Ginny Marvin – Search Engine Land News On Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Search Engine Marketing (SEM) Sat, 14 Sep 2019 10:38:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.3 Short reprieve: Google gives accelerated ad delivery an extension /short-reprieve-google-gives-accelerated-ad-delivery-an-extension-321911 Thu, 12 Sep 2019 13:30:52 +0000 /?p=321911 Accelerated delivery will phase out starting October 7.

The post Short reprieve: Google gives accelerated ad delivery an extension appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
Google began warning advertisers last month that the accelerated delivery option is going away.

The accelerated ad delivery option in Google Ads will be available for a little bit longer, Google announced Wednesday. The end was supposed to come by October 1, as the warning in the screenshot below indicates, but now the option will sunset starting October 7. Campaigns will be switched over automatically.

Why we should care

If you missed the news last month, Google said it will be removing the accelerated ad delivery option from Google Ads campaigns. Standard delivery will be the one and only option.

The primary reason most advertisers selected accelerated delivery wasn’t to spend as much budget as possible, it was to show ads for as many relevant queries as possible — to maximize impressions and click volume potential. If your budget was unrestricted, the idea was you’d be able to show for as many queries as possible throughout the entire day and not have Google’s systems decide when and if to show your ads based on any number of signals. Now, Google says, that was a bad strategy.

In what turned out to be a writing-on-the-wall column on this site, Google’s Matt Lawson, VP of ads marketing, warned advertisers this July that accelerated delivery was likely not producing desired results: “In fact, standard delivery is more likely to get more clicks (and conversions) for you.”

As we wrote when the news first broke, the removal of accelerated delivery is another move toward letting the machines determine how campaign get optimized. Rather than prioritizing ad delivery at the start of the day regardless of potential click outcomes with accelerated delivery, Google says its bidding systems can better predict the optimal time to serve your ads throughout the day.

More on the news

  • In the initial announcement, Google said the prediction modeling to determine the best times to serve your ad has been improved in standard delivery: “Standard delivery takes into account expected ad performance throughout the day and is better at maximizing performance within your daily budget.”
  • Google recommends using its maximize conversions, conversion value or clicks smart bidding strategies for campaigns that have been set to accelerated delivery. Those strategies aim to spend your entire daily budget, which is what Google presumes your goal was in choosing accelerated delivery. Look at what those campaigns have actually been spending before just switching over to one of those strategies at their current budgets.
  • You can use ad scheduling and bid adjustments to control your bidding strategy throughout the day. Keep in mind, ad scheduling is based on your time zone.

The post Short reprieve: Google gives accelerated ad delivery an extension appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
Optimize for conversion value with eCPC in Google Ads /optimize-for-conversion-value-with-ecpc-in-google-ads-321757 Wed, 11 Sep 2019 13:45:24 +0000 /?p=321757 Google has added a new option for manual CPC bidding.

The post Optimize for conversion value with eCPC in Google Ads appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>

Google has extended maximize conversion value optimization to manual CPC bidding when you’ve opted into enhanced CPC (eCPC).

Scott Clark of BuzzMaven in Lexington, Kentucky was among those who’ve noticed the new option showing in the Google Ads.

Why we should care

Google rolled out its maximize for conversion value smart bidding strategy to search campaigns at the end of last month. That option aims to optimize for the greatest conversion value (cart value or a value you’ve applied to your conversion actions) while spending your entire daily budget.

The optimize for conversion value option with eCPC is a simplified version of the smart bidding option. It doesn’t have a goal of spending your daily budget, and you can’t set a target return on ad spend like you can with the smart bidding option. It will raise your max. CPC bids for clicks deemed more likely to lead to higher conversion value (rather than simply a conversion) when you choose that option.

If you have products or services with varying prices, conversion value might align better than conversions with your goals. If you switch over to conversion value optimization, you’ll want to closely monitor the impact on your metrics and ROAS, or ROI if you have cost data.

It may seem surprising Google is adding functionality to manual bidding given its desire to push advertisers to smart bidding (as the bold “lower performance” warning in the manual CPC setting makes crystal clear). But eCPC automates bids, too, of course — it’s like the gateway to smart bidding.

