Improvements to Ads Data Hub

Today, we’re announcing improvements to Ads Data Hub, our cloud-based solution that enables customized analysis of your Google ad campaigns while protecting user privacy. With these updates, we’re offering more ways to access the data you need, improved usability for key workflows, and new tools that give you more flexibility to run customized analysis.

Over 200 brands, agencies and measurement partners use Ads Data Hub to analyze campaign data so they can understand how people interact with ads. For example, Essence, a global data and measurement-driven media agency, uses Ads Data Hub to deliver a suite of privacy-centric, advanced measurement services for customers across verticals in order to help them make better media decisions, and ultimately get a better return on their ad spend.

Ads Data Hub: Essence Case Study

Ads Data Hub: Essence Case Study

Better ways to get access to the data you need

Earlier this year, we shared updates to Ads Data Hub to help you analyze your data faster and more easily. Since then, we introduced self-service account linking for Google Ads, Campaign Manager, and Display & Video 360, so you can more easily access Google ad campaign data across multiple products in a secure, privacy-centric environment.

We’ve also heard requests from customers to make it easier to export data to other tools they use for creating reports and dashboards. So we recently made it possible to export query results  for visualization and manipulation in Data Studio and Google Sheets, giving you the ability to  further explore your data in both tools. By connecting Ads Data Hub to Data Studio and Google Sheets, you can unlock the power of your data with interactive dashboards and engaging reports that inspire smarter business decisions. And—as always—there’s an aggregation requirement for output of any data from Ads Data Hub, ensuring user data is protected.

Enhanced usability and more holistic insights

We’re improving the user experience for privacy checks in Ads Data Hub. These changes include an enhanced user interface and faster query execution times, and give you a more complete view of your data in Ads Data Hub, without compromising end-user privacy. Over the coming months, Ads Data Hub will start notifying you when rows of data are suppressed from results due to privacy checks, helping you understand why certain data was not included.

We’ve also improved the algorithms we use to filter query results. Now, queries utilizing data joins are filtered with more precision, so you will have greater flexibility in designing your queries to address the insights you are looking to gain via Ads Data Hub – but in a way that continues to protect user privacy.

New tools to run customized analysis

Ads Data Hub provides tools to help you run analysis including consumer journey paths, launched earlier this year. But we’ve heard from some customers the need for additional ways to run customized analysis that aligns with unique business needs.

We’re now offering Shapley value and Markov chain analysis methods as native Ads Data Hub functions to assign credit to touchpoints along the consumer journey. These functions can be used with Campaign Manager and Display & Video 360 data as well as your own business data in Ads Data Hub. Shapley value and Markov chain functions are available in beta today and will roll out to all marketers using Ads Data Hub by the end of the year. We’re also exploring ways to offer more capabilities for customized analysis in Ads Data Hub.

Our mission with Ads Data Hub is to help you tailor your marketing measurement to your unique business needs, while protecting user privacy and upholding Google’s high standards of data security. And we’re investing in privacy research for Ads Data Hub to accelerate improvements to privacy protections, usability, and performance. As we invest in features that make Ads Data Hub faster, more secure, and easier to use, you’ll be able to focus on what matters—the growth of your business.

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Consumers are already holiday shopping online. Are you ready?

According to research we began with Ipsos over the summer, consumer behavior is showing a surprising trend: 1 in 4 US holiday shoppers said they had already started shopping for the season as early as July. This means businesses need to be ready to reach consumers earlier than ever before as they look for inspiration for everything from new home office equipment to the perfect gift—as they research and shop on Google, watch product videos on YouTube, scroll for new ideas in Discover, or browse the web. 

With the pandemic fundamentally changing how consumers worldwide shop in 2020, retailers will have to adapt quickly to meet holiday demand. To help you stay ahead of the curve, we’ve identified five big shiftsin shopping behavior that retailers will need to anticipate. For more insights and solutions, be sure to check out the full guide.

Be ready for 5 shifts in shopping behavior

A month-long Cyber Monday: 62 percent of US shoppers say they’ll start holiday shopping earlier to avoid crowds. This means retailers will need to rethink the usual timelines for Cyber Monday and Cyber Week to help shoppers already looking for special offers and deals this October.

Digital newcomers driving growth:69 percent of US shoppers plan to shop online for the holidays more than in previous years, with more people going online to browse and buy for the very first time. Due to this overall trend toward online shopping this year, retailers will need to be ready to offer helpful, frictionless shopping experiences for more first-time online shoppers.

