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About Search Network app installs campaigns

Starting October 16, 2017, you'll no longer be able to create new app install campaigns using the Search, Display, or Video campaign types. Universal App will become the only campaign type available for promoting installs of your app.

Starting November 15, 2017, your ads will no longer be served for any app install campaign that isn’t Universal App. You'll be able to access historical performance data in your AdWords reports. To ensure your app ads continue to serve, upgrade your app install campaigns to Universal App campaigns before November 15, 2017.

This article talks about promoting your mobile app on the Google Search Network, and how that's different from other campaign types. "Search Network only - Mobile app installs" campaigns let you show text app install ads on the mobile Search Network, within the Google Search app, Google Play search results, and other Search Partners results.

How it works

Showing ads in search results means that the person who sees them is actively looking for an app like yours. AdWords has fine-tuned targeting for apps, so your app install ads only show on mobile devices and are focused on potential users.

Choose your app

When you create a “Mobile app installs” campaign on the Search Network, we’ll ask you to select the app you want to promote right away, so we can help customize bidding, targeting and ad format options for your app. You can only promote one app per campaign, and the name of your app as it appears in the app store may be used as the headline of your ads. There are a few ways to select your app:

  • Add an app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store
  • Enter your own app ID or package name
  • Select an app that you’ve advertised before from the drop-down menu
Note: The Android version of an app is different from the iOS version. Targeting and conversion tracking will depend on the operating system of the app you select.

Choose your bid strategy

For Android apps in Google Play, we can automatically track installs as conversions, so the default bid strategy is a cost-per-acquisition (CPA) bid. If you have conversion tracking set up, you can set a target CPA bid to match your app’s cost-per-install (CPI) value, and we’ll optimize your bids to help you get the most downloads.

App install ads

On the Search Network, you create your app install ad right after setting your bids and budget. These ads are linked to the app store page for your app, so you can get people from click to download even quicker. Your ads can show on Google Search results, or on Google Play Search (Android only).

App install ads are automatically generated ads, which are also referred to as click-to-download ads. We can build this ad using your app icon and reviews of your app in the Google Play or Apple App store. These ads can look different depending on the websites or apps where they appear. For example, your ad headline may be generated from the name of your app as it appears in app stores or from the text you enter in AdWords depending on available space and expected performance. See more details about app promotion ads

Keep in mind, your ads will not be translated. Make sure that your language targeting matches the language used in your ads.

Keywords and targeting

After your create your ad, you’ll select your keywords. Try picking keywords that correspond to search terms used by people looking for apps like yours on Google Search and Play — you might add the word “app” to descriptions of what your app does. Your ads will be eligible to show on Google Search and search results on Google Play.

Keywords for apps

The keyword suggestion tool for app install campaigns has been fine-tuned for apps. It shows you keyword ideas based on the top search terms used by people looking for your Android app on Google Play.

In addition, AdWords may extend the scope of some of your keyword match types in ways that are specific to apps. Here's how this can work:

  • For exact and phrase keywords AdWords may make small changes (like adding or removing the word ‘app’) to search terms to better match with your targeted keywords.
  • For broad match keywords Adwords may use app category information to improve both your targeting precision and reach.
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