2017-03-29T11:30:10.445-04:00When people are deciding where to go—like where to shop, eat or have fun—they turn to their smartphones to explore and find nearby places. We introduced store visits measurement two years ago to help advertisers measure these consumer journeys that span the online and physical worlds. Since then, advertisers globally have measured over 4 billion store visits in AdWords.Today, we’re excited to announce new innovations that will make store visits available to thousands more advertisers around the world. These innovations will also allow us to report more store visits for advertisers already using these insights to give a more complete view of performance. Richer store visits data at the same high level of accuracyWe know measurement insights like store visits help you make business-critical decisions about how you manage and optimize your marketing campaigns. That’s why we uphold strict, conservative confidence thresholds for the data you see in AdWords and only report on store visits when we’re sure the data meets the highest standard of accuracy. This is also done in a secure, privacy-safe way without sharing any personal location information at an individual level. Store visits are calculated based on aggregated and anonymized data from users who opt in to activate Location History.As we continue to evolve our measurement technology with new strides in machine learning, mapping technology and survey quality, we are able to increase the number of store visits we can report while still achieving that same high bar for accuracy you’ve come to expect. Deep learning helps us better predict store visits in challenging scenariosIn the past month, we’ve upgraded to deep learning models to improve how we measure store visits. We’re now able to train on larger data sets and increase our accuracy in prioritizing which location signals are most predictive of true visits. This allows us to reliably measure more store visits in contexts that are typically tricky, such as in multi-story malls and dense geographies where many business locations are situated close to each other.These are the innovative machine learning techniques at the core of powerful Google features that help people solve complex problems in their everyday lives -- they can help automatically curate images in Google Photos to create an album of your favorite college memories. Or process entire sentences at a time in Google Translate to give you translations that sound much closer to what a fluent speaker would say. New mapping initiatives improve how we define location geometryWe’ve also scaled our efforts to map the precise geography and geometry of more business locations. We’ve refreshed imagery from Google Earth and Google Street View to get the most up-to-date, external views of where different buildings begin and end. Around the world, on-the-ground teams are also partnering with more businesses to scan Wi-Fi strength inside buildings to figure out their true boundaries. Higher-quality survey data to verify store visitsWhen our systems detect that potential visits have occurred, we add an extra layer of verification by surveying select users about their store visits. We directly ask which locations they’ve visited, see how this checks out against our predictions, and then use this data to calibrate our machine learning models. We’ve continued increasing the reliability and quality of these surveys using real-life audits and location visits from our own teams. For example, we’re now verifying more visits that happen in areas with high store densities to give our models more data to learn from. This strengthens accuracy and allows us to report on more store visits that may have been previously excluded. New innovations for measuring store visits will allow more AdWords advertisers to get these insights for the very first time, and deliver a richer and more complete data set to advertisers already using store visits. We’re excited to continue partnering with you to build better online-to-offline experiences for your customers an[...]
2017-03-28T12:00:12.225-04:00Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) help you reach people who are searching for your products and services—without the need for you to actively manage keywords or ads. Today we're introducing three improvements to DSA: page feeds, expanded ads and quality enhancements. Control the products you advertisePage feeds give you additional control over your DSA campaigns to ensure only relevant products and services are shown to your customers. Simply provide us with a feed of what you want to promote and select the landing pages that you want to include in your auto targets. We’ll use this information to determine when your ads will show, and where to direct your customers to on your website.You can also apply custom labels in your page feeds to keep your ads organized. For example, create a label called “Holiday Promotion” and apply it to a group of products to easily activate and pause all ads within that promotion at the same time. Mark out of stock products with an “Unavailable” label to prevent driving traffic to them.Hot Pepper Beauty, one of Japan's top salon booking services, uses page feeds and has reduced its time spent managing DSA campaigns by 90%:“DSA with page feeds helps us expand our audience reach and dramatically reduces operational overhead while maintaining targeting control at the URL level.” - Tomoyuki Ishii, Manager of Digital Marketing at Recruit Lifestyle Co., Ltd.Booking.com, the world leader in booking accommodations online, has also experienced positive results with page feeds:“DSA Page Feeds has provided us with better ad performance through more relevant ads and allows us to reach more potential customers.” - Richard Gradwell, Director Marketing PPC Innovation at Booking.comExpand your Dynamic Search AdsEarlier this year, Search and Display campaigns fully transitioned to expanded text ads. Over the next month, we’re rolling out support within DSA campaigns for this expanded format. Longer headlines and description lines allow you to show more information about your business before people click your ad. When you create a new ad, use the expanded description field to provide deeper messaging that focuses on what consumers care about. Show more relevant adsIt’s important that your ads only show when they’re most relevant to what people are searching for. For example, if you're a baker in Palm Springs, your ads should only show to people who are looking for baked goods in Palm Springs. That’s why we’re always improving the effectiveness of our DSA campaigns. With our latest updates, advertisers are seeing on average an increase in conversion rate and a decrease in CPA. Posted by Walter Vulej, Product Manager, AdWords [...]