A skew toward online SKUs:77 percent of US holiday shoppers say they intend to browse for gift ideas online, not in-store. With more purchase decisions being made online, retailers will need to bring the best of their store online and be ready to help customers complete their purchase journey offline—whether they visit in-store, pick up curbside, or choose delivery to their door.

The purpose-driven shopper: 66 percent of US holiday shoppers say they will shop more at local small businesses—retailers are being called to action to help local shoppers identify them and make it as easy as possible to discover their products and make a purchase. 

Something new & something known: With a third of US shoppers having purchased from a brand that was new to them during COVID-19, shoppers are ready to discover new brands and retailers as they shop for what they already know. To connect with new or repeat customers, retailers should get their products front and center with shoppers on the lookout for ideas and inspiration.

Help more holiday shoppers find you easily—online and offline

73 percent of US holiday shoppers have told us they plan to shop online more for the holidays during COVID-19. This week, it will be even easier for businesses to reach holiday shoppers with the global launch of free listings on the Shopping tab. Retailers are already seeing positive results: Woodland Direct, a large e-commerce retailer for outdoor products in the United States, was able to drive an estimated 5% increase in revenue without increasing their budget, based on internal benchmark data. And Sharper Image, a global retailer for consumer electronics and home gadgets, saw a 3.8% increase in website traffic at no additional cost by listing their products for free. 

If you’re a retailer with a physical storefront, make sure shoppers on Google can find the most up-to-date information about your store hours and locations, products and promotions, and pickup or in-store service options. Just create or update your Business Profile on Google or update your listings through Google Merchant Center. You can also use Local campaigns to reach nearby shoppers in more places across Google, including on YouTube, Maps, Search and Display.

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For leading pet specialty retailer Petco, adjusting to meet expectations from pet owners sheltering-in-place has been key for successful holiday planning. After seeing a surge in searches for “curbside pickup,” Petco shifted to offer more delivery and pickup options. The brand then used Search, Shopping and Local inventory ads to promote its new offerings, driving a 100 percent increase in its e-commerce business and a 66 percent decrease in customer acquisition costs year-over-year.

Whether you’re a major retail chain or a small business, holiday shoppers are already on the lookout for compelling offers and products from you on Google. We look forward to helping you be ready for them during the biggest shopping season of the year with our new 5 shifts in shopping behavior guide.

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Introducing the new Google Analytics

Millions of businesses, large and small, rely on Google Analytics to understand customer preferences and create better experiences for them. With more commerce moving online and businesses under increased pressure to make every marketing dollar count, insights from digital analytics tools are even more critical.

But with major shifts in consumer behavior and privacy-driven changes to longtime industry standards, current approaches to analytics aren’t keeping pace. In a survey from Forrester Consulting, marketers said that improving their use of analytics is a top priority, and that existing solutions make it difficult to get a complete view of the customer and derive insights from their data.

To help you get better ROI from your marketing for the long term, we’re creating a new, more intelligent Google Analytics that builds on the foundation of the App + Web property we introduced in beta last year. It has machine learning at its core to automatically surface helpful insights and gives you a complete understanding of your customers across devices and platforms. It’s privacy-centric by design, so you can rely on Analytics even as industry changes like restrictions on cookies and identifiers create gaps in your data. The new Google Analytics will give you the essential insights you need to be ready for what’s next.

Smarter insights to improve your marketing decisions and get better ROI

By applying Google’s advanced machine learning models, the new Analytics can automatically alert you to significant trends in your data – like products seeing rising demand because of new customer needs. It even helps you anticipate future actions your customers may take. For example, it calculates churn probability so you can more efficiently invest in retaining customers at a time when marketing budgets are under pressure. We’re continuing to add new predictive metrics, like the potential revenue you could earn from a particular group of customers. This allows you to create audiences to reach higher value customers and run analyses to better understand why some customers are likely to spend more than others, so you can take action to improve your results.

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Churn probability in the Analysis module

With new integrations across Google’s marketing products, it’s easy to use what you learn to improve the ROI of your marketing. A deeper integration with Google Ads, for example, lets you create audiences that can reach your customers with more relevant, helpful experiences, wherever they choose to engage with your business.

