New features & announcements

  1. 1
    Create dedicated user test and control groups with cookie-based experiments
    July 19, 2018

    By default, campaign experiments assigns a user to a test or control group every time they enter a search (this is known as "search-based splits").  This means that if someone performs three searches, two of those searches could be subject to test treatments and the third could be subject to the control treatment.  With our new cookie-based splits, you now have the option to assign searchers to dedicated test and control groups. This means that if someone is mapped to a test group and performs three searches, all three will be subject to test treatments. 

     

    What type of split option you decide to use is at your discretion. It is important to understand the options and align with how you want your options to be tested. 

     

    Cookie-based might be a better option in the following cases:

    • Testing specific audiences
    • You want to set up a landing page test that runs similar to other conversion rate optimization testing tools

     

    Search-based splits might be a better option in the following cases:

    • You want to keep consistency with previous search-based tests
    • Low volume campaigns

     

    Let’s say you want to test the impact of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), pages which often load in under a second. If you set this experiment up using search-based splits, a given user might experience both AMP and non-AMP experiences as their inclusion in test or control is re-assessed for each search they do. Enabling cookie-based splits allows you to keep user experiences consistent, as the user is permanently assigned to your experiment's test or control group.

    Learn more about experiments here

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  2. 2
    New landing page parameter options available in Google Ads
    July 18, 2018

    We've introduced two changes to make it easier to specify landing page parameters.

    Final URL Suffix is now available in Google Ads and the number of available custom parameters has increased from 3 to 8. These changes give you more options to specify landing page parameters. This is especially helpful for accounts using third party tracking solutions.

    With these additions, Google Ads now supports all the features needed to migrate your accounts to parallel tracking. The deadline for the migration is October 30. If you have not done so already, we recommend you migrate your accounts to parallel tracking now so you can take advantage of it’s benefits.

    Alert: Please be sure you are using AdWords Editor 12.4 or higher. Using an older version may result in the deletion of some of your previous URL and parallel tracking changes. Check which AdWords Editor version you're using.

    To further safeguard your parallel tracking changes from being deleted, some edits made in the previous AdWords experience (including those to campaigns, ad groups, keywords, ads and extensions) may be rejected. To complete these edits, switch over to the new AdWords experience. Determine which AdWords experience you’re using.

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  3. 3
    Use the Landing Pages report with Dynamic Search Ads
    July 18, 2018

    The Landing Pages report in Google Ads shows you how your landing pages are performing for traditional Search and Display campaigns. This report now also includes landing pages for Dynamic Search Ad (DSA) campaigns. 

    Use these insights to evaluate and optimize landing pages. For example, let’s say you have an account selling sports gear and your landing page on soccer balls is performing well. Based on this insight, you could create a targeting group dedicated to this landing page so you can customize ad copy more closely to the landing page and drive more traffic. Learn more about the landing pages tab here

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  4. 4
    Improve your keywords with the New Words insight card
    July 17, 2018

    New search terms might be triggering your ads over time, even without keyword changes on your part. These new search terms could signal new keyword opportunities. Previously, advertisers had to manually uncover these new search terms in the search term report.

    The New Words insight now does this work for you. It monitors for new search terms and alerts you so you can address them in a timely manner. 

    Let’s say you’re advertising for a shoe company. Upon reviewing the insight card, you notice a new search term, ‘trainer’, that is triggering your ad. You find that searches with the term ‘trainer’ are driving higher conversion rates. From there you might add new keywords tied to ‘trainer’ search terms.  You might also use the Keyword Planner to find more high value search terms with the word “trainer” in them.

    You could also use this insight to scan for new search terms that aren’t relevant or are under-performing. In the shoe example below, the insight card helps you flag a term like ‘horseshoe’, which you could specify as a negative keyword. 
     

     

    In addition to New Words insight, be sure to review your full search terms report periodically to get a more complete view of the search terms associated with your ads. 

    Visit the Help Center to get details on this insight card and others in the Overview tab of your account. 

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  5. 5
    Quickly act on changes in your campaigns with the ad group shift insight
    July 16, 2018

    Campaign performance can be impacted by sudden shifts in spend between ad groups. To date, identifying which Ad Groups had significant changes in traffic has been a highly manual process. You had to click into campaigns, select cost as a metric and scope different date ranges to identify impacted ad groups.

    The new ad group shifts insight alerts you when shifts occur between ad groups automatically. From there, you can evaluate how these shifts have impacted performance and make the necessary adjustments. 

