This was a big week for paid search as Google AdWords rolled out a slew of useful new features. We’ll go over all of the recent updates in detail and keep you informed with what you need to know. In addition, in the midst of all of Google’s legal troubles which we have documented in previous updates, a court ruling came out this week in Google’s favor. Depending on how you consume and/or distribute media online this could be a bit of good news for you as well. Sit back and brush up on the latest need-to-know developments in both paid and organic search.
Google AdWords Cross-Device Conversions
Google claims 61% of internet users, and over 80% of online millennials, begin their shopping experience on one device and finish it on another. For example, they may look up a product on their phone to do some research on it, and later complete the purchase on their laptop.
In an effort to track these customers across their devices as they move through the sales funnel, Google has introduced cross-device conversion tracking. This feature can be turned on manually for now, and as of August 16th will be included automatically for all advertisers in the Conversions column. Come September 6th Google will start rolling this out as the default conversion type.
According to Google, advertisers that have been using cross-device conversion tracking have measured an average of 16% more conversions. The cross-device insights provide a more complete and accurate view of ad performance, which can help advertisers adjust their campaigns and improve their performance.
Imported Call Conversions for AdWords
Google predicts that calls to businesses from mobile phones will increase by 73% from 2015 to 2019. With call volume on the rise, there’s no doubt that the traditional phone call is still a primary source of conversions for some businesses. Wouldn’t it be great if you could track your call conversions and online conversions in the same place?
Well, now you can thanks to Google AdWords’ new imported call conversions. The feature is designed to help advertisers keep track of the revenue made from phone calls, and collect that data along with online advertising conversions. Previously, Google had a feature which would measure the length of calls. From there it was up to the advertiser to figure out what to do with that data. For example, the information could be used to determine that the majority of conversions occur during calls that are 10 minutes in length.
The limitations of Google’s previous method of collecting call data is obvious. Now you can measure the true conversion value of paid calls from mobile click-to-call ads or your website. Even better still is the fact that conversions will be measured down to the keyword level. This means you can more accurately determine which keywords led to the calls that resulted in conversions. For more information about importing your call conversions, see this help center article from Google.
New Information Included in Google Maps Listings
Something business owners should be aware of is an update to the Google Maps app for both iOS and Android which allows internet users to add or edit information to a Maps listing. For some time Google has offered the ability to edit or add information such as business name and store hours, but now the company is going a step beyond that.
In addition to basic business info, users can now suggest additional information about the business. Anything from level of service to opinions about the atmosphere of the location can now be added to a Maps listing. Don’t get too worried just yet, the information doesn’t show up automatically unless enough users verify the information as being accurate. As long as you leave your customers with something good to say about your business, you shouldn’t have any worries either way.
Google and Bing Under No Obligation to Censor “Torrent” Searches
Many groups in the entertainment industry have led the charge against Google and Bing for not taking enough action against illegal torrent websites. An industry group in France escalated the issue all the way to the High Court of Paris, demanding that the two search giants automatically filter any results that contain the word “torrent” in them.
The problem with that approach is that there are plenty of ways to obtain and distribute perfectly legal media through legitimate torrent sites. If Google and Bing were to ban any mention of the word “torrent” then it would essentially be de-indexing all the legitimate sites out there.
With that being said, the High Court ruled against the industry group for the very reasons we just mentioned. It’s ineffective to ban all torrent sites from search results, and a disservice to searchers and content creators.
Wrapping it Up
Google advertisers continue to receive new tools to better measure and optimize their campaigns, call conversions and online conversions can now be tracked in the same place, and neither Google or Bing have to censor their search results. If you have any questions about any of this week’s developments, please leave a comment below and we will be sure to respond.