The post Optimize for conversion value with eCPC in Google Ads appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
Now you can easily find negative keyword conflicts in Microsoft Advertising Shopping campaigns /now-you-can-easily-find-negative-keyword-conflicts-in-microsoft-advertising-shopping-campaigns-321647 Mon, 09 Sep 2019 16:10:32 +0000 /?p=321647 Get a better view into product negative keyword conflicts in your Shopping campaigns.

The post Now you can easily find negative keyword conflicts in Microsoft Advertising Shopping campaigns appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
Negative keywords are a key piece of effectively managing Shopping campaigns to help ensure the right products are showing on the right queries. The process can get away from you though. With a mix of match types, negatives applied to specific campaigns and lists applied across multiple campaigns, inadvertent blocking can occur.

What’s new. On Monday, Microsoft Advertising released a new product negative keyword conflicts report in the web interface to address this problem.

The default columns selected in the new Product negative keyword conflicts report in Microsoft Advertising.

You’ll find it under the Product ads section under the Reports tab. The screenshot above shows the columns selected by default for the report. The conflict level column will show if the conflict is at the account, campaign or ad group level. You may add or remove columns to the report.

After you run the report once, it will be available in the Report history, and you can run it routinely from there.

Why we should care. In addition to helping with general negative keyword management, this can also be a useful feature if you’re managing product catalogs that change regularly. Perhaps you added negative keywords for products that weren’t sold on your site but have since been added to the catalog. This will help you identify those opportunities that are currently being blocked.

Microsoft Advertising already has negative keyword conflict reports for Search campaigns. This brings that same functionality to Shopping.

The post Now you can easily find negative keyword conflicts in Microsoft Advertising Shopping campaigns appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
Microsoft opens responsive search ads beta to all advertisers /microsoft-opens-responsive-search-ads-beta-to-all-advertisers-321534 Fri, 06 Sep 2019 18:16:20 +0000 /?p=321534 The automated text ad format is on track to become the new standard.

The post Microsoft opens responsive search ads beta to all advertisers appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
All advertisers can now start testing responsive search ads in their Microsoft Advertising accounts. With responsive search ads (RSAs), first introduced by Google last year, the ad systems automatically serve up a combination of headlines and descriptions provided by the advertiser.

What are RSAs? Advertisers can input up to 15 headlines and four description lines in each ad via the web interface, Editor, the bulk API, or you can import existing RSAs from your Google Ads campaigns. The ads are served dynamically in combinations of up to three titles and two descriptions.

An ad strength gauge appears in the RSA editing window as a rough indicator of RSA performance.

The ad strength indicator updates as you enter headlines and descriptions.

Microsoft suggests inputting at least 8 to 10 headlines that do not contain similar phrases and at least two descriptions that are distinct from each other with clear calls to action. Because the combinations can serve in any order, you’ll want to be sure your headlines and descriptions work together in various orders.

Pin for priority. You may pin headlines and descriptions that you want to show in the top positions for some control over how your ads display. Microsoft recommends pinning positions 1 and 2 for headlines and position 1 for descriptions if you’re concerned about order.

Performance and reporting. “The best performing ad combinations are automatically identified and reported to you, while the underperforming ads aren’t shown again,” Microsoft Advertising said in the announcement Friday.

Microsoft says you should regularly review RSA performance results in the combination report page.

Why we should care. With Google and now Microsoft enabling, and promoting RSAs, expect the machine-learning powered format to eventually become the standard. RSAs are the direction that text ads and ad testing will continue heading — with the ad systems dynamically determining creatives at the time of auction and adjusting based on historical performance.

Related reading.

The post Microsoft opens responsive search ads beta to all advertisers appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
Google Ads seasonality adjustments now available for Search, Display campaigns /google-ads-seasonality-adjustments-now-available-for-search-display-campaigns-321328 Tue, 03 Sep 2019 16:28:32 +0000 /?p=321328 Give Google's bidding algorithms a heads up about short-term conversation rate changes during promotions.

The post Google Ads seasonality adjustments now available for Search, Display campaigns appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
Seasonality bid adjustments in Google Ads.

The seasonality adjustments feature that Google previewed at Google Marketing Live in May is now live for Search and Display campaigns. It is not available yet for Shopping, Video or App campaigns, but is expected to come to Shopping campaigns later this year.

