Tap Into Fan Power With New YouTube Select Sponsorships

From record-breaking music video releases to never-before-seen conversations with celebrities, YouTube has become the virtual stage for the world’s biggest cultural moments. The top 10 videos from 2020 — reaching a total of 356 million collective views — brought the world together to game, to laugh, to share some good news and so much more. 

As home to the content people need and the creators they love, YouTube is where personal meets popular — with fan favorite channels like Naomi Campbell (500,000+ subscribers) and Zach King (10 million+ subscribers). In the U.S., YouTube is the #1 video content provider viewers would miss the most if it was no longer available.1  

To help brands engage peak audiences, build association and stay relevant when it matters most, today we’re announcing a bigger, better sponsorship program under YouTube Select in the U.S.

Expanding our YouTube Select sponsorship offering 

In addition to longstanding sponsorships available exclusively in the upfront like NFL Game Day All Access, new this year, we’re offering a rolling set of seasonal sponsorships available on a quarterly basis.

Our seasonal sponsorship offering focuses specifically on what’s prominent in culture during that time of year, like Mother’s Day, Summer Wellness or Women in Music during Women’s History Month. And most importantly, the breadth of the seasonal slate means advertisers have a much wider variety of opportunities to celebrate diverse communities and topics, and reach their audiences where they are watching. 

See below for a glimpse into some of the most exciting sponsorships coming up, available either upfront or through our new seasonal offering.

The Upfront Slate

Reaching over 30 million views in the 2020 season, NFL Game Day All Access will be returning to YouTube for a third season this fall.2 Streaming exclusively on the NFL YouTube channel, it gives fans an intimate look at the full game day experience, with wired sound from players and coaches. Advertisers will have the opportunity to sponsor the show for multiple episodes during the regular season and postseason.

2020 was the biggest year yet for gaming on YouTube, with 100 billion watch time hours and 40 million+ active gaming channels. Building on this momentum, we’re adding a brand new upfront opportunity with Summer Game Fest — the industry’s first fully digital and global gaming event. We’re also excited to bring back the upfront sponsorship for The Game Awards — one of the biggest nights in the gaming industry that celebrates the biggest achievements of the year, including high share of voice, in-show integration and more.

Additionally, brands will have the opportunity to put on their studio executive hats with YouTube Greenlight. YouTube Greenlight brings a group of emerging YouTube creators together to pitch an original series ideas based on specific advertisers goals. The sponsorship includes a custom creator pitch session, a fully funded creator original series with integrations and paid promotion across YouTube.

The Seasonal Slate 

Today, YouTube announced a continued focus on sustainability with new original programming coming later this year. A subset of these shows will be available for sponsorship as part of our Q4 sustainability seasonal package, alongside other opportunities with YouTube creators and content focused on sustainable impact. The sponsorship will be available for companies with strong commitments to building a better planet for everyone.

Additionally, the seasonal state offers new ways to connect with your audience during holidays like Mother’s Day. For Mother’s Day specifically, we’ve seen surges in interest for things like that special gift, the perfect song for mom and more. To help brands align with this moment on YouTube, we’re offering a variety of packages including ownership of top moms’ channel WhatsUpMoms and the ability to build your own high share of voice packages across top mom creator and celebrity channels.

We’re celebrating Black Music Appreciation Month with three different Black Music Month packages in June. Each sponsorship includes high share of voice across relevant playlists like R&B Wave or Essential 00’s Hip Hop, added value components and ownership of top channels like Joe Budden TV.

How advertisers are tapping into moments that matter most on YouTube

Mediacom partnered with their client and YouTube to honor women’s history through the lens of music. The partnership included development of custom creative assets to celebrate women’s history, plus 100% share of voice of contextual environments like Women’s History Month music playlists and the GRAMMY’s channel, which featured a Women in the Mix special.

