Category Archives: Inside AdWords

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

Discover the new AdWords experience

In 2016 we introduced a new AdWords experience and even shared an early look at it in action. From the beginning, we asked ourselves, “How can we make AdWords as relevant for the next 15 years as the first 15?” And during this multi-year journey, we met with many of you -- across industries and around the world, from power users to beginners -- to learn what's working, and what could be improved.

We learned a lot, and it’s helped shape what we’ve built. First, AdWords should focus on your business, and not around features. The data you care about should be available at your fingertips. And finally, the tools you use to get things done should be simple yet powerful.

This comes together in the new experience in many ways. For example, the new Overview page surfaces relevant insights about your account and helps you visualize them so you can take action. We’ve removed the clutter and made navigation a breeze so you can do more in less time. And in the coming months, we’re introducing new tools, unique to this experience, that will help you reach customers in new ways.

I recently sat down with a few advertisers who told me the new experience "is faster," “more intuitive,” and that “it’s easier to get things done.” It’s so inspiring to hear this feedback because we’re aiming to do exactly that -- build a platform that’s easy to use and helps you reach your unique business goals.

We’ve made so much progress since our announcement last March, and I’m happy to share that we’re rolling out the new AdWords experience to more of you within the next few months. Some of you will automatically see it when you sign in to AdWords, while others will see a message to try it out.* Though not everyone will have access to the new experience at the same time, we encourage those who do to explore it, discover new insights, and provide feedback as we continue to refine and roll it out to more advertisers.

Examples of Overview cards**


To get started, I recommend taking the guided tour to familiarize yourself with the new experience. The AdWords Help Center is also being updated to provide additional support as you get acquainted with all the new features.

We look forward to continuing this journey in 2017 and can’t wait to share the new AdWords experience with more of you.



* Invites are sent based on a number of factors, including the features you use
** Campaign performance, Auction Insights, and Locations cards are coming soon

Source: Inside AdWords


A new guide to driving sales with Gmail Ads

Consider this: Gmail reaches over 1 billion users globally1. By using Gmail ads, you can reach the right audiences and grow your business.

We’ve published a new guide that will help you get the most out of Gmail ads campaigns. It covers topics such as: Showing your Gmail ads to the right people Enticing people to click on your collapsed ad Designing an expanded ad that converts Optimizing your Gmail ads for success

Learn how to create and set-up an effective Gmail ad strategy and make the most of your Gmail ad campaigns.

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1. Google Q4 2015 Earnings Call.

Source: Inside AdWords


How we fought bad ads, sites and scammers in 2016

A free and open web is a vital resource for people and businesses around the world. And ads play a key role in ensuring you have access to accurate, quality information online. But bad ads can ruin the online experience for everyone. They promote illegal products and unrealistic offers. They can trick people into sharing personal information and infect devices with harmful software. Ultimately, bad ads pose a threat to users, Google’s partners, and the sustainability of the open web itself.

We have a strict set of policies that govern the types of ads we do and don’t allow on Google in order to protect people from misleading, inappropriate, or harmful ads. And we have a team of engineers, policy experts, product managers and others who are waging a daily fight against bad actors. Over the years, this commitment has made the web a better place for you—and a worse place for those who seek to abuse advertising systems for their own gain.

In 2016, we took down 1.7 billion ads that violated our advertising policies, more than double the amount of bad ads we took down in 2015. If you spent one second taking down each of those bad ads, it’d take you more than 50 years to finish. But our technology is built to work much faster.

Last year, we did two key things to take down more bad ads. First, we expanded our policies to better protect users from misleading and predatory offers. For example, in July we introduced a policy to ban ads for payday loans, which often result in unaffordable payments and high default rates for users. In the six months since launching this policy, we disabled more than 5 million payday loan ads. Second, we beefed up our technology so we can spot and disable bad ads even faster. For example, “trick to click" ads often appear as system warnings to deceive users into clicking on them, not realizing they are often downloading harmful software or malware. In 2016, our systems detected and disabled a total of 112 million ads for “trick to click,” 6X more than in 2015.

Here are a few more examples of bad ads we took action against in 2016:


Ads for illegal products


Some of the most common bad ads we find online are ads promoting illegal activities or products. Although we've long had a policy against bad ads for pharmaceuticals, last year our systems detected an increase online. We disabled more than 68 million bad ads for healthcare violations, up from 12.5 million in 2015.

