Author Archives: Google Ads

Enabling a Safe Digital Advertising Ecosystem

Google has a crucial stake in a healthy and sustainable digital advertising ecosystem—something we've worked to enable for nearly 20 years. Every day, we invest significant team hours and technological resources in protecting the users, advertisers and publishers that make the internet so useful. And every year, we share key actions and data about our efforts to keep the ecosystem safe by enforcing our policies across platforms.

Bad ads taken down

Dozens of new ads policies to take down billions of bad ads

In 2018, we faced new challenges in areas where online advertising could be used to scam or defraud users offline. For example, we created a new policy banning ads from for-profit bail bond providers because we saw evidence that this sector was taking advantage of vulnerable communities. Similarly, when we saw a rise in ads promoting deceptive experiences to users seeking addiction treatment services, we consulted with experts and restricted advertising to certified organizations. In all, we introduced 31 new ads policies in 2018 to address abuses in areas including third-party tech support, ticket resellers, cryptocurrency and local services such as garage door repairmen, bail bonds and addiction treatment facilities.

We took down 2.3 billion bad ads in 2018 for violations of both new and existing policies, including nearly 207,000 ads for ticket resellers, over 531,000 ads for bail bonds and approximately 58.8 million phishing ads. Overall, that’s more than six million bad ads, every day.

Ticket Resellers

As we continue to protect users from bad ads, we’re also working to make it easier for advertisers to ensure their creatives are policy compliant. Similar to our AdSense Policy Center, next month we’ll launch a new Policy manager in Google Ads that will give tips on common policy mistakes to help well-meaning advertisers and make it easier to create and launch compliant ads.

Taking on bad actors with improved technology

Last year, we also made a concerted effort to go after the bad actors behind numerous bad ads, not just the ads themselves. Using improved machine learning technology, we were able to identify and terminate almost one million bad advertiser accounts, nearly double the amount we terminated in 2017. When we take action at the account level, it helps to address the root cause of bad ads and better protect our users.

In 2017, we launched new technology that allows for more granular removal of ads from websites when only a small number of pages on a site are violating our policies. In 2018, we launched 330 detection classifiers to help us better detect "badness" at the page level—that's nearly three times the number of classifiers we launched in 2017. So while we terminated nearly 734,000 publishers and app developers from our ad network, and removed ads completely from nearly 1.5 million apps, we were also able to take more granular action by taking ads off of nearly 28 million pages that violated our publisher policies. We use a combination of manual reviews and machine learning to catch these kinds of violations.

Addressing key challenges within the digital ads ecosystem

From reports of “fake news” sites, to questions about who is purchasing political ads, to massive ad fraud operations, there are fundamental concerns about the role of online advertising in society. Last year, we launched a new policy for election ads in the U.S. ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. We verified nearly 143,000 election ads in the U.S. and launched a new political ads transparency report that gives more information about who bought election ads. And in 2019, we’re launching similar tools ahead of elections in the EU and India.

We also continued to tackle the challenge of misinformation and low-quality sites, using several different policies to ensure our ads are supporting legitimate, high-quality publishers. In 2018, we removed ads from approximately 1.2 million pages, more than 22,000 apps, and nearly 15,000 sites across our ad network for violations of policies directed at misrepresentative, hateful or other low-quality content. More specifically, we removed ads from almost 74,000 pages for violating our “dangerous or derogatory” content policy, and took down approximately 190,000 ads for violating this policy. This policy includes a prohibition on hate speech and protects our users, advertisers and publishers from hateful content across platforms.  


How we took down one of the biggest ad fraud operations ever in 2018

In 2018, we worked closely with cybersecurity firm White Ops, the FBI, and others in the industry to take down one of the largest and most complex international ad fraud operations we’ve ever seen. Codenamed "3ve", the operation used sophisticated tactics aimed at exploiting data centers, computers infected with malware, spoofed fraudulent domains and fake websites. In aggregate, 3ve produced more than 10,000 counterfeit domains, and generated over 3 billion daily bid requests at its peak.

3ve tried to evade our enforcements, but we conducted a coordinated takedown of their infrastructure. We referred the case to the FBI, and late last year charges were announced against eight individuals for crimes including aggravated identity theft and money laundering. Learn more about 3ve and our work to take it down on our Security Blog, as well as through this white paper that we co-authored with White Ops.


