Monthly:April 2013

Google+ Sign-In: Bringing App Activities to Google Search

When users search for your app, they often want to go deeper and see what in-app content fellow users find interesting. Today we’re making this possible by bringing app activity to Google search results.

Aggregate app activity for SoundCloud in Google Search.

Soon, if you search for a site or app on Google.com (and that app has integrated with Google+ Sign-In app activities), you’ll see popular and aggregate user activity to the right of search results. Searching for Fandango, for example, will show the top movies among Google users. And when you click on a movie, you’ll go directly to its page on Fandango.

The current Google Search results page for Fandango (left) and the Google Search page results with app activities (right).

We’re rolling out this feature in desktop Search over the next few weeks, starting with a limited number of music and movie apps — including Deezer, Fandango, Flixster, Slacker Radio, Songza, SoundCloud and TuneIn — but we’ll be adding more apps over time.

We’ve got lots more improvements planned, so stay tuned for more updates.

Posted by Seth Sternberg, Director of Product Management, Google+Read More

Upgrade to enhanced campaigns more easily with the new AdWords upgrade center

Enhanced campaigns help you reach people with the right ads based on their context – including location, time of day and device – without having to set up and manage several separate campaigns. For most advertisers, upgrading is a simple 3-step process. Already, advertisers have upgraded more than 1.5 million campaigns and seen strong results.

New upgrade center

Today we’re introducing the upgrade center to make upgrading easier for advertisers with lots of campaigns. With the upgrade center, you can upgrade several campaigns at a time and merge campaigns together with just a few clicks. As the upgrade center rolls out to all accounts over the next few weeks, you can access it from the left-hand nav bar on the Campaigns tab.  Learn more.

Upgrade center entry point

There are two basic ways to use the upgrade center.

1. Bulk upgrade

This option provides a fast way to upgrade multiple campaigns that don’t need to be merged. Rather than upgrade campaigns one at a time, you can select several campaigns, choose a mobile bid adjustment, view traffic estimates, and upgrade with fewer clicks.

2. Merge and upgrade

If you have search-only or search+display campaigns that have similar keywords and location targets, the upgrade center automatically identifies them as candidates to merge. You’ll then be able to preview and adjust the proposed campaign settings, ad groups, and extensions for the merged campaign. By default, ad groups and budgets will be combined. Other campaign level settings and extensions in the Primary campaign will override those in the Secondary campaign.

Table view of merged campaign settings

After creating new enhanced campaigns, we recommend upgrading your extensions for more control, flexibility and relevance. You may also want to add back any important keywords, negatives, extensions, or location targets from your Secondary campaign which were left behind in the merge.

We recommend upgrading display-only campaigns rather than merging them together. The upgrade tool doesn’t support the ability to merge image ads, audience targeting criteria, and other display-specific campaign elements.

There’s also an advanced mode in the upgrade center, which provides a view of all of the campaigns in your account, providing more flexibility and less guidance if you’ve already developed a strategy for how to merge and upgrade.

Reminders
Starting on July 22, 2013, we will begin upgrading all campaigns to enhanced campaigns.  As you’re upgrading to enhanced campaigns, please continue to share your feedback using our feedback form.

To learn more about strategies for upgrading to enhanced campaigns and the upgrade center, please join us today at 10:00 a.m. PDT at our Learn with Google webinar.

Posted by: Neil Inala, Product Manager, AdWords

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Enhanced campaigns improvements for Google+ and mobile apps

People are constantly connected and are moving between devices throughout the day to shop, connect and stay entertained. This creates great opportunities for advertisers to use context – like location, time of day, and device – to show the right ad and bid more efficiently.  In February, we launched enhanced campaigns to help you reach people with ads based on their context as well as their intent. Since then, advertisers have already upgraded over 1.5 million campaigns and have shared many success stories.

We’ve also continued to build new features on the enhanced campaigns foundation.  Today, we are introducing two additions.