Similarly, we saw more attempts to advertise gambling-related promotions without proper authorization from regulators in the countries they operate. We took down more than 17 million bad ads for illegal gambling violations in 2016.
17M ads removed for illegal gambling violations



Misleading ads


We don't want you to feel misled by ads that we deliver, so we require our advertisers to provide upfront information for people to make informed decisions. Some ads try to drive clicks and views by intentionally misleading people with false information like asking, “Are you at risk for this rare, skin-eating disease?” or offering miracle cures like a pill that will help you lose 50 pounds in three days without lifting a finger. In 2016, we took down nearly 80 million bad ads for deceiving, misleading and shocking users.
1,300+ accounts suspended for tabloid cloaking


Bad ads on mobile


If you’ve ever been on your phone and suddenly, without warning, ended up in the app store downloading an app you’ve never heard of, a “self-clicking ad” could be to blame. In 2015, we disabled only a few thousand of these bad ads, but in 2016, our systems detected and disabled more than 23,000 self-clicking ads on our platforms, a huge increase year over year.


Ads trying to game the system


Bad actors know that ads for certain products—like weight-loss supplements or payday loans—aren’t allowed by Google's policies, so they try to trick our systems into letting them through. Last year, we took down almost 7 million bad ads for intentionally attempting to trick our detection systems.

In 2016, we saw the rise of tabloid cloakers, a new type of scammer that tries to game our system by pretending to be news. Cloakers often take advantage of timely topics—a government election, a trending news story or a popular celebrity—and their ads can look like headlines on a news website. But when people click on that story about Ellen DeGeneres and aliens, they go to a site selling weight-loss products, not a news story.

To fight cloakers, we take down the scammers themselves, and prevent them from advertising with us again. In 2016, we suspended more than 1,300 accounts for tabloid cloaking. Unfortunately, this type of bad ad is gaining in popularity because people are clicking on them. And a handful of scammers can pump out a lot of bad ads: During a single sweep for tabloid cloaking in December 2016, we took down 22 cloakers that were responsible for ads seen more than 20 million times by people online in a single week.


Promoting and profiting from bad sites


When we find ads that violate our policies, we block the ad or the advertiser, depending on the violation. But sometimes we also need to suspend the website promoted in the ad (the site people see after they click on it). So, for example, while we disabled more than 5 million payday loan ads last year, we also took action on 8,000 sites promoting payday loans.

Here are some examples of common policy violations we saw among bad sites in 2016:



  • We took action on 47,000 sites for promoting content and products related to weight-loss scams.
  • We took action on more than 15,000 sites for unwanted software and disabled 900,000 ads for containing malware.
  • And we suspended around 6,000 sites and 6,000 accounts for attempting to advertise counterfeit goods, like imitation designer watches.
6,000 sites and 6,000 accounts removed for attempting to sell counterfeit goods



Publishers and website owners use our AdSense platform to make money by running ads on their sites and content, so we have strict policies in place to keep Google's content and search networks safe and clean for our advertisers, users and publishers. When a publisher violates our policies, we may stop showing ads on their site, or even terminate their account.

We've had long-standing policies prohibiting AdSense publishers from running ads on sites that help people deceive others, like a site where you buy fake diplomas or plagiarized term papers. In November, we expanded on these policies, introducing a new AdSense misrepresentative content policy, that helps us to take action against website owners misrepresenting who they are and that deceive people with their content. From November to December 2016, we reviewed 550 sites that were suspected of misrepresenting content to users, including impersonating news organizations. We took action against 340 of them for violating our policies, both misrepresentation and other offenses, and nearly 200 publishers were kicked out of our network permanently.

In addition to all the above, we support industry efforts like the Coalition for Better Ads to protect people from bad experiences across the web. While we took down more bad ads in 2016 than ever before, the battle doesn’t end here. As we invest in better detection, the scammers invest in more elaborate attempts to trick our systems. Continuing to find and fight them is essential to protecting people online and ensuring you get the very best from the open web.

Source: Inside AdWords


Making YouTube Better in a Mobile, Cross-Screen World

Throughout the day, people turn to their nearest device for help making choices about what to do, what to watch, or even what to buy. More than anywhere else, these moments happen on Google and YouTube, and more often than not, they happen on mobile.

