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Automotive Professionals using Google AdWords to promote sales, service or parts business. Cost Per Click (CPC) and Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM) digital advertising within the Google Search and AdSense placement targeting networks.
Location: Mountain View, CA
Latest ADM Activity: Jul 31, 2014
Last year we introduced Discovery ads as a new way to help people discover and engage with your brand as they scroll through their favorite content. In April, we made Discovery ads generally available for all advertisers globally. For the first time, you can reach up to 2.9 billion people as they explore their interests and look for inspiration across multiple Google surfaces—all with a single, easy-to-use campaign.
More consumers are now finding their next favorite brand or product through a growing variety of touchpoints—in fact, 86 percent of online consumers say they're on the lookout for shopping ideas as they watch videos or explore content across the web. With Discovery ads, you can rely on Google's understanding of consumers' intent across our properties to engage these audiences as they scroll through their favorite Google feeds—no search query needed:
YouTube: Showcase your products on the Home and Watch Next feeds in YouTube, where over 90 percent of users say they discover new brands or products.
Discover:Reach hundreds of millions of consumers in the feed on the Google Search app as they explore and stay up to date on their interests.
Gmail:Show timely offers to shoppers as they check their inbox for the latest products and deals on the Promotions and Social tabs.
Example Discovery ads for lifestyle retailer UGG
Early adopters like Deckers, iProspect and MandM Direct have seen great results driving customer action with Discovery ads alongside their existing media.
For Deckers' collection of iconic lifestyle brands, inspiring consumers to action through richly visual product experiences is fundamental to its media planning. While Deckers has traditionally relied on social media and video to engage new customers, the company worked with digital agency Jellyfish to expand on its strategy for the UGG brand's 2019 holiday season.
UGG used Discovery ads to promote its holiday gift guide, connecting with fashion-forward shoppers open to trying new products while scrolling through their favorite Google feeds. The global lifestyle brand repurposed high-quality images from social campaigns, featuring popular products like its Classic Short Boot and Men's Neumel Chukka. As a result, UGG saw a strong increase in the quality of its website traffic and a revenue return ten times its original ad spend. Deckers now plans to implement Discovery ads across the rest of its brand portfolio, including HOKA and Teva.
"We're very pleased with our performance on Discovery ads," says Richard Russell, VP Omnichannel Marketing at Deckers. "They've helped us build on our omnichannel strategy—we're driving action with our ideal customer across even more of their purchase journey."
Digital marketing agency iProspect has also seen Discovery ads deliver success for several large brands looking to connect with new customers, including global retailers. "Since we first began testing in early 2019, Discovery ads have driven results across a wide range of verticals, from retail to education," says Gareth Cleevely, VP Head of Paid Search at iProspect. "We've seen them deliver positive performance further down the funnel with up to 48 percent lower cost-per-action compared to social ads."
An example Discovery ad for UK clothing retailer MandM Direct
If you're already running media campaigns for social or video, you can get started by bringing your richest creative assets and most engaging messages over to Discovery ads. For help creating your first campaigns, visit the Google Ads Help Center. And be sure to check out our best practices checklist and creative asset guide for more tips on driving better performance with visually inspiring ads.
Changes in consumer behavior have always resulted in adjustments to marketing strategies. COVID-19 has shown how quickly consumers’ interests, expectations, and purchasing behavior can shift—and with it, an ebb and flow in demand for products and services. Despite these changes, consumer expectations for businesses and brands remain high. In fact, 78 percent of people surveyed say brands should show how they can be helpful in the new everyday life.1
Adjusting your media buying and the way your business shows up in these dynamic conditions is difficult, especially when some businesses are having to manage twice the complexity with half the capacity. Today, we’ll explore the unique role automation can play in helping you respond to the impact of COVID-19 in real time.
As conditions change, so do auction dynamics. Communities are in various stages of response to COVID-19 and the things people care about are rapidly shifting. This influences things like location, mobile browsing habits, conversions, and other variables that impact ad performance. It’s in this constant sea of change where Smart Bidding can help.
Smart Bidding (also available as Google Ads auction-time bidding in Search Ads 360) uses machine learning to automatically calculate bids for each and every auction. Utilizing signals like location, search query, and conversion data, Smart Bidding can optimize bids in real time to hit your performance goal even as query and conversion volume fluctuates.
It’s important to note that unpredictable changes in conversion rates, for example: shifts in conversion cycles, cancellation or return rates, are challenging for any bid automation tool. Under these conditions, consider adjusting your cost per acquisition or return on ad spend targets to ensure the best allocation of your budget. For additional flexibility, consider shared budgets and portfolio bid strategies which are effective ways to automatically adjust bids and move spend across campaigns based on performance.
From flour to at-home workouts to studying at home, the things people are searching for and how they’re searching for them is evolving. It can be difficult to identify where consumers’ attention and demand is shifting while ensuring you have the right query coverage. Dynamic Search Ads are an easy way to reach customers who are searching for exactly what you have to offer. Using the content on your website, Dynamic Search Ads automatically delivers relevant ads with headlines and landing pages that are specific to the user’s query. So as consumer behavior shifts, you can ensure your Search ads are adjusting in real time to meet that demand, all while saving time.
Another way to find keyword opportunities is through the Recommendations page. "Keywords & Targeting" recommendations help you identify new trends that are relevant to your business. In fact, more than 16 million keyword recommendations in Google Ads are based on market trends alone, with new ones added every day. Consider adding keywords that are projected to drive additional traffic beyond your existing ones, or pausing keywords that are performing poorly.
Once you’ve applied the recommendations that make the most sense for your business, keep an eye on your optimization score. Each recommendation comes with a score uplift, and historically we’ve seen that advertisers who have increased their score by 10 points saw a 10 percent increase in conversions on average. You can quickly check for new recommendations using the Google Ads mobile app.
Google Ads mobile app
COVID-19 has not only disrupted business operations, like inventory and shipping, but has also impacted the way businesses communicate with customers. As conditions change week to week and community to community, it’s critical to adjust how you’re communicating and interacting with your customers at scale.
Responsive search ads and responsive display ads enable you to make updates to your Search and Display ads at scale, respectively. Using multiple creative assets, like headlines and descriptions, responsive search ads and responsive display ads automatically identify the best combination of assets in order to deliver an ad that’s likely to perform best. For responsive search ads, you can also pin critical information like modified support options or updated business hours to ensure it shows with your ads. If you're seeing an increase in call volume, or your business is operating on limited hours or staffing, call ads (formally known as call-only ads) now also include an optional “Visit website” link. This gives your customers more flexibility in how they connect with your business.
When it comes to adjusting the messages in your video ads, time and resources are limiting factors right now. Rather than starting from scratch, consider using Video Builder. It’s a free beta tool that animates static assets—images, text and logos—with music from YouTube’s audio library. You can choose from a variety of layouts based on your message and goals, customize colors and font, and quickly generate a short YouTube video.
As the world moves from responding to recovering from this crisis, it’s important you have the right tools available to understand the impact of COVID-19 on your business. Over the past few weeks, we’ve introduced improvements to attribution in Google Ads to help you understand your Google media better.
A new look for attribution reports helps you quickly see how customers are engaging with your ads so you can select the right attribution model for your business. One model, data-driven attribution, uses machine learning to determine how much credit to assign to each click along the customer journey. This ensures your media strategy is accounting for changes in consumer behavior during times of crisis. And with more people turning to YouTube during this pandemic, you can use cross-network reports (currently in beta) to understand how customers interact with your Search, Shopping, and YouTube ads—including clicks and video engagements—before converting.
We’ve created a single destination for product guidance and business considerations when managing your campaigns through COVID-19. You can find the full list of guides and checklists here. We’ll continue updating and adding more through the rest of the year.