The new approach also makes it possible to address longtime advertiser requests. Because the new Analytics can measure app and web interactions together, it can include conversions from YouTube engaged views that occur in-app and on the web in reports. Seeing conversions from YouTube video views alongside conversions from Google and non-Google paid channels, and organic channels like Google Search, social, and email, helps you understand the combined impact of all your marketing efforts.

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YouTube Engaged-view conversions in Analytics reports

Businesses taking part in the beta are already seeing benefits. Vistaprint, responding to rapid changes in their business at the start of the pandemic, was able to quickly measure and understand the customer response to their new line of protective masks. And Jeff Kacmarek, Vice President of Domino’s Pizza of Canada, found that “linking the new Google Analytics to Google Ads enables us to optimize around the actions that matter most to our customers, regardless of how they interact with our brand.”

A more complete understanding of how customers interact with your business

The new Analytics gives you customer-centric measurement, instead of measurement fragmented by device or by platform. It uses multiple identity spaces, including marketer-provided User IDs and unique Google signals from users opted into ads personalization, to give you a more complete view of how your customers interact with your business. For example, you can see if customers first discover your business from an ad on the web, then later install your app and make purchases there.

You’ll also get a better understanding of your customers across their entire lifecycle, from acquisition to conversion and retention. This is critical when people’s needs are rapidly changing and you have to make real-time decisions in order to win – and keep – new customers. Based on your feedback, we simplified and re-organized reporting so you can intuitively find marketing insights based on the part of the customer journey you’re interested in. For example, you can see what channels are driving new customers in the user acquisition report, then use the engagement and retention reports to understand the actions these customers take, and whether they stick around, after converting.

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New reporting structure organized by the user lifecycle

Built for the long term

Now is the time to invest in your digital marketing basics, like smarter analytics, so you can be ready for what comes next. This will also help you respond to rising consumer expectations, regulatory developments, and changing technology standards for user privacy. With a new approach todata controls, you can better manage how you collect, retain and use your Analytics data. More granular controls for ads personalization let you choose when to use your data to optimize your ads and when to limit your data use to measurement. And of course, we continue to offer users control over sharing their activity with Google Analytics.

Because the technology landscape continues to evolve, the new Analytics is designed to adapt to a future with or without cookies or identifiers. It uses a flexible approach to measurement, and in the future, will include modeling to fill in the gaps where the data may be incomplete. This means that you can rely on Google Analytics to help you measure your marketing results and meet customer needs now as you navigate the recovery and as you face uncertainty in the future.

The future of Google Analytics

The new Google Analytics is now the default experience for new properties and is where we’re investing in future improvements. We know there are capabilities many marketers need before fully replacing their existing Analytics setup, so we encourage you to create a new Google Analytics 4 property (previously called an App + Web property) alongside your existing properties. This will allow you to start gathering data and benefit from the latest innovations as they become available while keeping your current implementation intact. If you’re an enterprise marketer, we’re currently in beta with an Analytics 360 version that will offer SLAs and advanced integrations with tools like BigQuery, and will have more to share soon.

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Make every marketing dollar count with attribution and lift measurement

Understanding how each media touchpoint contributes to your goals can mean the difference between marketing that drives business growth and marketing that fails to deliver. To make every dollar count, you need tools that help you learn how people are responding to your ads, so you can take action to improve your results.

Today, we’re announcing improvements to Attribution in Google Ads including coverage for YouTube ads and a significant expansion in the availability of data-driven attribution. We’re also sharing updates to our lift measurement solutions including a new way to measure incremental conversions and an accelerated time frame so you get results even faster.

Measure more of your Google media

Attribution in Google Ads helps you understand the paths people take to complete conversions. It awards credit for conversions to different ads, clicks, and factors along the way, so you can focus your investments on the media having the biggest impact on results.

Earlier this year, we launched a new look for attribution reports to help you get important insights faster. And with more people turning to YouTube as we spend more time at home, we added YouTube to attribution reports, to help you better understand the role video plays in your customer’s path to purchase.

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fuboTV, a live TV streaming platform that includes sports, news, network television and movies, used attribution reports to understand how customers interact with their YouTube and Search ads before converting. They saw that for every conversion YouTube drove directly, it assisted 2 more conversions on Search. “These insights helped us see the full value of video. This enabled us to start thinking about YouTube and Search media in one view and take into account blended cost-per-acquisition goals that more accurately reflect the total impact of our ads at driving conversions,” said Antonio Armenino, Search and Display Lead at fuboTV.