Angelina Kim, Senior Partner & Group Director, Mediacom, said “This was an important opportunity to help our client connect with their audience, and drive engagement with the brand in the moments that matter most — all creatives drove significant increases in awareness and message association.”

The sponsorships shared today are just a sampling of what’s available. Reach out to your Google sales team to learn more about YouTube Select sponsorships available in the upfront, and throughout the year.


1.  Google/Talkshoppe, US, whyVideo study, n=2003 A18-64 Genpop video users, June 2020.
2. YouTube Data, Sep 2020 – Mar 2021

Source: Official Google Webmasters Blog

Privacy First Web Advertising A Measurement Update

In January, we shared how Google’s advertising teams have been evaluating the proposals in Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox, an open-source initiative to replace third-party cookies with viable privacy-first alternatives that can support the publishers and advertisers who help keep the web open and accessible.

Today, we’re going to explain how the latest proposals in the Privacy Sandbox can solve for key conversion measurement use cases on the web while preserving privacy – and we’ll also share a new resource to help you learn more about the overall initiative.

Conversion measurement

Chrome’s conversion measurement proposals center around an API that would have the capability to report both event-level and aggregated information. Event-level information is helpful when businesses need data to be more granular, such as deciding how much to bid on impressions or modeling conversions. Aggregated information is important for summarizing campaign performance, like reporting total conversion value or return on investment.

To make sure that the API preserves privacy, and that any data reported can’t be used to track individual people as they move across the web, the API uses one or more of the following techniques:

  • Aggregate the data that is reported so that each person’s browsing activity and identity remain anonymous among a large group of conversions.
  • Limit the amount of information reported about each conversion, so it’s not possible to expose the identity of the person behind the conversion.
  • Add “noise” to the data reported, which protects an individual’s privacy by including some random data along with the actual conversion results.

The Chrome team recently shared new proposals for how the API could apply these privacy considerations while reporting view-through conversions and cross-device conversions:

For view-through conversion measurement, Chrome proposes that advertisers use the event-level capability of the API to get a report on the conversions that happen on their website and are attributed to ad views across the web. The browser would enable this by registering the ad impressions that take place across websites and then matching any conversions that happen on an advertiser’s website back to the initial views. To prevent any conversion data from being used to track people individually, the Chrome API would limit the amount of information shared about each conversion and add noise to the data. 

Then, when advertisers are interested in reporting on the total number of view-through conversions, for a video ad campaign as an example, Chrome proposes that they can use the API’s aggregate reporting capability. This would allow advertisers to get more precise information on key metrics for the overall campaign without compromising people’s privacy. That’s because aggregate reporting keeps people’s identities and their browsing histories anonymous as it only shares data across a large group of conversions.

For cross-device conversion measurement, Chrome proposes that advertisers use the API’s event-level capability to report on the conversions that happen on their website and are attributed to ad views or clicks that happen on another device. This would only be possible if the people converting are signed into their browser across their devices. Access to this capability would enable cross-device measurement for all participating ad providers and networks.

The proposals in the Privacy Sandbox will change how measurement works for digital ads, but are designed to support key measurement use cases while protecting people’s privacy. We’re beginning to run simulations to understand how different use cases might be impacted by the privacy considerations made in Chrome’s various proposals and we look forward to sharing our findings in the near future.

Resources

We know that there are many questions about the Privacy Sandbox and that there is broad interest in learning more about each of the proposals. The Chrome team recently built a new website, privacysandbox.com, with an overview of this effort, FAQs, and links to additional resources. We’ll also continue to share regular updates about our work across Google’s ads teams to adopt the Privacy Sandbox technologies for our web advertising and measurement products.

Source: Official Google Webmasters Blog

A More Private Web Can Help Businesses Grow

Ads play a major role in sustaining the free and open web. They support great content and services from a diverse range of creators and publishers. They help companies of all sizes reach customers more efficiently than ever before. 