In early June, we’ll also be launching The Update on Think with Google: a new video series to share the latest insights, news, best practices, and products. Enjoy this sneak peek, and stay tuned.
Helping you connect with your audience is our top priority. This is especially important as digital takes precedence in how we interact, communicate and stay connected.
To make this even easier for your brand, today we’re announcing a new global content solution called YouTube Select—a reimagination and unification of solutions like Google Preferred and prime packs. It offers more flexibility to reach the audiences you can’t find elsewhere in the content and places they choose to watch—with the confidence that your buy is brand-safe.
Viewers say YouTube offers the most extensive video library.1 To help you find the right content for your brand, YouTube Select surfaces a diverse mix of content packages called lineups—each tailored to globally and locally relevant needs like beauty & fashion, entertainment, technology, sports and everything in between.
This year, we’re introducing a new offering called emerging lineups in the U.S. Emerging lineups provide an easy way to efficiently extend the reach of your campaigns among up and coming or niche channels, with the added benefit of brand suitability controls.
Beyond our lineups offerings, YouTube Select can now help advertisers reach new audiences across top YouTube apps and verticals like YouTube Kids, Sports, Music and Originals with sponsorships and programs. Across markets, advertisers should work with their local teams to customize the right YouTube Select plan for their needs.
Around the world, people are turning more and more to YouTube on the biggest screen in their home. This shift in viewing behavior means lineups contain more TV screen inventory than ever before.
For example in the U.S., over 100 million people watch YouTube and YouTube TV on their TV screen each month.2 And according to Comscore, YouTube has a higher household reach and share of watch time than the next 3 ad-supported streaming services combined.3
That’s why we’re introducing a dedicated streaming TV lineup as part of YouTube Select in the U.S. to help brands reach their audiences where they are watching. Streaming TV combines the best of YouTube TV and lineups content, both on TV screens. That means being able to easily reach your audience with a single, scalable offering on the big screen across the best content, including popular creators, YouTube Originals, live sports, feature length movies, timely news and more.
We also recently announced Brand Lift measurement on TV screens, which will be available globally for the YouTube app and coming soon for YouTube TV, to better help brands measure their results.
In addition to more capabilities on the TV screen, we are also bringing more choice to how you buy. Many countries, including most across Europe and Asia-Pacific, are making certain YouTube Select lineups available via Google Ads, Display & Video 360 and reservation. Connect with your Google sales team to learn more about the buying methods available in your region.
With YouTube Select, you can be confident that your ad buys are brand-safe. You’ll have access to advanced brand suitability controls, as well as the option to only serve ads on videos that have been machine classified and human-verified across all lineups (lineup/market dependent).
Harriet Perry, General Manager at OMG Digital says "For Omnicom Media Group UK, the ability to build relevant and customized content plans to support the unique needs of each of our clients is critical. The YouTube Select product will allow us to achieve this, and will also provide us added controls like human verification and brand measurement. Additionally, we are excited about YouTube Select’s audience and scale on OTT/connected TV devices, which will be a core part of our overall connected TV strategy."
With more content, capabilities and certainty, YouTube Select offers an easier way for you to authentically connect with your audience at scale. Most importantly, YouTube Select helps drive real results for your business. In 2019, global lineups delivered an average awareness lift of 13 percent and an average purchase intent lift of 9 percent.4 And in an MMM meta-analysis we commissioned with Nielsen in the U.S., YouTube Select lineups had greater ROI than TV in 73 percent of MMMs that measured YouTube Select lineups, Other Digital, and TV in 2016-2018.5
Make the best of YouTube yours with YouTube Select.
Explore YouTube Select programming on our website. Connect with your Google sales team to learn more about YouTube Select offerings and rollout timing in your region.
2. YouTube Internal Data, US, March 2020
3. Comscore OTT Intelligence, Oct. 2019, US
4. YouTube Select Brand Lift (formerly Google Preferred lineups), 2019, Global
5. Commissioned Nielsen MMM Meta-Analysis, 2016-2018. Base: a list of studies selected and compiled by Nielsen, consisting of all available CPG studies completed in 2016-2018 that contain YouTube Select Lineups (formerly Google Preferred), Other Digital, and TV results. This list includes 45 studies for US Brands across all CPG categories. ROI is “Retail ROI,” defined as total incremental sales divided by total media spend. Incremental offline retail sales measured for TV represents average across all TV broadcasters.
COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we live our lives and how we connect with the world around us. Things like social distancing, curbside pickup, and at-home workouts are now commonplace. The necessary measures taken to manage the pandemic have not only disrupted the global economy, but have also altered consumers’ interests, expectations, and purchasing behavior. These shifts are constant and they’re happening rapidly—and we want to help you navigate them. Today, we’ll share five key trends we’re seeing and provide helpful resources for adjusting your media strategy.
As of this week, there are over four billion people staying home worldwide. And while we don’t know how or when this crisis will resolve, we do have new insight into how people’s needs and behaviors are changing:
People are using multiple devices to go online at unprecedented levels.
Connecting with the world online is more important than ever right now, with at-home media consumption increasing dramatically and influencing all aspects of life.
In the U.S., staying home has led to a 60 percent increase in the amount of content watched. Americans are watching roughly 12 hours of media content a day, according to Nielsen data.
Consumers across the globe are spending 20 percent more time in apps and games than they did a year ago and app usage in China grew to five hours/day on average (+30 percent year over year), according to App Annie.
People are turning to Google for important information and content to meet their essential needs.
With businesses adapting to delivery or online models, people are looking for clear, specific information about where, how, and when they can get what they need.
People are discovering new connections and nurturing relationships (virtually).
Even as people physically distance themselves, they’re using technology in new ways to connect with each other.
50 percent of U.S. consumers said they have used video to communicate with family and friends. In fact, as of April, Google Meet is hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings and adding nearly 3 million new users every day.
On YouTube, we’ve seen a rise in “with me” videos, where people film themselves going about ordinary tasks like cleaning and cooking. In the US, views of videos containing “study with me” in the title are 54 percent higher compared to the same period last year.
People are adjusting routines to be at-home-first.
As daily routines and schedules adjust to new realities, so have online and at-home habits.
People are practicing self-care more.
People are focused on taking care of their own physical and psychological needs, in addition to those of friends and loved ones.
People are turning to online video for help in coping with anxiety and stress. So far in the U.S. this year, views of meditation-related videos are 51 percent higher than the same period in 2019.
Parents and students are turning to YouTube to adapt to school closures and at-home education. According to YouTube data, average daily views of videos with “homeschool” or “home school” in the title have increased more than 120 percent globally since March 2020.
People are searching for things to do when they’re bored. Searches for “bored” spiked significantly in March, and search interest for “games,” “puzzles,” and “coloring books” have increased since the beginning of the year.
As consumer behavior continues to change, consumer demand will continue to rise and fall. Earlier this month, we introduced the rising retail categories tool on Think with Google to help you gain insight into what consumers are shopping for right now. The tool surfaces the fastest rising retail categories on Google Search, the geographies where they’re growing, and the queries associated with them.
Rising retail categories
It’s important to understand the potential impact of changes in consumer behavior on your business. As you evolve your short and long-term digital marketing strategies, we want to be there to help. That’s why we’ve created a single destination for product guidance and business considerations for managing your campaigns through COVID-19. Explore the full list of guides and checklists here, or reference the checklists below. We’ll continue updating and adding more in the coming months.
While we don’t know how or when the crisis will resolve, we do know that remaining flexible and adapting to the needs of your customers is critical. So as we navigate this crisis together, take time to reevaluate your business priorities, explore new approaches, and continue connecting with your customers in a meaningful way.
