Tag Archives: AdWords

Expanded safeguards for advertisers

By Philipp Schindler, Chief Business Officer, Google

The web has opened a door for new communities and platforms that help people find diverse views and have a voice. Today, anyone with a smartphone can be a content creator, app developer or entrepreneur. And Google has enabled millions of content creators and publishers to be heard, find an audience, earn a living, or even build a business. Much of this is made possible through advertising. Thousands of sites are added every day to our ad network, and more than 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. We have a responsibility to protect this vibrant, creative world—from emerging creators to established publishers—even when we don’t always agree with the views being expressed.

But we also have a responsibility to our advertisers who help these publishers and creators thrive. We have strict policies that define where Google ads should appear, and in the vast majority of cases, our policies and tools work as intended. But at times we don’t get it right.

Recently, we had a number of cases where brands’ ads appeared on content that was not aligned with their values. For this, we deeply apologize. We know that this is unacceptable to the advertisers and agencies who put their trust in us. That’s why we've been conducting an extensive review of our advertising policies and tools, and why we made a public commitment last week to put in place changes that would give brands more control over where their ads appear.

I wanted to share that we've already begun ramping up changes around three areas: our ad policies, our enforcement of these policies and new controls for advertisers.


Raising the bar for our ad policies



We know advertisers don't want their ads next to content that doesn’t align with their values. So starting today, we’re taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content. This includes removing ads more effectively from content that is attacking or harassing people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories. This change will enable us to take action, where appropriate, on a larger set of ads and sites.

We’ll also tighten safeguards to ensure that ads show up only against legitimate creators in our YouTube Partner Program—as opposed to those who impersonate other channels or violate our community guidelines. Finally, we won’t stop at taking down ads. The YouTube team is taking a hard look at our existing community guidelines to determine what content is allowed on the platform—not just what content can be monetized.


Increased brand safety levels and controls for advertisers


Every company has brand guidelines that inform where and when they want their ads to appear. We already offer some controls for advertisers that respond to these needs. In the coming days and months, we’re introducing new tools for advertisers to more easily and consistently manage where their ads appear across YouTube and the web.

  • Safer default for brands. We’re changing the default settings for ads so that they show on content that meets a higher level of brand safety and excludes potentially objectionable content that advertisers may prefer not to advertise against. Brands can opt in to advertise on broader types of content if they choose.
  • Simplified management of exclusions. We’ll introduce new account-level controls to make it easier for advertisers to exclude specific sites and channels from all of their AdWords for Video and Google Display Network campaigns, and manage brand safety settings across all their campaigns with a push of a button.
  • More fine-tuned controls. In addition, we’ll introduce new controls to make it easier for brands to exclude higher risk content and fine-tune where they want their ads to appear.



Increasing resources, accelerating reviews and improving transparency


We’ll offer advertisers and agencies more transparency and visibility on where their ads are running, and in the coming months we’ll expand availability of video-level reporting to all advertisers.

We'll be hiring significant numbers of people and developing new tools powered by our latest advancements in AI and machine learning to increase our capacity to review questionable content for advertising. In cases where advertisers find their ads were served where they shouldn’t have been, we plan to offer a new escalation path to make it easier for them to raise issues. In addition, we’ll soon be able to resolve these cases in less than a few hours.

We believe the combination of these new policies and controls will significantly strengthen our ability to help advertisers reach audiences at scale, while respecting their values. We will continue to act swiftly to put these new policies and processes in place across our ad network and YouTube. But we also intend to act carefully, preserving the value we currently provide to advertisers, publishers and creators of all sizes. In the end, there’s nothing more important to Google than the trust we’ve built amongst our users, advertisers, creators and publishers. Brand safety is an ongoing commitment for us, and we’ll continue to listen to your feedback.

Expanded safeguards for advertisers

The web has opened a door for new communities and platforms that help people find diverse views and have a voice. Today, anyone with a smartphone can be a content creator, app developer or entrepreneur. And Google has enabled millions of content creators and publishers to be heard, find an audience, earn a living, or even build a business. Much of this is made possible through advertising. Thousands of sites are added every day to our ad network, and more than 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. We have a responsibility to protect this vibrant, creative world—from emerging creators to established publishers—even when we don’t always agree with the views being expressed.