Yet people’s expectations for the collection and use of data are changing, which means the web as we know it—free, open and ad-supported—is changing, too. Internet platforms, web browsers and ad-blocking features are promising more privacy by blocking common technologies like cookies. This takes a toll on the funds that content creators, newsrooms, web developers and videographers depend on to support their work. It also means that companies that rely on these technologies must respect the demand for a more private web in order for the web itself to remain dynamic and vibrant over the long term. 

We strongly believe that advertising and privacy can coexist. Helping businesses adapt to a privacy-safe web isn’t just good business practice—if done right, and done collaboratively, it can be an engine for economic recovery and growth.

The importance of online advertising 

When you see ads online, they’re usually placed with the support of widely available tools, often called ad technology or “ad tech,” that help companies get the most out of the money they spend on ads. Google competes with a range of companies large and small to provide these tools to the platforms, publishers, and advertisers that need them. 

All this competition drives us to innovate and improve our tools. Millions of publishers use Google advertising services to help make the digital advertising process easy and effective, and publishers retain about 70 percent of the revenue that’s generated (and for many, it’s even more). We’re constantly working to help them earn more: In 2019, we made nearly 80 product improvements aimed at improving publisher revenue, which generated revenue increases of more than 9 percent in total for publishers using Google Ad Manager.

What cookies do 

Much of online advertising makes use of a basic, widely available technology called cookies, which are part of the basic architecture of the web. They help with things like measuring the effectiveness of a company’s ad campaign or enabling a particular advertiser to reach the consumers it wants to reach.

However, cookies were conceived for an earlier era. It’s clear from privacy laws in Europe and around the world that citizens and governments want a greater understanding of how they work and more control over their use. And efforts by platforms, browsers and ad-blocking companies are already putting new limits on them.

In this changing landscape, the funds that web publishers rely on to support their operations are increasingly at risk. For example, an analysis of the 500 largest Google Ad Manager customers found that when third-party cookies are disabled, publishers receive on average 52 percent less programmatic ad revenue. Like others, Google also uses third-party cookies for ads we serve on other sites (for example, Google Ad Manager and AdSense) so Google will also be affected as the industry moves away from cookies.

The Privacy Sandbox 

The question today is whether the web can keep people’s information safe and private while also supporting the advertising that keeps so much of the web free. 

That’s why, as part of a larger initiative with the web standards community called the “Privacy Sandbox,” the engineers behind Google’s browser, Chrome, are working on ways to underpin a healthy, ad-supported web without third-party cookies. Privacy Sandbox aims to provide space for experimentation and input from technologists, businesses, publishers, regulators and more. Among the proposals being tested are privacy-safe ways to do things like predict and protect against fraud, properly measure if an ad campaign has “worked,” and find the right audience for an ad. One such proposal, Federated Learning of Cohorts, uses machine learning algorithms that run on individual devices to model groups of people by their browsing behaviors without creating individual ad profiles at all.

Coming up with these new technologies involves complicated trade-offs, but we believe that the decision to phase out support for third-party cookies is the right thing for privacy and the industry as a whole. That’s why we’re working with the industry in forums like the W3C, and are in active discussions with independent authorities, such as the Competition and Markets Authority and the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK, to help us find the best approach. 

Responsible use of data

We’re committed to having privacy-preserving mechanisms in place that address the industry’s critical needs before discontinuing support for third-party cookies. We think this will not only promote business growth for numerous companies, but could also increase competition in the sector overall by making it a healthier place to advertise and grow while still meeting consumers’ expectations.

Alongside our efforts to promote privacy, we’re increasing transparency on the data we use, and are investing in products to help people and businesses to understandprotectmove and benefit from data in new ways

Protecting people’s personal data doesn’t have to be at odds with business growth. By focusing on the people who use our products and investing in new technologies to connect advertisers and publishers with users safely, we can create more value and promote a thriving future on the web—for everyone.