2017-03-21T02:08:59.232-04:00The web has opened a door for new communities and platforms that help people find diverse views and have a voice. Today, anyone with a smartphone can be a content creator, app developer or entrepreneur. And Google has enabled millions of content creators and publishers to be heard, find an audience, earn a living, or even build a business. Much of this is made possible through advertising. Thousands of sites are added every day to our ad network, and more than 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. We have a responsibility to protect this vibrant, creative world—from emerging creators to established publishers—even when we don’t always agree with the views being expressed.But we also have a responsibility to our advertisers who help these publishers and creators thrive. We have strict policies that define where Google ads should appear, and in the vast majority of cases, our policies and tools work as intended. But at times we don’t get it right.Recently, we had a number of cases where brands’ ads appeared on content that was not aligned with their values. For this, we deeply apologize. We know that this is unacceptable to the advertisers and agencies who put their trust in us. That’s why we've been conducting an extensive review of our advertising policies and tools, and why we made a public commitment last week to put in place changes that would give brands more control over where their ads appear.I wanted to share that we've already begun ramping up changes around three areas: our ad policies, our enforcement of these policies and new controls for advertisers.Raising the bar for our ad policiesWe know advertisers don't want their ads next to content that doesn’t align with their values. So starting today, we’re taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content. This includes removing ads more effectively from content that is attacking or harassing people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories. This change will enable us to take action, where appropriate, on a larger set of ads and sites.We’ll also tighten safeguards to ensure that ads show up only against legitimate creators in our YouTube Partner Program—as opposed to those who impersonate other channels or violate our community guidelines. Finally, we won’t stop at taking down ads. The YouTube team is taking a hard look at our existing community guidelines to determine what content is allowed on the platform—not just what content can be monetized. Increased brand safety levels and controls for advertisersEvery company has brand guidelines that inform where and when they want their ads to appear. We already offer some controls for advertisers that respond to these needs. In the coming days and months, we’re introducing new tools for advertisers to more easily and consistently manage where their ads appear across YouTube and the web.Safer default for brands. We’re changing the default settings for ads so that they show on content that meets a higher level of brand safety and excludes potentially objectionable content that advertisers may prefer not to advertise against. Brands can opt in to advertise on broader types of content if they choose.Simplified management of exclusions. We’ll introduce new account-level controls to make it easier for advertisers to exclude specific sites and channels from all of their AdWords for Video and Google Display Network campaigns, and manage brand safety settings across all their campaigns with a push of a button.More fine-tuned controls. In addition, we’ll introduce new controls to make it easier for brands to exclude higher risk content and fine-tune where they want their ads to appear.Increasing resources, accelerating reviews and improving transparencyWe’ll offer advertisers and agencies more transparency and visibility on where their ads are running, and in the coming months we’ll expand availability of video-level reporting to all advertisers.We'll be hiring significant numbers of[...]
2017-03-20T11:53:09.446-04:00If a million trees fall in the forest and nobody hears them, do they make a sound? What about a million impressions that are served but ignored?It’s important for advertisers to ensure their video ads don’t just reach their audience, but also capture their attention -- at scale. Today, I’m excited to announce new research and reporting features to help advertisers do just that.Reach is a critical measure of scale for advertisers. To help you know how many people you're connecting with, we are introducing Unique Reach in AdWords. This update allows you to see the number of unique users and average impressions-per-user across devices, screens and platforms.But mere exposure to advertising isn’t enough. In order to have real impact, ads must capture attention. And to maximize attention, you need to know that your audience has seen, heard and spent time with your ad.Globally, YouTube viewability grew to an industry leading 93% in 2016, up from 91% in 2015.1 Across the web and apps, video viewability grew from 54% in 2015 to 66% in 2016.2 Ads on YouTube are also 95% audible.3 And while viewability and audibility are each important on their own, together they pack a much more powerful punch: In analyzing data from over a thousand YouTube ads, we’ve learned that users who both see and hear ads experience higher brand awareness, higher ad recall and higher consideration than those who only see or only hear ads.4Source: Google TrueView Brand Lift studies Aug-Sep 2016, Global, data for users with single impression. Data shows ratio of additive differences vs. control respondents for each group of viewers.Finally, even with the assurance that your audience can see and hear your ad there still remains the lingering question of how much time they actually spent watching your content. To help provide advertisers with this critical layer of detail we’ll start reporting watch time for your in-stream and bumpers campaigns. Alongside viewability and audibility rates, watch time gives you another powerful signal for understanding how people view your ads.Now, by looking at watch time across your YouTube campaigns, you can get closer to understanding which ads are holding the attention of your viewers, and are thus most likely to make an impact.Driving business results in today’s media environment means prioritizing attention. On YouTube, advertisers are able to take that powerful combination of sight and sound, and scale it to over a billion users with the ability to better understand how many users you reached across screens and how much time they spent watching your ads. We’re excited to offer these metrics, which will be available shortly in AdWords. For more information, check out our Help Center articles on Unique Reach and watch time reporting.Posted by Debbie Weinstein, Global Managing Director, YouTube & Video Solutions1. Google and DoubleClick advertising platforms data, Q4 2015 over Q4 20142. Google and DoubleClick advertising platforms data, April 20163. Google Internal Data, Global, August 2016 (when volume is at least 10% for YouTube ads)4. Google TrueView Brand Lift studies Aug-Sep 2016, Global [...]