But we also have a responsibility to our advertisers who help these publishers and creators thrive. We have strict policies that define where Google ads should appear, and in the vast majority of cases, our policies and tools work as intended. But at times we don’t get it right.

Recently, we had a number of cases where brands’ ads appeared on content that was not aligned with their values. For this, we deeply apologize. We know that this is unacceptable to the advertisers and agencies who put their trust in us. That’s why we've been conducting an extensive review of our advertising policies and tools, and why we made a public commitment last week to put in place changes that would give brands more control over where their ads appear.

I wanted to share that we've already begun ramping up changes around three areas: our ad policies, our enforcement of these policies and new controls for advertisers.


Raising the bar for our ad policies


We know advertisers don't want their ads next to content that doesn’t align with their values. So starting today, we’re taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content. This includes removing ads more effectively from content that is attacking or harassing people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories. This change will enable us to take action, where appropriate, on a larger set of ads and sites.

We’ll also tighten safeguards to ensure that ads show up only against legitimate creators in our YouTube Partner Program—as opposed to those who impersonate other channels or violate our community guidelines. Finally, we won’t stop at taking down ads. The YouTube team is taking a hard look at our existing community guidelines to determine what content is allowed on the platform—not just what content can be monetized.


Increased brand safety levels and controls for advertisers


Every company has brand guidelines that inform where and when they want their ads to appear. We already offer some controls for advertisers that respond to these needs. In the coming days and months, we’re introducing new tools for advertisers to more easily and consistently manage where their ads appear across YouTube and the web.

  • Safer default for brands. We’re changing the default settings for ads so that they show on content that meets a higher level of brand safety and excludes potentially objectionable content that advertisers may prefer not to advertise against. Brands can opt in to advertise on broader types of content if they choose.
  • Simplified management of exclusions. We’ll introduce new account-level controls to make it easier for advertisers to exclude specific sites and channels from all of their AdWords for Video and Google Display Network campaigns, and manage brand safety settings across all their campaigns with a push of a button.
  • More fine-tuned controls. In addition, we’ll introduce new controls to make it easier for brands to exclude higher risk content and fine-tune where they want their ads to appear.



Increasing resources, accelerating reviews and improving transparency


We’ll offer advertisers and agencies more transparency and visibility on where their ads are running, and in the coming months we’ll expand availability of video-level reporting to all advertisers.

We'll be hiring significant numbers of people and developing new tools powered by our latest advancements in AI and machine learning to increase our capacity to review questionable content for advertising. In cases where advertisers find their ads were served where they shouldn’t have been, we plan to offer a new escalation path to make it easier for them to raise issues. In addition, we’ll soon be able to resolve these cases in less than a few hours.

We believe the combination of these new policies and controls will significantly strengthen our ability to help advertisers reach audiences at scale, while respecting their values. We will continue to act swiftly to put these new policies and processes in place across our ad network and YouTube. But we also intend to act carefully, preserving the value we currently provide to advertisers, publishers and creators of all sizes. In the end, there’s nothing more important to Google than the trust we’ve built amongst our users, advertisers, creators and publishers. Brand safety is an ongoing commitment for us, and we’ll continue to listen to your feedback.

Source: Inside AdWords


Join us live on May 23, 2017 as we announce the latest Ads, Analytics and DoubleClick innovations

What: Google Marketing Next keynote live stream
When: Tuesday, May 23 at 9:00 a.m. PT/12:00 p.m. ET.
Duration: 1 hour
Where: Here on the Inside Adwords Blog

Be the first to hear about Google’s latest marketing innovations, the moment they’re announced. Watch live as my team and I share new Ads, Analytics and DoubleClick innovations designed to improve your ability to reach consumers, simplify campaign measurement and increase your productivity. We’ll also give you a sneak peek at how brands are starting to use the Google Assistant to delight customers.

Register for the live stream here.

Until then, follow us on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn for previews of what’s to come.