Source: Official Google Webmasters Blog

Greater Controls For Sensitive Ad Topics In Your Ad Settings

Building tools that provide transparency and control has always been a top priority for us, and over the years, we’ve empowered people to shape their ads experience through user controls. We’ve launched About this ad, which explains why a specific ad is being shown, and Ad Settings, which allows people to control how ads are personalized or even opt out of personalized ads altogether at an account level.

We’ve heard feedback that some people would prefer to limit ads in certain categories like alcohol, so today, we’re launching a new control in Ad Settings, enabling people to see fewer alcohol ads, with gambling as an additional option. 

We’ve long had features like Mute this ad, where people can indicate which ads they’d rather not see. These controls live alongside our policies which determine when and where gambling and alcohol ads can be shown per local laws (e.g. age restrictions). This new feature is an extra step, putting choice in the user’s hands and enabling you to further control your ad experience. With a click of a button, you can choose to see fewer gambling and alcohol ads. It is also reversible; should you change your mind, you can click to see such ads again. 

This feature will roll out in Ad Settings gradually, beginning with YouTube Ads in the US, and we aim to introduce this for Google Ads and YouTube globally in early 2021. Countries with legal restrictions against serving gambling and alcohol ads will not see any change in their policies.

Many of the advertisers we work with are also invested in respecting people’s choices and cultural differences when it comes to the ads they see. For this initiative, we’ve been working with the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) and its members, the leading beer, wine and spirits producers, taking into account their expertise on standards for responsible alcohol advertising and marketing—and we’re pleased to have their support.


“IARD’s engagement with Google means users of the platform, starting with YouTube, will have the option to see fewer alcohol ads. Our members are determined to give people greater control over whether they see alcohol-related marketing online. Respecting these personal preferences and recognizing differences in culture requires sensitivity and action, that’s why we hope this partnership is the start of a bigger movement.” – Henry Ashworth, President and CEO of the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking

 “As a responsible producer and member of IARD, we are determined to set and deliver new and robust standards of marketing responsibility. This significant new feature is a very important development for our sector, and it will have a meaningful impact for people around the world as it is rolled out across Google’s platform.”- Albert Baladi, CEO Beam Suntory and Chair of the IARD


We believe this new feature is an important step in user choice and control. We’ll continue to improve our controls; and as our products and people’s expectations of them evolve, so will the features we make available to personalize ad experiences.

Source: Official Google Webmasters Blog

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.

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.

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.

Source: Official Google Webmasters Blog

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 marketersretailers, 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 keyword-based 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.

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.

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. To learn more about our latest product innovations, watch the full Advertising Week keynote.

Source: Official Google Webmasters Blog

Google Ads: Automatic Bidding vs. Manual Bidding

For many companies, Google Ads is an easy and effective way to promote their products and brand.

Google Ads levels the playing field for smaller companies by enabling them to advertise without laying out large sums of capital.

Recently, Google has gone even further by offering the option of allowing artificial intelligence (AI) to run pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns.

This is a risky gambit for many companies. If you have limited resources and a shrinking advertising budget, you may be hesitant to turn over control of your PPC campaign to an automated process.

In this blog, I’ll review several important considerations related to manual bidding versus automated bidding.

Why Companies Use Pay-Per-Click

More and more people are using the Internet to shop, communicate, and socialize. This shift in where the public spends the majority of its time has made Google—the world’s premiere search engine—an advertising giant.

What You Should Know About Manual Bidding

Manual bidding, as the phrase suggests, is the direct and on-hands management of keyword bids on Google Ads. You make all decisions about your PPC account without AI assistance.

Experience, unique market insight and expertise, and analysis of past keyword performance data can all be used to guide such decision-making. However, it should be noted that this process requires a great deal of time and effort. To get a good return on manual bidding, the people involved in it must be highly competent and have the right level of experience.