2017-03-17T16:58:01.779-04:00From running shoes to cheap hotels to credit cards, and everything in between, people are searching for the products and services you offer. However, finding the right keywords to reach your customers can be difficult–and many advertisers agree.1 Whether someone is searching for “running shoes” or “shoes for running,” what they want remains the same; they’re looking for running shoes. You shouldn’t have to build out exhaustive keyword lists to reach these customers, and now you don’t have to.Close variants helps you connect with people who are looking for your business, despite slight variations in the way they search. To make it even easier for you to reach more of your customers, over the coming months we’re expanding close variant matching to include additional rewording and reordering for exact match keywords.2 Early tests show advertisers may see up to 3% more exact match clicks on average while maintaining comparable clickthrough and conversion rates.3 Rewording and ignoring function wordsFunction words are prepositions (in, to), conjunctions (for, but), articles (a, the) and other words that often don’t impact the intent behind a query. With this change, exact match will ignore these function words to match with similar queries.Function words are the only words that will be ignored. This should only happen when it won’t change the meaning of your keyword. For example, the “in” in “hotels in new york” can be safely ignored because it doesn’t affect the meaning. However, the “to” in “flights to new york” would not be ignored, because a “flight from new york” is not the same as a “flight to new york.” Same meaning, different orderTwo keywords can share the same meaning, even if the word order is slightly different. For example, “buy new cars” and “new cars buy.” Now, exact match will use that same logic to match with queries that are reordered variations of your keyword.It’s important to note that word reordering won’t add any words to your keywords. Your keywords also won’t be reordered to match with a query when it changes the original meaning of those keywords. For example, the keyword [SFO to JFK] shouldn’t match to the query “JFK to SFO” because the destination is different. Putting it all togetherWith this expansion of close variants, you’ll no longer have to build and maintain lists of reworded and reordered exact match keywords to get the coverage you want. If you already use reworded or reordered keyword variations, AdWords will still prefer to use those keywords identical to search queries. Phrase match keywords aren’t included in this update.Going forward, use RLSA, Smart Bidding, the search terms report and negative keywords to help shape your traffic and reduce costs. To learn more about this and other strategies that can help you make the most of this change, check out our keyword best practices. Posted by Miguel Villalobos, Product Manager, Search Keywords1. Google internal data, global2. This change will affect English and Spanish keywords only, with other languages to follow throughout 20173. Google internal data, aggregate traffic [...]
2017-03-08T11:30:00.183-05:00Living in a mobile-first world has made it easier than ever to pick up the phone and talk to a business directly. That’s why we've continued investing in calls innovations based on the great feedback we've heard from you. From call-only ads for marketers who prioritize calls to imported call conversions that allow you to upload your own call conversion data directly into AdWords, we’ve strived to drive more high-quality calls to your business in three main ways:Simplified workflows so you can set up click-to-call ads fasterBetter ad experiences that make it easier for people to call youDetailed call reporting that shows which parts of your campaigns drive the most valuable calls We have new updates coming soon across these areas to help you improve your calls performance. Get your call extensions up and running more quicklyAccount-level call extensions will begin rolling out this week to help you set up call extensions at scale. You can implement them once across your entire account rather than adding them multiple times to individual campaigns and ad groups.In the coming months, we're also rolling out automated call extensions to more advertisers globally to help you set up call extensions more quickly. AdWords will identify landing pages that already feature a prominent phone number, and automatically set up a call extension and call reporting for this phone number to help you drive more calls to your business.New year, new look for click-to-call adsIn addition to making call extensions quicker to set up, we’re improving the ad experience to help consumers call you more easily. For example, we started testing business names in the headlines of call-only ads last year to help advertisers maximize high-quality calls from people who intend to call them.“Introducing business names to call-only ads has improved the quality of calls we drive from Google Search for clients across our agency. We’ve been able to showcase their brands more clearly and increase user trust, which has led to significantly higher clickthrough and call conversion rates."-Kevin Quinlan, President of wommster.comWe’re now rolling this change out globally and will continue experimenting with other new features in click-to-call ads, including testing caller satisfaction ratings to show consumers which businesses are delivering a great user experience over the phone. New reporting for keyword and ad-level call detailsMeasuring performance from your click-to-call ads is essential for making informed decisions about your spend and optimizations. AdWords call reporting is easy to set up and available in 23 countries around the world at no additional cost to show you useful insights and conversions from the calls you’re receiving. We’ll soon be adding new call details to your keyword and ad copy reports. Additional columns for “Phone impressions” and “Phone calls” will give you a more complete view of call performance and help you see where there are opportunities to improve. For example, consider using call-only ads on keywords with the highest phone-through rates, or decreasing wait times when you have customers on the phone to improve call conversion rates.We hope these new updates to click-to-call setup, ad experiences and reporting will help you ring in 2017 with great calls performance. To learn more, visit the Help Center and read our best practices for driving phone calls to your business and optimizing the caller experience. Posted by Manas Mittal, Product Manager, Mobile Search Ads [...]
2017-03-01T10:15:55.230-05:00Mobile games mean more than just fun. They mean business. Big business. According to App Annie, game developers should capture almost half of the $189B global market for in-app purchases and advertising by 2020.1Later today, at the Games Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, I look forward to sharing a series of new innovations across ad formats, monetization tools and measurement insights for apps:New playable and video ad formats to get more people into your gameIntegrations to help you create better monetization experiencesMeasurement tools that provide insights about how players are interacting with your gameLet more users try your game with a playable ad formatThere’s no better way for a new user to experience your game than to actually play it. So today, we introduced playables, an interactive ad format in Universal App Campaigns that allows users to play a lightweight version of your game, right when they see it in any of the 1M+ apps in the Google Display Network.Jam City's playable ad for Cookie JamPlayables help you get more qualified installs from users who tried your game in the ad and made the choice to download it for more play time. By attracting already-engaged users into your app, playables help you drive the long-term outcomes you care about — rounds played, levels beat, trophies won, purchases made and more."Jam City wants to put our games in the hands of more potential players as quickly as possible. Playables get new users into the game right from the ad, which we've found drives more engagement and long-term customer value." Josh Yguado, President & COO Jam City, maker of Panda Pop and Cookie JamPlayables will be available for developers through Universal App Campaigns in the coming months, and will be compatible with HTML5 creatives built through Google Web Designer or third-party agencies. Improve the video experience with ads designed for mobile viewingMost mobile video ad views on the Google Display Network are watched on devices held vertically.2 This can create a poor experience when users encounter video ad creatives built for horizontal viewing.Developers using Universal App Campaigns will soon be able to use an auto-flip feature that automatically orients your video ads to match the way users are holding their phones. If you upload a horizontal video creative in AdWords, we will automatically create a second, vertical version for you. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yPt2V0Jvvec?ecver=1" width="560">Jam City Cookie Jam horizontal video and vertical-optimized video created through auto-flip technologyThe auto-flip feature uses Google's machine learning technology to identify the most important objects in every frame of your horizontal video creative. It then produces an optimized, vertical version of your video ad that highlights those important components of your original asset. Early tests show that click-through rates are about 20% higher on these dynamically-generated vertical videos than on horizontal video ads watched vertically.3Unlock new business with rewarded video formats, and free, unlimited reportingDevelopers have embraced AdMob's platform to mediate rewarded video ads as a way to let users watch ads in exchange for an in-app reward. Today, we are delighted to announce that we are bringing Google’s video app install advertising demand from AdWords to AdMob, significantly increasing rewarded demand available to developers. Advertisers that use Universal App Campaigns can seamlessly reach this engaged, game-playing audience using your existing video creatives.We are also investing in better measurement tools for developers by bringing the power of Firebase Analytics to more game developers with a generally available C++ SDK and an SDK for Unity, a leading gaming engine.C++ and Unity developers can now access Firebase [...]