Enhanced campaigns and social annotations

People are looking for relevant information, and sometimes the most helpful signals are recommendations from people who know a brand or business well.  Social annotations in AdWords show endorsements from people following your Google+ page on your search ads.  Many businesses such as Red Bull, National Geographic and H&M are using social annotations as part of their broader Google+ strategy.  On average, search ads with social annotations have a 5-10% higher click-through rate.

Starting today, enhanced campaigns will include social annotations when they can improve ad performance, without additional edits to campaign settings.  All you need is a Google+ page with a significant number of followers and a linked website that matches the URL in your search ads.  Learn more about how this works.

Social annotations on AdWords work hand-in-hand with your Google+ page to build community, conversation and engagement with your business on Google.  Learn more about getting your business started on Google+.

Enhanced campaigns for mobile app advertisers

Apps have become a significant part of people’s everyday mobile experiences. In fact, US consumers spend an average of 127 minutes per day using mobile apps.  Advertisers can now reach app users, with ads in apps, based on people’s context like location, time of day and device, with enhanced campaigns.  For example, if a certain mobile app has the most usage on Saturday evenings, you can increase your bid adjustments for mobile and this time of day to reach these users. You can also adjust bids across the key display signals like demographics, interests, topics and remarketing at the ad group level.  All of these powerful bidding tools will enable you to reach the right people with the right ads.

Upgrading strategies webinar tomorrow

After upgrading, you’ll be able to start using all of the new features in enhanced campaigns.  Join us tomorrow, Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 10am PDT,  for a Learn with Google webinar about upgrade strategies (sign up here).

Feedback

We really value your feedback to help us make AdWords even better. Please continue to share your thoughts using this form so we can continue to improve the product.

Posted by: Christian Oestlien, Director of Product Management, Google Display Network

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Download the new AdMob SDK for iOS v6.4.0

We’ve released version 6.4.0 of the Google AdMob SDK for iOS developers. In addition to general maintenance updates, this version of the SDK completes the transition away from UDID, which began with version 6.2.

Check out the release notes for a full list of updates. You can download the latest SDK from our downloads page. If you’ve got questions or concerns about using the new AdMob SDK, please post to the forum or check out our G+ page.
Posted by: Vishay Nihalani, Product Manager

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Introducing the new YouTube Ads Leaderboard: Great Ads People Choose

What makes an ad great?  Simple: when people “choose” to watch it. On YouTube, we see this more and more – fans are opting to view and share content they’re passionate about, be it a music video, a favorite show, or an ad. 

In order to celebrate great ads that people love to watch, we are launching a monthly YouTube UK Ads Leaderboard to showcase the top 10 ads that most moved audiences and had the highest number of views through a winning combination of promotion (paid ads) and popularity (organic views).


The top ten ads leaderboard list for March is:

1. Fiat – The Fatherhood – Fiat 500L 12″ Remix (Fiat UK) 

‘The clear trend this month is how big brand advertisers are using video to deliver unique original content made specifically for their YouTube fans – whether chart topping music videos such as Fiat’s The Fatherhood, app reviews like O2’s App Lab, or enlisting the help of Monty Python comedic geniuses for Save the Children. It’s no longer only about sticking your TV ad on the web and waiting for views, true success is thinking about how to entertain and interact with the online community to build a loyal audience of brand fans. A look through the Fiat’s comments demonstrates the connection that can be built through this sort of creative outreach and the value that represents for a brand.’ 
Kevin Mathers, Managing Director, YouTube UK


Stay tuned throughout the year as we recognize the new ads you love each month!


Posted by Ali Turhan, Industry Analyst – Agency Strategy

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Ad group mobile bid adjustments available soon in enhanced campaigns

People are constantly connected and moving between devices to communicate, shop and stay entertained. Their context – like location, time of day, and device – is an increasingly important signal for advertisers. In February, we launched enhanced campaigns to help you reach people with ads based on their context as well as their intent, all from a single campaign. In just a few short months since launch, we are already hearing enhanced campaigns success stories from businesses of all sizes.

Ad group mobile bid adjustments
To provide more control and precision over bids in an enhanced campaign, advertisers will soon be able to set a mobile bid adjustment at the ad group level. This functionality will be available to all advertisers in mid-May. We think this may be useful if you’ve been operating large scale campaigns and found that your optimal bids for some keywords would require significantly different mobile bid adjustments within an enhanced campaign.

