Category Archives: Inside AdWords

Google’s official blog for news, information and tips on AdWords

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


Create more effective ads for today’s consumer

Consumers are more curious and more demanding than ever before. They expect to get things done faster–engaging with ads that are uniquely relevant to them. In fact, 91 percent of mobile users bought or plan to buy something after seeing an ad they described as relevant.1 That means it’s critical for marketers to create a wider variety of ads that are diverse.

By creating more diverse ads and utilizing Google’s machine learning, your ads will be more helpful, more personalized, and relevant to more people. This means your ads can show more often, reaching potential customers when they're looking for what you have to offer. We know this kind of optimization works: On average, advertisers that combine Google’s machine learning with multiple creatives see up to 15 percent more clicks.2

Creating relevant ads at scale can be a challenge, and products like responsive search adsresponsive display ads, and Universal App campaigns can help. That’s why we’re introducing new insights to make it easy for you to create the ad experiences your customers expect.

Get more out of your responsive search ads

Responsive search ads combine your creativity with the power of Google’s machine learning to help you deliver relevant, valuable ads.

  • To make it easier for you to create more effective responsive search ads, you’ll now be able to preview ad combinations as you build them. This shows you what your ads might look like, and you can even browse through them to double-check your work.
  • You can also view reporting for headlines, descriptions, and top combinations to help you see what’s showing up most often on the search results page.

RSA Best Practice

New best practices for Search ad groups

Apartments.com is a leading online resource for home and apartment rentals. Using responsive search ads, the brand was able to create ads that were more relevant to people at key moments in the rental process. As a result, Apartments.com saw a 10 percent lift in clicks. ForRent.com, another brand in the Apartments.com network of sites, saw a 16 percent lift in clicks with a similar strategy.

Measure the strength of your ads

Innovations like responsive search ads can help you create relevant, personalized ads at scale. However, it can be a challenge to know when these ads have the right amount of information. That’s why we’re introducing ad strength.

You’ll see ad strength both when you write a responsive search ad and as a column in Google Ads. Ranging from “Poor” to “Excellent,” this metric measures the relevance, quantity, and diversity of your ad copy. Combined with actionable feedback, ad strength makes it easy for you to improve the effectiveness of your ads.

Ad Strength UI

Use ad strength to create more effective responsive search ads

Ad strength will be available as a column starting in early September, and in the responsive search ad creation interface over the next several weeks. Support for responsive display ads will follow in the coming months.

To get started with ad strength, we recommend providing as many distinct headlines, descriptions, and other assets as possible. This will help Google's machine learning generate a larger number of relevant, effective ad combinations.

  • For a responsive search ad, provide as many headlines and descriptions as makes sense for your business. If you’re having trouble getting started, we recommend focusing on creating at least five headlines.
  • For a responsive display ad, provide up to 15 images and five logos, headlines, and descriptions per ad.

Promote your app at scale

App marketers are also making the shift to more diverse creative. With Universal App campaigns, Google’s machine learning automatically combines your creative assets with content from your app store page to create personalized, relevant ads at scale.

We recommend providing at least four to five text, video and image assets in varying lengths and sizes. If you’re looking for more guidance, we have an online course to help you design and optimize your creative for a Universal App campaign. If you want to learn more about promoting your mobile app in Google Ads, you can view the other courses at g.co/learnappads.

1. Google / Purchased, April 2017

2. Google internal data

Source: Google Ads


Putting machine learning into the hands of every advertiser

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. These Smart Shopping campaigns help you hit your revenue goals without the need to manually manage and bid to individual products. 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. And check out g.co/adsannouncements for more information about product updates and announcements.


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

Source: Inside AdWords