2017-02-27T11:00:11.140-05:00Many brands and manufacturers rely on individual retailers to showcase and sell their products; however, this can make distributing and monitoring manufacturer product information complicated, as those retailers may not always have the most accurate and up-to-date product details. In 2015, we launched Google Manufacturer Center to enable these brands to offer enhanced product images, descriptions and variants for a more consistent brand experience across Google. Since then, thousands of brands have taken advantage of the tool to best represent their products to shoppers, to access unique analytics and insights -- and ultimately -- to improve the performance of Shopping ads featuring their products.Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of self-sign up for Manufacturer Center, which will allow even more brands to manage their product information across Google. Now, brands can set up their accounts in a matter of minutes and start submitting authoritative, detailed, and rich product information (including images, titles, descriptions, videos, and more) to help their products stand out in a crowded marketplace -- whether shoppers are looking for inspiration, to compare products, or to make a purchase.Below, we’re highlighting two recent success stories from leading brands that are investing in rich product content to best showcase their products to shoppers on Google. Johnson & Johnson drives a premium brand experience with high-quality product imagesJohnson & Johnson, manufacturer of popular household brands such as Band-Aid, Neutrogena, and more, has been uploading rich product data to Manufacturer Center over the past year.“Google Manufacturer Center provides us as brand manufacturers, the ability to influence product experiences, drive purchase decisions, and surface high quality and accurate product information, content, and product imagery,” said Faisal Rangwala, Senior Manager of eCommerce Strategy at Johnson & Johnson.Johnson & Johnson is driving a premium search experience for products such as their light therapy acne treatment mask, by uploading more accurate and descriptive data.As a result, when compared to category benchmarks, Johnson & Johnson realized:A 22% increase in impressions, helping even more customers discover their brand through search resultsA 27% increase in clicks, engaging more potential customers with their retailers’ Shopping ads.Safavieh gains impressions and qualified clicks by uploading better product dataInternational home furnishings company Safavieh submitted data to Manufacturer Center to better showcase their collections through Shopping Ads. Prior to their participation in Manufacturer Center, they relied on retail partners to submit product information to Google. As a result, they often found that their products were displayed in Google Shopping search results without the most up-to-date images, product attributes, videos or detailed descriptions.“Manufacturer Center has provided us with a great way of engaging our customers with more accurate, useful information. We can’t say enough about how being part of Google Manufacturer Center is helping to drive more traffic to our website, our retail partners’ websites, and ultimately greater sales for our products." said Arash Yaraghi, CEO at Safavieh.With Manufacturer Center, Safavieh has captured consumer attention by providing more enhanced content, so when a consumer searches for “rugs”, Safavieh can showcase multiple high-resolution zoomable images, YouTube videos, and longer descriptions.By uploading richer content and videos to improve their Shopping ads, when compared to category benchmarks, Safavieh achieved:A 46% increase in impressions, improving product discoverability on GoogleA 35% increase in clicks, with users spending more time on retailer’s sitesGetting starte[...]
2017-01-31T13:34:29.867-05:00In 2016 we introduced a new AdWords experience and even shared an early look at it in action. From the beginning, we asked ourselves, “How can we make AdWords as relevant for the next 15 years as the first 15?” And during this multi-year journey, we met with many of you -- across industries and around the world, from power users to beginners -- to learn what's working, and what could be improved.We learned a lot, and it’s helped shape what we’ve built. First, AdWords should focus on your business, and not around features. The data you care about should be available at your fingertips. And finally, the tools you use to get things done should be simple yet powerful.This comes together in the new experience in many ways. For example, the new Overview page surfaces relevant insights about your account and helps you visualize them so you can take action. We’ve removed the clutter and made navigation a breeze so you can do more in less time. And in the coming months, we’re introducing new tools, unique to this experience, that will help you reach customers in new ways.I recently sat down with a few advertisers who told me the new experience "is faster," “more intuitive,” and that “it’s easier to get things done.” It’s so inspiring to hear this feedback because we’re aiming to do exactly that -- build a platform that’s easy to use and helps you reach your unique business goals.We’ve made so much progress since our announcement last March, and I’m happy to share that we’re rolling out the new AdWords experience to more of you within the next few months. Some of you will automatically see it when you sign in to AdWords, while others will see a message to try it out.* Though not everyone will have access to the new experience at the same time, we encourage those who do to explore it, discover new insights, and provide feedback as we continue to refine and roll it out to more advertisers.Examples of Overview cards**To get started, I recommend taking the guided tour to familiarize yourself with the new experience. The AdWords Help Center is also being updated to provide additional support as you get acquainted with all the new features.We look forward to continuing this journey in 2017 and can’t wait to share the new AdWords experience with more of you.Posted by Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Product Management, AdWords* Invites are sent based on a number of factors, including the features you use** Campaign performance, Auction Insights, and Locations cards are coming soon [...]