This form of bidding may be best if you have a limited budget and a small amount of consumer data. The benefits of manual bidding include:

  • Control: You can be as aggressive as you want to win bids on specific key words and phrases
  • Responsiveness: You can change your keyword bids quickly in response to new competitors and your lowest performers
  • No delays: Manual bidding changes take effect immediately

You should also be aware of the downsides of manual bidding. As your PPC account grows bigger, it will become harder to manage. You may be compelled to hire more people to monitor and manage it, which can eat away at your advertising budget. Manual bidding is also vulnerable to human errors, some of which can be quite costly.

What You Should Know About Automatic Bidding

Automatic bidding is also known as smart bidding. This form of bidding is the best option if you have large PPC accounts, a great deal of historical data, and no experts in manual bidding and no desire to hire any.

If you are a growing company or a well-established one with significant capital reserves, you may be better off letting Google AI take charge of your account.

Here are some of the specific benefits of going down this route:

  • Versatile segmentation: This involves the creation of customized subsections within your broader target audience based on their shared interests and behaviors
  • Efficiency: The AI technology will allow you to manage thousands of keywords and hundreds of ad groups at once
  • Accurate prediction models: The advanced algorithms can give you a sound foundation for decision-making by making accurate predictions about your campaigns
  • Cost-effectiveness: Your team will spend less time on monitoring your Google Ads accounts, which will free them up for more pressing business matters

While automated bidding is a highly effective way to manage your PPC campaign, in almost all cases, you should not start off with it. The smarter move is to go with manual bidding initially, test the waters, and wait until your account has a steady flow of traffic and you have reached a statistically significant number of conversions from which you can make educated decisions.

You should also be aware that any changes you make to Google Ads will take some time to implement if you are using AI. You will need to manually sync if you want the changes to take effect immediately.

If you intend to pursue automated bidding, then there are a few common strategies—which appear as settings on the account—that are worth learning about. They include:

1. Maximize conversions

This sets keyword bids to get the most conversions possible with a given budget. If you set your account to maximize conversions, the AI system will check your daily budget and determine how best to use it. You should be warned that your entire budget can be consumed if you are not careful, which is why you should carve out a stand-alone budget for this type of campaign.

2. Maximize clicks

If you configure your Google Ads campaign with this option, the top priority will be getting ad clicks. The AI system will automatically determine bids based on the likelihood of earning a click or conversion. The system will do so based on the following criteria: device, operating system, demographics, location, and time of day.

It is still possible to set bid limits with this option. However, you should be aware that excessively tight limits will restrict the number of clicks you may get.

There are real differences between manual and automatic bidding on Google Ads. If you have just established a start-up, then you should begin with manual bidding. Over time, you may decide to opt for automatic bidding. But this decision should only be made in light of your PPC budget, your business goals, and the experience and expertise of your workforce.

Updates On Our Work To Improve User Privacy In Digital Advertising

Privacy is core to our work at Google, and to our vision for a thriving internet where people around the world can continue to access ad-supported content, while also feeling confident that their data is protected. But in order to get there, we must increase transparency into how digital advertising works, offer users additional controls, and ensure that people’s choices about the use of their data are respected—not worked around or ignored. 

Today we’re sharing updates on our work in these areas, including new tools that provide people more information about the ads they see. We’re also introducing new resources for marketers and publishers that offer guidance on how to navigate today’s privacy environment, along with real-world examples from brands and media companies who are delivering effective, privacy-forward ad experiences that use data responsibly.

Greater transparency, more control

For many years Google has offered a feature called Why this ad, where from an icon in a digital ad, users can get more information on some of the factors that were used to select the ad for them, or choose to stop seeing that ad. There are over 15 million user interactions per day with Why this ad as people seek to learn more about and control the ads they see, and we recently extended this feature to ads on connected TVs. 

Over the next few months, we’ll be making improvements to the experience with a new feature called About this ad, which will also show users the verified name of the advertiser behind each ad. About this ad will initially be available for display ads purchased through Google Ads and Display & Video 360, and we’ll bring it to other ad surfaces throughout 2021.

