Marketing Trends: A Year Over Year Overview

Google constantly releases new updates that keep marketers and users on their toes. Like many people, you’ve probably seen and experienced overnight changes. And thought to yourself, ‘how am I supposed to keep up with all of this?!’ Well, good thing our marketing agency has!

We’ve been tracking some of the significant updates Google has released for the past three years and outlined them here. 

Although it’s hard to predict what changes to expect from Google, these updates have helped our marketing agency determine online marketing trends and patterns in the digital world. 

2019: Mobile-heavy Updates & Ad Targeting Optimization

In the pre-pandemic world, most of the Google updates revolved around understanding why users behaved the way they did. For instance, Google improved its algorithm and machine learning BERT to understand and interpret keyword searches better. By making such improvements, advertisers could capitalize on opportunities and improve account performance and goals.


As soon as Google learned that consumers turned to their phones to do research and plan before heading into a physical store, it started pushing for local campaigns on Google Ads to drive foot traffic into stores. 

The discovery of a new consumer journey led to the push for Discovery Ads, Google Shopping, and of course, an improved mobile experience for users. 

Audience Targeting 

Google’s algorithm also caught up with the fact that each customer journey is unique. They expect to get information specific to them and their situation – especially when using their mobile device. 

So what did Google do? Released two new customer audiences on Google Ads: in-market and detailed demographic. Detailed demographic let advertisers further define to who they show ads. In-market audiences let advertisers target people who are actively considering buying your products or services. 

By the end of 2019, marketers could rely more on Google recommendations and optimization scores to reach their ideal audience and increase performance results.

2020: Trust, Trends and Transparency

When COVID-19 happened, everything went online. Users became more aware and curious about how Google and other companies such as Apple and Instagram used their data. They demanded increased transparency for personalized advertising

Logically, Google released an update that many of us are aware of: “why this ad?”. Users could now see why they saw an ad and the advertiser’s name and country. On the marketing side, Google pushed for using Google Trends to help marketers meet their PPC campaign audience expectations during uncertain times. 

Capitalizing on world trends, such as shop local and home office, Google encouraged the use of smart bidding for local businesses. They could set up campaigns in less than 15 minutes and let automation drive performance results. Moreover, Google changed responsive display ads to drive more online sales through video and pictures. 

With the rise of TikTok, Google invested in TV and Youtube Ads, especially during the end of the year holidays. The goal was to engage audiences with more personalized content. It added its twist with local campaigns and campaign extensions to meet customers’ demands for safety.

2021: Video Content & Adjusting To A New Normal

With Apple’s iOS 14 App Tracking Transparency Policy, advertisers saw Google’s reporting change. The data of users who opted out of app tracking would no longer be shared with companies.

Meanwhile, online advertising slowly started to encourage in-store purchases. Google improved local campaigns on Google Maps to provide customers with more information. Such as store hours and product inventory availability since people were more cautious about how often they needed to leave their houses.

Towards the end of 2021, Google released Performance Max Campaign, a one-in-all campaign for advertisers. What stood out to our digital marketing agency was that Google’s AI auto-generated videos for your campaign based on your images if a video wasn’t provided. 

The increased use of video advertising and Youtube ads portrayed that Google noticed what we all know now – that video ads are powerful and drive user engagement. 

What’s next?

In 2022, we continue to see the same trends as in 2021: video is becoming the primary focus of the online world. What does this mean for marketers and advertisers? While we’re uncertain of what Google will be planning for the upcoming year, we know that it’ll keep pushing for video content on the PPC end.

Still Got Questions?

Do you still have questions about marketing trends? Reach out to our marketing agency in Vancouver, and we will be happy to chat with you about it! Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn – we would love to hear from you. 

Thank you for reading and keep it cool!