We will continue to tackle these issues because as new trends and online experiences emerge, so do new scams and bad actors. In 2019, our work to protect users and enable a safe advertising ecosystem that works well for legitimate advertisers and publishers continues to be a top priority.

Source: Google Ads


Grow your games business with ads

There’s so much that goes into building a great mobile game. Building a thriving business on top of it? That’s next level. Today, we’re announcing new solutions to increase the lifetime value of your players. Now, it’s easier than ever to re-engage your audience and take advantage of a new, smarter approach to monetization.

Help inactive players rediscover your game

Let's face it, the majority of players you acquire aren't going to continue engaging with your game after just a handful of days. One of the biggest opportunities you have to grow your business is to get those inactive players to come back and play again.

We’re introducing App campaigns for engagement in Google Ads to help players rediscover your game by engaging them with relevant ads across Google’s properties. With App campaigns for engagement, you can reconnect with players in many different ways, such as encouraging lapsed players to complete the tutorial, introducing new features that have been added since a player’s last session, or getting someone to open the game for the first time on Android (which only Google can help with).

Learn more about it here or talk to your Google account representative if you’re interested in trying it out.

Rediscover game 1

Generate revenue from non-spending players

Acquiring and retaining users is important, but retention alone doesn’t generate revenue.  Our internal data shows that, on average, less than four percent of players will ever spend on in-app items. One way to increase overall revenue is through ads. However, some developers worry that ads might hurt in-app purchase revenue by disrupting gameplay for players who do spend. What if you could just show ads to the players who aren't going to spend in your app? Good news—now you can.

We’re bringing a new approach to monetization that combines ads and in-app purchases in one automated solution. Available today, new smart segmentation features in Google AdMob use machine learning to segment your players based on their likelihood to spend on in-app purchases.

Ad units with smart segmentation will show ads only to users who are predicted not to spend on in-app purchases. Players who are predicted to spend will see no ads, and can simply continue playing.  Check it out by creating an interstitial ad unit with smart segmentation enabled.

Smart Segmentation Flow

To learn more about news ways to help you increase the lifetime value of your players, please join us at the Game Developers Conference. Location and details are below:


What: Google Ads Keynote
Where: Moscone West, room #2020
When: Wednesday March 20th at 12:30 PM


I'm excited for the week ahead and all the new games you’re building—I’m always on the lookout for my next favorite.


Source: Google Ads


Google Marketing Live broadcast on May 14th: register today

Did you know that searches for "best” have increased by 80% in the last two years? For example, in recent third-party research, we saw that some people spend over 50 days searching for the “best chocolate” before making a decision.

Google Marketing Live is happening on May 14th—register now to discover how to take action on new consumer insights like these and learn about the latest digital marketing products from Google. For the first time, we'll also be live streaming 8+ hours of additional content from the event. Engage directly with product managers through live Q&A, learn new best practices, and get an inside look at how our latest products are developed.

Source: Google Ads


Disney and Google expand strategic relationship

People today exercise greater control over what they view and when—and on which screens—they view it. They watch sitcoms in taxis and on trains, and stream news and documentaries at the gym. All of which contribute to a striking new reality: TV is no longer a stationary box anchored to a corner in your living room.

People also expect the same content they love in the living room on every screen, which can be the difference between a loyal fanbase and a lost audience. Advertisers want to deliver quality ad experiences that are relevant, seamless and measurable across screens, inspiring media companies to reimagine the commercial break.

Disney DTC

That’s why we’re excited to announce today a new global strategic relationship with The Walt Disney Company.

Disney and Google share a passion for bringing quality content and information to everyone, everywhere. With this new relationship, Disney will bring its entire global digital video and display business onto Google Ad Manager, which will serve as its core ad technology platform. 

Disney CTV Image

That means that Google will now power advertising for Disney’s unmatched collection of brands and properties—including Disney, ABC, ESPN, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars—across multiple channels, including live streaming and direct-to-consumer content offerings. Disney will be able to serve video ads effortlessly on the web, in mobile apps, streaming through connected TVs and for live events.