Our commitment to increase transparency and offer users more control goes beyond the ads Google shows. Due to the complexity of the digital ads ecosystem and the large number of entities involved, it’s typically not clear to users which companies are even involved in showing them an ad. To provide people with detailed information about all the ads they see on the web, we’re releasing a new tool called Ads Transparency Spotlight, now available to try out as an alpha extension from the Chrome Web Store. We’ll continue to improve this extension based on feedback from users, and over time we expect to offer additional disclosures about ads, as well as introduce controls. Our hope is that other technology providers will build similar transparency and control capabilities into the experiences they offer as well.

Evolving the ad-supported internet

Chrome continues to explore more privacy-forward ways for the web browser to support digital ads with the Privacy Sandbox open standards initiative. As part of the Privacy Sandbox, several proposals have been published for new APIs that would solve for use cases like ad selection, conversion measurement, and fraud protection in a way that doesn’t reveal identifying information about individual users. One of the proposed APIs, for trust tokens that could combat ad fraud by distinguishing between bots and real users, is now available for testing by developers, and more will move to live testing soon.

Once these approaches have addressed the needs of users, publishers and advertisers, Chrome plans to phase out support for third-party cookies. These proposals are being actively discussed in forums like the W3C. Our ads team is actively contributing to this dialog—as we encourage any interested party to do—and we expect to incorporate the new solutions into our products in the years ahead.

We’re also exploring a range of other approaches to improve user privacy while ensuring publishers can earn what they need to fund great content and advertisers can reach the right people for their products. For example, we support the use of advertiser and publisher first-party data (based on direct interactions with customers they have relationships with) to deliver more relevant and helpful experiences—as long as users have transparency and control over the use of that data. What is not acceptable is the use of opaque or hidden techniques that transfer data about individual users and allow them to be tracked in a covert manner, such as fingerprinting. We believe that any attempts to track people or obtain information that could identify them, without their knowledge and permission, should be blocked. We’ll continue to take a strong position against these practices.

Much of the recent conversation about improving the privacy of digital ads has been focused on the web, but there are a range of environments in which people engage with digital ads. Our technical approach and the implementation details may vary based on the unique characteristics of each, but our vision to uplevel user privacy while preserving access to free content is consistent across web, mobile app, connected TV, digital audio—and whatever the next area to emerge may be.

Guidance for advertisers and publishers

The future state of digital advertising promises new technologies, new standards, and better, more sustainable approaches, but it will take some time to get there. We recognize the unease that many in the industry feel during this period of transition. While there is certainly more change on the horizon, it’s critical that marketers and publishers do not wait to take action. 

To help you prepare, we’ve assembled a number of recommendations for marketers and publishers to consider today. From best practices for building direct relationships with your customers and managing data, to tips for evaluating your partner and vendor relationships, to actionable examples for using machine learning and the cloud, these playbooks offer practical guidance and numerous real-world examples of companies that are successfully navigating today’s changing privacy landscape. 

We’ll continue our work to move the digital ads industry towards a more privacy-forward future. In the meantime, make sure your organization is having an active discussion about privacy and that you are taking steps now to plan for what lies ahead.

Source: Official Google Webmasters Blog

Meet Your Marketing Objectives With Helpful Tools And Automation

Consumer behaviors, habits and schedules are shifting faster than ever. Google data shows that searches have surged in the past month for sprinkler controls in the United States, mechanical puzzles in Germany, and powered hand fans in Japan. Keeping pace with these trends can be difficult, especially if the pandemic has impacted your business. 

Marketers have more work to do than ever before, and less time to do it. That’s why we’re introducing improved tools and automated solutions to help you get things done, respond to changes, and grow your business.

Finding new opportunities in a dynamic market

It’s never easy to keep up with shifts in consumer demand, and it’s especially challenging in a dynamic market. The Recommendations page is your best source for real-time, personalized guidance to adjust to these changes. With optimization score, you can prioritize the recommendations that help you discover new opportunities for your campaigns.