With over 50% of YouTube views now on mobile, we’re focused on building scalable solutions that will work across screens. To do this, we're announcing changes today that allow advertisers and agencies to better measure their campaigns and reach their audience on YouTube across screens, while continuing to offer users control over their ads experience on YouTube.

Next generation insights and reporting

We’re developing a new, cloud-based measurement solution over the next year that will be at the cutting edge both in generating advertiser insights and in protecting privacy and security across Google and YouTube. With this new solution, advertisers will have access to more detailed insights from their YouTube campaigns across devices, so they can better understand the impact of their campaigns on their highest-value customers. For instance, a car manufacturer could get a rich understanding of how YouTube ads across devices influenced a specific audience (like previous SUV buyers).

As we build this new measurement solution, we will continue to work closely with leading MRC accredited vendors including comScore, DoubleVerify, IAS, MOAT, and Nielsen. Together, these vendors account for the vast majority of third-party measurement on YouTube. These collaborations will enable agencies and advertisers to continue to independently measure and verify the performance of their campaigns.

Improved ways to reach your audience

As more viewership on YouTube shifts to mobile, we’re making it easier for advertisers to deliver more relevant, useful ads across screens. Now, information from activity associated with users’ Google accounts (such as demographic information and past searches) may be used to influence the ads those users see on YouTube. So, for example, if you’re a retailer, you could reach potential customers that have been searching for winter coat deals on Google and engage with them with your own winter clothing brand campaign at just the right moment. In addition, we're creating new ways for advertisers to use their customer data to reach their highest-value customers on YouTube using Customer Match. For example, that same retail advertiser could reach customers that signed up to receive special offers in their stores.

User controls built for the mobile world

In addition to the advertiser solutions announced above, users will continue to have control over what ads they see on YouTube and across Google with the controls in My Account, and as always, we maintain strict policies against sharing personally identifiable information with advertisers. In the coming weeks, we’ll enable a user control that was built with cross-screen viewing in mind: if a user mutes an advertiser on Google Search, ads from that advertiser will also be muted when they watch on YouTube. For example, if you see a gym membership ad but have already signed up for a gym as part of your New Year’s resolution, you can mute that ad in Search, and you won’t see ads from that advertiser on YouTube.

Paving the path for the future

As we roll out these changes, we’re supporting the platforms where the majority of users watch today rather than continuing to invest in the legacy technologies of the desktop web. As a result, we’ll be limiting the use of cookies and pixels on YouTube starting this year.

While technologies like pixels and cookies still have a role in the broader ecosystem, most were built for a single screen—neither pixels nor anonymous cookies were designed for the ways in which users increasingly watch content on YouTube, like on the mobile app or in the living room. This can lead to inconsistent measurement and less relevant ads across screens, making it harder for people to control the ads they see or the data used to show them.

By investing more in the mobile first solutions we’re announcing today, users will have more choice and transparency over how they experience ads on Google and YouTube, and advertisers will have more opportunities to be present and relevant in the moments their audience chooses to watch.

Source: Inside AdWords


Four resolutions for Shopping success in 2017

Retailers like you are always looking for the best ways to promote your products and reach shoppers online, right when they’re looking to buy -- and throughout the past year, our mission with Google Shopping was to help you do just that.


In 2016, we introduced a handful of new setup, feed, and campaign management features to help you make the most of your Shopping ad investments. In the spirit of self-betterment, we invite you to make this year your best Shopping year yet! Kick off 2017 by checking out a few of our most impactful new features, and resolve to put them into practice for the new year, and beyond.


Get up and running on Google Shopping faster than ever before with e-commerce platform integrations.
Screen Shot 2016-10-17 at 9.17.11 AM.png
Last year, we announced partnerships with three major ecommerce platforms -- BigCommerce, PrestaShop, and Magento -- to make it easier than ever to get started on Google Shopping. If you’re using any one of these platforms (or if you’re thinking of using one of these platforms), these partnerships let you easily and automatically submit your product information to Google Shopping and quickly reach millions of new customers searching for what you sell. To learn more about how we work with these ecommerce platforms, visit our Help Center, or visit the BigCommerce, PrestaShop, and Magento sites.


Show more of your products on Google by using high quality data. We know that creating and maintaining a complete and compliant data feed can be one of the most challenging parts of succeeding with Google Shopping. To make feed management easier, we’ve launched a variety of solutions to help connect your products to new customers -- whether you’re already running Shopping campaigns or you’re just getting started.