Join us live on May 23, 2017 as we announce the latest Ads, Analytics and DoubleClick innovations

What: Google Marketing Next keynote live stream
When: Tuesday, May 23 at 9:00 a.m. PT/12:00 p.m. ET.
Duration: 1 hour
Where: Here on the Inside AdWords Blog

Be the first to hear about Google’s latest marketing innovations, the moment they’re announced. Watch live as my team and I share new Ads, Analytics and DoubleClick innovations designed to improve your ability to reach consumers, simplify campaign measurement and increase your productivity. We’ll also give you a sneak peek at how brands are starting to use the Google Assistant to delight customers.

Register for the live stream here.

Until then, follow us on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn for previews of what’s to come.

Source: Inside AdWords


Attention, please: Supporting the ad industry to measure what matters

If a million trees fall in the forest and nobody hears them, do they make a sound? What about a million impressions that are served but ignored?

It’s important for advertisers to ensure their video ads don’t just reach their audience, but also capture their attention -- at scale. Today, I’m excited to announce new research and reporting features to help advertisers do just that.

Reach is a critical measure of scale for advertisers. To help you know how many people you're connecting with, we are introducing Unique Reach in AdWords. This update allows you to see the number of unique users and average impressions-per-user across devices, screens and platforms.

But mere exposure to advertising isn’t enough. In order to have real impact, ads must capture attention. And to maximize attention, you need to know that your audience has seen, heard and spent time with your ad.

Globally, YouTube viewability grew to an industry leading 93% in 2016, up from 91% in 2015.1 Across the web and apps, video viewability grew from 54% in 2015 to 66% in 2016.2 Ads on YouTube are also 95% audible.3 And while viewability and audibility are each important on their own, together they pack a much more powerful punch: In analyzing data from over a thousand YouTube ads, we’ve learned that users who both see and hear ads experience higher brand awareness, higher ad recall and higher consideration than those who only see or only hear ads.4


Source: Google TrueView Brand Lift studies Aug-Sep 2016, Global, data for users with single impression. Data shows ratio of additive differences vs. control respondents for each group of viewers.



Finally, even with the assurance that your audience can see and hear your ad there still remains the lingering question of how much time they actually spent watching your content. To help provide advertisers with this critical layer of detail we’ll start reporting watch time for your in-stream and bumpers campaigns. Alongside viewability and audibility rates, watch time gives you another powerful signal for understanding how people view your ads.

Now, by looking at watch time across your YouTube campaigns, you can get closer to understanding which ads are holding the attention of your viewers, and are thus most likely to make an impact.

Driving business results in today’s media environment means prioritizing attention. On YouTube, advertisers are able to take that powerful combination of sight and sound, and scale it to over a billion users with the ability to better understand how many users you reached across screens and how much time they spent watching your ads. We’re excited to offer these metrics, which will be available shortly in AdWords. For more information, check out our Help Center articles on Unique Reach and watch time reporting.



1. Google and DoubleClick advertising platforms data, Q4 2015 over Q4 2014
2. Google and DoubleClick advertising platforms data, April 2016
3. Google Internal Data, Global, August 2016 (when volume is at least 10% for YouTube ads)
4. Google TrueView Brand Lift studies Aug-Sep 2016, Global

Source: Inside AdWords


Close variants now connects more people with what they’re looking for

From running shoes to cheap hotels to credit cards, and everything in between, people are searching for the products and services you offer. However, finding the right keywords to reach your customers can be difficult–and many advertisers agree.1 Whether someone is searching for “running shoes” or “shoes for running,” what they want remains the same; they’re looking for running shoes. You shouldn’t have to build out exhaustive keyword lists to reach these customers, and now you don’t have to.

Close variants helps you connect with people who are looking for your business, despite slight variations in the way they search. To make it even easier for you to reach more of your customers, over the coming months we’re expanding close variant matching to include additional rewording and reordering for exact match keywords.2 Early tests show advertisers may see up to 3% more exact match clicks on average while maintaining comparable clickthrough and conversion rates.3



Rewording and ignoring function words


Function words are prepositions (in, to), conjunctions (for, but), articles (a, the) and other words that often don’t impact the intent behind a query. With this change, exact match will ignore these function words to match with similar queries.

Function words are the only words that will be ignored. This should only happen when it won’t change the meaning of your keyword. For example, the “in” in “hotels in new york” can be safely ignored because it doesn’t affect the meaning. However, the “to” in “flights to new york” would not be ignored, because a “flight from new york” is not the same as a “flight to new york.”




