New features & announcements

  1. 1
    Use new account-level call reporting to ensure you're fully measuring call performance
    September 18, 2018
    Click-to-call ads connect your business with customers over the phone. You can measure conversions and certain details about those calls (call duration, start/end time, and caller area code) through call reporting. With insights about the quality of your calls, you can improve performance and work to drive even more calls. Until now, call reporting was set for individual call extensions or call-only ads. With many advertisers needing to set up multiple extensions and ads per account, it can be a challenge to make sure you have full coverage with call reporting set up across all your click-to-call ads to accurately measure their performance. Starting this month, call reporting can be enabled at the account level. There will be one toggle for your entire account, removing the frustration of having any call extensions or call-only ads with no reporting enabled. It’s now easy to remember to activate call reporting for all of your accounts. This change will be rolling out in the next few weeks. Note that once you turn on call reporting at the account level, the ability to add reporting on a per-extension and per-ad basis will no longer be available. You will continue to be able to add or remove call reporting at the account level. Posted by Hareesh Nagarajan, Product Manager, Google Ads
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  2. 2
    Inspire undecided shoppers with Shoppable Image ads
    September 14, 2018
    One-third of holiday shoppers said they searched for images before they went in store to shop. The growth of “street style” and online influencers all show the movement towards looking at lifestyle images for visual inspiration. Shoppable Images enable you to highlight your shopping ads on curated, published content from our publisher partners. For publishers, it’s a chance for shoppers to be able to purchase seamlessly. For example, a shopper might visit her favorite blog like This Time Tomorrow, and see a selection of visually similar offers after clicking the tag icon in the image. Over the next year, we will continue to roll out this experience to more publishers, as well as pilot new surfaces like Google Image Search, where we also know shoppers go to look for inspiration. Left: Shoppable Images publisher experience Right: Image Search experience mock Posted by Surojit Chatterjee, Director of Product Management, Google Shopping
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  3. 3
    Helping shoppers discover with video in Showcase Shopping ads
    September 13, 2018
    When it comes to finding new products and narrowing down their choices, nearly two-thirds of shoppers say online video has given them ideas for their next purchases, and over 90 percent of these folks say that they’ve discovered new products and brands via YouTube. Video in Showcase Shopping ads helps shoppers more deeply engage with your products. This is our first retail search ad unit to feature video, designed to help you provide a more immersive, contextual experience for shoppers. Video in Showcase Shopping ads is the next addition to the Showcase Shopping ads we launched last year, which let you upload multiple images to a single ad and promote your products through beautiful imagery, descriptions, products, and relevant promotions. Since launch, we’ve seen that the top Showcase slot drives 3.6X higher than average CTR, and Showcase receives 20 percent more conversion credit with first-click attribution. And retailers like Venus Fashion are seeing success with acquiring new customers: 68% of purchases from shoppers who engage with Venus Showcase ads are new. This format is available to advertisers already running Showcase Shopping ads. Posted by Surojit Chatterjee, Director of Product Management, Google Shopping
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  4. 4
    Vertical video ads now available for TrueView and Universal App campaigns on YouTube
    September 12, 2018
    Globally, more than 70% of YouTube watch time happens on mobile devices1. To engage these viewers effectively with TrueView and Universal App campaigns, it’s important to adapt to their viewing behaviors and create a variety of different video ads – including square and vertical videos. We’re launching vertical video ads to provide a more seamless mobile experience for viewers. With vertical video ads for Universal App and TrueView campaigns on YouTube, you can upload a vertical video, and when a viewer sees the ad on their mobile device, the player will expand based on the dimensions of the video. Vertical video ads provide a big, beautiful canvas to deliver your message on mobile and allow engagement with your customers in a way that fits their viewing preferences. And, they’re a great way to complement horizontal videos – we recommend adding both vertical and horizontal video assets to the same campaign for maximum Brand Lift impact. Hyundai recently took YouTube vertical video ads for test drive, using the feature in combination with their horizontal video assets to introduce the world to an all new SUV model. The result: a 33% percent lift in brand awareness and a nearly 12% lift in consideration. Learn more about the technical specs and best practices for vertical video ads here. Posted by Ali Miller, Group Product Manager, Video Ads     1. YouTube Internal Data, Global, April 2017 - March 2018, Mobile includes mobile devices and tablets
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  5. 5
    Use and test Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) in Google Ads
    September 11, 2018
    Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are pages that load near instantaneously for mobile users. To date, you could test the impact of your AMP pages vs. conventional web pages using either Google Ads' campaign experiments or ad variations. You can learn more about the pros and cons of each approach for testing AMP pages here. To make your AMP testing even more insightful, we've developed a new testing methodology for campaign experiments known as "cookie-based splits." This new testing type aligns with ad variations’ cookie-based approach. We recommend you use this methodology whenever you test AMP pages via campaign experiments. By default, campaign experiments assigns users to a test or control group every time they enter a search (also known as "search-based splits"). This means any given user may see both the test and control experiences over the course of a day. In contrast, the new "cookie-based splits" assigns users to the test or control group. As a result, any given user will either always see your AMP page (if they are in the test group) or always see your non-AMP page (if they are in the control group). We hope this helps you better test the efficacy of driving your search ads traffic to AMP pages. Posted by Prashant Nair, Product Manager, Google Ads
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  6. 6
    Deliver the best message across the web with responsive display ads
    September 10, 2018
    Great display ads assist consumers using rich images and useful information. However, showing the most relevant and engaging ads across millions of sites and apps isn’t easy. That’s why we’re rolling out responsive display ads. Responsive display ads (RDA) combine your creativity with the power of Google’s machine learning to deliver relevant, valuable ads across the web, at scale. Just provide a few simple inputs about your business-up to 15 images, 5 headlines, 5 descriptions, and 5 logos. Google uses machine learning to test different combinations and show the ads that work best. On average, advertisers see 10% more conversions at a similar CPA when using multiple headlines, descriptions, and images with responsive display ads (versus a single set of assets).1 Best Practice: To help your brand stand out, add a logo to your responsive display ads. In addition, add dynamic feeds to your campaigns. This helps you show more tailored ads to people who previously visited your site or app. Once your responsive display ads are up and running, you’ll want to know how each asset is performing. With the asset report, you can quickly see performance for your headlines, descriptions, images and logos. To access the report, just click on Ads & extensions and then View asset details. The performance column will show a “Learning,” “Low,” “Good,” or “Best” rating based on how well an asset performs. The asset report helps you identify top-performing creatives relative to one another. Let’s say you’re an online florist. You might discover that descriptions including “Free shipping” are rated as “Best.” You can then use this insight to double down on your best performing assets, like free shipping promotions. And if you find assets rated as “Low,” you can replace them to improve results over time. Rakuten Travel is the largest online travel brand in Japan. Using responsive display ads, it drove a 3X increase in sales compared to its standard image ads alone. Different versions of a responsive display ad. Responsive display ads are rolling out over the next few months to all advertisers globally. To get started, visit the Help Center and check out our display best practices.     1. Internal Google data, September 2018.
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    Use “URL is” feature for more control over Dynamic Search Ads
    September 7, 2018
    Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) can be useful in driving more traffic to your landing pages. Now, you can set up Dynamic Search Ads for your top pages more easily. To find your top performing pages, use the DSA ad targets report. Then use “URL is” to target any of those pages by adding exact URLs to your Dynamic ad targets. Posted by Walter Vulej, Product Manager, Google Ads
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  8. 8
    Match the intent of a search with close variants
    September 6, 2018
    The ways people search are constantly changing: roughly 15% of the searches we see every day are new.1 With so many new queries, there’s a good chance people are searching for your products or services with terms you haven’t discovered. Take deodorant, for example. Last year, we saw people search for deodorant in more than 150,000 unique ways.2 That’s a lot of different ways to say the same thing. But you shouldn’t have to manage an exhaustive list of keywords to reach these hygiene-conscious consumers. That’s why exact match close variants will begin including close variations that share the same meaning as your keyword.3 Early tests show that advertisers using mostly exact match keywords see 3% more exact match clicks and conversions on average, with most coming from queries they aren't reaching today.4 Brands like Extra Space Storage are already discovering new opportunities to reach more customers. Steph Christensen, Senior Analyst for Paid Acquisition shared, “We were very satisfied with the quality of matches during the pilot. We’re always looking for ways to increase volume, and this new matching behavior should help us gain additional reach via highly relevant new matches." Reach more people with the same keywords Powered by Google’s machine learning, exact match will now match with the intent of a search, instead of just the specific words. This means your exact match keywords can show ads on searches that include implied words, paraphrases, and other terms with the same meaning. Let’s say you’re marketing for a travel business. If you’re using the exact match keyword [yosemite camping], your ads may show on other terms like “yosemite campground,” “campsites in yosemite,” or “yosemite national park ca camping.” In each case, the intent of the search still matches the original keyword: to go camping in Yosemite National Park. However, you wouldn't show on terms like “yosemite hotel” or “best yosemite camping,” because while both refer to staying at the park, the intent