YouTube ads in attribution reports is now in beta. Eligible advertisers will be able to opt-in within the Measurement > Attribution section of Google Ads to see YouTube ads in the Top Paths, Assisted Conversions and Path Metrics reports, alongside Search and Shopping ads. And to give advertisers a more holistic view of Google media, we’re also adding Display ads to attribution reports in the coming months.

Data-driven attribution is now available to more advertisers

Data-driven attribution (DDA) is a type of attribution model that uses Google’s machine learning to determine how much credit to assign to each ad interaction along the consumer journey. Trained on and validated against incrementality experiments, data-driven attribution gives credit based on the incremental impact of your ads. It continuously analyzes unique conversion patterns, comparing the paths of customers who completed a desired action against those who did not, to determine the most effective touchpoints for each business. DDA is our recommended attribution model because the constantly updating, machine learning-based approach ensures you are always getting accurate results that account for the latest changes in consumer behavior.

DDA requires a certain volume of data in order for us to build a precise model, but to make DDA available to more advertisers, we’re lowering the data requirements for eligibility. With this change, each conversion action in your Google Ads account that has at least 3,000 ad interactions and at least 300 conversions within 30 days will be eligible for DDA. This is possible due to ongoing improvements to the machine learning algorithms we use to train data-driven attribution models, so we can do more with less data without sacrificing precision.

Use full-funnel lift measurement to validate and implement findings

Attribution is best for day-to-day, always-on measurement and is effective for setting ad budgets and informing bid strategies on a campaign or channel level. Businesses that are prepared to move beyond DDA can use randomized controlled experiments—also known as incrementality or lift—to set channel-level budgets or to optimize future campaigns.

For years, marketers have used Brand Lift and Search Lift to measure the impact of YouTube ads on perceptions and behaviors throughout the consumer journey, from brand awareness to purchase intent, and lift in organic searches on Google and YouTube. Today, we’re announcing that Conversion Lift is now available in beta. Conversion Lift measures the impact of your YouTube ads on driving user actions, such as website visits, sign ups, purchases and other types of conversions.

Each of Google’s lift measurement tools use best-in-class methodology to ensure accuracy and precision, and that no additional costs are incurred to run these experiments. In addition to delivering accurate, full-funnel measurement, we’re making changes to our lift measurement tools so you get results even faster.

For Brand Lift, we recently launched accelerated flights so you can get the brand perception metrics you care about sooner, with the ability to re-measure over time. We’re also reporting Search Lift and Conversion Lift results as soon as they become available, with flexible study durations and integrated daily reporting, so you can see changes more frequently and over time. Last, you can now run Brand Lift, Search Lift and Conversion Lift measurement on the same campaign, so you can get fast, actionable results across the entire consumer journey.

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Fiverr, one of the world’s largest marketplaces for freelance services, wanted to drive both consideration and website engagement. They ran YouTube ads to reach audiences throughout the funnel, and used Brand Lift, Search Lift and Conversion Lift to measure full-funnel impact. They saw that their first test delivered strong relative lift, with a 10 percent lift in consideration, 62 percent lift in searches on Google and YouTube, and 30 percent lift in new users. “We received excellent insights from this campaign. Now that we’ve seen success in reaching first-time users throughout the funnel, our next step is to develop messaging for user retention,” said Tal Moravkin, Creative Manager at Fiverr.

We look forward to seeing these insights help you understand how people interact with your marketing throughout the consumer journey. Looking ahead, we’re working to bring more channels and formats into attribution and lift measurement, so you can get better insights to make every marketing dollar count.

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Get your business ready for what comes next

Advertising Week is an event I look forward to every year—it brings global thought leaders together to find new ways we can use technology to solve business challenges. Over the past few months, I’ve had a chance to meet virtually with many of you to learn how COVID-19 is impacting your business and how partners like Google can help. I’ve been inspired by how you’re supporting your local communities and re-imagining ways to run your business. 

You’ve also shared great ideas for how we can build better solutions that help you grow your business online. Today at Advertising Week, I’m excited to share innovations that will give you new insights about changing consumer behavior and help you meet customer demand in real time through automation.

Get insights tailored for your business

Consumer behavior is constantly changing, and the pandemic has only accelerated the pace of that change. For example, Kettlebell Kings saw a surge in interest for home fitness products when communities began sheltering in place. By meeting this demand from customers, the team processed more sales in one day than they typically would have over the course of months! For Zazzle, an online marketplace for customized products, exploring search trends allowed them to identify rising categories like puzzles and outdoor games as people looked for activities to do at home. By investing in these categories, Zazzle was able to deliver on customer needs and improve campaign performance. 

