6 New & Important Google Ads Features Added in 2021 for PPC Campaigns

Google announced several new Google Ads features and updates in 2021. At the end of the year, we review some of the new Google Ads features announced by Google that we believe are most important to Google Ads PPC campaigns.

6 Important Google Ads Features and Announcements in 2021

Here are some of the new Google Ads features announced in 2021 that are important for Google Ads PPC campaigns. Some of these features will require updates or changes to your existing PPC campaigns.

Responsive Search Ads Become More Important

1.Responsive Search Ads will be the default ad type for Google Ads PPC Search Campaigns

Date Announced : February 18, 2021

In February 2021, Google announced that Responsive search ads will be the default ad type for Google Ads PPC search campaigns. They replaced expanded text ads that were the default ad type before this change.

Responsive search ads use machine learning and AI to combine headlines and descriptions into multiple ad combinations to deliver the right ad to the right customer.

When you set up a responsive search ad, you can add up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions and Google’s machine learning algorithms will generate multiple ad combinations to deliver the most relevant ad to match the search query.

Advertisers who use responsive search ads can see 10% more clicks and conversions. (Google)

responsive search ad setup screen

Setup screen for responsive search ads

2. Responsive Search Ads will Replace Expanded Text Ads as the only Search Ad Type in June 2022

Date Announced : August 31, 2021

In August 2021, Google announced that Responsive search ads will be the only search ad type that can be created or edited in Google Ads PPC search campaigns after June 2022. This is a big change to the types of ad formats that will be supported in PPC search campaigns.

What happens to expanded text ads? Expanded text ads can no longer be created or edited in Google Ads PPC campaigns after June 2022. Existing expanded text ads will continue to serve along with the responsive search ads. You will still be able to pause, resume or remove expanded text ads.

Advertisers who switch from expanded text ads to responsive search ads, using the same assets, see 7% more conversions at the same cost per conversion. (Google)

However, since expanded text ads are clearly being phased out, it would be best to begin transitioning your Google Ads campaigns to responsive search ads before June 2022.

Read more about how to transition your ads to responsive search ads in our article on Responsive Search Ads replace Expanded Text Ads in Google Ads PPC Search Campaigns

Changes in Keyword Matching Types

3. Keyword Matching Changes & Ending Support for Broad Match Modifier

Date Announced : February 4, 2021

Google Ads is driven by keywords. In February 2021, Google announced that broad match modifier in Google Ads will be phased out by July 2021, and will be replaced by phrase match.

The types of keyword matching that were supported before the change:
• Exact match to match the exact keywords used
• Broad match to increase customer reach
• Phrase match and Broad match modifier to get both precision and reach
• Negative match to prevent ads from showing for irrelevant searches

Starting February, phrase match expanded to cover broad match modifier traffic. Broad match modifier was gradually phased out by July 2021.

After July 2021, new broad match modifier keywords could no longer be created. Existing broad match modifier keywords continue to serve. Google recommends creating new keywords using phrase match.

keyword matching changes - updated phrase match replaces broad match modifier

Updated phrase match replaces broad match modifier

Image source: Google

4. Rules for Matching the Most Relevant Keyword for Every Search

Date Announced : September 23, 2021

There are billions of search queries made on Google every day. 15% of search queries have never been seen before. Google recommends using broad match paired with smart bidding to reach new searches that are relevant. (Google)

To understand the intent behind search queries, Google uses a technology called BERT. Google describes BERT as an “open-source neural network-based technique used for natural language processing”. BERT models are able to better understand the intent behind searches especially for longer conversational queries. By presenting the correct information, the user can quickly find the information that they are searching for.