Together, we plan to build an advanced video experience for Disney that will transcend devices, platforms, and living rooms to bring the magic of premium video content into people’s hearts, minds, and screens—everywhere. 

Source: Google Ads


How evolving user patterns drive new ad experiences on YouTube

At YouTube, we’re on a constant quest to give people the perfect viewing experience. But over the years, what that looks like has changed significantly.

The way we watch video is always changing. And we want to keep advertisers abreast of these trends, with new ad experiences molded to the new ways people watch. This was the spirit behind our introduction of six-second bumper ads more than two years ago–as a response to the increasingly mobile habits of our users.

Today we’re highlighting how we're adapting to three new trends in the user experience.


Longer viewing sessions

Our recent user experience research suggests that in addition to factors such as the length of ads, viewers are quite sensitive to the frequency of ad breaks, especially during longer viewing sessions. Through this research, we also learned that fewer interruptions is correlated with better user metrics, including less abandonment of content and higher rates of ad viewing. To respond to this, we will begin testing ad pods–two ads stacked back to back, where viewers have the option to skip directly to the content if it’s not the right ad for them.

Why does this solution make sense? Because when users see two ads in a break, they’re less likely to be interrupted by ads later. In fact, those users will experience up to 40 percent fewer interruptions by ads in the session.1 Early experiment results also show an 8-11 percent increase in unique reach and a 5-10 percent increase in frequency for advertisers, with no impact to Brand Lift metrics.2 This new experience, launching on desktop this year then followed by mobile and TV screens, aims to accommodate viewer preferences while continuing to help advertisers connect with their most important audiences.

Ad Pods

Example of an ad pod experience on mobile.

More self-directed discovery

The way users prefer to find videos to watch is also changing. Remember back when the only YouTube videos you’d watch came in the form of a shared URL from a friend? Over the years, video viewing on YouTube has become more self-directed, as more viewers than ever before hop into their home or trending feeds and scroll to find a recommended video. In fact, over the last three years, watch time from content users discover on the YouTube homepage has grown 10X.3 That’s why we brought TrueView video discovery ads to the YouTube home feed, along with the Masthead and Universal App campaign ads. The YouTube home feed continues to be a great place for users to discover their next favorite creator, and now it can be a great place for them to discover your brand.


Watching on TV screens

We’re seeing incredible watchtime growth on TV screens: on average, users watch over 180 million hours of YouTube on TV screens every day.4  Last month, we introduced the TV screen device type in Google Ads and Display & Video 360, allowing you to tailor your campaigns for connected TVs – for example, by using a different creative or setting a specific device bid adjustment – and see reporting for ads that run on TV screens.

In the face of these burgeoning user trends—as well as the next wave, and the next—we’ll continue working to build the ideal video viewing experience, and keep thinking up ways to deliver value for our advertiser partners.


1. YouTube Internal Data, Global, October 2018

2. YouTube Internal Data, Global, October 2018

3. YouTube Internal Data, Global, Jan 2015 vs. Jan 2018

4. Google Internal Data, Global, June 2018. Based on 7 day average for TV watchtime

Source: Google Ads


Big or small, stay close to all the latest Google Ads changes

Thank you for following the Google Ads blog, the best place to find the latest news, insights and stories about Google Ads. As the product improves, we want to make sure you have an easy way to stay up to date on the latest changes, big and small. 

The new features & announcements page in the Google Ads Help Center, covers all new features in Google Ads - from something as simple as a new column being added, to the launch of a new ad type such as Responsive Search Ads. 

New features and announcements on mobile

You can get there in three different ways:


  1. Go to g.co/AdsAnnouncements

  2. Click the “Announcements” tab in the Help Center

  3. Use the link in the help menu when you’re in Google Ads


Don’t forget to bookmark!


Source: Google Ads


Drive better results: An insider’s look at the latest Google Ads innovations

With the busy holiday season ahead, we're investing in new ways to help you work smarter and exceed your omnichannel goals. Check out the innovations we unveiled today at SMX East.