2017-01-27T12:59:29.899-05:00Gmail ads, you can reach the right audiences and grow your business.
2017-01-25T11:56:08.785-05:00A free and open web is a vital resource for people and businesses around the world. And ads play a key role in ensuring you have access to accurate, quality information online. But bad ads can ruin the online experience for everyone. They promote illegal products and unrealistic offers. They can trick people into sharing personal information and infect devices with harmful software. Ultimately, bad ads pose a threat to users, Google’s partners, and the sustainability of the open web itself.We have a strict set of policies that govern the types of ads we do and don’t allow on Google in order to protect people from misleading, inappropriate, or harmful ads. And we have a team of engineers, policy experts, product managers and others who are waging a daily fight against bad actors. Over the years, this commitment has made the web a better place for you—and a worse place for those who seek to abuse advertising systems for their own gain.In 2016, we took down 1.7 billion ads that violated our advertising policies, more than double the amount of bad ads we took down in 2015. If you spent one second taking down each of those bad ads, it’d take you more than 50 years to finish. But our technology is built to work much faster.Last year, we did two key things to take down more bad ads. First, we expanded our policies to better protect users from misleading and predatory offers. For example, in July we introduced a policy to ban ads for payday loans, which often result in unaffordable payments and high default rates for users. In the six months since launching this policy, we disabled more than 5 million payday loan ads. Second, we beefed up our technology so we can spot and disable bad ads even faster. For example, “trick to click" ads often appear as system warnings to deceive users into clicking on them, not realizing they are often downloading harmful software or malware. In 2016, our systems detected and disabled a total of 112 million ads for “trick to click,” 6X more than in 2015.Here are a few more examples of bad ads we took action against in 2016:Ads for illegal productsSome of the most common bad ads we find online are ads promoting illegal activities or products. Although we've long had a policy against bad ads for pharmaceuticals, last year our systems detected an increase online. We disabled more than 68 million bad ads for healthcare violations, up from 12.5 million in 2015.Similarly, we saw more attempts to advertise gambling-related promotions without proper authorization from regulators in the countries they operate. We took down more than 17 million bad ads for illegal gambling violations in 2016.17M ads removed for illegal gambling violationsMisleading adsWe don't want you to feel misled by ads that we deliver, so we require our advertisers to provide upfront information for people to make informed decisions. Some ads try to drive clicks and views by intentionally misleading people with false information like asking, “Are you at risk for this rare, skin-eating disease?” or offering miracle cures like a pill that will help you lose 50 pounds in three days without lifting a finger. In 2016, we took down nearly 80 million bad ads for deceiving, misleading and shocking users.1,300+ accounts suspended for tabloid cloakingBad ads on mobileIf you’ve ever been on your phone and suddenly, without warning, ended up in the app store downloading an app you’ve never heard of, a “self-clicking ad” could be to blame. In 2015, we disabled only a few thousand of these bad ads, but in 2016, our systems detected and disabled more than 23,000 self-clicking ads on our platforms, a huge increase year over year.Ads trying to game the systemBad actors know that ads for certain products—like weight-loss suppl[...]
2017-01-18T12:00:04.683-05:00Retailers like you are always looking for the best ways to promote your products and reach shoppers online, right when they’re looking to buy -- and throughout the past year, our mission with Google Shopping was to help you do just that. In 2016, we introduced a handful of new setup, feed, and campaign management features to help you make the most of your Shopping ad investments. In the spirit of self-betterment, we invite you to make this year your best Shopping year yet! Kick off 2017 by checking out a few of our most impactful new features, and resolve to put them into practice for the new year, and beyond. Get up and running on Google Shopping faster than ever before with e-commerce platform integrations. Last year, we announced partnerships with three major ecommerce platforms -- BigCommerce, PrestaShop, and Magento -- to make it easier than ever to get started on Google Shopping. If you’re using any one of these platforms (or if you’re thinking of using one of these platforms), these partnerships let you easily and automatically submit your product information to Google Shopping and quickly reach millions of new customers searching for what you sell. To learn more about how we work with these ecommerce platforms, visit our Help Center, or visit the BigCommerce, PrestaShop, and Magento sites.Show more of your products on Google by using high quality data. We know that creating and maintaining a complete and compliant data feed can be one of the most challenging parts of succeeding with Google Shopping. To make feed management easier, we’ve launched a variety of solutions to help connect your products to new customers -- whether you’re already running Shopping campaigns or you’re just getting started. Feed Rules help you make product data changes directly in Merchant Center without the hassle, like adding custom labels or transforming attributes into the correct format.Using the Google Sheets Merchant Center add-on and structured data markup on your site, you can automatically populate, update, and submit your product data to Merchant Center, making feed management a breeze. Merchant Center received a brand new look with a comprehensive Diagnostics dashboard that processes more quickly to give you a better snapshot of your product data across Shoppings ads, Dynamic Remarketing, Local Inventory Ads and other programs.We made updates to the Product Data Specification with the goal of helping you understand what product data Google needs to run your Shopping ads, including new structured data markup and GTIN specifications. Merchants who added correct GTINs to their product data saw conversion rates increase up to 20%. Grow sales and save time with a routine to keep up with daily campaign management. Using recent features to Shopping campaigns, you can actually spend less of your time making adjustments to focus on other priorities. Enable product status insight reporting columns and smart bidding strategies in your campaigns today. Product status insights and disapproval notifications in the products tab are your go-to columns to check on the health of your products. Did you have many out-of-stock items after holiday clearances? Some of those could still be disapproved. See which of your top performing products are no longer selling and how to fix them. Avoid missing out on missed traffic by keeping these top products eligible year-round. Adopting a smart bidding strategy like enhanced CPC (eCPC) to enable the flexibility for Google to adjust bids on individual queries. Just set your max CPC and have eCPC do the rest of the heavy lifting. eCPC adjust bids for individual queries with a high likelihood to convert all while balancing out bids for underperforming[...]