Sometimes, multiple keywords are eligible to match a search query. To ensure that the most relevant keyword is used, they have made the following changes:

  • When a search is identical to one of the keywords
    An eligible exact match keyword that is identical to a search query is always preferred over a phrase match or broad match keyword.
  • When a search is not identical to one of the keywords
    Before the change, when there were multiple keywords that were eligible to match and none were identical to the search query, Ad Rank was used to determine which keyword was to be used. After this change, relevance signals are used in addition to Ad Rank to decide which keyword to serve. To determine relevance, Google considers the meaning of the search term, the meaning of all the keywords in the ad group, and the landing pages in the ad group.
Table of Keyword matching rules

Table of Keyword Matching Rules

These keyword matching rules ensure that the most relevant keyword is used for a search query.

Making Mobile Search Seamless with Continuous Scrolling

5. Continuous Scrolling for Search Results on Mobile Devices

Date Announced : October 14, 2021

Continuous scrolling was added in October 2021 for Google search results on mobile devices. This change is effective for English searches in the U.S.

With continuous scrolling, when people reach the bottom of the search results on a mobile device, Google will automatically show the next page of relevant search results until 4 pages of search results are shown.

This feature makes mobile search more seamless and user-friendly allowing users to scroll more pages of relevant results before having to tap a “See More” button. This change does not affect Ad Rank or Ad auctions on Google Ads.

Image Extensions with Improvements

6. Image Extensions on Mobile and Desktop with more options

Date Announced : December 7, 2021

The support for more options on image extensions on desktop and mobile was announced on December 7, 2021. Image extensions are currently supported on mobile devices. Support for desktop will be rolled out in the next few weeks.

Image extensions enable you to add relevant images of your products and services to complement your search ads on Google Ads.
It is recommended to use at least 3 images for your image extensions which are relevant to your ads and keywords.

You have a few options to add images to your ad extensions:

  • Dynamic Image Extensions
    You can opt in to dynamic image extensions on the extensions page. Dynamic image extensions use machine learning to dynamically select relevant images from your landing pages and add them to your search ads. When you opt in, Google Ads will add images from your landing pages to relevant ad groups in your search campaigns. Dynamic image extensions are available in all languages.
  • Image extensions with stock images from Google
    You can select a stock image from a searchable library of stock images available for free on Google Ads. To use this option, select the “stock images” option when you are selecting an image for your image extension. Once you choose an image, you can crop it before you add it your ad extension.

An example of a search ad with image extension on desktop from Google search results

Search ad with image extension on desktop

Search ad with image Extension on desktop


These were some of the important Google Ads features announced in 2021 that will impact your PPC search campaigns.

Moving into 2022, we can expect an increased focus on responsive search ads as they become the only search ad type supported in Google Ads PPC search campaigns in June 2022. We can probably expect more AI-enabled features in Google Ads.

The addition of continuous scrolling on mobile search results will provide a more user-friendly and seamless search experience on mobile devices. Whether continuous scrolling will be added to desktop search in 2022 remains to be seen.

Image extensions are a great way to add a visual element to your search ads with relevant images. They are supported on both desktop and mobile. The use of images in ads is expected to improve ad performance and CTR.

We need to update our Google Ads PPC campaigns with these 2021 features. And, of course, prepare for Google to announce more Google Ads updates in 2022.


  1. New Features and Announcements in Google Ads
  2. Continuous scrolling on Mobile

Related Articles

  1. Responsive Search Ads Replace Expanded Text Ads in Google Ads PPC Search Campaigns
  2. Gold Mango Design, How to Use Responsive Search Ads: 10 Best Practices
  3. Tanuja Mahdavi, Moz, Responsive Search Ads: 5 Best Practices for Google Ads PPC Search Campaigns
  4. Gold Mango design, What is Google Ads PPC Marketing and How it Helps Your Business
  5. Gold Mango Design, 8 Benefits of Google Ads Advertising
  6. Gold Mango Design, Google Ads Bidding Strategies: A Guide for Marketing Campaigns

Need Help With Google Ads?

If you need help with Google Ads, please feel free to contact us. We specialize in digital marketing services including Google Ads PPC Marketing, SEO, Web Design & Development, and Digital Marketing Consulting services. We are located in Plano, TX outside Dallas and serve businesses in the USA. Contact us at https://goldmangodesign.com