Easier ways to manage your messages

Automatic reply

It’s no surprise that messaging has become a big part of our modern lives. If you’re inviting a friend to “Friendsgiving” dinner, you’re probably sending a quick text message. In the coming weeks, we’re rolling out two improvements to click-to-message ads:

  • Email forwarding sends text messages to your email, so you don’t need to provide a phone number to use message extensions. Responding to the email will automatically send a text reply back to your customer.
  • Automatic reply sends a preset message back to customers as soon as they message you. For example, you can automatically reply with, “Thanks for your message. We’ll get back to you within the hour.”

To help measure the success of your click-to-message ads, we’re expanding message reporting to include message conversions. You’ll be able to define the number of user-initiated exchanges needed to count as a conversion. For example, if it typically takes two or more exchanges before a customer orders holiday dinner from your restaurant, you can set that as your conversion threshold.

“Using message extensions, we can offer fast assistance when our busy customers are looking for a style recommendation or opinion on fit, and can easily share images and links. Now, message reporting will help us analyze which parts of our campaigns are driving the most in-depth, valuable conversations with stylists, and where we can improve performance.” - Michaella Kurdziel, Director of Experience Excellence & Learning at MM.LaFleur


Take action on your data across online and offline channels

Most customer journeys still end in store, and 61% of shoppers would rather shop with brands that have a physical location than ones that are online only.1 Businesses need to measure the offline impact of digital advertising in order to take action on omnichannel behavior: store visits measurement is one way to do that. As a reminder, store visits 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.

To help you take action on store visits, we're bringing these insights to data-driven attribution and Smart Bidding which use machine learning to help you improve performance. Data-driven attribution helps you understand which keywords, ads, ad groups, and campaigns have the greatest effect on your business goals. You can use this information to drive more conversions using Smart Bidding.

We’re also adding more ways to measure the full value of your marketing. In the coming weeks, Store Visits in Google Analytics will start rolling out to eligible advertisers to connect store visits to other marketing efforts that bring customers to your website and then to your store.

One example of a business measuring the online to offline impact of its marketing is department store JCPenney. JCPenney had long recognized that digital campaigns led to store visits but wasn’t able to attribute those visits to specific channels. With Store Visits in Google Analytics, JCPenney was able to look at store visits and visit rate by channel to understand which online marketing channels were most effective in driving in-store visits, and efficiently scale investment in those channels.

We hope these new products can simplify your day-to-day and improve performance across your Google Ads campaigns during the holiday season and beyond.


1.  Google/Ipsos, “Shopping Tracker,” April - June 2018, Online survey, US, n=2703 adults 18+ who shopped in the past two days. Response based on top 3 box 7 pt scale.

Source: Google Ads


From discovery to click, new YouTube ads capabilities for more effective video storytelling

The heightened role of video throughout today’s consumer journey is an exciting opportunity for marketers to build connections that drive better business outcomes. At Advertising Week New York, we’re announcing new ways for marketers to become more effective full-funnel storytellers using the combined power of YouTube’s creative canvas with Google’s machine learning and measurement solutions.

Help viewers take action with extensions

Extensions for Video Ads

Soon you’ll be able to make your video ads more actionable with a greater variety of ad extensions. Similar to extensions on Search ads, extensions on YouTube enhance your video ad with additional useful information—giving consumers more reasons to take action. You can already add location and form extensions (currently in beta) to your TrueView in-stream ads. Now we’re exploring additional use cases that encourage viewers to complete lower-funnel actions like finding the next movie showtime, downloading an app or booking a trip.

Brands like Vodafone, Chili’s, 20th Century Fox, Headspace and Maybelline are already using extensions for video ads to bring more relevance to their mobile ads and drive impact on the metrics that matter most. Using extensions, Vodafone drove a 2.3x incremental lift in Ad Recall and a 3.5 percent CTR—a 785 percent increase over their regional benchmark.

Measure the full impact of your video campaign

Video storytelling isn’t just about driving short-term campaign wins—it’s also about driving measurable results at every stage of the consumer journey. We know this is easier said than done, which is why we’re evolving our Brand Liftsolution and partnering with IRI to make it simpler for advertisers to measure and act upon upper- and lower-funnel metrics.