is different. Instead, these terms would match to the broad match version of this keyword. Examples of new queries that may match with “yosemite camping.” Make keyword management simpler Best Practice: Use Smart Bidding to help shape your traffic. To learn more about this and other strategies that can help you make the most of this change, check out our keyword best practices. If you already use paraphrases and other similar terms in your account, Google Ads will still prefer to use keywords identical to the search query. Phrase, broad, and broad match modifier keywords aren’t included in this update. Posted by Miguel Villalobos, Product Manager, Search Keywords     1. Google internal data, April 2017 2. Google Data Jan 2016 - June 2017, US 3. This change will roll out for English keywords through October, with more languages to follow over the next few months 4. Google internal data, August 2018
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  9. 9
    Use URL level stats for your Dynamic Search Ads
    September 5, 2018
    Landing page data is now available in the search terms report under the dynamic ad targets. This report makes it easy to find your top performing pages and target them specifically. You also can find pages you’d want to add as negative targets. For example, if your ad group targeting all webpages is driving traffic to a product page on an out of stock product, you can exclude that product’s page. Posted by Walter Vulej, Product Manager, Google Ads
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  10. 10
    Drive more traffic to your standard campaigns’ landing pages
    September 4, 2018
    Dynamic Search Ads (DSA) expand your search advertising beyond keywords. You can now run DSA exclusively on landing pages from your standard ad groups with a simple set up. Just select “landing pages from your standard ad groups” from the list of available categories. This will target all landing pages in your account that are being used with text ads. For example, if you have standard campaigns set up for different types of shoes this can capture all types of shoes featured on your landing pages, even when the type is not featured in your keyword list. We recommend that you start with this approach. Once you see positive performance, grow your DSA traffic with other targeting types, such as specific categories. Learn more about your options with Dynamic Search Ads. Posted by Walter Vulej, Product Manager, Google Ads
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  11. 11
    Editor release includes 4 new features
    August 30, 2018
    Earlier this week, we released AdWords Editor 12.5. New features include: More text in expanded text ads New description line for Dynamic Search Ads Longer descriptions for call-only ads New custom rule: Sitelinks with no descriptions Learn more about these recent updates to Editor.
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  12. 12
    Get more out of responsive search ads with new insights
    August 27, 2018
    Responsive search ads combine your creativity with the power of Google’s machine learning to help you deliver relevant, valuable ads. To help you create more effective responsive search ads, we’re introducing three new reporting and feedback tools: Preview ad combinations as you build them. This will help give you confidence about what your ads might look like, and you can even browse through them to double-check your work. View reporting for headlines, descriptions, and top combinations to make it easy for you to see what’s showing up most often on the search results page. Measure the relevance, quantity, and diversity of your ad copy with ad strength. Posted by Anthony Chavez, Director of Product Management, Google Ads
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  13. 13
    Workshops for scripts available
    August 23, 2018
    You’re invited to join a training session on scripts. We’ll host beginner and advanced courses in 6 cities around the world. The training features: Keynote speakers Hands-on codelabs Manager account scripts Basic troubleshooting for beginners Connecting to external data and services for advanced users Learn more and register for this opportunity. The workshops will take place in: North America New York City (Advanced session, September 4) San Francisco (Advanced session, September 7) Europe Hamburg (Beginner session, September 27 and Advanced session, September 28) London (Beginner session, October 3 and Advanced session, October 4) Asia Tokyo (Beginner session, September 28) Singapore (Beginner session, October 15)
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  14. 14
    Modernizing the look of display ads for better performance
    August 20, 2018
    We've updated the visuals around Google Display ads to help you get better performance. First, text ads are now more than simple text. Ads can now feature a logo when a logo has been added to a creative. Along with increased branding potential, there’s a new font and a rounded call-to-action button. Both changes are intended to align with current design best practices. As these changes roll out, you’ll also begin to see an option to add custom colors, both a main and an accent color, so that your ads align as closely as possible with your branding preferences.     Second, the assets for your responsive display ads can now fit together more seamlessly. Using machine learning, colors are extracted from the images you provide to Google Ads. We create a layout that approximates fully-designed image ads. The colors of the text and button of your ad are all customized to create an appealing contrast for your entire ad unit. The end result should be ads that are content-aware, and closely match the style of top performing human-created image ads.         In order to make the most of these formats, ensure that you’re providing a selection of creative assets to assemble the best possible ads. Check out our advice about creating effective display ads. Read more about responsive display ads.