In today’s rapidly changing environment, people are looking for real-time updates when it comes to store information and product availability. Searches for “in-stock” grew more than 70 percent globally from the week of March 28 to April 4, as consumers sought to avoid ecommerce shipping delays. We’re here to help you connect local shoppers with the products they need quickly, and promote your safer fulfillment options, like in-store and curbside pickup.
Using local inventory ads, retailers can show users that the products they are searching for are available for nearby store pickup. Now, you can indicate if you offer curbside pickup, right in your local inventory ads. This feature is available in the countries where local inventory ads have launched: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the U.S.
The curbside pickup badge can show on products available for store pickup
Petco is using the curbside pickup badge to highlight contactless pickup availability on essential products like pet food and supplies that are available nearby for same-day or next-day pickup. “As a trusted partner in caring for the overall health and wellness of pets, we’re committed to ensuring pet parents have the essential products they need during this time,” said Jay Altschuler, Petco Vice President of Media Transformation. “To make shopping easier and safer for both pet parents and our own employees, we’ve proudly made a number of changes including launching curbside pickup at most Petco stores nationwide.”
The local inventory ads curbside pickup badge is currently in beta and available to advertisers who have completed the onboarding for store pickup. Reach out to your account team if you’re interested in including curbside pickup in your ads, or complete this form.
If you aren’t running local inventory ads, you can still let customers know whether your store offers pickup, delivery, or curbside pickup. Using Google My Business, you can add or edit attributes to your Business Profile that appear on Search and Maps. This is available globally.
Show whether your store offers curbside pickup or delivery in your Business Profile
For additional help navigating your retail business through COVID-19, download our Retail Guide.
Viewer attention is shifting dramatically as we spend more time at home–and we’ve heard directly from many advertisers that are working quickly to adjust their creative and media strategies, especially to orient toward streaming platforms.
Today, we are sharing new advertiser insights and accelerating the launch of a number of tools–including Brand Lift measurement on the TV screen and more flexible formats for content casted onto the TV screen–to help advertisers navigate this rapidly changing environment.1
As people spend more time at home, we’re seeing major shifts in streaming viewership. A recent Comscore report highlighted that over 70 million US households are now streaming content on their connected TV screens.
Nowhere is this shift more pronounced than on YouTube and YouTube TV. According to Comscore, YouTube has the highest reach and viewing hours among ad-supported streaming services, and represents a quarter of all streaming watch time across both subscription and ad-supported platforms in the US.2 Stay at home directives have amplified this shift to the TV screens, as overall watch time there has jumped 80 percent year over year in March 2020.3
Diversity of viewer passions and interests is what inspires people to stream YouTube on their big screens–from tuning into their favorite health and fitness videos to leaning back with a creator sharing a bit of their world to watching more traditional media outlets reinvent their content for this new reality.
Below, we’ve shared just a few of the top content growth areas across both YouTube and YouTube TV on TV screens during this time. While people are enjoying movies and shows to unwind, they are also watching live content from their favorite creators and cultural moments.
People are also gravitating to the consistently new and fresh content YouTube creators put out every day. In fact, over 60 percent of signed-in viewers of YouTube on TV screens watched a video published in the last 7 days.4
And, we see different user behavior when people engage with YouTube on the TV screen–it's often enjoyed with others, unlike the more individual experience on the mobile device. In a recent custom Nielsen study commissioned by Google, we found that 26 percent of the time, multiple 18+ viewers are watching YouTube together on the TV screen, compared to 22 percent on linear TV.5
With increases in watch time and an influx of daily visitors, brands in a position to continue marketing can make their budgets go further on YouTube by expanding their strategies to incorporate streaming.
With media mixes becoming increasingly reliant on streaming, it’s more important than ever to measure its impact. As a result, we’re accelerating the launch of Brand Lift for YouTube on TV screens. For viewers, this means surveys are now optimized for the big screen and interactivity with a TV remote, so people can easily respond or skip the survey.
This will enable marketers to make informed decisions about ad performance, and better optimize streaming campaigns in real time whether they are using Google Ads or Display & Video 360 for both reservation and auction campaigns.
Whether a campaign is focused on ad recall, purchase intent or awareness, Brand Lift will help make budgets go further. It will be available in the coming weeks for the YouTube app, and in early Q3 for YouTube TV.
As viewers spend more time watching YouTube on the TV screen, we are continuing to evolve to help advertisers better reach their customers where they are.
Late last year, we launched the YouTube Masthead on TV screens to help advertisers drive awareness with a large audience in a single moment. Advertisers like Uber are seeing success using this format to reach their audiences when they’re in lean back mode and where they are increasingly spending their time.
Travis Freeman, Global Head of Media at Uber said, “The Masthead on TV screens has been a critical component to build awareness for our #MoveWhatMatters initiative—which offers 10 million free rides and food deliveries for frontline healthcare workers, seniors and people in need. The Masthead, deployed in both the US and Canada, enabled us to easily amplify our message and reach our audiences where they are watching now more than ever.”
This year, we’re also bringing more format flexibility to streaming by introducing the popular skippable ad format for content that is casted onto the TV screen. As casting watch time soared by over 75 percent year over year,6 this provides advertisers a new way to reach their audience as they embrace the evolving ways consumers are watching their favorite content.
In a time when an eager audience is hungry for new content, YouTube is able to deliver fresh video to households across the world daily—within the niche or mainstream categories they love. By accelerating new tools and features, we’re committed to helping you grow your business in the changing world of viewership and streaming on TV screens.
Reach out to your Google sales team to learn more about YouTube and YouTube TV on TV screens, and the new features shared today to support your campaigns.
2. Comscore OTT Intelligence, Oct. 2019, U.S
3. YouTube Internal Data; US, March 2020 over March 2019 YoY
4. YouTube Internal Data; Global, March 11-April 10 2020
5. Custom Nielsen study commissioned by Google. Custom YouTube cTV match to Cross-Platform Homes Panel. Coviewing percentage is calculated as the percentage of minutes when a P18+ is watching with another P18+ in the same household. YouTube commercial viewership identified by matching served time of the cTV ping with Cross-Platform Homes Panel viewership during that minute. Linear TV is based on Live Total Day viewing of commercial minutes across all broadcast and cable networks. One minute qualifier. 11/5/2019-11/28/2019; 2/14/2020-2/29/2020. Results among US TV Households
6. YouTube Internal Data; Global, March 11-April 10 2020 over March 11-April 10 2019 YoY
Since COVID-19 began, we’ve heard from our retail and brand manufacturing partners that they’re hungry for more insights on how consumer interests are changing, given fluctuations in consumer demand. We see these changes reflected in how people are searching on Google. Last month, there were spikes in search interest for household supplies and jigsaw puzzles as people spent more time at home. This month we’ve seen surging interest for sewing machines and baking materials in the U.S., and tetherball sets and chalk in the United Kingdom and Australia.
Businesses are using a variety of resources to understand changing consumer interests—including Google Trends, social listening, surveys, and their own data—in order to help make decisions on the fly. But if they don’t know what to look for, there isn’t an easy way to understand which product categories are gaining in popularity, and might pose an opportunity.
That’s why we’re launching a rising retail categories tool on Think with Google. It surfaces fast-growing, product-related categories in Google Search, the locations where they’re growing, and the queries associated with them. This is the first time we’ve provided this type of insight on the product categories that people are searching for.
When we previewed the data with a group of businesses, they had lots of creative ideas for how they might apply it—whether for content creation, promotional efforts, or even new products and services. Here were some of their ideas for how it could help:
Promotion: A jewelry and accessories company noted rising interest in products in the “free weights” category, so the team thought they might partner with fitness influencers who could help promote their products. Similarly, an online business said it would regularly reference the data to inform which products to feature on its homepage throughout the pandemic.