    For example, let’s say Ad group #1 has historically driven lower margin sales than Ad group #2 or Ad group #3 and Ad group #1 has an increasing share of the campaign budget recently. In this situation, it might make sense to break Ad group #1 out into its own campaign so you can budget separately for your higher margin ad groups.  Otherwise you might see your overall margins fall.

    Visit the Help Center to get details on other Insight Cards located in the Overview section of your AdWords account. 

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  6. 6
    Save time on reporting. Use the new Google Ads add-on in Google Sheets
    July 13, 2018

    Use the Google Ads add-on in Google Sheets to save time with report creation.

    Let’s say you’re an advertiser who needs to download your Google Ads data as a CSV so you can  join it with your proprietary data to build a report. This requires the frequently downloading and updating of data, a time-consuming, monotonous and error-prone operation. 

    The Google Ads add-on makes the process quick and easy. With the add-on, you only need to create your report one time. You can then easily refresh your data directly in Sheets with a few clicks, which will update linked reports automatically.   This prevents the tedious, daily and weekly ritual of downloading, copying and pasting data into your spreadsheets.

    And since you can do this in Google Sheets your work is immediately available for collaboration and viewing (with those you choose to share it with).

    For example, you might run daily reports to monitor how you’re pacing against your budget goals. 

    Here’s a view of data that can be pulled via the Google Ads add-on in Google Sheets. 
     

     

    You then use vlookups in a separate tab to join this data with your proprietary spending goals data.  

    Sumifs (or query functions) and conditional formatting can then be used to represent data more visually in management and client-facing reports, like the one below. 

     

     

    Using the Google Ads add-on feature with sumifs statements or query functions can also make reporting more automated. Some examples include: 

    • Date range comparison charts. You can implement the add-on across multiple tabs within the same sheet. Let’s say you want to analyze data between two periods, each with a distinct date range.  You can implement the add-on on two separate tabs, each representing a time period. You can then pull the analyses from these two date ranges into a  3rd tab for reporting purposes. 
    • Roll-up reports. Use importranges to pull data from each report. You can create summary reports that roll-up results from many smaller reports. 
    • Finally, use the add-on to incorporate advanced functions from Sheets into your reports.  For example, you can use the Open Solver add-on to calculate budget using impression share and performance data.
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  7. 7
    Speed matters when providing assistive experiences
    July 11, 2018
    Getting better results from your online ads today requires more than just the right keywords or the right bids. You need to deliver the helpful and frictionless experiences consumers expect from brands. Yesterday at Google Marketing Live, we shared ad innovations powered by Google’s machine learning that help you do just that.

    However, even the best ads struggle to deliver results if they’re sending people to slow landing pages, especially on mobile. In retail, we see that for every one second delay in page load time, conversions can fall by up to 20 percent.¹ That’s why we’re making it easier to diagnose and improve your mobile site speed.

    See if your mobile pages are slowing you down

    Consider this: more than half of all web traffic now happens on mobile. Yet the average mobile webpage takes 15 seconds to load.² And for many brands this equates to missed opportunity, especially when more than half of visits are abandoned if a mobile page takes more than three seconds to load.3 So where does your business land in all of this?

    To help you understand how landing page speed affects your ad performance, we introduced the new mobile speed score. Evaluated on a 10-point scale, 1 being very slow and 10 being extremely fast, the mobile speed score lets you quickly see which pages are providing a fast mobile experience and which ones may require your attention.
     

    See your mobile speed score on the Landing Pages page in Google Ads

     

    Mobile speed scores are based on a number of factors, including the relationship between page speed and potential conversion rate. It starts rolling out to advertisers globally today.

    Improve your mobile experience with AMP

    Now that you know what’s slowing you down, how do you speed up? Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) provide a faster, smoother, and more engaging mobile experience. In fact, AMP pages typically load 85 percent faster than standard mobile pages.⁴ They’re so fast, they appear to load instantly.

    Once you’ve sped up your site, you can direct your search ad clicks to those AMP pages and create the super-fast and delightful mobile experiences people expect. Brands like Greenweez, a leading French organic retailer, are using AMP to improve mobile site landing page speed and performance. Greenweez was able to increase its mobile page speed by 5X, resulting in an 80 percent increase in mobile conversions!

    Build your case for a faster mobile site

    When someone has a negative experience on mobile, they’re much less likely to purchase from you in the future. So if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you need to prioritize speed within your organization. To help you do that, we’ve built two free tools: the Speed Scorecard, which lets you see how your mobile site speed stacks up against your peers, and the Impact Calculator, which lets you estimate the revenue you’re potentially leaving on the table by having a slow mobile site.