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    Take action on cards within the Overview page
    August 17, 2018
    The Overview page provides a top-level view of your account and campaign performance. This view might inform changes you need to make in your account. You can now implement some of those changes directly from the Overview page itself. These actions include: Pause or unpause campaigns, ad groups and keywords Edit campaign budgets Edit keyword and ad group bids Edit ad copy Exclude irrelevant search terms by adding negative keywords right within the “searches” card For example, let’s say you want to drive more traffic from searches on a particular keyword. You can click into that term, click “Edit Keyword” and edit the bid right from the Overview page. Give it a try on your Overview page.
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    Introducing new local marketing innovations for advertisers
    August 10, 2018
    Consumers are increasingly turning to their smartphones to research and explore the physical world around them. In fact, “near me” searches on mobile have grown 3x in the past two years.1 And 3 in 4 people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a related business within 24 hours.2 For marketers, this means it’s more important than ever to build experiences that surface relevant local information as easily as possible, and then measure the impact to your business. Last month at Google Marketing Live, we announced Local campaigns, a new dedicated campaign type for marketers with offline goals who want to focus on bringing more customers into brick-and-mortar locations. Provide a few simple inputs—like your business locations, budget and ad creative—and we automatically optimize your ads across Google properties and networks to help you drive more store visits. We now have more innovations coming soon to help you manage your local ads, and then measure the offline performance of your media across Google and other marketing channels. Find a Google My Business account and easily activate local ads To create local ad formats using location extensions, the first step is linking your Google My Business account to your Google Ads account. This allows us to show consumers relevant information from your business listings, such as your address, phone number, business hours and more. To simplify the process of finding the right Google My Business account to link to, we’re introducing a tool that will automatically surface relevant accounts for you using matching signals like your geographic coverage and website domain. Choose a Google My Business account with the most verified locations or the one with locations that best match your business and campaign objectives. Once the owner of that account approves, you’ll be ready to add location extensions to your Search, Display and YouTube ads. Introducing store visits measurement in Google Analytics When you’re investing in marketing solutions like Google Ads, it’s critical to understand the impact to your business in order to make more informed decisions about your budgets, creatives, bid strategies and more. We launched store visits in Google Ads over three years ago to help advertisers understand how their campaigns influence in-store traffic. Since then, we’ve measured over 10 billion visits across verticals like retail, auto, restaurants, and more. Store visits in Google Ads has long focused on connecting Google ad impressions and clicks to visits. We’re now introducing Store Visits in Google Analytics so you can measure offline results from more of your marketing efforts that bring customers to your website and then to your store. Please speak to your account representative if you're interested in joining the beta. Store visits in Google Ads and Google Analytics are estimates based on data from users that have turned on Location History. Only aggregated and anonymized data is reported to advertisers, and they aren’t able to see any store visits from individual website visits, ad clicks, viewable impressions, or people. Google uses industry best practices to ensure the privacy of individual users. Denny’s reaches a new generation of diners with local ads solutions Denny’s, a global restaurant chain, is one example of an advertiser using Google’s local products to bring more people into its diner locations. Customers are often searching for terms like “pancakes near me” or “best burgers nearby” on mobile. Denny’s shares how its shift from traditional media to Google Ads has uncovered new insights and helped them win more of these customers:   How Denny's is serving a new generation of diners with digital   “You can have confidence, not only in serving that right message to the right consumer - but that digital marketing translates to in-store traffic. Ultimately, it brings the customer to the table.” - Luis Martinez, Digital, Media, and Hispanic Marketing at Denny's   We look forward to helping you continue to build great online to offline experiences for your customers.     1. Internal Google data, U.S., July–Dec. 2015 vs. July–Dec. 2017 2. Google/Purchased Digital Diary, "How Consumers Solve Their Needs in the Moment," smartphone users=1,000, local searchers=634, purchases=1,140, May 2016.