These businesses are proving how important it is to stay ahead of shifts in consumer behavior in order to drive continued growth. That’s why we’re introducing the new Insights page in Google Ads to give you custom insights specific to your business. We’re rolling out the beta in the coming months and will add new information over time—including audience and forecasting insights. 

The Insights page will feature a trends section that shows current and emerging search demand for the products or services most relevant to your business. For example, an outdoor retailer can quickly take notice of rising demand for tents as consumers gear up for more outdoor adventures. And a vacation rental company might see a growing trend for cabins. Explore these trends to uncover opportunities for categories you already promote in your campaigns—as well as for new, related areas you could tap into.

You can deep dive into a trend to understand which queries consumers are searching for or the geographic locations where demand is growing the most. These trends are aggregated and anonymized across many queries and can’t be tied to any individual user. Also use the integration with recommendations to easily activate keyword, budget and bidding optimizations in a few steps. You can apply these learnings to unlock new business opportunities, like new product areas to pivot into or future promotions to highlight. 

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Keep up with consumer demand and take action in real time

Insights help you keep a finger on the pulse of changing consumer demand, and automation makes it possible to act on it in real time. To bring the full value of automation to more businesses, we’re introducing Performance Max campaigns, a new way to buy Google ads across all our inventory.

Google Ads currently offers fully-automated campaigns for app marketers, retailers, and businesses with physical locations to drive results across Google’s surfaces. Performance Max campaigns will build on learnings from those campaigns to deliver a comprehensive solution that works for all advertisers across a wider range of marketing objectives. They’ll deliver four main benefits:

1. Customer reach: Performance Max campaigns will complement your Search campaigns, and be the most complete solution to help you drive conversions and revenue by unifying Google’s ad inventory.

2. Performance towards your business goals: Over time, you’ll be able to choose from multiple marketing objectives like online sales, new customer acquisition, and offline sales. For the first time, you’ll also be able to drive new leads across Google from one campaign. Machine learning will automatically optimize for your most valuable customers across channels. 

A new goals-first setup makes it easier to fully define your conversion goals. For example, if your objective is to generate leads, you can make sure you’re capturing both form submissions and phone calls as goals.

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3. New reporting and insights: Get a deeper understanding of how machine learning is working for your business, such as which audiences and creative asset combinations are performing the best. Performance Max campaigns will also be included in the new Insights page to help you understand what’s driving changes in your performance.

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See which creative asset combinations perform the best

 

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Use the new Insights page to get additional performance trends for Performance Max campaigns

4. New campaign inputs: While automation helps you drive better results, your expertise and knowledge of your business can improve how machine learning performs. Speed up the campaign learning process by specifying which audiences are most likely to convert. Combine these inputs with value rules to indicate which conversions are worth the most to your business based on characteristics like audience, location and device.

We’re still in the early stages of testing Performance Max campaigns and will invite more advertisers to join the beta next year. You should continue to use existing campaign types to meet your business goals during this important holiday season.

Reach more viewers and inspire action

As people spend more time at home, video streaming is a key area where a “new normal” is emerging.  On YouTube in particular, over 2 billion people globally are gravitating towards timely content to stay entertained, keep up with current events, and learn new skills. In the coming weeks, Video action campaigns will expand to all advertisers to help you drive more conversions from video and inspire action across YouTube and Google video partners.

People are also watching YouTube in more ways than before—for example in the U.S., over 100 million people watch YouTube and YouTube TV on their TV screen each month. Given this boom in TV viewership, we’ll continue exploring ways your ads can appear with Video action campaigns and test direct-response video ads on new surfaces like connected TVs over the next year.

Even as the world around us continues to change, our commitment to you remains the same: we’re here to help businesses of all sizes grow online and get ready for what comes next

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New third-party verification in Google Marketing Platform

With current events changing so quickly, advertisers constantly reassess if all of the creative elements for their various campaigns—tone, copy, visuals, placements—are appropriate. They also want to know if their ads are viewable and if they are running in environments that are suitable for their brand. Partners can help solve these brand suitability challenges.

To make it easier to work with these partners, we are introducing automated third-party verification in Campaign Manager and custom pre-bid filtering in Display & Video 360. 