Example: A nationwide retail chain currently uses mobile-only campaigns to optimize bids for several hundred thousand keywords. They’ve found that 95% of their keywords in mobile-only campaigns have bids that are 10% lower than in the equivalent desktop campaigns. The remaining 5% of their keywords have very different bid ratios (ranging from 40% lower to 100% higher) based on differences in performance and competition on mobile and desktop. By using the new ad group bid adjustments for mobile, this retailer can better maintain their desired bids and ROI on different devices as they upgrade to enhanced campaigns.

The majority of advertisers will still see the most value in using the existing campaign level bid adjustments in enhanced campaigns, so we recommend that you upgrade now to access all the new features. Upgrading takes an easy 3 steps for most advertisers [video]:

  1. Click the “Get started” button when you log into adwords.google.com
  2. Select a mobile bid adjustment
  3. Click “Complete upgrade”

Upcoming dates
We’ll share more details and tips here on the AdWords blog when ad group level mobile bid adjustments are generally available in mid-May. API access for this feature will be available in early May and announced on the developer blog.

We will begin automatically upgrading all AdWords campaigns to enhanced campaigns starting on July 22, 2013.

Feedback
Thank you for your feedback on enhanced campaigns. Please continue to share your thoughts with us using this form so we can continue to improve the product.

Posted by: Bhanu Narasimhan, Group Product Manager

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Introducing Gen C – The YouTube Generation

Gen C is a powerful new force in consumer culture. It’s a term we use to describe people who care deeply about creation, curation, connection and community. It’s not an age group; it’s an attitude and mindset defined by 8 key characteristics.

Gen C:
  1. Is a state of mind – 80%* of Gen C is made up of millennials. YouTube’s core (though by no means only) audience 
  2. Strives for expression – 67%* of Gen C uploads their own photos to social networks   
  3. Is a taste maker – 85%* of Gen C relies on peer approvals for buying decisions 
  4. Defines the social network – 88%* of Gen C has a social profile, with 65%* updating it daily
  5. Uses YouTube as a habitat for entertainment – Gen C is 2X* more likely to be a YouTube viewer than the general population and 40%* more likely to be only a light TV viewer
  6. Is constantly connected – 91%* of Gen C sleeps next to a smartphone
  7. Connects on YouTube on all screens – 80%* of Gen C with a smartphone watch YouTube
  8. Values relevance and originality – 39%* aren’t opposed to ads when they are relevant. 
*For further information click here. 
Download Infographic below

Posted by Ali Turhan, Industry Analyst – Agency Strategy

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Succeeding with enhanced campaigns

About two months ago, we launched enhanced campaigns to help you more simply and smartly manage your campaigns in today’s multi-device world. Recently we’ve been hearing some great stories about ways that advertisers have improved their performance and saved time with enhanced campaigns. While every advertiser’s business and potential gains may be unique, here are a few examples that highlight actual strategies and results achieved so far with enhanced campaigns.

E-travel has improved CTR and conversion rate with context-optimized ads, mobile app downloads, and upgraded sitelinks.

E-Travel is one of the leading online travel agents in Greece, Cyprus and Russia, and has presence in other markets in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. After upgrading to enhanced campaigns, CEO Anil Valbh reported, “We can now show our ads according to people’s context like location or time of day [… and] count app downloads as conversions in AdWords reports, which is very important for us because so many of our new customer leads come from our mobile app. These features along with the upgraded sitelinks helped us boost clickthrough rate by 43% and conversion rate by 88%.”



American Apparel has doubled its volume of phone leads with enhanced campaigns, improving return on ad spend.

American Apparel, a multi-channel fashion retailer, upgraded all its campaigns to take advantage of new features like upgraded call extensions and sitelinks. By extending call extensions across all device types, and counting calls over 10 seconds in duration as a conversion, American Apparel has seen their conversion volume from phone calls double. Return on spend has improved significantly.