Same meaning, different order


Two keywords can share the same meaning, even if the word order is slightly different. For example, “buy new cars” and “new cars buy.” Now, exact match will use that same logic to match with queries that are reordered variations of your keyword.

It’s important to note that word reordering won’t add any words to your keywords. Your keywords also won’t be reordered to match with a query when it changes the original meaning of those keywords. For example, the keyword [SFO to JFK] shouldn’t match to the query “JFK to SFO” because the destination is different.



Putting it all together


With this expansion of close variants, you’ll no longer have to build and maintain lists of reworded and reordered exact match keywords to get the coverage you want. If you already use reworded or reordered keyword variations, AdWords will still prefer to use those keywords identical to search queries. Phrase match keywords aren’t included in this update.

Going forward, use RLSA, Smart Bidding, the search terms report and negative keywords to help shape your traffic and reduce costs. To learn more about this and other strategies that can help you make the most of this change, check out our keyword best practices.



1. Google internal data, global
2. This change will affect English and Spanish keywords only, with other languages to follow throughout 2017
3. Google internal data, aggregate traffic

Source: Inside AdWords


Using SendBeacon for AdWords click tracking

Accurate click accounting is a critical aspect of any campaign. However, traditionally it often came with a high cost to the user experience: the user has to follow one or more HTTP redirects, or is forced to wait for a synchronous logging request to complete before they can navigate to their destination. The Beacon API addresses these shortcomings:
  • Beacon requests are prioritized by the browser to minimize conflict with other time-critical operations, like reacting to user input.
  • Beacon requests are guaranteed to be initiated before a page is unloaded and are allowed to run to completion without requiring blocking requests or other techniques that block processing of user input.
In short, Beacon provides a fire-and-forget API that ensures logging requests are queued and completed by the browser, without the need for blocking requests or additional redirects. This allows users to be taken directly to landing pages without waiting on the click account requests to complete, greatly reducing latency.

AdWords recently switched from redirects to the Beacon API to account for some of the ad clicks on Google.com. This resulted in significant latency improvements. For example, for ad clicks pointing to Google Maps pages, the median latency dropped by 250ms and the 90th percentile latency dropped by more than 1,000ms.

You do not need to take any action at this time to benefit from SendBeacon. Chrome, Firefox and Edge all support SendBeacon, accounting for over 72% of worldwide traffic. We are planning to leverage Beacon API in more of our products in the future, and we encourage everyone else to take it out for a spin.

A fast start to 2017 for click-to-call ads

Living in a mobile-first world has made it easier than ever to pick up the phone and talk to a business directly. That’s why we've continued investing in calls innovations based on the great feedback we've heard from you. From call-only ads for marketers who prioritize calls to imported call conversions that allow you to upload your own call conversion data directly into AdWords, we’ve strived to drive more high-quality calls to your business in three main ways:

  1. Simplified workflows so you can set up click-to-call ads faster
  2. Better ad experiences that make it easier for people to call you
  3. Detailed call reporting that shows which parts of your campaigns drive the most valuable calls 


We have new updates coming soon across these areas to help you improve your calls performance.


Get your call extensions up and running more quickly


Account-level call extensions will begin rolling out this week to help you set up call extensions at scale. You can implement them once across your entire account rather than adding them multiple times to individual campaigns and ad groups.

In the coming months, we're also rolling out automated call extensions to more advertisers globally to help you set up call extensions more quickly. AdWords will identify landing pages that already feature a prominent phone number, and automatically set up a call extension and call reporting for this phone number to help you drive more calls to your business.


New year, new look for click-to-call ads


In addition to making call extensions quicker to set up, we’re improving the ad experience to help consumers call you more easily. For example, we started testing business names in the headlines of call-only ads last year to help advertisers maximize high-quality calls from people who intend to call them.

“Introducing business names to call-only ads has improved the quality of calls we drive from Google Search for clients across our agency. We’ve been able to showcase their brands more clearly and increase user trust, which has led to significantly higher clickthrough and call conversion rates."
-Kevin Quinlan, President of wommster.com

We’re now rolling this change out globally and will continue experimenting with other new features in click-to-call ads, including testing caller satisfaction ratings to show consumers which businesses are delivering a great user experience over the phone.