Based on your feedback, soon you’ll be able to set up Brand Lift studies directly in Google Ads or Display & Video 360 and conveniently view reporting alongside your other ad metrics. We’ve also started sending Brand Lift surveys continuously throughout the duration of your campaign so you can understand how your video ads are influencing viewer perceptions in near real time. Additionally, we’ve introduced two new metrics: lifted users, the number of people who were influenced by your ad, and cost-per-lifted-user to make it easier for you to optimize your campaign’s effectiveness and cost-efficiency. To get the most out of these new measurement tools, we recommend using Maximize Lift bidding.

We're also ramping up our investments in Google Measurement Partners to ensure our advertisers can measure YouTube media with measurement solutions that meet rigorous, verified standards. We work closely with partners to ensure their solutions respect user privacy. In addition to Nielsen Catalina Solutions (NCS) and Oracle Data Cloud, soon CPG advertisers will have the option to measure their YouTube media using IRI. These offerings complement geo experiments with Nielsen MPA, giving advertisers a variety of options for seeing the offline impact of their video ads. Last week we also announced expanded integrations for brand suitability and reach reporting, continuing our commitment to providing both quality and choice when it comes to helping marketers better understand their media investments.

We’re excited about how these capabilities can help take your campaigns to the next level, driving real business impact all along the customer journey.


Source: Google Ads


How to help shoppers looking for inspiration this holiday

Gone are the days where shoppers had one specific gift in mind. Today, they’re asking brands to help inspire them. Our research also shows that 61 percent of shoppers are open to buying from new retailers during the holiday season—and in the 2017 holiday season 46 percent of them actually did.

That’s a huge number of consumers looking to uncover new brands and products or re-discover old favorites. But with so much choice at their fingertips, shoppers need help cutting through the clutter and feeling confident in their choices.

A recent study shows that Google is the first place US shoppers go to discover or find a new brand or product. That’s why we’re continuing to invest in solutions to drive inspiration and discovery, capture intent, and amplify your message to customers, wherever they’re shopping across Google and the web. So lean back, grab an eggnog (it’s never too early), and learn about how consumers plan to shop this holiday—and how Google can help.

Helping shoppers discover with video in Showcase Shopping Ads

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 to 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.

Wayfair Video Showcase Shopping

This format is available to advertisers already running Showcase Shopping ads.

Inspire undecided shoppers with Shoppable Image ads

Curious consumers aren’t just finding inspiration through video. Did you know that more than 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. 

Shoppable Images

Left: Shoppable Images publisher experience

Right: Image Search experience mock

We hope these updates help you stand out from the crowd and capture undecided shoppers' attention with inspirational imagery and video. For a look into more consumer trends this season, check out our Think With Google article on holiday 2018 insights.



1 Google/Ipsos, “Shopping Tracker”, April - June 2018, Online survey, US, n=2703 adults 18+ who shopped in the past two days

2 Google internal data, 2018

Source: Google Ads


Restricting ads in third-party tech support services

One of our top priorities is to maintain a healthy advertising ecosystem, and that means protecting people from misleading, inappropriate and harmful ads. We have teams of engineers, policy experts, product managers and others who wage a daily fight against bad actors. Over the years, this commitment has made the web a better place for our users—and a worse place for those who seek to abuse advertising systems for their own gain. Just last year alone, we took down more than 3.2 billion ads that violated our advertising policies—that’s more than 100 bad ads per second.

When we see an increase in misleading or predatory behaviors in specific categories, we take additional action. For example, we’ve banned ads for payday loans and bail bonds services—and developed advanced verification programs to fight fraud in areas like local locksmith services and addiction treatment centers.

Today, we’re taking another step. We’ve seen a rise in misleading ad experiences stemming from third-party technical support providers and have decided to beginrestricting ads in this category globally. For many years, we’ve consulted and worked with law enforcement and government agencies to address abuse in this area. As the fraudulent activity takes place off our platform, it’s increasingly difficult to separate the bad actors from the legitimate providers. That’s why in the coming months, we will roll out a verification program to ensure that only legitimate providers of third-party tech support can use our platform to reach consumers.

These efforts alone won’t stop all bad actors trying to game our advertising systems, but it will make it a lot harder. There’s more to do, and we’ll continue committing the resources necessary to keep the online advertising ecosystem a safe place for everyone.

Source: Google Ads