Why would you use this? Google’s tCPA and tROAS smart bidding strategies already take broad-scale seasonality changes into consideration; it’s not hard to train algorithms to respond to the holiday season bump, for example. However, machine learning algorithms don’t often respond well or quickly to sharp changes — in this case to changing conversion rates. By the time the system catches up, your promotion may be over. With the seasonality adjustment feature, advertisers can inform Google’s bidding systems of expected conversion rate changes during special promotions, product launches or more nuanced seasonal pickups and lulls specific to their businesses.

“With seasonality adjustments, you can apply a predicted conversion rate adjustment and Smart Bidding will consider that adjustment for the date range selected, while trying to hit your target CPA,” says Google.

How to get started. Getting to the right place in the Google Ads interface isn’t all that intuitive at first. From the Tools menu, select Bid Strategies, then click on Advanced Controls in the left-hand menu. From there you can add a new seasonality adjustment by clicking the blue “plus” button.

You’ll be asked to name your setting and set a start and end dates and time. Note that by default, it’s set to apply to all search and display and all device types. You can instead opt to apply the adjustment to specific campaigns and device types.

Finally, you set the conversion rate adjustment (increase or decrease). “For example, if you expect conversion rates to increase by 50% during a 3-day sale, add up to a +50% conversion rate adjustment,” says Google. “This adjustment will help you optimize your bids.”

The default settings on the seasonality adjustment set up screen.

Why we should care. This feature injects some manual signals and control into Smart Bidding to better anticipate and manage short intervals of conversion rate changes. With the seasonality scheduling, the system will adjust based on your estimated conversion rate change during and then revert back “without the need for a ramp down.”

This should be used for short-term promotions, rather than the month before back to school, for example.

The post Google Ads seasonality adjustments now available for Search, Display campaigns appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
Google rolls out maximize conversion value smart bidding strategy /google-rolls-out-maximize-conversion-value-smart-bidding-strategy-320940 Wed, 21 Aug 2019 19:49:19 +0000 /?p=320940 It is now available in all Search campaigns.

The post Google rolls out maximize conversion value smart bidding strategy appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
Maximize conversion value is now available.

The newest smart bidding strategy in Google Ads’ lineup, maximize conversion value, is now available in all Search campaigns.

First announced at Google Marketing Live (GML) in May, maximize conversion value aims to optimize for the greatest conversion value within budget.

As with maximize conversions, it will try to spend your budget, so set it accordingly. However, I’ve noticed that when a campaign that is spending well below its daily budget, on average, Google will show an option to lower your daily budget based on your actual average daily spend.

Google says maximize conversion value uses historical campaign data and the searcher’s contextual signals to determine the “optimal CPC bid” at auction time.

To use or test out maximize conversion value, you’ll need to be using transaction-specific values or have set conversion values for the conversion types you’re optimizing for from the Conversion page under Tools.

Conversion value rules still to come. Google also teased conversion value rules at GML to give advertisers more flexibility in assigning value to conversion actions. When it becomes available, rules can be set based on characteristics such as location, device and audience.

Why we should care. As we noted in May, manual bidding is still available in Google, but it’s largely de-emphasized and missing some capabilities. With the proliferation of smart bidding strategies, it’s important to understand how each is designed to work and which goals, settings and metrics best align with each. For example, Google notes that if you need to hit return on ad spend goals, you may want to set a target ROAS with the strategy, while understanding how that target may impact optimization.

The post Google rolls out maximize conversion value smart bidding strategy appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
Google Ads to remove accelerated ad delivery option next month /google-ads-to-remove-accelerated-ad-delivery-option-next-month-320822 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 18:02:20 +0000 /?p=320822 Search and Shopping campaigns using accelerated delivery will be switched to standard delivery by October 1.

The post Google Ads to remove accelerated ad delivery option next month appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
Google Ads announced a coming change to ad delivery options that will start September 17. The accelerated delivery option will be removed and standard delivery will be the only option for Search and Shopping campaigns, as well as for campaigns with shared budgets.

Automatic switch by October 1. Any Search or Shopping campaigns and shared budgets using accelerated delivery will be switched over to standard delivery automatically by October 1.