    You can learn more about these tools and best practices for speeding up your mobile site on Think with Google.



    1. Google/SOASTA, “The State of Online Retail Performance,” April 2017
    2. Google Research, Webpagetest.org, sampled 11M global mWeb domains loaded using a globally representative 4G connection, Jan. 2018.
    3. Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized Google Analytics data from a sample of mWeb sites opted into sharing benchmark data, n=3.7K, Global, March 2016
    4. Google Data, Global, April 2017

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  8. 8
    Putting machine learning into the hands of every advertiser
    July 10, 2018

    The ways people get things done are constantly changing, from finding the closest coffee shop to organizing family photos. Earlier this year, we explored how machine learning is being used to improve our consumer products and help people get stuff done.

    In just one hour, we’ll share how we're helping marketers unlock more opportunities for their businesses with our largest deployment of machine learning in ads. We’ll explore how this technology works in our products and why it’s key to delivering the helpful and frictionless experiences consumers expect from brands.

    Join us live today at 9am PT (12pm ET).

    Deliver more relevance with responsive search ads

    Consumers today are more curious, more demanding, and they expect to get things done faster because of mobile. As a result, they expect your ads to be helpful and personalized. Doing this isn’t easy, especially at scale. That’s why we’re introducing responsive search ads. Responsive search ads combine your creativity with the power of Google’s machine learning to help you deliver relevant, valuable ads.

    Simply provide up to 15 headlines and 4 description lines, and Google will do the rest. By testing different combinations, Google learns which ad creative performs best for any search query. So people searching for the same thing might see different ads based on context.

    We know this kind of optimization works: on average, advertisers who use Google’s machine learning to test multiple creative see up to 15 percent more clicks.1

    Responsive search ads will start rolling out to advertisers over the next several months.

    Maximize relevance and performance on YouTube

    People watch over 1 billion hours of video on YouTube every day. And increasingly, they’re tuning in for inspiration and information on purchases large and small. For example, nearly 1 in 2 car buyers say they turn to YouTube for information before their purchase.2 And nearly 1 in 2 millennials go there for food preparation tips before deciding what ingredients to buy.3 That means it’s critical your video ads show at the right moment to the right audience.

    Machine learning helps us turn that attention into results on YouTube. In the past, we’ve helped you optimize campaigns for views and impressions. Later this year, we’re rolling out Maximize lift to help you reach people who are most likely to consider your brand after seeing a video ad. This new Smart Bidding strategy is also powered by machine learning. It automatically adjusts bids at auction time to maximize the impact your video ads have on brand perception throughout the consumer journey.

    Maximize lift is available now as a beta and will roll out to advertisers globally later this year.

    Drive more foot traffic with Local campaigns

    Whether they start their research on YouTube or Google, people still make the majority of their purchases in physical stores. In fact, mobile searches for “near me” have grown over 3X in the past two years,4 and almost 80 percent of shoppers will go in store when there’s an item they want immediately.5 For many of you, that means driving foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar locations is critical—especially during key moments in the year, like in-store events or promotions.

    Today we’re introducing Local campaigns: a new campaign type designed to drive store visits exclusively. Provide a few simple things—like your business locations and ad creative—and Google automatically optimizes your ads across properties to bring more customers into your store.

    Show your business locations across Google properties and networks

     

    Local campaigns will roll out to advertisers globally over the coming months.

    Get the most from your Shopping campaigns

    Earlier this year, we rolled out a new Shopping campaign type that optimizes performance based on your goals. This Smart Shopping campaign helps you hit your revenue goals without the need to manually manage and bid to individual products or keywords. In the coming months, we’re improving them to optimize across multiple business goals.

    Beyond maximize conversion value, you’ll also be able to select store visits or new customers as goals. Machine learning factors in the likelihood that a click will result in any of these outcomes and helps adjust bids accordingly.

    Machine learning is also used to optimize where your Shopping ads show—on Google.com, Image Search, YouTube and millions of sites and apps across the web—and which products are featured. It takes into account a wide range of signals, like seasonal demand and pricing. Brands like GittiGidiyor, an eBay company, are using Smart Shopping campaigns to simplify how they manage their ads and deliver better results. GittiGidiyor was able to increase return on ad spend by 28 percent and drive 4 percent more sales, while saving time managing campaigns.

    We’re also adding support for leading e-commerce platforms to help simplify campaign management. In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to set up and manage Smart Shopping campaigns right from Shopify, in addition to Google Ads.

    Tune in to see more!

    This is an important moment for marketers and we’re excited to be on this journey with you. Tune in at 9am PT (12pm ET) today to see it all unfold at Google Marketing Live.