Product ideas: An apparel company with a fast and flexible production model said its team would use this data to inspire new product line ideas.
For the next few months, we’ll update the tool with fresh data every day and hope this will help businesses of all sizes find new pockets of consumer interest. For additional resources and insights, sign up for the Think with Google newsletter.
People trust Google when they’re looking for information, and we’re committed to ensuring they can trust the ads they see on our platforms, too. This commitment is especially important in times of uncertainty, such as the past few months as the world has confronted COVID-19.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve closely monitored advertiser behavior to protect users from ads looking to take advantage of the crisis. These often come from sophisticated actors attempting to evade our enforcement systems with advanced tactics. For example, as the situation evolved, we saw a sharp spike in fraudulent ads for in-demand products like face masks. These ads promoted products listed significantly above market price, misrepresented the product quality to trick people into making a purchase or were placed by merchants who never fulfilled the orders.
We have a dedicated COVID-19 task force that’s been working around the clock. They have built new detection technology and have also improved our existing enforcement systems to stop bad actors. These concerted efforts are working. We’ve blocked and removed tens of millions of coronavirus-related ads over the past few months for policy violations including price-gouging, capitalizing on global medical supply shortages, making misleading claims about cures and promoting illegitimate unemployment benefits.
Simultaneously, the coronavirus has become an important and enduring topic in everyday conversation and we’re working on ways to allow advertisers across industries to share relevant updates with their audiences. Over the past several weeks, for example, we’ve specifically helped NGOs, governments, hospitals and healthcare providers run PSAs. We continue to take a measured approach to adjusting our enforcement to ensure that we are protecting users while prioritizing critical information from trusted advertisers.
Preserving the integrity of the ads on our platforms, as we’re doing during the COVID-19 outbreak, is a continuation of the work we do every day to minimize content that violates our policies and stop malicious actors. We have thousands of people working across our teams to make sure we’re protecting our users and enabling a safe ecosystem for advertisers and publishers, and each year we share a summary of the work we’ve done.
In 2019, we blocked and removed 2.7 billion bad ads—that’s more than 5,000 bad ads per minute. We also suspended nearly 1 million advertiser accounts for policy violations. On the publisher side, we terminated over 1.2 million accounts and removed ads from over 21 million web pages that are part of our publisher network for violating our policies. Terminating accounts—not just removing an individual ad or page—is an especially effective enforcement tool that we use if advertisers or publishers engage in egregious policy violations or have a history of violating policy.
If we find specific categories of ads are more prone to abuse, we prioritize our resources to prevent bad actors from taking advantage of users. One of the areas that we’ve become familiar with is phishing, a common practice used by deceptive players to collect personal information from users under false pretenses. For example, in 2019 we saw more bad actors targeting people seeking to renew their passport. These ads mimicked real ads for renewal sites but their actual intent was to get users to provide sensitive information such as their social security or credit card number. Another common area of abuse is “trick-to-click” ads—which are designed to trick people into interacting with them by using prominent links (for example, “click here”) often designed to look like computer or mobile phone system warnings.
Because we’ve come to expect certain recurring categories like phishing and “trick-to-click,” we’re able to more effectively fight them. In 2019, we assembled an internal team to track the patterns and signals of these types of fraudulent advertisers so we could identify and remove their ads faster. As a result, we saw nearly a 50 percent decrease of bad ads served in both categories from the previous year. In total, we blocked more than 35 million phishing ads and 19 million “trick-to-click” ads in 2019.
Certain industries are particularly susceptible to malicious behavior. For example, as more consumers turn to online financial services over brick and mortar locations, we identified an increase in personal loan ads with misleading information on lending terms. To combat this, we broadened our policy to only allow loan-related ads to run if the advertiser clearly states all fees, risks and benefits on their website or app so that users can make informed decisions. This updated policy enabled us to take down 9.6 million of these types of bad ads in 2019, doubling our number from 2018.
At the end of last year, we also introduced a certification program for debt management advertisers in select countries that offer to negotiate with creditors to remedy debt or credit problems. We know users looking for help with this are often at their most vulnerable and we want to create a safe experience for them. This new program ensures we’re only allowing advertisers who are registered by the local regulatory agencies to serve ads for this type of service. We’re continuing to explore ways to scale this program to more countries to match local finance regulations.
Maintaining trust in the digital advertising ecosystem is a top priority for Google. And with global health concerns now top of mind for everyone, preparing for and responding to attempts to take advantage of our users is as important as it has ever been. We know abuse tactics will continue evolving and new societal issues will arise. We'll continue to make sure we’re protecting our users, advertisers and publishers from bad actors across our advertising platforms.
We’re committed to giving our users transparency, choice and control when it comes to the ads they see on our platforms. That’s why we’ve long offered tools like Ad Settings which allows people to control how ads are personalized or even opt out of personalized ads altogether, as well as features like Why this ad? which helps explain why a specific ad is being shown. Now, we’re working to bring additional transparency into the advertiser behind the ads people see.
In 2018, we announced a new identity verification policy for political advertisers. The policy requires all advertisers that want to run election ads on our platforms go through a verification program to confirm their identity. We display that identity in the ad unit so that users can learn more about the election ads they see on Google’s platforms. Since introducing this program, we’ve verified political advertisers in 30 countries. And now, to provide greater transparency and equip users with more information about who is advertising to them, we are extending identity verification to all advertisers on our platforms.
As part of this initiative, advertisers will be required to complete a verification program in order to buy ads on our network. Advertisers will need to submit personal identification, business incorporation documents or other information that proves who they are and the country in which they operate. Beginning this summer, users will start to see disclosures that list this information about the advertiser behind the ads they see.
This change will make it easier for people to understand who the advertiser is behind the ads they see from Google and help them make more informed decisions when using our advertising controls. It will also help support the health of the digital advertising ecosystem by detecting bad actors and limiting their attempts to misrepresent themselves.
We will start by verifying advertisers in phases in the U.S. and continue to expand globally. Because we are working closely with our advertising partners to scale the program while continuing to ensure we are surfacing helpful information to our users, we expect that this process will take a few years to complete. Advertisers can learn more about the identity verification program here.
At Google, our goal is to make more information about the ad experience universally available and accessible. Broadening our verification policy is the next step in reaching that goal. We’ll continue to look for additional ways to increase transparency in ads for our users. Stay tuned for more updates on our blog.
The retail sector has faced many threats over the years, which have only intensified during the coronavirus pandemic. With physical stores shuttered, digital commerce has become a lifeline for retailers. And as consumers increasingly shop online, they're searching not just for essentials but also things like toys, apparel, and home goods. While this presents an opportunity for struggling businesses to reconnect with consumers, many cannot afford to do so at scale.
In light of these challenges, we’re advancing our plans to make it free for merchants to sell on Google. Beginning next week, search results on the Google Shopping tab will consist primarily of free listings, helping merchants better connect with consumers, regardless of whether they advertise on Google. With hundreds of millions of shopping searches on Google each day, we know that many retailers have the items people need in stock and ready to ship, but are less discoverable online.
For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, this means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings. If you’re an existing user of Merchant Center and Shopping ads, you don't have to do anything to take advantage of the free listings, and for new users of Merchant Center, we'll continue working to streamline the onboarding process over the coming weeks and months.
These changes will take effect in the U.S. before the end of April, and we aim to expand this globally before the end of the year. Our help center has more details on how to participate in free product listings and Shopping ads.
We’re also kicking off a new partnership with PayPal to allow merchants to link their accounts. This will speed up our onboarding process and ensure we’re surfacing the highest quality results for our users. And we’re continuing to work closely with many of our existing partners that help merchants manage their products and inventory, including Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce, to make digital commerce more accessible for businesses of all sizes.