The accelerated delivery option will still be available for Display and Video campaigns, Google said.

Why the change? Advertisers typically opt for accelerated delivery when the goal is to drive as many conversions as possible within a target cost per conversion. This is particularly common for e-commerce advertisers that are willing to spend as much as possible as long as their margins make sense. They choose the accelerated delivery option and set their daily budgets high enough to ensure their ads are served as often as possible throughout the entire day. It’s been a particularly popular option for Shopping campaigns.

However, Google says, the way that accelerated delivery works can make it an inefficient option. (And have said as recently as last month not to use it.) Obviously, if you do have a capped daily budget, choosing the accelerated option can mean your ads stop serving well before the day ends. But Google also notes, “this method can increase CPCs due to increased competition early in the day, or unintentionally spend most of your budget in earlier time zones.”

Google says standard delivery has been improved to be more predictive: “Standard delivery takes into account expected ad performance throughout the day and is better at maximizing performance within your daily budget.”

With standard ad delivery, your budget is paced throughout the day or the periods of time you’ve scheduled your ads to run. Google says it “optimizes your spend to be more reflective of targeted inventory user search (eg.user searches for your product/service),” as opposed to accelerated delivery, which Google says is “less optimized.”

Your options. Google recommends choosing the maximize conversions or maximize clicks bidding strategies to indicate your performance priority for campaigns that had been using accelerated delivery. And, of course, use ad scheduling to manage when your ads are shown and bid adjustments to increase and decrease bids during certain times of day. (Though Google’s ad scheduling only takes your account’s time zone into account.)

Why we should care. Yes, this is a loss of yet another lever and will likely be decried by many advertisers. But it’s also another indication that Google believes its machine learning algorithms are now better equipped to optimize campaigns. In this case, it’s saying it can better optimize ad delivery based on the advertiser’s goals and query contextual signals than the relatively blunt option of showing ads as often and early as possible. Time will tell for those currently using accelerated delivery. Start preparing for this change now.

The post Google Ads to remove accelerated ad delivery option next month appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
Are your Google text ads getting truncated? Here’s what to consider /are-your-google-text-ads-getting-truncated-heres-what-to-consider-320707 Fri, 16 Aug 2019 19:18:46 +0000 /?p=320707 Cut off expanded text ad headlines and descriptions aren't new, but you may have noticed it more lately.

The post Are your Google text ads getting truncated? Here’s what to consider appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
This week, Andrea Cruz, digital marketing manager at KoMarketing noticed text ad headlines and descriptions getting cut off and wondered if is new.

I looked back at some older screenshots of search results and didn’t see truncation happening very often. But now I’m easily able to replicate the kind of result Andrea saw, including in the first text ad position, as in the example below.

Truncated headlines and descriptions in expanded text ads aren’t new, but it could be that it’s happening more often lately with certain ad renderings, which frequently include no ad extensions. Is the pendulum swinging back to simpler ads?

Why does ad truncation happen?

One thing to keep in mind is that truncation is about pixels rather than a specific character count, and wider characters use more pixels. In 2016, when expanded text ads were introduced, Google said advertisers should consider limiting headline length to 33 characters to keep them from potentially being truncated. That’s still the suggested length in the help center, even since Google added the third headline option:

“In some situations, Google Ads needs to shorten your text, usually with an ellipsis (“…”). This could happen if your ad text frequently uses wider characters (like “m”) instead of narrower characters (like “i”), because your headline text could be wider than the space available for it on some browser sizes. With most Latin languages, you can avoid this effect by limiting your line’s overall character count to 33 characters total.”

Additionally, if the ad preview in Google Ads shows the full headline, Google says it will generally render completely.

For descriptions, Google doesn’t give specific guidelines, and the preview tool won’t show truncation. Again, pixels will matter. In several results I looked at, description truncation happened between 84 to 86 characters, but a description with 91 characters displayed in full on one line because it had a lot of narrow letters.

Is ad truncation happening more often?

It may appear that truncation is happening more often because of the way Google often displays text ads now. The text ads above the organic results often show with just one description line, particularly on desktop.