2017-01-17T13:02:25.240-05:00This is a friendly reminder that starting on January 31, you’ll only be able to create and edit text ads using the expanded text ads format. You’ll no longer be able to create standard text ads. While this will be the last date to create them, existing standard text ads will continue to serve.Expanded text ads can deliver great results, particularly with a commitment to testing new creatives.As one of the top places people go online to search for apartments, Apartments.com knows the importance of having a strong digital presence. Wanting to provide renters with even more information about its listings, Apartments.com added expanded text ads to its Search campaigns. Apartments.com's results were strong across its campaigns. It saw 15% and 10% increases in CTRs for expanded text ads on mobile and desktop, respectively.While making similar improvements to your ads, keep these best practices in mind:Implement multiple versions of your ads. Aim for at least 3-5 per ad group.Leave your standard text ads running. You can’t create new ones, but the old ones can still serve. Don’t delete them until they stop receiving impressions on their own or the message is no longer accurate.Plan to optimize your ad rotation for clicks or conversions. These options give preference to ads that are likely to perform better.Focus your testing on headlines. They’re the most important part of your ads.Consider shorter headlines on things like brand terms where someone might not need more info.Iterate new ads based on previously successful creative. Learn from what already works.Add terms from user queries and your keywords in your longer headlines whenever appropriate.Along with those best practices, remember that after January 31 you can pause and resume standard text ads, but it’s best to create new expanded text ads.As you prepare for expanded text ads to become the only way to create new text ads, check out our best practices guide for creating effective ads or our previously-hosted Hangout-on-Air for more advice. Take advantage of AdWords Editor, the AdWords API or the ETA Transition Helper to make these changes across your entire account.Posted by Senthil Hariramasamy, Senior Product Manager, Ad Formats [...]
2017-01-17T10:17:46.143-05:00link intent with context as people search on Google.
2016-12-16T21:30:05.359-05:00During the busy holiday season, on-the-go shoppers are using their smartphones to find the perfect stocking stuffers, festive decor and gifts for loved ones. In fact, 70% of smartphone users who bought something in a store first turned to their devices for information relevant to that purchase. One in four of them also used a map through a web browser or an app before making the purchase.1 This year, a number of brands are testing Promoted Places in Google Maps to showcase special offers and announcements to drive more foot traffic to their stores.Some users have started seeing a limited test of Promoted Places in the Google Maps for Android app. It integrates seamlessly with the browsing experience, where places of interest are visually marked with icons to help users orient themselves and explore the world around them. With Promoted Places, advertisers can improve awareness for their stores by branding their location icons with their logo. Clicks on a business’s logo will reveal promotions such as in-store sales or new products and services to help consumers decide where to go. They can also view the business’s place page to see store hours, check live updates to Popular Times, get directions, and more.“We’re looking forward to testing Promoted Places to help us deliver a more branded and customized experience on Google Maps. It will allow us to spotlight our latest products with the goal of driving more shoppers in-store to get the full M·A·C Cosmetics experience.”- Laura Elkins, SVP of Global Marketing“Innovation is part of our DNA and we’re continually evaluating meaningful and contextually relevant ways to connect with our customers. Staying top of mind, especially during the competitive holiday season, requires a mix of tried and true, including breakthrough strategies. Promoted Places in Google Maps can help drive incremental store traffic and promote Walgreens as a go-to destination for small gifts. This gives us a new and different way to highlight seasonal offerings through visuals and engaging copy. Combined with the breadth of our store locations in the community, this aligns with our goals of driving loyalty and giving customers more reasons to choose Walgreens for their holiday needs.”- Andrea Kaduk, Director of SEM & Social"With Promoted Places, we can enhance our presence on Google Maps and give users a glimpse of our brand and coffeehouses before they even get there. Having our logo on the map helps our locations jump out and promoting our favourite menu items gives people a reason to choose us."- Jamie McQuary, Senior Marketing ManagerThis holiday season, Promoted Places will help businesses stand out to busy shoppers in the moments they’re figuring out where to go. We’re excited to test new experiences that help consumers discover nearby sales and promotions and allow businesses to reach more people through Google Maps. Posted by: Cynthia Johanson, Product Manager, AdWords 1. Google/Purchased Digital Diary: How Consumers Solve Their Needs in the Moment, May 2016, Smartphone users = 1000. Offline Purchasers = 696 [...]
2016-12-13T15:17:42.239-05:00If you were wishing for an easier way to manage your video ad campaigns in AdWords this holiday season, the AdWords product team has the perfect gift picked out. Today we’re announcing AdWords scripts support for TrueView and six-second bumper ads.