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    Use new local conversion insights to optimize your local advertising
    August 9, 2018
    88% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a related store within a week1. We're expanding reporting on location extensions to not only include actions on the extension itself, but also ones that occur after the ad click on the Place Page. This will help advertisers better understand activity between online advertising and local actions even if they're not eligible for store visits reporting. The new metrics include: Clicks to call Directions Website visits Orders (vertical-specific) Menu views (vertical-specific) Other engagements How to use the new local conversion actions The metrics are reported once you link your Google My Business account to your Google Ads account. These metrics show how online actions are driving engagement with your business’s physical locations (e.g., getting directions or calling your business via Google Maps after clicking on your ad).  These new conversion actions will be reported in the “All conversions” column. They will not be included in the Smart Bidding strategies like Target CPA or Maximize Conversions, which rely on the "Conversions" column.  You can use these new conversion metrics to optimize your local advertising in several ways.  Let’s say you have campaigns that where your ads include local information about your nearby store locations. Or you might have ad copy dedicated to local offers and promotions in that store. You can use these insights to measure your ads’ impact on driving local results and optimize accordingly. Learn more We only report aggregated and anonymized data and we use industry best practices to ensure the privacy of individual users.  Using the per store report Along with the new metrics, the per store report has been launched. The per store report allows you to see anonymized and aggregated store visits and local actions by store location. Let’s say you have clothing stores at three locations: Athens, Bloomington and Boulder. You notice that the store locations in Athens and Bloomington drive more local actions and store visits compared to the one in Boulder. This can help inform how you distribute your offline budgets by store, and also guide your local strategies in Google Ads. For example, you may want to provide more online promotions in Boulder to provide a lift in sales. Learn more 1. Think with Google  
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    Deliver more relevance with responsive search ads
    August 9, 2018
    Last month at Google Marketing Live, we shared how responsive search ads use the power of Google’s machine learning to help you deliver the best ad for any search query. Starting in September, responsive search ads will be rolling out to more advertisers in English, French, German, and Spanish, with other languages to follow soon. One of the advantages of responsive search ads is that they give you more room to convey your message. While we work on improving responsive search ads across languages, it’s important to extend that same advantage to your existing text ads. That’s why, starting in late August, you’ll be able to add a third headline and second description to your text ads. In addition, your descriptions can have up to 90 characters. To get started, try adding a third headline and a second description to your existing text ads. For example, if you’re a retailer using two headlines that show your brand name and official site, you can add a third headline showing shipping details or special offers. Learn more about writing effective text ads here.
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    Showcase your in-store products on Display with local catalog ads
    August 8, 2018
    You can now build Display ads with local inventory feeds using local catalog ads. With local catalog ads you design the hero image and select the products you’d like to promote. Product details and images will then be pulled from your product feed to create Display ads which will be shown across different websites, blogs and apps. This includes product per-store pricing and inventory information. For example, let’s say a sports gear store has a location in Hawaii and a location in Colorado. Each store has inventory that is unique to their location - the Hawaii store carries surfboards in-stock, while the store in Colorado has snowboards in-stock. The advertiser’s display ads can now feature locally relevant products since local catalog ads draw from store-level inventory data.
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    Become an expert on creative strategy for App campaigns
    August 7, 2018
    App campaigns use ad assets to design relevant ads at scale to promote your mobile app. To help you create effective ad assets for the campaign, we’ve launched a new course called Ad Assets for App Campaigns as part of our growing app ads education program. In this latest course, you’ll find short, snackable video lessons and interactive activities to help you learn how App campaigns use ad assets, what are the best types of assets to provide, and how to use asset reporting for creative insights. Sign up for the course and earn a certificate today!