  • Feed Rules help you make product data changes directly in Merchant Center without the hassle, like adding custom labels or transforming attributes into the correct format.
  • Using the Google Sheets Merchant Center add-on and structured data markup on your site, you can automatically populate, update, and submit your product data to Merchant Center, making feed management a breeze.
  • Merchant Center received a brand new look with a comprehensive Diagnostics dashboard that processes more quickly to give you a better snapshot of your product data across Shoppings ads, Dynamic Remarketing, Local Inventory Ads and other programs.
  • We made updates to the Product Data Specification with the goal of helping you understand what product data Google needs to run your Shopping ads, including new structured data markup and GTIN specifications. Merchants who added correct GTINs to their product data saw conversion rates increase up to 20%.



Grow sales and save time with a routine to keep up with daily campaign management. Using recent features to Shopping campaigns, you can actually spend less of your time making adjustments to focus on other priorities. Enable product status insight reporting columns and smart bidding strategies in your campaigns today.


Product status insights and disapproval notifications in the products tab are your go-to columns to check on the health of your products. Did you have many out-of-stock items after holiday clearances? Some of those could still be disapproved. See which of your top performing products are no longer selling and how to fix them. Avoid missing out on missed traffic by keeping these top products eligible year-round.


Adopting a smart bidding strategy like enhanced CPC (eCPC) to enable the flexibility for Google to adjust bids on individual queries. Just set your max CPC and have eCPC do the rest of the heavy lifting. eCPC adjust bids for individual queries with a high likelihood to convert all while balancing out bids for underperforming products, maximizing possible conversions. When first adopting a bid strategy, we recommend giving two weeks to let algorithms learn about your campaign before it can reach the peak optimization and performance.


Reach even more customers by enabling shopping across borders.


These days, shopping is truly global. To make shopping more efficient for shoppers and merchants alike, we launched a tool in Merchant Center to perform currency conversions in select countries, allowing you to convert the currency in your product data locally. For example, a person shopping in the UK can see products sold by a US retailer, listed in British pounds. To see where currency conversions are available, check out our Help Center article.


Happy New Year from the Google Shopping team!

Source: Inside AdWords


Reminder: Transition to expanded text ads before January 31, 2017

This is a friendly reminder that starting on January 31, you’ll only be able to create and edit text ads using the expanded text ads format. You’ll no longer be able to create standard text ads. While this will be the last date to create them, existing standard text ads will continue to serve.


Expanded text ads can deliver great results, particularly with a commitment to testing new creatives.
As one of the top places people go online to search for apartments, Apartments.com knows the importance of having a strong digital presence. Wanting to provide renters with even more information about its listings, Apartments.com added expanded text ads to its Search campaigns. Apartments.com's results were strong across its campaigns. It saw 15% and 10% increases in CTRs for expanded text ads on mobile and desktop, respectively.


While making similar improvements to your ads, keep these best practices in mind:


  • Implement multiple versions of your ads. Aim for at least 3-5 per ad group.
  • Leave your standard text ads running.  You can’t create new ones, but the old ones can still serve. Don’t delete them until they stop receiving impressions on their own or the message is no longer accurate.
  • Plan to optimize your ad rotation for clicks or conversions. These options give preference to ads that are likely to perform better.
  • Focus your testing on headlines. They’re the most important part of your ads.
  • Consider shorter headlines on things like brand terms where someone might not need more info.
  • Iterate new ads based on previously successful creative. Learn from what already works.
  • Add terms from user queries and your keywords in your longer headlines whenever appropriate.


Along with those best practices, remember that after January 31 you can pause and resume standard text ads, but it’s best to create new expanded text ads.

As you prepare for expanded text ads to become the only way to create new text ads, check out our best practices guide for creating effective ads or our previously-hosted Hangout-on-Air for more advice. Take advantage of AdWords Editor, the AdWords API or the ETA Transition Helper to make these changes across your entire account.

Source: Inside AdWords


Inside AdWords 2017-01-12 18:00:00

By using Customer Match and remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) in AdWords, you can connect with valuable, returning customers. It’s a powerful way to link intent with context as people search on Google.