Solutions during this crisis will not be fast or easy, but we hope to provide a measure of relief for businesses and lay the groundwork for a healthier retail ecosystem in the future.
Advertisers tell us that understanding the business impact of their marketing is more important than ever. But they also report that it’s becoming more difficult as the industry—in response to growing concerns about privacy—changes its practices around how data is collected and used. Ads Data Hub enables customized analysis of your Google ad campaigns while protecting user privacy and upholding Google’s high standards of data security.
Today, we’re providing an update on improvements to Ads Data Hub that help you analyze data more quickly and easily, better understand the way that people interact with your ads, and use insights from your data to reach the right customers. With these updates, you can tailor your measurement to your unique business needs, understand how your marketing is performing, and drive the greatest business impact.
Over the past year, we’ve been investing in the infrastructure that underlies Ads Data Hub to make it available to a larger number of customers and simplify the process of writing queries. Over 200 brands, agencies and measurement partners are actively using Ads Data Hub today. And usage continues to increase, with successful queries up over 145 percent in 2019 compared to 2018. But we’ve heard from customers that we need to make it faster and easier to run analysis.
In the coming weeks, we’ll add self-service account linking for Google Ads, Campaign Manager, and Display & Video 360, so you can more easily access your Google ad campaign data across multiple products in a secure, privacy-centric environment. This includes allowing you to create multi-tier account structures, which adds flexibility to how brands and agencies can configure ads data within Ads Data Hub to address unique account hierarchies and user access requirements.
Link your Google Ads, Campaign Manager, and Display & Video 360 accounts to Ads Data Hub
We’re making it easier to run analysis with a Sandbox environment, which recently rolled out to all customers. This environment includes a test dataset and can be used to experiment with data and query development, which can help make execution faster by giving you a better understanding of the types of queries you can write and insights you can get in Ads Data Hub.
We’ve also launched a new query library that gives you access to over 20 templates for the most common types of analysis run in Ads Data Hub. For example, the All events template can be used to get impressions, clicks, conversions and Active View stats for a specific account. Ads Data Hub users can also suggest new templates directly via the in-product feedback form.
Query templates help you write and run queries for the most common types of analysis
Query templates help you write and run queries for the most common types of analysis
Query templates help you write and run queries for the most common types of analysis
Query templates help you write and run queries for the most common types of analysis
A frequent request we’ve heard from customers is to be able to access and analyze ad data closer to real-time. To address this, we’ve brought latency down from 24-48 hours to 6 hours for display and YouTube ads data from Google Ads, as well as for data from YouTube ads bought via Display & Video 360. That means, if an impression was served at 8am, you can query data associated with that impression from 2pm on the same day.
Manually stitching together event-level data from Campaign Manager and Display & Video 360 to reconstruct the path to purchase is possible today in Ads Data Hub, but it can be time-consuming and difficult. That’s why we’ve introduced consumer journey paths, a set of pre-processed data that automatically join impression, click, and conversion events together if they’re part of a single journey. This will help advertisers get valuable insights about the consumer journey faster and with higher quality output than manual approaches, and is available to all Ads Data Hub customers that have Campaign Manager and Display & Video 360 data enabled in their account.
To cover more of the ways people interact with media and your brand, we’re expanding beyond computer, mobile and tablet device measurement to include TV screens. This includes coverage for connected TV and gaming consoles. These devices are becoming a bigger part of many media plans, so understanding their role in delivering value for your business is also becoming more important.
Today, Ads Data Hub includes key advertising metrics such as viewability, impressions, clicks, and conversions from display and video ads in Google Ads, Campaign Manager, and Display & Video 360. And in the coming months we’re enabling more measurement use cases by adding advanced Active View metrics for YouTube—including viewability and audibility metrics—that allow you to uncover deep insights into creative performance and user attention.
Beyond measurement, one of biggest pieces of feedback we’ve heard from customers is that they’d like to take action on the insights they uncover in Ads Data Hub, while protecting user privacy. We’ve begun a test to allow a limited group of customers to build audience lists based on clicks or conversions from Google Ads, Campaign Manager, and Display & Video 360, and use these audience lists to inform who sees display ads in Google Ads and Display & Video 360. For example, you could create an audience list in Ads Data Hub of users that have already purchased your product, then use that as an exclusion list to ensure you don’t continue to show them your ads served via Google Ads and Display & Video 360.
User privacy protections are deeply embedded across all of these features, and—as always—there’s an aggregation requirement of at least 50 users for output of any data from Ads Data Hub. Over time, we'll continue to evolve the capabilities of Ads Data Hub by providing access to additional ads datasets and developing deeper integrations across our ad platforms.
Given the current environment, many businesses are shifting how they're communicating and interacting with their customers and are turning to videos to make and maintain connections.
For businesses who don’t have resources to create videos from scratch, Video Builder can help. It’s a free beta tool that animates static assets—images, text and logos—with music from our library. You can choose from a variety of layouts based on your message and goals, customize colors and font and quickly generate a short YouTube video (6 seconds or 15 seconds).
Because businesses of all sizes are strapped for time and resources and in-person video shoots are no longer practical in many countries, we are accelerating the next stage of Video Builder availability. With this tool, any business who needs a video can create one that helps connect with their customers and keep them informed—whether through an advertising campaign, website or email.
Mock of a Video Builder layout
Mock of a Video Builder layout
Different businesses have different creative needs. A restaurant may want to communicate changing hours or promotions, while a supermarket may highlight new services like curbside pickup. For brands or agencies with existing video resources, Video Builder can help bring agility and experimentation to the creation process by generating supplemental, lightweight videos. For smaller businesses and those with less creative experience, it can provide an efficient, low-resource way to create videos, perhaps even for the first time.
Havenly, an online platform offering affordable interior design services, has been using Video Builder to support their team’s video creation needs. "Video is an integral part of our media strategy because our business demands visual context,” says Stang Gappa, Senior Manager of Growth. “Historically, video development has been a slow and labor intensive process. With Video Builder, our small team is able to spin out high quality creative with increased velocity. Given the current situation, where many of us are sheltering in place, free tools like this can help us continue to keep in touch with our customers.”
If you’re interested in trying the Video Builder beta, sign up for access here. We’ll process requests as soon as we are able given tool capacity and email you once your access is granted. If you have a Google team, please request access through them.
As an avid gamer, every year I look forward to spending time with developers at GDC to celebrate together and learn from their successes. We are all disappointed that this year's conference was postponed, but we applaud the organizers for taking steps to protect our global community.
Although we won’t be gathering in person this year, the Google team is hosting the Google for Games Developer Summit, a free, digital-only experience where developers can watch the announcements and session content that was planned for GDC. We still wanted to share these updates with you because we think these new products will help developers succeed and are a direct response to feedback from our developer community.
As we study emerging gaming trends one of the most consistent things we've noticed over the years is that those who build a strong games business always put players first. That means deeply understanding players at every stage of their app journey. Today, we’re announcing new solutions that help you launch a game people love, improve it based on player insights, and earn more during the time that someone is engaged with your game.
Launch a game players love with scaled user testing
Appealing to players at launch is essential to the success of your game. Based on recent Google internal data, more than half of installs come within the first 8 weeks of an app’s release. To make the most of this influx of users, leading developers like Big Fish Games test their apps in beta before releasing them publicly. That’s why last year we introduced open testing in the Google Play Console to help you get early feedback from real users before your full release.
To get even more testers into your app, you’ll soon be able to promote Android games with open testing in Google Ads as well. By running open testing ads in App campaigns, you can drive early users to your app to test things like app stability, user retention, monetization, and effectiveness of ad creatives—then use the learning to improve your results when you launch.
