Today, Google held a widely promoted livestream event where the VP of Product Development rolled out a number of product & feature announcements.
Update 1 (1:22am, 23 April 2014) – Google’s official blog post on the topic is also live now. Check it out here – http://adwords.blogspot.com/2014/04/sharing-latest-adwords-innovations.html
It wasn’t quite the barn burner that people expected, in terms of overall impact – Google’s recent “not provided” move for Search Query data in AdWords probably had a bigger discussion value. But there were a series of small changes that will add up to provide a huge improvement for people who spend a lot of time doing AdWords optimization and ROI improvement (i.e. Us!).
You can watch the full announcements here, and here’s a quick summary of all the major changes announced. For each of the points, you’ll find my quick thoughts and the industries who will benefit from the change.
1. Innovative Ad Formats for Mobile Apps
- App Keyword Suggestions – Based on heuristic data, Google will now start showing more “Click to Download” apps. Seems like a logical progression from previous “Click to Download” apps.
- In-App Install Ads – Again, similar to previous banner ads within other apps. But now smarter based on app categories and user behaviour. So a “calorie counter” app will be matched to show ads on “running” or “fitness” apps.
- TrueView Companion for Apps – New “Click to Download” ads right below YouTube videos. I imagine you’ll start seeing a Runkeeper app ad next to a fitness video when you go to YouTube on your mobile device.
- App Deep Linking – Aha! This one is interesting. Google says 60% of apps are never opened the second time. So deep-linking your ads to features inside apps can help drive up usage & engagement.
- Measurement – You’ll also be able to measure in-app revenue (I imagine on both Google Play and Apple App Stores) and optimize your campaigns based on that.
Overall, small but logical progressions from previous suites of Mobile ads. These will be very relevant to publishers, news sites and anyone who publishes a mobile app.
2. Insightful Reporting of Conversions
- Online – The good old conversion and revenue tracking we’ve always been able to do. Nothing new announced here.
- Cross Device – The new “estimated total conversions” feature that went live last year that allowed us to see the impact of mobile+desktop purchases.
- Phone – Click to call tracking that also went live last year.
- In Store – This is the actual new feature which Google says will allow some sort of in-store tracking. How? Why? When? Many questions left unanswered.
A bit underwhelming – certainly the promises made are pretty big, but like most big changes, this one seems like it will come to Asia much later and we’ll be waiting for years for this to become a reality.
3. Intelligent Tools
- Bulk Actions – Fantastic, looks like some UI enhancements plus Google Drive integrations will allow us to make large scale changes in the way bid management platforms used to allow earlier.
- Automated Bidding – Google already allows CPC, CPA and ROAS based bidding. Now it will allow bidding to maximize conversions and revenue. Totally awesome, can’t wait to try this one out.
- Enhanced Reporting – Another kickass feature. We’ve wasted years of our lives exporting AdWords data into Excel and then creating pivot tables. Looks like a pivot table like feature is now going to be built into AdWords.
- Drafts & Experiments – A mashup of the old “Drafts” and “Experiments” features, now looks like there’s a cleaner interface to run, see the results from and deploy Experiments. Not many people knew about the older experiments, so perhaps this rebranding will help.
Overall, this was the most powerful section of the three. Clients in education (schools & universities), travel (airlines) and hospitality (hotels) will benefit significantly from this last set of features.
Although no launch dates were announced, typical launches take 2-6 months to reach Asia. We in Singapore should start benefiting from these features in Q3 of 2014.
Did you log on to the live stream? Have you read other features from the announcements? Let us know, chime in on the comments below.