Automated third-party verification in Campaign Manager

Now you can seamlessly add third-party brand verification measurement to the ads you serve with Campaign Manager. You can still use Campaign Manager’s built-in Verification suite, but can now add third-party verification to your campaigns faster.

The previous process required multiple teams working in spreadsheets to add third-party verification to each placement on your media plan. This required a lot of resources and often resulted in reporting discrepancies. Automated third-party verification is faster and less error-prone because it uses system-to-system API calls between Google and the third-party vendor.

Automated third-party verification also provides centralized tag management within Campaign Manager and streamlines your workflow across all your digital campaigns. For example, placements that are wrapped through automated third-party verification in Campaign Manager will automatically sync to Display & Video 360 with their wrapped states intact, reducing time required to get campaigns live. Enabling third-party verification or adjusting the partner settings will not require the re-trafficking of tags.

This new feature also allows you to see a new metric in reporting called “Vendor Blocked Ads”. Now you don’t need to log into a separate system to see what ads were blocked. Instead you will have a centralized view alongside all of your media and creative performance.

We are launching with Integral Ad Science (IAS) as our first partner for this new capability and are actively working to bring other partners onboard.

We are excited about this partnership with Google. Marketers can now activate verification for their campaigns in just seconds using automated third-party verification in Campaign Manager. Now marketers can focus more on driving campaign performance. Lisa Utzschneider
CEO, IAS

Campaign Manager customers can now directly integrate with IAS using their automated tag to add IAS brand verification measurement to all of their creatives. Beta partners like HP have already seen benefits.

HP has been an active participant in IAS’s Automated Tag beta with Google and we have seen a huge impact on time savings for our Ad Ops team. This has allowed us to launch campaigns faster with the third party protection our brand requires. Chris Liberti
Global Ad Operations at HP

Custom pre-bid filtering in Display & Video 360

Marketers using Display & Video 360 also work with partners to enforce their media quality standards. Pre-bid filtering helps ensure they are only purchasing inventory that meets brand safety and suitability requirements. Our current integrations with third-parties support standard categories like alcohol, violence, and other broadly risky content.

In today’s environment, advertisers need more than just standard categories, so we are expanding this feature to support custom pre-bid filtering in Display & Video 360. This expanded capability allows brands to maximize reach while remaining contextually relevant and avoid content that is deemed unsuitable for their brand based on context, language, sentiment and emotion. For example, a CPG advertiser may not want to run ads featuring chocolate chip cookies on a healthy cooking site but may want to include that site for their protein bars media buy.

Agencies like the Kepler Group found success with custom pre-bid filtering.

We are really happy to have this seamless integration within our current account setup in Display & Video 360. Our teams and clients are extremely impressed by this innovative brand suitability solution. Matthew Cullen
Client Solutions Senior Analyst, Kepler Group

 IAS is our first partner for this capability with others to follow.

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Help for retailers and shoppers in Asia Pacific

Retailers have played a vital role in Asia Pacific’s response to COVID-19, battling through a tough economic environment while serving their customers and communities, providing essential products and services, and supporting jobs. 

As more of the region’s businesses turn to ecommerce, we’ve been focused on supporting them in every way we can—including helping retailers list their products online for free. We’ve been doing this in India and Indonesia since 2019, and now we’re extending similar support across the broader region: making it free for merchants in Asia Pacific to list their products on the Google Shopping tab.  

For retailers, this change means free exposure to millions of people who come to Google every day for their shopping needs, regardless of whether they advertise on Google. For shoppers, it means more products from more stores, discoverable through the Google Shopping tab. For advertisers, it means paid campaigns can now be augmented with free listings. 

We made this change earlier this year in the United States, and retailers running free listings and ads got an average of twice as many views and 50 percent more visits. Small and medium-sized businesses saw the biggest increases.

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Asia’s changing retail scene

This is a time of huge change in the way people shop and sell across Asia Pacific. Even before the pandemic, e-commerce was growing fast—in Southeast Asia, for example, the regional internet economy reached $100 billion in 2019, on its way to a forecast $300 billion by 2025. 

COVID-19 has sped up these trends. According to Google analysis, 53 percent of online shoppers in APAC say they’ll choose to buy online more frequently after the pandemic, while almost 40 per cent of people who weren’t online shoppers before say they intend to continue buying online. One in three have bought from a brand they didn’t shop with before. 