In one example, Chinese developer NetEase used open testing ads to reach more beta users that helped them optimize in-app purchase behavior based on open testing data. For their new game, Dawn of Isles, Netease was able to double in-app purchases which ultimately led to higher lifetime value (LTV) at launch.
Improve your game by learning from your players
Many developers use Google Analytics to understand how people are playing their game. Now, we’re taking it a step further by introducing a gaming-specific Analytics experience to help you get relevant insights even faster. Starting today, App + Web properties in Google Analytics will proactively surface gaming-specific user funnel metrics like acquisition, retention, engagement, and monetization in one place.
With games reporting, you can see how players move through the lifecycle. Then, you can use that insight to improve the game experience and drive more revenue using both ads and IAPs. For example, you could group the players that have dropped off after one week in your game and share that audience to Google Ads to re-engage them with a tailored message and offer. There’s no extra work to set up games reporting in your Google Analytics App + Web property. Learn more to get started.
In addition to Google Analytics games reporting, coming soon are a few other new ways for you to use Google tools to unlock more valuable insights about your players.
Updated Google Ads asset report: Understand how your App campaign creatives are resonating with new users and optimize campaign performance more easily.
AdMob cohort report: Understand the LTV of your players across their user journey.
AdMob mobile app:Quickly access ads monetization reports on the go via a new mobile app.
Earn more from your game
In addition to using player insights, another way to earn more from your game is with AdMob mediation. Leading developers like GameHouse, Playdots, and StickyHands, who use AdMob mediation have seen revenue increases of up to 30%—and now they can earn even more.
We’re introducing a new tool called Mediation A/B testing, so you can test and refine your ads monetization setups directly in your AdMob account. For example, you’ll soon be able to run a test to see how much more you could earn by using Open Bidding compared to waterfall mediation.
Disclaimer: revenue results may vary.
Using Google’s internal A/B testing engine, mediation A/B testing will split your traffic to run on your control group and the variant at the same time. This approach provides unbiased results that can help you maximize the value of every ad you show to players.
To learn more about how these solutions will help you build a strong games business, tune into our broadcast keynote of the Google for Games Developer Summit on Monday March 23 9AM PT. Get all the details on the digital event at g.co/gamedevsummit.
Last month, Game Developers Conference (GDC) organizers made the difficult decision to postpone the conference. We understand this decision, as we have to prioritize the health and safety of our community. GDC is one of our most anticipated times of the year to connect with the gaming industry. Though we won’t be bringing the news in-person this year, we’re hosting the Google for Games Developer Summit, a free, digital-only experience where developers can watch the announcements and session content that was planned for GDC.
Google for Games Developer Summit
The Developer Summit kicks off on March 23rd at 9:00AM PT with our broadcasted keynote. Immediately following, we’ll be releasing a full lineup of developer sessions with over 10 hours of content to help take your games to the next level.
Here are some types of sessions to expect:
Sign up to stay informed at g.co/gamedevsummit.
Support for the game developer community
We recognize every developer is impacted differently by this situation. We’re coordinating with the GDC Relief Fund to sponsor and assist developers who’ve invested in this moment to further grow their games.
We also understand many developers were looking forward to sharing their content with peers. To help with this, developers can use YouTube to stream events from small to large using tools like Live Streaming andPremieres.
We can’t wait to share what we have in store for gaming. Discover the solutions our teams have been building to support the success of this community for years to come.
Keeping you safe online is a top priority at Google, especially for the thousands of Googlers who work on privacy and security around the world. Today on Data Privacy Day, we’re sharing some of the many ways we keep you safe online and across our products—from built-in protections to easy tools that keep you in control of your privacy.
1. Keep your passwords safe
Password Manager in your Google Account helps you remember and securely store strong passwords for all your online accounts. With Password Checkup, one click will tell you if any of your passwords are weak—whether you’ve reused them across multiple sites, or if we've discovered they’ve been compromised in a third-party data breach—and we’ll give you the link to change them.
2. Let Google automatically delete your data
With auto-delete for Location History, Web & App Activity and YouTube History, you can choose to have Google automatically and continuously delete your activity and location history after 3 or 18 months. You can also control what data is saved in your account with easy on/off controls in your Google Account, and even delete your data by date, product and topic.
3. Use your favorite Google apps in Incognito mode
Incognito mode has been one of our most popular privacy controls since it launched with Chrome in 2008, and last year we added it to YouTube and Google Maps. Tap from your profile picture to easily turn it on or off. When you turn on Incognito mode in Maps, your activity—like the places you search or get directions to—won’t be saved to your Google Account. When you turn off Incognito mode, you’ll return to a personalized Google Maps experience with restaurant recommendations, information about your commute, and other features tailored to you.
4. Try hands-free privacy controls with the Google Assistant
You can also manage your privacy settings with help from the Assistant. Just say, “Hey Google, delete everything I said to you last week” to delete Assistant activity from your Google Account, or “Hey Google, that wasn’t for you,” to tell the Assistant to forget what it heard if the Assistant responds to something that wasn’t actually a question or request. And to learn how Google keeps your data private and secure, just ask, “Hey Google, how do you keep my data safe?”
5. Browse the web safely with Chrome
Safe Browsing in Chrome automatically protects you from malicious ads and warns you before you visit dangerous sites or download suspicious files. If you use Chrome, your password protections are automatically built-in. We’ll warn you if your username and password have been compromised in a known breach as you log into websites.
6. Check in on your privacy settings across your apps and devices
Data Privacy Day is a great time to check in on your privacy and security settings. Take a Privacy Checkup and we’ll walk you through key privacy settings step-by-step. You can do things like choose what data—such as your location and search history—gets saved to your Google Account or control what ads you see. When you’re finished, head over to Security Checkup for personalized recommendations to help protect your data and devices, like managing which third-party apps have access to your account data.
7. Control what ads you see from Google
We do not sell your personal information to anyone and give you transparency, choice and control over how your information is used. If you’re curious about why you’re seeing an ad, you can click on Why this ad for more information. If you no longer find a specific ad relevant, you can choose to block that ad by using the Mute this ad control. And you can always control the kinds of ads you see, or turn off ads personalization any time in yourAd Settings.
No matter how you use our products, it’s our responsibility to keep your data private and secure. That’s why we work every day to build the best privacy experiences and strongest protections, and we’ll continue our ongoing efforts to make privacy and security simpler for you.
YouTube is focused on helping brands reach their audiences and drive business impact. That’s why we launched Reach Planner in April 2018 to give advertisers a better way to plan their YouTube and video media. To help make it even easier for users to for users to discover the optimal mix of TV and YouTube to maximize the reach of a video based media plan, today we’re launching Nielsen TV Data in Reach Planner. Now you can see how different distributions of spend on TV and YouTube can affect your reach.
Using this together with Nielsen Total Ad Ratings (TAR), you can compare YouTube and TV reach from the planning stages through to post campaign reporting.
Advertisers can offset this decline and grow their business by adding YouTube to their overall video plan. Across the 20 Total Ad Ratings (TAR) studies we’ve commissioned with Nielsen, YouTube has consistently driven incremental reach at a more balanced frequency compared to TV.2
By adding Nielsen TV data to Reach Planner, advertisers can optimize their mix of TV and online video to maximize reach, balance frequency, and reduce waste. Advertisers can also change the mix of YouTube formats to see the effect on the overall campaign.
TV Data in Reach Planner is available to all eligible users of Reach Planner in the US. This feature will be available in more countries in 2020.
To get started, reach out to your Google team to get TV Data in Reach Planner enabled for your planning team.
