EsheleD Marketing & Technology

28Apr/160

New Merchant Center Feed Rules helps you submit your product data into Google Shopping feed format

Finding the right customers on Google Shopping starts with your Merchant Center product feed: it contains all the information about the products you sell to help online shoppers find just what they’re looking for. But we know that creating and maintaining a complete and compliant data feed can be challenging. To make feed management easier, we’re excited to introduce Feed Rules, a self-service tool to help you transform your existing data from your inventory management systems into the format accepted by Google Shopping. Feed Rules helps you streamline your data feed uploads, whether you’re already running Shopping campaigns or you’re just getting started.

Use Feed Rules to set up and maintain your feed in Google Shopping format 
Feed Rules allows you to perform basic transformations of your existing product data -- making it easier than ever to get your data feed up and running. You can export and submit your product data in your own format, and use different rules to transform it into product attributes and values that follow the Google Shopping feed specification, directly in Merchant Center:

  • Map your column headers to the attribute names supported by Google Shopping. For example, if you have an existing feed with the unsupported column header “main title”, you can set up a rule in Merchant Center to have it recognized as the supported attribute name, “title”. 
  • Transform the values in your feed to values supported by Google Shopping. For example, to submit gender specifications for your products, you can transform the unsupported value “for women” in your existing feed to the supported value “female”. 
  • Populate missing attribute values with a fixed value, or with different values based on conditional criteria. For example, if the “condition” attribute is missing and you’re only selling new products, you can set up a rule to have this attribute automatically set to “new”. 

Once you specify new rules for a feed, all future uploads of this feed will be processed according to those rules.

Google Shopping - Feed Rules
Feed rules in action: these rules transform unrecognized values for gender into values accepted for Google Shopping

 Use Feed Rules to organize your data for campaign optimization You can also use conditional rules to better organize your data:

  • Implement rules for custom labels to structure your campaigns in new ways. For example, you can group products by price ranges or margins, then later bid differently on these groups. 
  • Tag your products with a shipping label. For example, you can derive “heavy” from the category, label those products, and define a particular shipping cost for those items. 

As we introduce the first version of Feed Rules, we’re eager to learn about even more use cases from you. Feedback and suggestions for this feature can be entered directly from your Merchant Center account by clicking the gear icon in the top-right corner of the page and selecting “Send Feedback” to let us know what you think.

For more information about Feed Rules, check out our Help Center article, and stay tuned to the blog to learn more about feature updates and enhancements.  

Posted by Sven Herschel, Product Manager for Google Shopping

27Apr/160

Built for mobile: Bumper ads drive incremental reach and frequency, particularly on smartphones

Recent research has shown that half of 18-49 year olds turn to their mobile device first to watch video. Even in the living room, many people prefer to watch on their smartphone – for the control, personalization and ease it offers. And as viewing habits change, we are working to introduce new formats adapted to these habits.

That’s why today we’re announcing Bumper ads – a new six-second video format, sold through the AdWords auction on a CPM basis. Bumper ads are ideal for driving incremental reach and frequency, especially on mobile, where “snackable videos” perform well.

Given the succinct nature of the format, we’ve seen Bumper ads work best when combined with a TrueView or Google Preferred campaign. In early tests, Bumpers drove strong lift in upper funnel metrics like recall, awareness and consideration. We also see that Bumpers work well to drive incremental reach and frequency when paired with a TrueView campaign.

Atlantic Records was an early tester of this new format, using Bumpers to launch English band Rudimental’s second album. As Fiona Byers, Senior Marketing Manager of Atlantic Records/Warner Music Group said, “TrueView and Bumpers were a really important part of the recent Rudimental campaign to tell the story of the band’s second album. Through cost-efficient bumpers we could really showcase the plethora of legendary guests featured on the record. They each gave a short sharp insight into a featured artist and individual track on the album, with TrueView providing the fuller story around the album and the band. When used in conjunction, TrueView plus Bumpers really work more effectively than either format on its own.”

As a quick and fun format, Bumpers lend themselves well to serialized content. Audi Germany cut up their longer TrueView ad to introduce their Q-series SUVs with evocative German “q” words like querpass (cross kick) and quantensprung (quantum leap). Their early adoption of the format mirrors Audi Germany’s tagline “Vorsprung durch Technik” (“advantage through technology”).

We like to think of Bumper ads as little haikus of video ads – and we’re excited to see what the creative community will do with them. You can use Bumpers beginning in May by talking to your Google sales representative, and stay tuned as we continue to roll out new ad formats that are uniquely adapted to the way people watch video now, and in the future.

