POV

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25.03.22

The New Google Ads Scripts Experience Has Landed

Dan Williams

Media Innovation Director

If you’ve spent any time programming in the Google Ads Scripts browser IDE over the past nine months, you will have noticed a conspicuous toggle button temptingly labelled “New scripts experience (beta)”. The intrepid among you may have switched this on and been treated to lightning-fast speeds, ES6 support, and maybe a handful of bugs… Well, as of 14 March 2022 the bugs are gone, and the New Google Ads Scripts Experience has fully arrived - and what an experience it is!

What is it?

The new update comes with upgrades which you can read about in Google’s Product Overview. The two most exciting of note are:

  • Faster processing: Google Ads Scripts are faster – in some cases by orders of magnitude. At iCrossing, we have a demanding audit script which in our largest accounts need to process hundreds of thousands of entities. Typically, using the old version of Google Ads Script, this takes up-to 30 mins. Using the new Google Ads Scripts Experience, the same script can be completed in 25 seconds!

    The ability to process more entities in the 30-minute Google Ads Scripts window means you will no longer need to worry about writing code that picks up where a script left-off after a timeout error.

  • ES6 support: The features included in ES6 makes writing and reading scripts a much more seamless experience. If you’ve never ventured into JavaScript outside of Google Ads Scripts, then do yourself a favour and investigate const/let (never use “var” again!), for of loops, arrow functions, and object destructuring.

Do you need to do anything?

YES! Google has said that all scripts will soon default to the new experience, stating that from September they will be migrating existing scripts. Google are trying to implement backwards compatibility but “can't guarantee every script will work without changes”.

At iCrossing, we have noticed a small number of features that do not work as expected. The biggest source of error stems from the fact that Ad Words Query Language (AWQL) is now deprecated in favour of Google Ads Query Language (GAQL). In the new experience, when you query Google Ads with AWQL, the query will be converted to GAQL which can sometimes lead to limitations and incompatibilities.

This means if you are still using an old script you found floating around online years ago, it may stop working. If your agency or Google Account Manager applied a critical script to your account last year, it may stop working also. Even Google’s own scripts like the ‘Larger-scale Link Checker’ which is the top result on Google for “google ads link checker” and is still labelled as “New” (as of 21/03/2022) uses the old AWQL syntax and as a result will not run optimally.

If your account relies on Google Ads Scripts to run, audit, or report on your campaigns, it would be prudent to ensure that any crucial scripts work in the new experience before they are switched over automatically in September. Thankfully, Google have provided useful tools and guides to help you do this smoothly.

What next?

This new Google Ads Script update is a long-awaited upgrade to a product which has not seen an update of this size in years. That said, there are many ways that Google Ads Scripts could still be improved:

  • Debugging functionality

  • Auction insights Support

  • Keyword Planner Support

  • Typescript Support

  • Dark mode theme - Please, my poor eyes

It is worth noting that you can solve a lot of the above issues by working directly with the Google Ads API. We will often work directly with the API at iCrossing. I strongly recommend that you investigate this option too. But that defeats the simple, beginner friendly, and minimal-hassle nature of the browser-based IDE which I imagine most Google Ads Scripts users are working in. I hope these features are included in future updates but in the meantime the New Scripts Experience is an encouraging step forward.

If you need support with Google Ads automation, contact our team of experts today.

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