2. "Nielsen Total Ad Ratings (TAR) Meta Analysis, including all 20 TAR US studies inclusive of YouTube in-app traffic commissioned by Google running from January 2018 to March 2019 across desktop, mobile and TV. Incremental Reach Value calculated as YouTube’s on-target incremental reach / YouTube’s Total on-target Reach. Standard Deviation 22%. On Target Frequency calculated as On Target Impressions / On Target Reach. Standard Deviation 6.5
The holidays are a critical time of year for your stores, as shoppers stop in to get an item quickly or see it in person. Online research to find local stores continues to surge—search interest in local shops hit a record high last year, and we’re seeing 350 times more search interest in "local" + "near me" than there was 10 years ago.
When holiday shoppers are deciding where to shop–to buy items for multiple people or for last-minute gifts after shipping cutoffs have passed–how can you help them find your store?
You can do it in two ways:
Local campaigns help businesses with physical locations drive more visits to retail stores, restaurants, auto dealerships, and more. They also include new ways to promote your business on Google Maps.
If you’re a retailer, Shopping campaigns help you promote your entire ecommerce and local product inventory to drive sales across both your website and stores. Retailers should use Local campaigns to maximize store traffic and combine them with Shopping campaigns, which help you increase omnichannel reach and sales.
See our latest solutions to help advertisers with a physical presence, from big retail chains to small businesses, showcase your stores and give holiday shoppers more convenient ways to buy.
Local campaigns are specifically designed to help businesses drive visits to your physical locations. We’re also making Local campaigns available for smaller businesses by allowing you to optimize for other local actions like calls or directions, even if you don’t have store visits reporting. To help you dial up foot traffic for the holidays, we’re introducing new ways to showcase your locations across Google Maps and other channels.
Whether people want to visit a neighborhood park, museum, local store, or restaurant, Google Maps connects them with the places they’re interested in. In fact, people tap on location pins in Maps hundreds of millions of times per week to explore and get information about the physical world around them. In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to feature your locations as users get directions to a destination. In just a few taps, they can add you as a convenient stop along their route to grab lunch, stop in for shopping, and more.
You can also promote your locations as shoppers browse content across over 3 million websites and apps in our Display network. They can now explore a curated selection of the products your store carries in a visual, catalog-like experience.
Saks Fifth Avenue is a luxury retailer increasingly using digital to achieve its in-store performance goals. The brand has successfully leveraged other Google solutions like local inventory ads to drive foot traffic. As a result, it was eager to become an early adopter of Local campaigns last holiday season to focus specifically on store visits. Using a randomized controlled geo-experiment, Saks Fifth Avenue saw a statistically significant, incremental lift in store sales and an incremental offline return-on-ad-spend of 7.7x. It’s now expanding Local campaigns to promote more of its store locations.
Fun, a toy retailer in Belgium, also relied on Local campaigns last holiday season to bring more shoppers into its 29 locations. Local campaigns drove 24,000 additional store visits on top of its existing Google Ads campaigns at a strong 19x ROI. This helped lift total store sales and completely reversed a year-to-date decline.
Sephora, a multinational retail chain, knows that customers who browse and buy in-store are more valuable. With a randomized controlled geo-experiment, the brand found that Local campaigns helped drive a statistically significant, incremental lift in store sales. For every dollar invested, Sephora generated a positive incremental return-on-ad-spend.
Shopping campaigns–which include both Shopping ads and local inventory ads–help you increase sales both online and offline, and highlight details about all of your product inventory. Through local inventory ads, we have over 2 billion offers mapped to physical stores across 12 countries. We’ve recently expanded to Sweden, Norway and Denmark to help more shoppers see which products are in stock at nearby locations.
Now, we’re also giving consumers more flexible ways to collect the products they find through local inventory ads. 45 percent of global shoppers have used “buy online, pick up in store” to get their items from a local store. To make this process easier, we’re expanding store pickup on Google and showing consumers what fulfillment options you offer from your ad:
Pick up today:show which products are available for immediate store pickup, with the option of paying online first.
Pick up later: promote products that may not be available in store now, but can be quickly shipped to a nearby store within a few days. Reach out to your account team if you’d like to join the beta.
Local inventory ad in the U.S. highlighting the “Pick up today” option
We have other stocking stuffers for retailers. In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to pick the Shopping campaigns where you’d like to include store visits as a conversion goal alongside online sales. If you have products that are especially effective at driving consumers to stores—such as high-consideration products like furniture or luggage—you can add store visits bidding to your Standard or Smart Shopping campaigns. Store visits in Smart Bidding is also fully available for Search campaigns to help you maximize conversion value across your website and stores.
Whether you’re a small business or a major retail chain, holiday shoppers will be looking for nearby stores with the most compelling offers and products. We look forward to helping you capture the local holiday spirit to drive success during the biggest shopping season of the year.
Whether they’re shopping for themselves or for others, 48 percent of today's shoppers say they're open to buying from new retailers during the holiday season. And increasingly, they’re leaning into videos and inspirational imagery to help them decide. Below, we’ll dive into how Google solutions can help you tap into and create shopping intent, and capture the attention of those undecided shoppers with richer, more interactive experiences
Video has also become a favorite research tool for holiday shoppers. Nearly two-thirds of shoppers say online video has given them ideas and inspiration for their purchase. And more than 90% of these folks say that they’ve discovered new products and brands via YouTube. To tap into this shopping intent, we’re introducingShopping ads to the YouTube home feed and YouTube search results, making YouTube more shoppable and extending the reach of your Shopping campaigns.
Shopping ads on the YouTube home feed (top) and YouTube search results (bottom)
Retailers like PUMA are excited to reach new customers on YouTube in advance of the holiday season to help them continue the shopping journey. “Consumers are continuing to watch more content on the YouTube platform and we want to be where they are, to reach and engage them,” said Rick Almeida, Vice President of eCommerce at PUMA Group. “This new opportunity will enable PUMA to extend our shopping strategy into a new property and inspire consumers.”
Now, people coming to YouTube to browse and research products may see visual Shopping ads, based on their interest. This means if a consumer expresses an interest in running, they could see ads from retailers that offer running apparel, like PUMA, highlighting different products and prices. If you’re already using standard Shopping campaigns today and are opted-into YouTube on Display Network, you are eligible for this experience.
In addition, we’ve made YouTube video ads more interactive, giving viewers useful and actionable information like store location, interest forms and additional calls-to-actions to help you drive more conversions. In the coming months, sitelink extensions will become available for TrueView for action ads. This makes it easy for viewers to navigate to additional landing pages like your holiday catalogs, your store hours, and more. In a beta test with 30 advertisers, adding sitelinks showed a 23% increase inconversions1.
Example of how Sitelink extensions will work under your TrueView for action video
You can get started with these new extensions by heading to the extensions tab in Google Ads, and clicking on the extension you’d like to get started with. You can learn about these YouTube updates and more here.
In a recent Google / Ipsos study, we found that 85 percent of consumers will take action within 24 hours of discovering a product: reading reviews, comparing prices or purchasing the product—sometimes all at once! We offer multiple solutions to help you convert digital window shoppers into satisfied customers.
Showcase Shopping ads, for example, are expanding to Google Images -- helping shoppers explore your brand and product selection. When people search for broader terms like “holiday party dresses”, they’ll see Showcase Shopping ads that group related products together, displaying a diverse range of offerings. They’re great for attracting new customers; on average, we see that about 85 percent of traffic from Showcase Shopping ads to retailer websites come from new visitors. In addition, these ads are now expanding to new search categories like beauty and electronics, when they’ve mainly appeared for apparel and furniture-related searches previously.
