Google has made some notable changes to search ads, as well as a change to display ads which will affect the size of ads allowed on a website. A new feature has been introduced for Bing shopping campaigns. Google pauses YouTube advertising while running various other advertising tests.
In some other news, Google’s iOS app can now show you where to find media on various streaming services. Lastly, Bing’s homepage will begin to explain the meaning behind each of its uniquely chosen background images.
Details about each of these top stories are included in this week’s SEO & SEM news roundup.
Similar Audiences for Google AdWords’ Search and Shopping Campaigns
Google has announced Similar Audiences are rolling out for Search and Shopping campaigns in AdWords. This will give advertisers the ability to target customers based on whether or not they’ve searched for the same things as previous site visitors.
Essentially, Google will help you find people who are searching for the same things as your existing customers even if they’re not in your remarketing lists. Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) can be created out of similar audiences and automatically updated.
300×250 Sized Ad Units Allowed Above the Fold
Google says 300×250 sized ad units are now allowed above the fold. Previously, ads of this size were not allowed above the fold because it was believed they detracted from the user experience. Now Google believes 300×250 sized ads can be placed above the fold in a way that doesn’t hurt the user experience.
Even though these ad types are now allowed above the fold, Google reminds to make sure the ads do not cause content to be pushed down the page. Not only does this hurt the user experience, but it could lead to accidental clicks.
Bing Ads Rolls Out Merchant Promotions for Search Ads
Merchant promotions are now available to all US advertisers. Merchant Promotions were initially being tested as an extension for Bing Shopping Campaigns. It was a pilot project before being released across the US.
Now US advertisers can append Product Ads as special offers which searchers can click on for more information about the offer. Within the expanded view there will be a link directly to the offer itself.
Offers can be created for specific products, specific groups of products, or across the entire store. They can also be scheduled to run at specific times, such as a seasonal promotion or a weekend promotion.
The offer itself can be something as simple as free shipping, or more complex like buy one get one for 50% off. You can set up offers by following these 3 steps:
- Click the Promotions tab (will be visible once you’re approved for the program).
- Click Create promotion and enter the details of the promotion.
- Click Save and you’re done!
Those interested in using the new feature are asked to fill out an interest form, and the company will get back to you.
Google Tests Expansion of Google Shopping Ads to Display Network
Google has recently increased the distribution of Shopping ads, including expansion to YouTube, image search results, and third-party retail sites. It was only a matter of time before Shopping Ads were rolled out to the Google Display Network, which it has now done as a pilot project called Retail Shopping on Display.
An email was sent to AdWords API users and advertisers in April where Google explained what to expect during the initial phase of this pilot project. To start with, shopping ads of those accepted into the project may appear on fashion and home sites within the Google Display Network.
As of May 29, Google will automatically enable all Shopping campaigns on the GDN by default for those accounts in the pilot. Advertisers can opt out if they want.
Other than that, not much is known at this point. Google says it will take time to start seeing traffic from the new GDN placements. We don’t even know what the ads will look like yet. So expect further updates as we get closer to the end of the month.
Google Pauses YouTube Advertising
Google has paused the TrueView discovery ads which show up in mobile search results, or as “related video” suggestions. The decision to pause YouTube advertising comes after Google has come under fire from major brands after advertising was found appearing next to controversial YouTube content.
A Google representative has told MarketingLand pausing YouTube advertising will help accelerate the infrastructure changes needed before implementing new brand safety measures across all YouTube ad formats. YouTube’s TrueView ads are expected to be offline until the end of Q2 2017.
Bing’s Homepage Images
Bing will begin to explain the meaning behind the unique images it chooses for its home page. If you’re ever curious about the photo adorning the front page of Bing, you can simply scroll down to the bottom of the page to get the story. The new section will also have shortcuts for sharing, liking, or downloading the image.
The new “Image of the Day” section will feature an extended story behind each image, along with either a mini-map or a “quick fact.” Further down the page, past the Image of the Day section, you’ll now find a gallery of recent home page images. Here you can get the stories behind any of the recently used photos.
Google Search on iOS to Help You Find Streaming Media
Google has updated its search app for iOS users with a feature which will make it easier to find out where to legally consume digital content. When searching for something like a song, movie, or book — Google will return the various streaming services and content marketplaces where the content is available. Tapping on one of the icons will take you directly to that service to start consuming the content.
Content shortcuts will appear in the usual Knowledge Panels which appear when you search for media. Google will even display links for shortcuts to competitive services. For example, if content is available on both iTunes and Google Play, Google will display both.
This feature has been previously available on Android, this is the first time it has become available on iOS.
Wrapping it Up
Similar Audiences are now available for Google Search and Shopping campaigns. Larger ads are allowed above the fold. Google is expanding Shopping ads into the Google Display Network. YouTube advertising has been paused so the company can fix its controversial content issue. Google Search on iOS will help you find where to legally consume media. Merchant Promotions are now available for Bing’s Shopping Ads. Lastly, Bing will begin to display the story behind its daily homepage image.