For example, “Keywords & Targeting” recommendations make it easy for you to find new trends that are relevant to your business. More than 16 million keyword recommendations in Google Ads are based on market trends, with new recommendations added every day. In March, consumer goods company Artnaturals noticed that demand was increasing for organic hand sanitizer and soaps. Using keyword recommendations, they were able to quickly pivot their advertising to these new trends. As a result, the brand’s monthly site traffic increased by 700 percent.

You can currently find recommendations throughout your campaigns, on the Recommendations page, and in the Google Ads mobile app. Soon, you’ll be able to see them in Google Ads Editor as well. We’ve also added support for recommendations and campaign level optimization score to the Google Ads API, and account level optimization score will be coming soon. This will make it even easier for you to review, manage and act on your recommendations at scale.

Planning with confidence

There are many new growth opportunities emerging in search due to shifts in consumer behavior. Performance Planner removes the guesswork in this process by giving you a performance plan with predicted clicks, conversions and conversion values based on different spend levels and return-on-investment targets.   

In the meal delivery sector, Cook it used Performance Planner to optimize campaign budgets and make the most of rising search interest in meal kits in March. Paired with Smart Bidding, the brand saw a 200 percent increase in conversions in just two weeks.

Starting today, you can now use Performance Planner to plan Search campaigns using shared budgets. Performance Planner is currently available for Search and Shopping campaigns, and will soon be available to Display and App campaigns.

Performance Planner is a great way to make sure your budgets are set at the right level to capture new growth opportunities on search.

Optimizing campaigns in real time

These days, marketers have to deliver on performance while dealing with limited time and resources. Smart Bidding is key to helping you balance these constraints; it can help you automatically drive more performance out of every dollar you spend while freeing up time. Over the last few months, we’ve built new Smart Bidding features based on your feedback.

In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to create, monitor and manage your portfolio bid strategies across accounts at the manager account level. By combining campaigns from different accounts into a single portfolio, it’ll be easier to drive more performance across those accounts. As part of this update to portfolio bidding, bid strategy reports will be available for your new cross-account bid strategies. These reports give you more visibility into how your bid strategy is working via status updates, advanced performance reports, and top signals.

It’s important to provide more transparency into your bids, especially right now—so in the coming months, we’ll make explanations available for Smart Bidding campaigns. This will make it easier for you to understand what caused clicks, impressions, costs and conversions to change.

Over the rest of the year, we plan to roll out even more reporting updates to give you further insight into your automated bidding—such as limited inventory status for Maximize conversions and Target CPA, improved top signals, and conversion value estimates.

Monitoring performance to take action

In an ever-changing market, it’s important to check your performance on a regular basis. The Google Ads mobile app makes it easy for you to monitor campaigns in real time, helping you take quick action from wherever you are. We’ve been listening to your feedback and continue to invest in new features to make the app a helpful and personalized companion for your marketing efforts.

As part of that investment, we’ve launched manager accounts in the mobile app. This means you can view and manage all your Google Ads accounts in one place, on the go. With manager accounts in the app, you’re now able to:

  • Discover business-wide trends and performance insights for all your accounts on the Overview page.
  • Improve performance at scale with optimization score, and prioritize recommendations across all your accounts.
  • Manage campaigns and compare performance across your accounts.
  • Use push notifications to monitor all your accounts, wherever you are.

AGY47, an agency based in the UK, saved over two hours per week using the mobile app to check in on performance, make improvements, and keep their accounts organized on the go. As Sarah Williams, AGY47’s head of paid marketing, put it: “We never miss a beat with the Google Ads mobile app.”

Source: Official Google Webmasters Blog

New Ways To Put Your Customers First And Achieve Your Marketing Objectives

Life looks very different now for my family than it did earlier this year. From juggling work priorities to managing distance learning for my kids, there never seems to be enough hours in the day. As we adapt, we’re relying on our phones to get things done.