We’ve published a new guide that covers everything you should consider as you connect a user’s search with what you already know about them. It covers topics such as:
  • Powering search campaigns with audience insights
  • Maximizing engagement when applying your lists
  • Taking full advantage of other AdWords tools that work well with audiences
Learn how to supercharge your search campaigns using what you already know about your users.

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Source: Inside AdWords


A new guide to testing and experimentation in AdWords

Google Best Practices for AdWords
Digital marketing is always evolving. It’s crucial to evolve your approach as well. This ongoing process of optimization should be built upon a solid framework of testing and experimentation.

By using all of the tools available to you, including campaign drafts and experiments in AdWords, you can test and understand whether any proposed changes to your account will help you reach your business goals.

We’ve published a new guide that helps you understand whether any proposed changes to your account will help you improve performance. It covers topics such as:

  • Testing changes to your AdWords account
  • Creating experiments that produce clear results
  • Analyzing results to choose experiment winners


As you experiment with your own account, use this guide to take full advantage of AdWords campaign drafts and experiments.

Want to stay on top of even more Best Practices? Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter.

Source: Inside AdWords


Engage holiday shoppers with Promoted Places in Google Maps

During the busy holiday season, on-the-go shoppers are using their smartphones to find the perfect stocking stuffers, festive decor and gifts for loved ones. In fact, 70% of smartphone users who bought something in a store first turned to their devices for information relevant to that purchase. One in four of them also used a map through a web browser or an app before making the purchase.1 This year, a number of brands are testing Promoted Places in Google Maps to showcase special offers and announcements to drive more foot traffic to their stores.



Some users have started seeing a limited test of Promoted Places in the Google Maps for Android app. It integrates seamlessly with the browsing experience, where places of interest are visually marked with icons to help users orient themselves and explore the world around them. With Promoted Places, advertisers can improve awareness for their stores by branding their location icons with their logo. Clicks on a business’s logo will reveal promotions such as in-store sales or new products and services to help consumers decide where to go. They can also view the business’s place page to see store hours, check live updates to Popular Times, get directions, and more.



“We’re looking forward to testing Promoted Places to help us deliver a more branded and customized experience on Google Maps. It will allow us to spotlight our latest products with the goal of driving more shoppers in-store to get the full M·A·C Cosmetics experience.”
- Laura Elkins, SVP of Global Marketing

“Innovation is part of our DNA and we’re continually evaluating meaningful and contextually relevant ways to connect with our customers. Staying top of mind, especially during the competitive holiday season, requires a mix of tried and true, including breakthrough strategies. Promoted Places in Google Maps can help drive incremental store traffic and promote Walgreens as a go-to destination for small gifts. This gives us a new and different way to highlight seasonal offerings through visuals and engaging copy. Combined with the breadth of our store locations in the community, this aligns with our goals of driving loyalty and giving customers more reasons to choose Walgreens for their holiday needs.”
- Andrea Kaduk, Director of SEM & Social

"With Promoted Places, we can enhance our presence on Google Maps and give users a glimpse of our brand and coffeehouses before they even get there. Having our logo on the map helps our locations jump out and promoting our favourite menu items gives people a reason to choose us."
- Jamie McQuary, Senior Marketing Manager



This holiday season, Promoted Places will help businesses stand out to busy shoppers in the moments they’re figuring out where to go. We’re excited to test new experiences that help consumers discover nearby sales and promotions and allow businesses to reach more people through Google Maps.




1. Google/Purchased Digital Diary: How Consumers Solve Their Needs in the Moment, May 2016, Smartphone users = 1000. Offline Purchasers = 696

Source: Inside AdWords


Video campaign management gets easier with AdWords Scripts

If you were wishing for an easier way to manage your video ad campaigns in AdWords this holiday season, the AdWords product team has the perfect gift picked out. Today we’re announcing AdWords scripts support for TrueView and six-second bumper ads.

This means for the first time ever, you’ll be able to programmatically create and manage video ad groups, targeting and other campaign features alongside your Search, Display and Shopping campaigns. The new script support is available for standard YouTube ad campaign types like TrueView in-stream, TrueView discovery and bumper ads – and we’re hoping to eventually expand functionality to additional campaign types like shopping.

Making this tool available for video means multi-step campaign management tasks will be much easier – like scheduling regular reporting, creating new campaigns en masse and even automating adjustments to campaigns based on real-time factors, like the weather.

To get started, check out the Help Center article to learn how to set up new scripts for your video campaigns.

Source: Inside AdWords