing on the buttons right underneath the tabs menu. The Keywords button, selected by default, shows all the information of your Display Network campaigns that pertains to keywords. The Topics and Interests & Remarketing buttons will change the display to highlight the information previously available on the Topics and Audience tabs, respectively.

Other Missing Information

If some campaigns appear to show less information than they used to, it is likely that the preset settings of their Type are causing them to only display a bare-bones summary. This can be changed by editing the Campaign Settings as follows:

  • Click the Campaigns tab.
  • Click the name of the Campaign under All Online Campaigns.
  • Click the Settings Tab.
  • Change the Campaign Type to All Features.

For more information on the changes to AdWords, visit:

Ryan Stephenson is the Paid Search Manager at TechWyse Internet Marketing. Prior to joining TechWyse he spearheaded paid search initiatives for Staples Canada. You can find more of writing pay per click musings at