How can brands lend a hand? We believe there are three key ways to put consumers at the core of your strategy: help people quickly get what they want, deliver relevant information and make it easy for your customers to take action.

Today, we’re sharing new ways to put your customers first and achieve your marketing objectives.

Help people get what they want, faster

The stakes are high on mobile. If you don’t give people what they want quickly, they’ll take their business elsewhere. In fact, we recently found that for retail sites, improving your site load time by 0.1s can help you improve conversion rates by 8 percent.

Test My Site has been an important tool for helping diagnose site speed and providing custom tips on how to make it faster. Today, we updated the tool to provide specific recommendations on how you can improve your mobile site—beyond speed—and deliver more personalized and seamless experiences. Key updates include:

  • Aligning speed metrics with Web Vitals, an initiative by Google to provide unified guidance for quality signals that, we believe, are essential to delivering a great user experience on the web. When marketers and developers share the same definition of success, it’s easier to agree on what’s driving results.
  • Customized tips on how to make your site experience relevant and easy to use. For example, learn how to build a one-step checkout and keep customers coming back with relevant push notifications. 

To get started, visit Test My Site to see how your site is doing and download your customized report—with sections for both marketers and developers—that you can share with your team.

Deliver more engaging and helpful ad experiences 

Many marketers already use feeds in Display, Shopping and Local campaigns to quickly upload and showcase products in your ads. With more product images directly in your ad, consumers are able to easily and seamlessly find what they’re shopping for. In the coming months, we’ll roll out feeds in App campaigns globally to all customers. According to beta testing, advertisers using feeds saw, on average, 6 percent more installs from Google.com and 17 percent more in-app actions (like log-ins and purchases) on sites and apps in our network.

Wish, an e-commerce company, used feeds to display diverse products from its marketplace. Wish also enabled deferred deep linking, which gave new app users a smoother onboarding experience—from app install straight to the item they saw in the ad.

Here’s how it works: if a new user taps on a Wish ad for running shoes, she will be directed to her app store to install the Wish app. After installing and opening the app for the first time, she would automatically land on the running shoes’ product page to learn more or make a purchase.

Since adopting feeds and deferred deep linking, Wish has seen a 105 percent increase in purchases from its app at a similar CPA. “These features have made our app more discoverable and appealing to customers,” says Krishanth Kathiresan, Wish’s Head of Growth Marketing. “It’s a scalable way for us to drive more lower-funnel user engagement and, most importantly, mobile orders.”

To get started, you can reach out to your account manager to join our beta or learn more.

Make it easier for your customers to take action

Loyal customers stick with brands that make it easy for them to get things done. For customers who already have your app installed, deep linking lets them get to the relevant page in the app without having to log in or re-enter information. 

Last year at Google Marketing Live, we announced app deep linking from Search, Display and Shopping ads. In the coming months, we’ll be rolling out deep linking from YouTube, Hotel, Gmail and Discovery ads. On average, deep linked ad experiences drive 2X the conversion rates.

Let’s say, your customer is watching a cooking video on YouTube and sees a discount for “2-hour grocery delivery.” Once she taps on the ad, she’s taken directly to a page in the store’s app to place an order.  

Rakuten Ichiba, a Japanese e-commerce company, found that enabling deep linking helped its loyal customers take action on ads directly in the brand’s app, resulting in 4X mobile purchases and 3X conversions. 

App deep linking introduces an important and seamless path to conversion. To give you better insight into where consumers are landing and converting from your ads, you can start to use ad destination reporting in Google Ads—available globally starting today.

For example, let’s say you’re a retailer with both a website and app. With the ad destination report, you can see in the “App deep link” row that these ads drive a higher conversion rate at a lower cost per conversion.

To get started with reporting for your app, use Google Analytics for Firebase or work with one of our App Attribution Program partners

Source: Official Google Webmasters Blog

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