2016-12-09T12:00:16.093-05:00Passwords have historically been the gateway to accounts; however we’ve shown that some of the most common passwords and security questions are easy to guess, which leaves accounts potentially vulnerable to hijackers.Keeping our users and partners secure is a top priority for us and we continue to work hard to help you keep the bad guys out. 2-Step Verification (2SV) is one of the best ways to protect your account from hackers. 2SV combines both ‘something you know’ (like a password) and ‘something you have’ (like your phone or security key). Think of it like withdrawing money from an ATM/cash machine, where you need both your PIN and your bank card.Millions of businesses use our advertising service, Google AdWords to display their businesses in Search and improve their reach globally. As part of our commitment to our AdWords customers and to demonstrate how easy it is to adopt better security standards, we distributed 2SV security keys to 60 of our largest ad agencies across four countries (UK, Spain, USA, Mexico). The agencies found the keys to be a useful security feature and have implemented 2SV into everyday practices. Here’s the story of two UK ad agencies that piloted this program. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/US9NkzopYG0" width="560">.../ Jellyfish is a full service digital marketing agency with offices in the UK, US and South Africa, and with over 250 staff, Jellyfish prides itself on its dynamic approach—responding to clients’ needs in an ever-changing digital landscape. Ranked the number one digital agency in the UK by The Drum Digital Elite in 2015, Jellyfish boasts an influential client roster including: Nestle, Motors.co.uk, Gatwick Airport, National Geographic, Zipcar etc.As an agency with paid search as its heritage, Jellyfish utilises Google AdWords to help clients run efficient campaigns and generate the maximum return on investment through search and display opportunities. With the bulk of its clients utilising AdWords accounts, Jellyfish wanted to establish good security practices. Richard Hartley, PPC Director at Jellyfish notes: “AdWords has been the most effective means of running campaigns for our clients. With so much data and personal information involved, we wanted to make the safety of these campaigns a priority.”Jellyfish consulted with Google’s Trust & Safety team on the best way to protect their clients. Tariq Mohammed, PPC Manager at Jellyfish notes: “Security is always of utmost importance to ourselves and our clients. Any of our accounts being hacked could have a massively harmful effect on our clients, and hence it is something we take very seriously. Anything at all that we can do to help safeguard the security of our clients’ data and spend will be grasped by Jellyfish with both hands.”Google provided 2SV via security keys, to all Jellyfish clients who were AdWords account holders. “Account hijackers are highly motivated and equipped. The best added protection for accounts is 2SV as it prevents unwanted, third party access,” says Zeyneb Temnenko, Accounts Analyst within Google’s Trust & Safety team. “Enabling 2SV will undoubtedly give Jellyfish the security needed to run clients’ campaigns safely without any concerns about unauthorised account access.”The introduction of the security keys has had a real impact on the Jellyfish team. “Having already rolled the 2-step verification across every single one of our AdWords logins, we already knew the great benefits of using [...]
2016-12-09T12:55:59.220-05:00Reaching your most valuable and engaged customers at the moment they’re ready to act is critical in moving them along the path to a purchase. Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) and Customer Match can help you do that by customizing your campaigns for people who’ve previously interacted with your business. However, getting started can be time-consuming, especially if you have a lot of ad groups. To make it easier for you to manage your audience lists at scale, you can now apply them at the campaign level. Campaign-level audience lists also make it easy to measure and change your bid adjustments. Instead of trying to change your bid adjustments for each individual ad group, you can confidently optimize at the campaign level where you’re more likely to have enough data to make an informed decision. Learn more audience bid adjustment best practices here. Many advertisers are already using campaign-level search audiences to save time and make better optimizations:“Campaign-level audiences have proven to be a great way to apply our remarketing lists at scale. Our campaigns often contain so many ad groups - using RLSA in the past required hours spent applying audiences to each one and analyzing the results by ad group. By applying them at the campaign level, we can be confident that no ad group is overlooked, while saving us time that can be better spent on helping our customers find their new home.” – Debra Carroll, Senior SEM Manager at Redfin “Being able to apply all of our audiences at the campaign level has drastically simplified the process of adding lists to multiple campaigns, as most of our campaigns have hundreds of ad groups. This allowed us to apply our bid adjustments in bulk, which has resulted in smarter spending and increased ROAS from our search campaigns.” – Nathan Eagan, PPC Specialist at WebstaurantWith campaign-level search audiences, you now have more flexibility than ever in how to engage with your customers. Learn more about using campaign-level audiences in the Help Center, and read our best practices guide to learn how you can reach the right audience with a message that resonates. Posted by Bhanu Narasimhan, Director of Product Management, AdWords [...]
2016-12-07T12:00:01.260-05:00Last week we covered how mobile has changed shopping behavior during Black Friday weekend. But its effects don’t stop there. Mobile is making it easier to find sales and great deals, encouraging shoppers to browse during traditionally lower traffic seasons; in fact, 22% more mobile shoppers visited retailers via Google in the January after the holiday season, than in the October before.1 For certain categories, like Furniture or Home & Garden, January visits increased up to 39% over their October levels.2 Optimize your strategy to keep your Google Shopping lights on for these savvy shoppers and start the year off with a bang. Categories seeing higher traffic from Google in January 2016 than October 2015 (UK categories available here) Optimization tips for key traffic-driving categories in JanuaryThere are five categories where retailers saw more traffic coming from Google in January of 2016 than in October 2015. If you sell products in these categories, use the following best practices to expand your reach to shoppers.1. Use click share to drive more engagement. Products in top positions may see better engagement from shoppers, especially on mobile. The following benchmarks highlight the mobile click share by category you’ll need to be competitive in reaching the top positions. To grow your click share, start by increasing your bids and ad relevance for your priority products. CategoryMobile Click Share Benchmark3Electronics19%Home and Garden26%Health and beauty30%Vehicles and Parts15%Furniture 22%2. Create a strategic seasonal campaign. Separate strategic products or items on sale with a separate campaign with a higher campaign priority. A separate campaign enables more flexibility in managing bids and budgets for these products without affecting the rest of your campaigns. 3. Use custom labels to create seasonal product groups. If you plan to sell high-value products in a given category, like winter accessories for vehicles and parts, use custom labels to create a segmented product group in your campaign. This way, you can specifically adjust the bids for winter accessories and then monitor the click share to reach top positions in Google Shopping results. 4. Remarket your products to previous shoppers. Increase the visibility of your products to shoppers who visited your site during the holidays but didn’t convert. Create a remarketing list of previous visitors who may have abandoned their carts at checkout. Chances are, these shoppers are still looking for the best deal available. If you’re having a clearance sale, highlight your lower prices to these shoppers as they continue to browse. Whether it’s to gear up for the winter or take advantage of clearance sales, these shoppers were eager to continue shopping online last January. Continue adjusting budgets, especially in categories that saw increased traffic last year to reach these shoppers in the New Year. For more best practices on driving a successful holiday season, visit the help center. Posted By Alex Chen, Product Marketing Manager, Google Shopping 1. Google Internal Data aggregate mobile traffic October 2015 and January 2016, US.2. Google Internal Data aggregate traffic by category October 2015 and January 2016, US.3. Google Internal Data October 13 to October 20, 2016 average click share for overall mobile campaign or product groups with a selection of products in top-level Shopping categories, Global. [...]