To help retailers adjust to these changes, we’re offering skills training through Grow with Google and sharing research and insights to inform their business decisions. We’ve launched a playbook and webinar series on how to better manage digital storefronts. And we’re working closely with many of our partners to help merchants manage their products and inventory. This includes global partners like Shopify, and those across the region, including Haravan in Vietnam, Shopline in Taiwan and Hong Kong, and LnwShop in Thailand. 

In advancing our plans with Google Shopping, we hope to build on these programs, providing extra support and relief for Asia Pacific retailers when it’s needed most.  

What’s next? 

Existing users of Merchant Center and Shopping ads don’t have to do anything to take advantage of the free listings. For new users of Merchant Center, we’ll continue working to streamline the onboarding process over the coming weeks and months.

We’re looking forward to working even more closely with retailers throughout Asia Pacific, helping shoppers find the products they need more easily, contributing to the recovery from COVID-19, and preparing for longer-term change in regional commerce.

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Help local customers reconnect with your store

Since the start of the pandemic, people have built new habits and ways of managing their “new normal.” People and businesses have leaned in to the digital world; in the last six months, we’ve experienced 10 years worth of change. With these changes, we are more committed than ever to helping businesses reopen and recover.

As some communities begin to open up and businesses prepare for the holidays, it’s critical to help consumers know what to expect before they go in store—whether it’s offering opening hours, sharing what’s in stock, or noting if curbside pickup or takeout is available. Here are the new product innovations we unveiled today at DMEXCO that will help you connect with shoppers to grow your local sales.

Bring the best of your business online

People are researching their visits to local stores and restaurants online before they go. For example, searches for “curbside pick up” have grown globally by more than 3,000 percent year over year1 and searches for “takeout restaurants” have grown globally by over 5,000 percent over the same time.2 

Google My Business is a great way to keep customers up to date with the most accurate business information, especially since that information often varies by location. You can add service attributes about your business, like “In-store pickup” and “No-contact delivery”—which appear on Google and the Business Profile page—so customers know how you’re operating when planning their visit. 

We’re making more of this type of information available for Local campaigns, to help you connect with nearby customers when they’re searching or browsing Google Maps, Google Search, YouTube, and the Google Display Network. You can now highlight dining service attributes like “Dine-in” and “Takeout.” Soon you’ll be able to feature retail service attributes, like “In-store shopping” and “Curbside pickup.” 

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Service attributes like “Dine In” and “Curbside pickup” now appear in Local campaign ad formats.

Pilot Flying J is the largest travel center operator in North America with more than 750 locations. They serve professional truck drivers and motorists, selling gas, diesel, convenience store goods and fast food. While stay at home orders decreased the number of motorists utilizing their locations, they remained open throughout the pandemic to provide services and food to essential workers, like professional truck drivers. Pilot Flying J, in partnership with their agency, Tombras, used Local campaigns to reach drivers across Google’s properties, including Maps and Search. Local campaign performance generated nearly a 300 percent increase in store visits to Pilot Flying J locations compared to the previous period. VP of Digital & Loyalty Tyler Tanaka said, “Local campaigns have helped us communicate with nearby drivers on the road and connect them to our travel centers. We can keep them updated in real time so they know we’re open and they can get fuel, food and other essential items at our locations along their route.”

Consumers are also looking for real-time information when it comes to the products they need. Searches containing “available near me” have grown by more than 2X across regions and categories.3 We recently rolled out “Curbside pickup” for local inventory ads to help you connect local shoppers with the products they need and promote safer fulfillment options. Today, we’re expanding this capability with the introduction of “Pickup later” for local inventory ads. This gives you the option to promote products that may not be available in store now, but can be available for pickup within a few days. Reach out to your Google team to learn more.

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Show products that can be picked up in store in a few days using new “Pickup later” in local inventory ads.

French DIY and home improvement retailer Castorama launched its curbside pickup service within 48 hours of France going into lockdown. To keep customers informed, the retailer updated its Google My Business profile and started using local inventory ads for the first time to highlight its new curbside pickup offering. Overall, Castorama saw online sales increase tenfold over a ten-week period.

Adjusting to shifting consumer behavior in real time

We know it’s more critical than ever to make the most of your marketing investment. Your campaigns need to be able to react in real time to shifts in consumer behavior—whether your customers are purchasing online or at a physical location. Smart Bidding for store visits automatically accounts for fluctuations in online conversions and store visits, and adjusts your bids for each and every ad auction.