New reporting for keyword and ad-level call details


Measuring performance from your click-to-call ads is essential for making informed decisions about your spend and optimizations. AdWords call reporting is easy to set up and available in 23 countries around the world at no additional cost to show you useful insights and conversions from the calls you’re receiving. We’ll soon be adding new call details to your keyword and ad copy reports. Additional columns for “Phone impressions” and “Phone calls” will give you a more complete view of call performance and help you see where there are opportunities to improve. For example, consider using call-only ads on keywords with the highest phone-through rates, or decreasing wait times when you have customers on the phone to improve call conversion rates.

We hope these new updates to click-to-call setup, ad experiences and reporting will help you ring in 2017 with great calls performance. To learn more, visit the Help Center and read our best practices for driving phone calls to your business and optimizing the caller experience.

Source: Inside AdWords


“Level up” your gaming business with new innovations for apps

Originally shared on the Inside AdMob Blog
Posted by Sissie Hsiao, Product Director, Mobile Advertising, Google. Last played Fire Emblem Heroes for Android

Mobile games mean more than just fun. They mean business. Big business. According to App Annie, game developers should capture almost half of the $189B global market for in-app purchases and advertising by 20201.

Later today, at the Games Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, I look forward to sharing a series of new innovations across ad formats, monetization tools and measurement insights for apps.

  • New playable and video ad formats to get more people into your game
  • Integrations to help you create better monetization experiences 
  • Measurement tools that provide insights about how players are interacting with your game
Let more users try your game with a playable ad format

There’s no better way for a new user to experience your game than to actually play it. So today, we introduced playables, an interactive ad format in Universal App Campaigns that allows users to play a lightweight version of your game, right when they see it in any of the 1M+ apps in the Google Display Network.

studio.justad.mobi-Management-studio-test_ad.php-browser&saved&id=703423(Nexus 5X)_nexus5x-portrait.png
Jam City’s playable ad for Cookie Jam

Playables help you get more qualified installs from users who tried your game in the ad and made the choice to download it for more play time. By attracting already-engaged users into your app, playables help you drive the long-term outcomes you care about — rounds played, levels beat, trophies won, purchases made and more.

"Jam City wants to put our games in the hands of more potential players as quickly as possible. Playables get new users into the game right from the ad, which we've found drives more engagement and long-term customer value." Josh Yguado, President & COO Jam City, maker of Panda Pop and Cookie Jam.

Playables will be available for developers through Universal App Campaigns in the coming months, and will be compatible with HTML5 creatives built through Google Web Designer or third-party agencies.

Improve the video experience with ads designed for mobile viewing

Most mobile video ad views on the Google Display Network are watched on devices held vertically2. This can create a poor experience when users encounter video ad creatives built for horizontal viewing.

Developers using Universal App Campaigns will soon be able to use an auto-flip feature that automatically orients your video ads to match the way users are holding their phones. If you upload a horizontal video creative in AdWords, we will automatically create a second, vertical version for you.

Cookie Jam horizontal video and vertical-optimized video created through auto-flip technology

The auto-flip feature uses Google's machine learning technology to identify the most important objects in every frame of your horizontal video creative. It then produces an optimized, vertical version of your video ad that highlights those important components of your original asset. Early tests show that click-through rates are about 20% higher on these dynamically-generated vertical videos than on horizontal video ads watched vertically3.

Unlock new business with rewarded video formats, and free, unlimited reporting

Developers have embraced AdMob's platform to mediate rewarded video ads as a way to let users watch ads in exchange for an in-app reward. Today, we are delighted to announce that we are bringing Google’s video app install advertising demand from AdWords to AdMob, significantly increasing rewarded demand available to developers. Advertisers that use Universal App Campaigns can seamlessly reach this engaged, game-playing audience using your existing video creatives.

We are also investing in better measurement tools for developers by bringing the power of Firebase Analytics to more game developers with a generally available C++ SDK and an SDK for Unity, a leading gaming engine.

002-v1-entryPoint_v2.png
C++ and Unity developers can now access Firebase Analytics for real-time player insights

With Firebase Analytics, C++ and Unity developers can now capture billions of daily events — like level completes and play time — to get more nuanced player insights and gain a deeper understanding of metrics like daily active users, average revenue per user and player lifetime value.