2016-12-01T12:00:26.233-05:00Consumer expectations are higher than ever before. And thanks to mobile, your customers are connected, informed and savvy– they’re becoming supershoppers overnight. As they go shopping this holiday season, it’s more important than ever to connect with your most valuable customers at the exact moment they’re looking for a gift.Customer Match makes this connection easy by helping you to engage these valuable holiday customers as they’re searching on Google, watching videos on YouTube, and checking promotions on Gmail. Making Customer Match even betterStarting today, we’re rolling out an easier way to manage your customer lists, giving you more flexibility in reaching your customers during the busy holiday season. Let’s say that you manage marketing for an online clothing store, and you’re interested in connecting with your active newsletter subscribers. To make it easy for you to keep this customer list up to date, you can now add and remove specific email addresses, or even replace your entire list without having to create a new one. Learn more in the Help Center.Customer Match delivers resultsBrands large and small are using Customer Match in different ways to boost performance:TurboTax created customized ads and landing pages to ease returning customers into the tax-filing process, decreasing its cost per conversion by 31% in the process.Guitar Center made product-specific customer lists and increased CTR by 60%.The Children’s Place re-engaged back-to-school shoppers with customized ads, increasing its return on investment (ROI) by 287%.One Click Ventures cross-sold eyewear across multiple websites and saw a 412% increase in conversion rate.Wine Enthusiast Companies combined Customer Match and RLSA to sell wine merchandise to its customer base, delivering a 3x higher ROI.Our partners make it even easier to get startedTo save you time before the holidays, we created an upload service to help you get started with Customer Match. We’ve partnered with Merkle, Sailthru, LiveRamp, PMG, Neustar, Epsilon and others to make the upload process turnkey. Some of these partners can even help you expand your customer lists and match rates, too.We’ve also partnered with Salesforce and Adobe, who have made it easy for you to upload your customer lists directly from within their customer relationship management platforms. If you’d like to learn more about these services, contact your Google account team.Understanding your customers and being present in the moments that matter to them is critical. Marketers who adjust their plans accordingly with tools like Customer Match will be positioned for a happy holiday season– and a successful 2017.Posted by Cedric Dupont, Group Product Manager, AdWords [...]
2016-11-28T11:40:39.776-05:00As another Black Friday weekend wraps, we saw supershoppers continue to turn to their devices for ideas and information as well as use them as a “door-to-the-store.” In fact, Black Friday had the highest mobile shopping searches of any day during Thanksgiving week this year. Thanksgiving Day was a close second, with searches peaking at 8:00 p.m.1Further, shoppers across the U.S. turned to mobile to not only find the best deals online but also to discover the best deals in-store: Rhode Island and Delaware had the most local shopping search interest -- searches that contained “near me,” hours and stores -- of any states in the nation.2This strong link between the online and physical world lives beyond the holidays too, and store visits reporting in AdWords is helping advertisers understand it year round. In fact, in just under two years, advertisers globally have measured over 3 billion store visits. What else did we see in stores over the holiday weekend? Store foot traffic jumped 65% on Black Friday, compared to an average weekend day in November, showing that consumers still care about going into stores for holiday shopping. Clothing, toy, and electronic stores were all popular destinations. Clothing stores and toy stores saw more than double the foot traffic on Black Friday compared to an average weekend day in November.3Electronics stores were particularly popular, with more than double the foot traffic on Thanksgiving Day and more than triple the foot traffic on Black Friday, compared to an average weekend day in November.4 That makes sense given electronics, including the Nintendo Entertainment System and Sony PS4 Pro, are topping shoppers’ gift lists this year.5Popular Times feature in Google Maps: Live store foot traffic on Black Friday in Best Buy as indicated by pink barShoppers also spent more time in stores. For example, in electronics stores, they typically spent between 35 minutes and 1.5 hours on Black Friday compared to 25 minutes on an average day in November. Shopping malls showed a similar increase in visit duration compared to the average day in November.6 To get deeper insight into store visits performance, visit the AdWords Help Center and learn about two new distance and location reports coming soon that will help you understand where your store visits come from.Natalie Zmuda, Managing Editor, Think with GoogleElizabeth Fabiani, Product Marketing Manager, Google Shopping1. Google Search Data, U.S., apparel, home & garden, beauty & personal care, computers & electronics, gifts, toys & games, photo & video; mobile only, Nov 20162. Google Search Data, U.S., apparel, home & garden, beauty & personal care, computers & electronics, gifts, toys & games, and photo & video; search interest in "near me," "hours," and "stores"; local searches' popularity as a fraction of total shopping searches in that location, mobile only, Nov. 20163. Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized store traffic for Department, Clothing, Electronics and Toy stores, and Shopping Centers from a sample of U.S. users that have turned on Location History, November 4. Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized store traffic for Electronics stores from a sample of U.S. users that have turned on Location History, November 2016.5. Google Shopping Insights, U.S., all devices, Nov. 1 – Nov. 13, 2016.6. Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized store traffic for Electronics sto[...]
2016-11-22T15:39:39.812-05:00What an exciting time of the year. Supershoppers are out in full force, and your AdWords campaigns are ready for them. Last year, on mobile alone, conversion rates jumped 30% on Black Friday and 50% on Cyber Monday when compared to November 1.1