Consider this screenshot of a results page for the query “car loan” captured last year in July 2018:

A Google search result from 2018.

Now, compare that to a results page served today in which the ads in positions two to four include just one line of description copy (the last ad’s description is truncated) and no ad extensions below them:

In a result from today, only the first ad shows ad extensions. The other ads show just one line of description copy.

I see this shorter ad rendering regularly across various queries, particularly on desktop. And the lack of ad extensions is interesting. Ads at the bottom of the page on mobile and desktop tend to show more description copy as well as ad extensions than ads above the organic results.

Ad rendering changes are constant

Google is always experimenting with the way it displays ads, even within the same results page. In the mobile example below (from today), notice the Expedia ad in the second position has a description that gets truncated and no ad extensions showing with it.

After refreshing that search result page later in the day, Expedia’s ad, still in the second position, appears with a description followed by callout extensions and an app extension, while the Hotwire ad in position three shows with just a description.

We don’t have control over how Google chooses to display our ads from one search result to the next, and it will vary based on device, browser and other contextual signals. It also decides when and what ad extensions to show. But we do have some control over truncation. If you want to avoid having your titles and descriptions cut off, experiment with length.

Something more interesting to watch may be the frequency with which your ad extensions show. It’s interesting to often see simpler ad treatments above the organic results these days.

The post Are your Google text ads getting truncated? Here’s what to consider appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
Google opens up to fantasy sports ads in the U.S. /google-opens-up-to-fantasy-sports-ads-in-the-u-s-320607 Wed, 14 Aug 2019 17:07:35 +0000 /?p=320607 The policy change allows fantasy sports services to advertise on properties such as Google Search and YouTube.

The post Google opens up to fantasy sports ads in the U.S. appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
With a change to its advertising policies, Google will begin accepting ads from fantasy sports services in certain U.S. states this month, the company announced Tuesday.

Why we should care

Fantasy sports companies such as FanDuel, DraftKings and Yahoo Daily Fantasy will be able to buy ads across Google properties, including Search and YouTube, via Google Ads and DV360. Google had been an outlier in banning fantasy sports advertising, FanDuel CMO Mike Faffensperger told AdWeek.

The wild-spending heyday in which FanDuel and DraftKings spent huge sums on marketing to acquire customers may have passed Google by, but as more states allow daily fantasy sports, the marketing opportunities will continue to expand.

More on the news

  • Advertisers will need to meet minimum creative requirements and must hold state licenses where required to promote their products in targeted states.
  • If advertisers operate in a state where no license is required, they must hold a state license in at least one other state.
  • Gambling services must apply for certification with Google to be eligible to advertise.

The post Google opens up to fantasy sports ads in the U.S. appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
Prepare to say goodbye to average position in Google Ads on September 30 /prepare-to-say-goodbye-to-average-position-in-google-ads-on-september-30-320521 Mon, 12 Aug 2019 21:19:52 +0000 /?p=320521 Update any scripts, rules and reporting and look to Google's new position metrics.

The post Prepare to say goodbye to average position in Google Ads on September 30 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>
We knew it was coming. Now we know when. Google announced Monday that it will begin sunsetting the average position metric the week of September 30.

Why we should care

Google said in February that average position would be phasing out earlier this year. Now, we have about 6 weeks to fully absorb the repercussions of the change and implement updates to any reporting, rules or scripts that use average position.

In lieu of average position, Google says advertisers should transition to using the the position metrics — search top impression rate and search absolute top impression rate — introduced last year. These indicate the percentage of impressions and impression share your ads received in the absolute top (the first ad at the very top of the page) and top of page (above the organic results) ad slots.

More on the news

  • The following functions will be disabled beginning the week of September 30: Rules using average position, Custom columns using average position, Saved reports that filter on average position, Saved filters with average position.
  • Average position will be removed from any saved column sets, saved reports that use the average position column, but don’t filter on it and scorecards that use average position in dashboards.
  • Also note the {adposition} ValueTrack parameter will start returning an empty string the week of September 30.
  • Related reading: Frederick Vallaeys’ on rethinking bidding strategies and position metrics without average position.

The post Prepare to say goodbye to average position in Google Ads on September 30 appeared first on Search Engine Land.

]]>