This is an exciting time to be a game developer. It’s been a privilege to meet so many of you at GDC 2017 and learn about the amazing games that you’re all building. We hope the innovations we announced today help you grow long-term gaming businesses and we look forward to continuing on this journey with you.

Until next year, GDC!

1 - App Monetization Report, November 2016, App Annie
2 - More than 80% of video ad views in mobile apps on the Google Display Network are from devices held vertically video, Google Internal Data
3 - Google Internal Data

“Level up” your gaming business with new innovations for apps

Mobile games mean more than just fun. They mean business. Big business. According to App Annie, game developers should capture almost half of the $189B global market for in-app purchases and advertising by 20201.

Later today, at the Games Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco, I look forward to sharing a series of new innovations across ad formats, monetization tools and measurement insights for apps.

  • New playable and video ad formats to get more people into your game
  • Integrations to help you create better monetization experiences 
  • Measurement tools that provide insights about how players are interacting with your game
Let more users try your game with a playable ad format

There’s no better way for a new user to experience your game than to actually play it. So today, we introduced playables, an interactive ad format in Universal App Campaigns that allows users to play a lightweight version of your game, right when they see it in any of the 1M+ apps in the Google Display Network.

Jam City’s playable ad for Cookie Jam

Playables help you get more qualified installs from users who tried your game in the ad and made the choice to download it for more play time. By attracting already-engaged users into your app, playables help you drive the long-term outcomes you care about — rounds played, levels beat, trophies won, purchases made and more.

"Jam City wants to put our games in the hands of more potential players as quickly as possible. Playables get new users into the game right from the ad, which we've found drives more engagement and long-term customer value." Josh Yguado, President & COO Jam City, maker of Panda Pop and Cookie Jam.

Playables will be available for developers through Universal App Campaigns in the coming months, and will be compatible with HTML5 creatives built through Google Web Designer or third-party agencies.

Improve the video experience with ads designed for mobile viewing

Most mobile video ad views on the Google Display Network are watched on devices held vertically2. This can create a poor experience when users encounter video ad creatives built for horizontal viewing.

Developers using Universal App Campaigns will soon be able to use an auto-flip feature that automatically orients your video ads to match the way users are holding their phones. If you upload a horizontal video creative in AdWords, we will automatically create a second, vertical version for you.

Cookie Jam horizontal video and vertical-optimized video created through auto-flip technology

The auto-flip feature uses Google's machine learning technology to identify the most important objects in every frame of your horizontal video creative. It then produces an optimized, vertical version of your video ad that highlights those important components of your original asset. Early tests show that click-through rates are about 20% higher on these dynamically-generated vertical videos than on horizontal video ads watched vertically3.

Unlock new business with rewarded video formats, and free, unlimited reporting

Developers have embraced AdMob's platform to mediate rewarded video ads as a way to let users watch ads in exchange for an in-app reward. Today, we are delighted to announce that we are bringing Google’s video app install advertising demand from AdWords to AdMob, significantly increasing rewarded demand available to developers. Advertisers that use Universal App Campaigns can seamlessly reach this engaged, game-playing audience using your existing video creatives.

We are also investing in better measurement tools for developers by bringing the power of Firebase Analytics to more game developers with a generally available C++ SDK and an SDK for Unity, a leading gaming engine.

C++ and Unity developers can now access Firebase Analytics for real-time player insights

With Firebase Analytics, C++ and Unity developers can now capture billions of daily events — like level completes and play time — to get more nuanced player insights and gain a deeper understanding of metrics like daily active users, average revenue per user and player lifetime value.

This is an exciting time to be a game developer. It’s been a privilege to meet so many of you at GDC 2017 and learn about the amazing games that you’re all building. We hope the innovations we announced today help you grow long-term gaming businesses and we look forward to continuing on this journey with you.

Until next year, GDC!

Posted by: Sissie Hsiao, Product Director, Mobile Advertising, Google
Last played Fire Emblem Heroes for Android
1 - App Monetization Report, November 2016, App Annie
2 - More than 80% of video ad views in mobile apps on the Google Display Network are from devices held vertically video, Google Internal Data
3 - Google Internal Data

Source: Inside AdMob