Urban Outfitters is one example of a retailer using Showcase Shopping ads to get into the consideration set and inspire those new to their brand. Urban Outfitters expanded their Showcase Shopping ads to 50 key categories across apparel, home decor, and beauty. Overall, they saw a 241 percent CTR lift across campaigns running Showcase Shopping ads, with 52 percent of those customers being new. Moreover, Urban Outfitters saw a 186 percent increase in sales from new customers via Showcase Shopping ads (compared to reactivated customers).
Urban Outfitters Showcase Shopping ad for beauty
Scrolling through personalized feeds like news, video and social is a bigger part of today's consumer journey. And with Discovery ads (beta), you now have a new canvas to inspire hundreds of millions of people with your products as they explore their interests across the feeds in Discover, YouTube and Gmail.
Nectar is one brand updating its Discovery ads with holiday-focused creatives to show off its mattress line and special offers, like its free 365-Night Trial and Forever Warranty™. To drive engagement, Nectar used a variety of high-resolution image assets featuring its mattress in well-lit, realistic settings, while also highlighting promotions in its ad text. Nectar has used custom intent audiences to connect with the right customers, like consumers in the market for bedroom furniture or interested in adjustable bed frames. And during testing, the brand saw an 8% lift in total sales at a 70% lower cost-per-acquisition compared to its paid social campaigns. As a result, Nectar’s parent company, Resident, plans to roll out Discovery ads across its full portfolio of home retail brands.
Reach out to your Google account team to join the global Discovery ads beta.
A Discovery ad for Nectar by Resident as shown on Discover, YouTube, and Gmail
Ready for more tips? Tune in next week to learn how you can drive more shoppers into your local stores.
Think back … can you remember the first time you heard about YouTube? Or even better–can you recall the first video you watched? It’s a fun parlor game we YouTubers sometimes play–and an occasion to reflect on how far the platform has come since its earliest days.
And for those of us who have been on the ads team for more than a few years, it’s particularly remarkable to think about how our ad products have changed as well. Back when we introduced TrueView 9 years ago, people entered the site typically from a link and typically on desktop, watched a short form video and then left to do other things. In fact, desktop represented 90 percent of all YouTube usage in 2010. The appetite for in-stream ad experiences was extremely low in these contexts, which prompted us to introduce a skippable video format that put the choice to view an ad in the hands of the user. Advertisers only paid if viewers watched the complete ad or 30 seconds if longer, so it was a win-win.
In the years since then, YouTube has grown to accommodate not only diverse content types and audiences, but also a new diversity of viewing patterns. In 2016, mobile viewing eclipsed desktop, and in 2019 TVs are our fastest growing screen. Today, viewers may just as readily binge six or seven short videos on their mobile phone, before they switch on YouTube on their TV and watch several hours of longer form video.
In short, YouTube viewing has evolved to serve seemingly divergent consumer mindsets – active browsing sessions where they discover new content and more longer, more leaned-back sessions. This has required a reconsideration of how we serve ads in each of these varied contexts.
Our mission as an ads team is to build the right ad experience for each of these contexts – from active discovery through to more leaned-back sessions:
Ad innovations to match viewer modes
The changing ways people watch YouTube also means that a view has different value in different contexts. This is why we continue to develop additional metrics beyond views and view-through rate–like Brand Lift, or direct actions and conversions – to quantify ad impact, while also developing new ad formats that are matched to viewing patterns and advertiser goals. While we work on these new ad experiences, our priority is to align pricing with anticipated advertiser value.
This led us to introduce Smart Pricing over a year ago, which aligns media costs with anticipated value of a given context. For example, if we know a user is watching content in a longer, TV-style session – we will price those ad impressions according to what our effectiveness models indicate is the typical value of that type of viewing mode. Smart Pricing delivers better results for advertisers – at launch we saw:
More efficient awareness—5 percent gain in brand awareness per dollar
Higher ROI for advertisers – 7 percent gain in ad recall per dollar
Beyond Smart Pricing, we are also working on ways to align YouTube media directly to your marketing objectives, and delivering value as you measure it. For instance, with video reach campaigns, you can optimize for your reach and awareness goals more easily using multiple video creatives and formats within a single campaign. Google’s machine learning will automatically serve the most efficient combination of those formats to help you reach your audience at scale.
The variety of viewing contexts is an asset, as YouTube increasingly meets the needs of viewers looking for short form, long form, TV screen experiences, a go-anywhere music player, social video, highly produced traditional video and more. And the continued evolution of our ad experiences means brands will see a benefit from each viewing mode. We take pride in continuously evolving our platform based on changing user behavior and will continue to experiment with delivering advertiser value across a variety of user contexts. And we invite you, our trusted customers, to partner with us as we build an effective video ad system for the age of choice.
In three weeks, consumers will have their devices in hand and be ready to line up at stores to continue their holiday shopping over Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Will you be ready? We’ve made a list of recommendations and hope you’ll check it twice to help you dial up holiday performance. See our first pro tip below and check back next week for what’s next on the list.
The holiday season continues to be an important time for retail marketers and is growing more competitive every year. According to Mastercard Advisors, retail had its largest season ever ($853 billion) last year with ecommerce sales reaching their strongest growth in over a decade, at an 18.4 percent increase from the year before.
And while this year’s holiday shopping season is a week shorter than last year, there’s good news for marketers: research shows the period to influence shoppers starts earlier and extends longer than ever.
To help you reach these eager shoppers, we’re introducing new features in Merchant Center to help you promote and sell your products this holiday season:
Expand your feeds to show on Shopping ads in 50+ new markets
Quickly upload your products globally through automated feeds
Strengthen your reviews with user-generated images for Product Ratings
Easily manage your inventory with the new Merchant Center experience and automatic image improvements
70 percent of global consumers made at least one crossborder purchase according to a recent Pitney Bowes report. Promote the products you sell and find better qualified leads by putting your products in front of people searching on Google around the world. With Shopping ads now available in more than 50 new markets, and 95 total markets, you can expand your global footprint more than ever.
Start showing your products globally with multi-country feeds, which allow you to target multiple countries that share the same language by using a single feed in that language. For example, if you upload product information in German for Germany, those products may be automatically available to show in other German-speaking countries, such as Austria and Switzerland. You’ll just need to set up shipping and location targeting for these countries in your Shopping campaign in order to start promoting your products in these new countries.
If you don’t already have a feed, you can submit your products more quickly with automated feeds, available in all Shopping ads countries starting in November. Simply enable Merchant Center to crawl your website for structured data and extract your most up-to-date product information for your initial feed.
A recent Google/Ipsos study shows that Google is the first place consumers go to research a purchase they plan to make. But beyond turning to search to read product reviews, shoppers are increasingly becoming inspired by images, with 50 percent of digital shoppers saying images helped them decide what to buy, according to Google’s Consumer Survey this year.
To help shoppers feel more confident in their purchases, we’re introducing user-generated images in product reviews on Shopping ads. You can now include review images in your product review feeds, allowing customers to visually connect with what you sell through pictures of previous customers wearing or using your products.
To get started, see our updated schema documentation, and ensure all images you submit are compliant with our policies for user-generated images. You can sign up for the Product Ratings program here. This experience is currently available on mobile in the US, with plans to expand across more Google properties and countries over the coming months.
The new Merchant Center experience has been redesigned with clearer workflows, simpler navigation, and more program insights. You can use the updated interface to easily manage your products, like enabling automatic image improvements to remove promotional overlays on your product images to comply with Merchant Center policies. You can also discover additional opportunities to promote and sell your products.
For example, you can opt your inventory into surfaces across Google in the US and India to allow your products to show across Google for free, including rich snippets in search results and product annotations in Google images. Surfaces across Google will be coming to additional countries before the end of the year.
Ready to get started? Get more tips and best practices for driving holiday sales.