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    New security protections for your Google Ads account
    August 6, 2018
    When you use Google Ads, you’re trusting us with sensitive information—which is why it’s important to keep it private and safe. Today, we’re making updates to put you in control of your security and ensure you stay protected. Add an optional layer of security 2-step verification requires Google Ads users to sign in to their account with a password and an additional step, like a text message code or security key. This added layer of security helps keep millions of users safe while using Google products. In the coming weeks, we’ll be improving this protection by allowing you to require 2-factor verification for all users on your Google Ads account. Keep your account safe with 2-step verification Click the tool icon  in the top right corner of your Google Ads account to update your access settings. If you access your account through the AdWords API or Google Ads API, make sure to also update your API access settings. Keep it close to home In the coming weeks, you’ll also be able to control account access invitations by email domain. That means only users with emails registered under a specific domain, for instance examplepetstore.com, can be invited to access your Google Ads account. Take additional steps to secure your account Keeping your information safe means staying up to date with security protections. By applying these recommendations to your Google Account, you can help maintain the security of your ads data. You can also make sure you’re receiving important messages by keeping the email addresses in your Google Ads account up to date. Posted by Anthony Chavez, Director of Product Management
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    Chart time comparison data in the Report Editor
    August 3, 2018
    Report Editor users often tell us how important it is to be able to chart performance for two different time periods. That's why we’re happy to announce that Report Editor charts now support time comparison. This allows you to better visualize your performance, such as how this week's clicks compare to last week's. You'll be able to visualize week over week, month over month or other date range comparison charts in your customized reports in the Report Editor.
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  23. 23
    Use optimization score to guide your account optimizations
    August 2, 2018
    Your optimization score, found on the Recommendations page, helps you understand your account’s optimization potential. The score runs from 0% to 100%, with 100% meaning that your account can perform at its full potential. We look across key aspects of your campaigns to evaluate whether they are fully optimized and then offer recommended actions if there is room for improvement. If a recommendation can have more impact on your performance, it’s given more weight on your overall score. Optimization score encompasses several aspects of your campaign, including: Bids & Budgets Ads & Extensions Keywords & Targeting Repairs Optimization score is calculated in real-time, and factors in variables like the following: Statistics, settings, and the status of your account and campaigns Relevant impact of available recommendations Recent recommendations history Trends in the ads ecosystem Use recommendations to improve your score Improve your account by checking your optimization score and implementing recommendations that meet your business goals. For example: Mango, an international retailer, adopted smart bidding recommendations and drove 59% more conversions and 22% higher ROAS. Koch Ford, a large car dealer in Canada, adopted tCPA bidding recommendations and drove 77% more conversions while decreasing CPA by 34%. Note: optimization score is shown for active Search campaigns only. This feature is not supported in AdWords Express. Optimization score doesn’t factor into Quality Score or Ad Rank calculations. Posted by Blake Reese, Senior Product Manager, Optimizations
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    Make every conversion count with sitewide tagging
    August 2, 2018
    There has never been a more exciting time to be a digital marketer. From second-screening during a commercial break to searching at a bus stop, there are more opportunities than ever to reach your customers. But, all of that access makes measurement difficult. Conversion measurement is getting more complex, and your site’s tagging needs to keep up. The best way to measure online conversions is to use tools that set cookies in the same domain as your site (known as first-party cookies). The tags for such tools should be placed sitewide, on every page of your site, to effectively measure and optimize your digital marketing investment. It’s also recommended to use a dynamic library like gtag.js (also known as the global site tag) to maintain flexibility as your needs, and the industry, evolve. With first-party measurement, you can measure what marketing and experiences work best across your sites. It’s important to use sitewide tagging solutions that can set first-party cookies for measuring conversions. You can do this type of tagging with Google’s global site tag (for Google Ads, Display & Video 360, Search Ads 360, Campaign Manager, and Google Analytics) or with a tool like Google Tag Manager (for all Google and non-Google tags) Google’s tagging options Google provides two options for conversion tagging: the global site tag or Google Tag Manager. With a single implementation, each of these work across Google's advertising and analytics products: Google Ads, Display & Video 360, Search Ads 360, Campaign Manager, and Google Analytics. While the implementation for each of these solutions is slightly different, they both enable simple and consistent measurement. An update should take less than a day of your webmaster’s time to complete. When included on all pages of your website, either the global site tag or the conversion linker tag in Google Tag Manager will set new, first-party cookies on your domain so that you can measure the actions that you care about and understand which clicks result in conversions. There are different reasons to choose each of the tagging options: For the simplest option to get visibility into conversions from paid media, use the global site tag. It works with Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform advertising products, and Google Analytics. For a more comprehensive tool to