A luxury online shopping brand has grown sales by 20% by tapping into secondary markets, thanks to the ease of optimizing bids in multiple locations in a single enhanced campaign.

A luxury online shopping destination had been focusing its search engine marketing efforts on optimizing bids in location-specific campaigns aimed at primary markets like New York City and Los Angeles. Since upgrading to enhanced campaigns, the company started using location bid adjustments to test and expand its AdWords presence in new geographies, including affluent areas of Delaware, South Carolina, and New Mexico. Already, the company has grown total conversion volume by 20% while achieving target return on ad spend.



Hotwire’s SEM analysts are saving 5-10 hours per week with more efficient campaign management.

Hotwire.com, a leading discount travel website upgraded all of their paid search accounts to Enhanced Campaigns, both domestic and international, within the first month. Clay Schulenburg, Director of Search Engine Marketing at Hotwire shared that upgrading to Enhanced Campaigns really helped his team manage AdWords more efficiently because all the key adjustments for location, time of day and device are now managed in a single campaign: “Time saved per SEM analyst is somewhere in the range of 5 – 10 hours per work week that can now be reallocated to either new strategic SEM initiatives or more granular account/campaign optimizations.”  
Get started in 3 steps

If you’re among the 95% of advertisers whose legacy campaigns are currently run across all device types, you can upgrade in just three steps to take advantage of enhanced campaigns:

  1. Click the “Get started” button when you log into the AdWords interface
  2. Select a mobile bid adjustment
  3. Click “Complete upgrade”

Here’s a short video illustration.

If you have questions about upgrading to enhanced campaigns, please contact AdWords support, ask for advice from your fellow advertisers in our AdWords community, or check out our comprehensive upgrade guide (.pdf download).

Share your results and feedback
Once you’ve started using enhanced campaigns, please let us know about your results and any suggested improvements using our feedback form.

Posted by: Surojit Chatterjee, Group Product Manager

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ValueTrack parameters for enhanced campaigns are live: manage your keyword level URLs by device

Recently, based largely on your feedback, we announced the launch of new ValueTrack features to help advertisers using keyword level URLs achieve specific conversion and ROI goals. These features are now live and ready for you to apply to your campaigns. To recap:
  1. We’re changing the existing parameter {ifmobile:[value]}. Previously, the ifmobile parameter would insert [value] when a user clicked your ad on either a tablet or a mobile device. Now, it will only trigger from an ad click on a mobile device.
  2. We’ve added a new parameter, {ifnotmobile:[value]}, where you can replace [value] with text that will then show up in your URL when the user clicks on your ad from a computer or tablet.

These features will help you achieve your conversion and ROI goals, and make the upgrade to enhanced campaigns easier by:

  1. Directing users to a device-specific landing page at the keyword level.
  2. Aligning performance reporting with device groupings used in enhanced campaigns.

For more information about our new ValueTrack features, please check out our Google AdWords Enhanced Campaign Upgrade Guide – The URL Supplement.

Posted by: Karen Yao, Senior Product Manager, AdWords

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More Ways to Add Google+ Sign-In to your Apps and Sites

With Google+ Sign-In, users can sign in to your Android, iOS and web apps using their existing Google credentials, and bring along their Google+ info for an upgraded experience. We already provide APKs and APIs that you can build directly into your apps. And today we’re adding even more integration options.

Hundreds of thousands of developers already use the user management and social infrastructure platforms Janrain and Gigya to manage their sign-in systems. Today we’re happy to announce that both companies are including Google+ Sign-In as part of their product suites! This means that their customers will be able to:

To get started, simply visit Janrain’s and Gigya’s getting started guides. You can also stop by some of their customer’s sites, who are already starting to launch their Google+ Sign-In integrations, including:

Janrain: NPR, Universal Music Group sites (which includes over 100 music artist and industry sites like ladygaga.comjustinbiebermusic.com, imaginedragonsmusic.com, eminem.com, and interscope.com), and HSN.

Gigya: American Idol (a Fox Broadcasting Company) and Food Network UK

Posted by Seth Sternberg, Director of Product Management, Google+ Read More