This past week has been all about Google introducing useful, new additions to AdWords. Some of the new AdWords features are available right now, while others will be available later on this year. In addition, the big G issued a warning to people who are abusing its link building policies.
More details about all of these stop stories are included in this week’s SEO & SEM news roundup.
Google is Bringing the Power of AMP to Search Ads
Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) technology is coming to search ads in two different ways. First, Google is launching a new beta program which allows advertisers to use AMP pages as landing pages. If you’re interested in participating in the beta you can sign up here. The next thing Google is doing is speeding up ads served across the entire Google Display Network with AMP technology.
Google has already begun automatically converting a “significant” number of ads on AMP pages to the new faster loading format. New AMP ads are said to load 5 seconds faster than regular ads while still looking the same.
Google is Improving AdWords With Machine Learning
Three significant upgrades to AdWords are on the way, all of which utilize machine learning in one way or another. Here’s a look at all three of Google’s announcements:
- In-Market Audiences: Lets businesses expand their reach within a targeted audience of people who have already searched for the business’s products and services before.
- Google Attribution: Brings together data from AdWords, Analytics, and DoubleClick. Measures data at all stages of the customer journey to determine how much credit to assign to each stage.
- Store Sales Measurement: This will allow businesses to measure in-store revenue earned from online ads.
Google Optimize and Google Surveys Integrates with Google AdWords
Google is rolling out new ways for AdWords advertisers to gain valuable data about their audience to enhance campaign optimization. Google AdWords has already been integrated with Google Surveys 360, and in the coming months it will also be integrated with Google Optimize. Here’s what that means for advertisers.
Google Surveys 360 Integration
Remarketing lists in AdWords are now available for targeting in Google Surveys 360. Advertisers can now send surveys to people in their remarketing lists in an effort to learn more about their behavior.
Google recommends using this feature to ask questions about why people in your remarking lists did or didn’t convert. That information can then be used to make adjustments to your marketing messages.
“Want to know why shoppers abandoned their shopping carts? Ask them! Curious about how many customers converted due to your new free shipping offer? Ask them!”
Google Optimize Integration
Google will eventually be rolling out new features which involve the integration of AdWords and Google Optimize. The upcoming integration will give advertisers the ability to create and test custom landing pages. Landing pages can be customized based on the keyword, ad group, or campaign associated with an ad.
“Suppose a hotel wants to improve its landing page for the keyword family friendly hotels. Using Optimize, the hotel can create and test a new variation of the landing page, one that features an image of a family enjoying themselves at the hotel pool, instead of a generic image of the hotel exterior. If the new page leads to more reservations, they’ve got a win.”
Ads Data Hub for Google AdWords
Google is introducing something new to AdWords, which it calls the “Ads Data Hub.” This new feature is designed to help advertisers gain more detailed insights into campaign performance across multiple screens. Google’s Ads Data Hub offers access to data and insights across YouTube, Google Display Network, and DoubleClick.
Still in its beta testing stage, Google is slowly expanding on who can use it. Google gives an example of how the new Ads Data Hub can be used to improve a campaign:
“For example, if an e-commerce retailer wants to understand what the path to conversion looks like, they can bring additional online data about their customers into BigQuery, and Ads Data Hub will enable them to combine that data with their ads data so they can see what a typical journey is from first encountering a user until conversion.”
Google is Beta Testing the “Buy” Button
It’s hard to believe it has been a few years since Google first announced plans to add a “Buy” button to search ads, but it’s finally here in beta testing form. Some AdWords advertisers are now being invited to take part in a Purchases on Google beta program which will allow them to add a “Buy on Google” button at the top of their product ads.
Google’s beta program is extremely limited right now. Not only is it available to select merchants, but it’s limited in who will be able to see the “Buy” button. Currently, only searchers on Android will be able to see it. There has been no official announcement about this feature, though we know it exists because it’s an option that now appears in the Google Merchant Center.
Purchasing a product from Google search requires searchers to also be users of Google Wallet, which could narrow down the potential for conversions even further. Clicking on the “Buy” button will send Google Wallet users to a Google-hosted page where the product can be purchased.
What if you’re not a user of Google Wallet? I wonder how many people will take the time to sign up to Google Wallet versus going to another site where they can purchase the product using their preferred method of payment. There’s certainly more than a few things holding Purchases on Google back from becoming a viable competitor to the web’s leading e-commerce giants.
If you’d like to learn more about this feature, please see our recent explainer article where we go over everything you need to know about the Google AdWords “Buy” button.
New AdWords Experience Rolling Out by End of Year
If there haven’t already been enough AdWords changes to digest this week, you can look forward to an all new AdWords experience rolling out by the end of the year. Some advertisers are getting early access to the new experience, but if you don’t have it yet you definitely should by the end of the year.
You can test your luck at getting early access to the new experience by visiting this landing page where you can let Google know you’re interested. Google describes the new experience by saying:
“The new AdWords experience marks the most powerful change we’ve made to how advertisers visualize and manage their campaigns in over 15 years. The redesign makes AdWords significantly easier to use to help you reach your unique marketing goals and get things done.”
Google Warns Not to Guest Post for Links
This should be news to no one who is familiar with SEO best practices, but it is news in the sense Google sent out a warning this week to remind site owners not to guest post with the sole intention of building links. Google says the warning was prompted by an increase in spammy guest posting practices which violate the company’s policies on inbound links.
To be clear, Google doesn’t frown on guest posts in general. In fact, they’re encouraged if you genuinely have something of value to add to another website’s audience. They’re only frowned upon when they’re stuffed with keyword-rich links, poorly written, and distributed to a large number of sites at once. The search giant is always watching, so take the utmost caution when submitting a guest post.
Wrapping it Up
Google ads on AMP pages will now load much faster, a number of improvements to AdWords are on the way which involves integration with other Google technology, the AdWords “Buy” button is being rolled out to more people in beta testing, and the search giant felt the need to remind everyone this past week not to guest post for the sake of building links.
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- Google Ads Announces Free Ad Credits for Existing Advertisers as COVID-19 Relief - March 31, 2020