    For the latest news, follow the new Google Ads blog.

    Posted by Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Product Management

     

    1. Internal Google data
    2. Google / Kantar TNS, Auto CB Gearshift Study, US, 2017. n=312 new car buyers who watched online video
    3. Google / Ipsos, US, November 2017
    4. Internal Google data, U.S., July–Dec. 2015 vs. July–Dec. 2017
    5. Google/Ipsos, U.S., “Shopping Tracker,” Online survey, n=3,613 online Americans 13+ who shopped in the past two days, Oct.–Dec. 2017

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  9. 9
    Use Notes to share details about account performance with anyone in your business
    July 9, 2018

    You can now comment directly in your Google Ads performance graphs, or in a Notes panel in your Google Ads account. This allows you to flag and share timely details about your account with others. This can be useful in a variety of contexts. 

    If you work with others in managing an account, using notes can relay timely changes (like the fact that you just launched a new ad group). This can improve productivity and collaboration across your team. For example, let’s say performance spiked and you already diagnosed the issue. You can leave a comment for other team members’ reference so they don’t have to duplicate the analysis you’ve already done. Or if you significantly adjusted the budget on a campaign, you can add a note flagging this change and when you made the it. Colleagues can then immediately understand why performance changed over the past couple of days. You could use Notes to flag other critical changes in your account, such as when you’ve started a new promotion, changed bid strategies, or paused keywords.

    Notes are not only useful for flagging account adjustments. You could highlight external insights such as unique seasonal factors that may affect account performance. For example, if you have ads running in a different country, you could note the different holiday periods that could affect the search volumes occurring there. 

    Notes is a powerful collaborative tool that allows you to inform others of important changes or events  that can affect your account performance. Learn more here.

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  10. 10
    Faster, safer and better ad experiences for consumers
    May 17, 2018

    Consumers have high expectations for faster, safer and better digital experiences. This means it's more important than ever for brands to deliver on these expectations.


    At Google, we're building new innovations to help Google Ads advertisers design the best web experiences for your customers.

    Speed: Improvements to click measurement

     

    Speed matters. In fact, a one-second delay in mobile page load can decrease conversions up to 20%.1 That’s why we announced support for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) as landing pages in Google Ads and developed new tools like the Mobile Speed Scorecard and the Impact Calculator. With just a few inputs, this tool estimates the revenue impact that can result from improving the speed of your mobile website.

     

    Another way we’re improving mobile site speed is parallel tracking (blog | help center) -- which was introduced earlier this year for advertisers using click measurement systems. How does this improve speed? After an ad click, web browsers will process click measurement requests in the background, helping people reach your site up to several seconds faster.2 This creates better user experiences, leading to more conversions and less budget spent on bounced clicks.

     

    Starting October 30, 2018, parallel tracking will be required for all Google Ads accounts.To get a jump start, you can now opt in your Search Network and Shopping campaigns. And even if you don't intend to turn it on today, you should start talking with your click measurement providers to ensure that they are ready for this change. Doing so, ensures there’s no disruption to your click measurement system.


    If you've confirmed that your click measurement system is already compatible, you can opt in from your account-level "Settings" page in the "Tracking" section. Learn more

    Security: Focus on HTTPS

     

    You want your customers to have a safe and secure experience, every time they engage with your website. But too many brands still use unencrypted HTTP to send users to their landing pages. That's why Google strongly advocates that sites adopt HTTPS encryption, the industry standard for ensuring the security and integrity of data traveling between the browser and the website.

     

    Over the last year, Chrome has marked an increasingly large set of HTTP pages as "not secure." Beginning in July 2018 with the release of Chrome 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP pages as “not secure.”

     

     

    To make sure your users continue to have the best possible landing page experience, we've taken a few extra steps:

     

    • Enabled HTTP Search ad clicks to automatically be redirected to HTTPS when we know that your site prefers HTTPS, which we will begin rolling out the week of June 11.
    • Launched Ad version history to allow advertisers to update your landing page URLs from HTTP to HTTPS without resetting all of your performance statistics.
    • Will start to warn advertisers in Google Ads when you’re using less secure HTTP addresses for landing pages, in the next few weeks.

     

    We hope that these innovations will help people browse more quickly, confidently and securely.

     

    Posted by Jon Diorio, Group Product Manager, Google Ads
     


    1. "State of Online Retail Performance," Akamai, April 2017
    2. Google Internal Data, Japan/India/US. Aggregated anonymized data from a sample of users that have clicked on an AdWords ad with URL tracking, August 2017

     

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