manage your conversion tags through a web interface, use Google Tag Manager. It works with all Google and non-Google tags. If you are already using Tag Manager, there's no need to make any changes to your page -- simply add the conversion linker tag in the Tag Manager interface, and set it to fire on all pages. If you need more time before adopting one of these sitewide tagging solutions and you have already deployed a previous version of the Google Analytics tag across your site, you can link your Google Ads and Analytics accounts to ensure you are able to measure conversions using first-party cookies. Note that this solution only works for Google Ads conversion tracking and not Floodlight tags. Understanding your data Once your site is tagged, it’s important to understand and verify your data. Compare your reported conversions with actual, hard sales. Your own sales figures are the best source of truth for your business. If online and offline numbers are significantly out of sync, take a look at your tagging to ensure things are set up correctly. Keep in mind that some discrepancies are expected due to differences in counting methodologies and technologies. Understand how long it takes an average customer to convert. The “Days to Conversion” metric in Google Ads is one way to see how long people like to research before actually purchasing. The longer the gap between a click and a conversion, the likelier it is for that conversion to be underreported in Google Ads. Update your performance targets accordingly. If you aren’t able to update your tags, you may begin to see some modeled conversions in your account starting later this year. Without updated tagging, Google Ads and Search Ads 360 will model conversions for same-device click-through conversions. This way you’ll still have an idea of your overall performance. For the most accurate measurement, especially in the more granular areas of your account like keywords, you’ll need to update your tags. We recommend you update your tagging as soon as possible to preserve insights. As measurement using third-party cookies becomes less accurate over time, you might see a decrease in overall conversions, conversion rates, and conversion values. This doesn’t mean that your actual conversion volume is decreasing, it only means that you’re losing visibility. The quicker you act, the more insight you can preserve. Conclusion Sitewide, first-party tagging is vital to understanding your performance online. Please take the time to make this change to your tagging a priority; the longer you wait, the more you’ll lose insight. As you make these updates, ensure you're providing users with clear and comprehensive information about data collection, and obtaining consent from users where legally required. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to your account team or contact us at any time. Post by Russell Ketchum, Group Product Manager, Google Analytics
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    Take advantage of the new features in AdWords Editor 12.4
    July 24, 2018
    Earlier this month, we released AdWords Editor 12.4. With this release, Editor now supports more bid strategies, responsive display ads, smart display campaigns and more. Learn more and download the new version of Editor.
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    Updates to Smart Bidding
    July 23, 2018
    Smart Bidding helps you maximize your performance by setting the optimal bid for each individual auction. To make Smart Bidding simpler, more intuitive and transparent, we’ve rolled out several new updates.   Use updated Target ROAS to focus on the conversions that matter most To help get more conversion value or revenue at your target return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) use Target ROAS. Target ROAS has an updated algorithm that considers more factors when predicting conversion values. For example, if your customers tend to make high-value purchases on evenings and weekends, Target ROAS can bid more aggressively for those auctions while reducing spend at other times to increase your efficiency. Drive more conversions more efficiently For accounts or campaigns just getting started with Smart Bidding, our bidding models can now help optimize your performance within just a few days—even if you don’t have much historical conversion data. Our updated algorithm automatically balances performance across your entire bid strategy, helping even low volume campaigns and ad groups perform better. For example, if you’re seeing more conversions from users on a remarketing list, Target CPA can allocate more spend to campaigns with many users on that list. Learn more about Smart Bidding. Reach your goals in fewer steps To make selecting the right campaign bid strategy easier than ever, there is now a guided bidding workflow in the new Google Ads experience. Select a bid strategy based on the metric you want to focus on, and how you’d like Google Ads to drive that metric (clicks, conversions or conversion value).  It’s also easy to select and change the bid strategy of multiple campaigns in a single step right in the Campaigns tab with bulk bid strategy editing. Know when to review your performance with new conversion delay metrics For a more accurate view of your bid strategy performance, only look at time periods that have complete conversion data. Use the new conversion delay metrics in the bid strategy report to see conversion lag, the time between when your customers click and when they eventually convert. Once that lag has elapsed, you know your data is ready for review. Learn more about conversion lag.
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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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 Google Ads account. 
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    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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    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. Posted by Jon Diorio, Group Product Manager, Google Ads 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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    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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    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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    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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