5 Things You Need to Do Before the Old Google Ads UI Is Retired

Allen Finn
Last Updated: November 23, 2021 | Paid Search Marketing
HomeBlog5 Things You Need to Do Before the Old Google Ads UI Is Retired

It’s official, people. July 10: A date which will live in infamy.

Per an email sent to advertisers last night, starting on July 10th, 2018, “the new Google Ads will become the exclusive way to manage your account…

new interface old adwords ui

…and access to the previous experience will no longer be available.”

We’ve all had access to the new UI – with its sleek transitions and moderately useful visualizations – for some time now, though its use was by no means mandated. Instead, there was a neat little CTA stuck in the corner of ye olde Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords) that suggested taking some lightning-quick new tool for a spin in the name of improved productivity.    

cta old adwords ui

In mere weeks, getting more done will no longer be optional. Weep, luddites.

If you’ve been familiarizing yourself with the new Google Ads UI for months, its nested layout and slew of new features (many of which were never given a home in the old UI) will be old hat come early July. For those old dogs unwilling to learn new tricks, though, I’ve put together a list of everything you need to do before old faithful rides off into the sunset.

#1: Take the Guided Tour

Things I enjoy: museums, historical homes, breweries.

Thing I do not: moving through them at someone else’s canned, pre-programmed pace.

Following and listening to tour guides isn’t for me, and I’d wager a fair number of you don’t love it either. For something as complex – and, you know, tied to my credit card – as the Google Ads Experience™, though, I am willing to make an exception.

get started old adwords ui

(Mostly due to the fact that it’s only five steps long.)

The tour gives you an idea as to where important stuff lives within the new UI. It points out the locations of:

  • The navigation panel, which allows you to jump between active/inactive campaigns and ad groups of a given type (search, display, video, shopping, or all of the above.
  • The page menu – for my money the most important new feature – which allows you to bounce between everything from extensions and adjustments to audiences and change history.

  • The new home for tools and reporting.

  • The help icon (really useful!).

  • And finally, the overview tab, which serves up piping hot account-specific insights for your viewing pleasure.

Quick. Concise. Useful.

My kinda tour.

#2: Ensure Your Filters, Rules & Reports Are In Working Order

While your data and most of your reporting will be pulled into the new UI, there are a handful of reports and rules that were altered or nixed entirely. For example, the dimensions tab (a personal favorite) now lives within the reporting icon and goes by “Predefined Reports.”


Rules-wise, any rule that relies on a column no longer available within Google Ads will cease to function within your account. I’m not going to list them out because there are a few dozen, but further details can be found here. Note that filters that make use of these columns will not imported either.

reports old adwords ui

Reporting that’s going kaput includes:

  • Destination URL performance report
  • Managed placement performance report
  • Automatic placement performance report
  • Placement report

Reporting that will continue to exist but with significant changes includes:

  • Reports containing columns that no longer exist.
  • Reports containing child accounts no longer managed in your MCC.
  • Reports using columns not yet supported by Report Editor, like: Historical quality score, Landing page experience, Exp CTR, and Ad relevance.

You should also note that reports currently in .XLSX format will be transformed to .CSV format.

#3: Wrap Your Head Around New Features

As I mentioned before, Google has been rolling out new features since the end of last year that never surfaced in the old Google Ads UI. Smart way to save resources and entice users to give the new interface a go at the same time, huh?

  • Bid adjustments for calls – Ensure your call extensions show more often!
  • Showcase shopping ads – Present your products in a new ad format that groups related items together for juicy SERP dominance.
  • Audience manager – Aligns targeting options across display and RLSA.
  • Promotion extensions – Append limited offers and discount codes to your search ads.
  • Ad variations – A/B test without having to write a million and one headlines on your own (then roll with the top performer).
  • Outstream video campaigns – Reach audiences with video beyond YouTube.
  • TrueView for action campaigns – Add CTA’s and headlines to your existing video creative.

As you’ve probably guessed, some of these features are little more than window dressing (looking at you, outstream video campaigns). Others have the potential to be absolute game-changers for your account.

promotion extensions old adwords ui

For example, our research has shown that Promotion Extensions more than double CTR when compared to that of regular search ads. I know the learning curve might be steep, but make sure you take the time to educate yourself on the feature that didn’t exist in the old UI (as well as reacquainting yourself with the ones that did).

#4: Commit the Quick (?) Reference Map to Memory

The first thing you’ll notice in the new UI is that the layout is a drastic departure from what you’ve gotten used to. There are means of navigation oriented both horizontally and vertically; right out of the gate, that it is not intuitive.

Fortunately, Google has assembled something of a map to make it clear where things live and how to get there:

new layout old adwords ui

As you can see, navigation is divided into 5 unique segments, each of which is loaded with its own suite of subnavs. You can download a printable one-pager that outlines the location of key features here. (I recommend printing it out or leaving it up on an extraneous monitor until you’re comfortable with where the tools you lean on live)

#5: Start Google Adsing Already!

You’ve looked, now it’s time to leap.

logo old adwords ui

Switching over to the new interface is daunting, but once you get the hang of it, the nested features and navigation become pretty manageable (I’ve been switching back to the old UI to do larger tasks, so I’ve got some intuiting to do, too).

Meet The Author

Allen Finn

Allen Finn is the co-founder of Toasted Collective, a cannabis-focused digital agency. Many moons ago, he worked at WordStream, where he reigned as fantasy football champion for some time.

See other posts by Allen Finn

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