Retail and restaurant advertisers will soon be able to use Smart Bidding for store sales to optimize for in-store transactions, not just visits. For example, advertisers can upload their first-party, privacy-safe transaction data to inform ongoing optimization—all with the goal of driving additional sales at the store level. Reach out to your Google team to learn more.

Resources to help you grow your local sales

In addition to today’s announcements, we’re sharing a collection of local sales resources on the Advertising Solutions Center:

Whether you’re a multi-national brand or a smaller, family-owned business, we’re here to help you connect more people to your stores. While we still have much work ahead, we hope these updates will help you on your path to business recovery.


1. Google Data, Global English, Mar 18 – May 16, 2020 vs Mar 18 – May 16, 2019

2. Google Data, Global English, Jun 17, 2020 – Aug 15, 2020 vs Jun 17, 2019 – Aug 15, 2019

3. Google Data, Global English, Feb 26 – Apr 25, 2020 vs Feb 25 – Apr 25, 2019

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A guide to common AdSense policy questions

AdSense program policies help ensure we preserve a healthy digital ecosystem for the benefit of all users, advertisers and publishers. Based on feedback from AdSense publishers, we know that there’s more we could be doing to make our policies easier to understand. To demystify some common questions, we’re sharing a new infographic with important information on:

  • Google’s digital ecosystem and the role of advertising policies
  • Most frequently faced policy violations 
  • Resolving policy issues and navigating through the AdSense policy center

Check it out below, and don’t forget to download or bookmark the infographic with clickable links. 

Google digital advertising ecosystem
Create outstanding content
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Focus on the user
about the policy center.jpg
policy violations.jpg
AdSense policy resources

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New ways to reach your audiences with Programmatic Guaranteed

With uncertainty about what will come next and many teams still working from home, marketers tell us they are looking for ways to make every advertising dollar count while also increasing operational efficiency. Programmatic Guaranteed in Display & Video 360 helps you achieve both. First, it gives you a more productive way to engage with your audiences than traditional reservations by increasing reach for the same budget. Second, it reduces the manual work required to set up deals by automating many steps of the campaign management workflow. Today we’re improving Programmatic Guaranteed by adding support for Google Audiences so you can reach people with more precision, giving you more control over how you execute your media buy, and expanding access to premium inventory.

Support for Google Audiences

To make sure you’re only reaching the people who are likely to be interested in your products, Programmatic Guaranteed now supports Google Audiences. This means that you can drive higher ROI by reaching the specific groups of consumers who are most likely to respond to your message based on Google’s unique understanding of intent, in addition to improving reach and efficiency.

For example, if you’re an automotive company planning a campaign to launch a new all-wheel drive vehicle, you can create a deal with a top news publisher to only show ads to outdoor and winter sports enthusiasts. Support for Google Audiences works on all Programmatic Guaranteed deals with Google Ad Manager publishers. Access to affinity segments is available now and we will add support for in-market audiences in the coming months.

Programmatic Guaranteed with Google Audiences is an important step forward in how we enhance reservation buys and allows us to implement consistent audience strategies for our clients across display, video and audio Adam Coulter
Head of Platforms, Omnicom Media Group Australia

New reservation features

We’re also bringing some of the most requested advertiser features from traditional reservations to Programmatic Guaranteed. First, we’ve introduced makegoods, so if a campaign doesn’t go according to plans, publishers will be able to offer extra impressions to make up for delivery issues. Second, in addition to cost-per-thousand impression (CPM) and cost-per day (CPD) sponsorships, you’ll be able to set up the sponsorship by day part or percent of share of voice.

For example, let’s say that you’re a telco operator and have a special offer for Black Friday that starts at 6 PM on Thanksgiving day. With this new feature, you’re able to reserve all impressions available between 6 PM and midnight on Thanksgiving day for the publishers that you have negotiated deals with. You could also decide to run the same promotion on 20 percent of the impressions available throughout the entire day.

Expanded access to premium inventory

In addition to publishers using Google Ad Manager, Programmatic Guaranteed is also available for publisher inventory on several popular third-party exchanges. And we’ve recently added access to four new exchanges: FreeWheel, Kargo, Smartclip and Xandr. When planning for your next campaign, you’ll have access to even more premium reservation inventory that you can buy programmatically.

With these new features, Programmatic Guaranteed will help you reach more of the people who are most likely to be interested in your products while giving you the same controls of direct reservations. If you want to learn more, you can take our latest Skillshop training module on Programmatic Guaranteed, or speak with your account team.

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