Posted by Zach Lupei, Product Manager, Video Ads

20Apr/160

Showing how YouTube ads drive sales for CPG brands with Oracle Data Cloud

Measuring the impact of online video is something of a passion for us at Google. It’s been three years since we unveiled Brand Lift for YouTube and brands have seen great success. But the last piece of the puzzle has been how does online video drive offline sales? This is particularly true for consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, for which the vast majority of sales – over 90% – happen offline. Thanks to our new integration with Oracle Data Cloud – a leader in the emerging Data as a Service (DaaS) industry that measures the sales impact of digital media – we now have a solution to answer that question. Today we’re announcing the availability of sales lift studies in the US, for CPG advertisers using TrueView video ads.

The value of video 

We’ve been testing this capability for a while, and have seen promising early results: 78% of TrueView campaigns we studied on YouTube showed an increase in offline sales, with 61% driving a statistically significant lift in sales of the advertised brand.1

To build this solution we worked with Oracle Data Cloud to develop the first in-depth application of their DLX ROI product on video formats, and we studied a range of CPG video campaigns running TrueView ads across food, health and beauty, beverage and homecare. We built this with privacy at the center, and no personal data is exchanged between the companies.

Early client successes 

One campaign we measured, Gatorade’s “We Love Sweat,” earned $13.50 sales in return for every dollar spent on TrueView (return on ad spend, or ROAS). This stunning success was due in part to persistent branding and strong creative geared specifically for driving sales. Gatorade’s campaign was also interesting because it delivered a remarkable 16% lift in sales among new buyers that had seen the video vs. new buyers that had not – according to Oracle Data Cloud a typical lift in this metric hovers around 2.5%.

Similar to Gatorade, parent company PepsiCo also saw sales lift success with their campaign for Doritos. Not only did our DLX ROI solution show that their 30-second creative drove higher lift in sales among exposed households than a 15-second version, but they saw particular targeting techniques – namely topic targeting and remarketing – drove greater sales lift compared to a demographic target.

Mars also participated in our DLX ROI test for their Pedigree pet food brand, and the sales lift studies helped them make key creative decisions. They tested a video that opened with strong branding against one that saved their branding for the end, and learned that the video with strong upfront branding drove nearly 7x greater sales lift. As Laurent Larguinat, Global Director of Mars Consumer and Market Insights said, “With this new offering, YouTube is rounding out a full funnel measurement solution for video. We're excited to continue to see these results for all of our campaigns."

This new sales lift offering drops the last piece into place for full funnel measurement of CPG campaigns on YouTube, and we’re excited to bring you new creative and media strategy insights that drive incremental sales as we scale these studies.

Posted by Mark Thomas, Brand Measurement Product Manager

1. Google/Oracle Data Cloud Sales Lift Meta Analysis, US (TrueView CPG campaigns tested between April 2015 and March 2016)

19Apr/160

Google Manufacturer Center helps brands find and convert new customers

Google provides consumers around the world with the answers they need to find, review, and buy the products they’re looking for. Last year, we announced Google Manufacturer Center, a free tool to help brand manufacturers accurately represent their products to shoppers on Google.com and other Google services. By uploading complete and accurate product data into Manufacturer Center, brands increase their chances of standing out in a crowded marketplace -- and ultimately get more of their products in the hands of consumers. Today, we’ll shine a light on three manufacturers who have boosted results with Manufacturer Center, and highlight new partners that can help manufacturers maximize the tool.

We’ve seen that manufacturers who upload their authoritative product data -- including product descriptions, high-resolution images, GTINs, and product variants -- have helped improve the online shopping experience and increase conversions in key ways:

  1. Detailed product data enables more relevant search results. Product descriptions submitted by manufacturers contain key product attributes, which allow Google to surface Shopping ads (created by retailers) for those products when users search for those attributes. GTIN identifiers enable Google to match manufacturer content to ads and information cards for the same products.
  2. High quality data helps users decide what to buy. By uploading better images and detailed product information, manufacturers can improve the accuracy and completeness of how their products are represented. This helps consumers decide which product to buy.

Manufacturers can choose to either upload their product data directly to Manufacturer Center or work with an approved Google Shopping Partner that integrates with Manufacturer Center. In addition to our existing partners, we're announcing 4 new partners: WebCollage, Channel Advisor, Informatica, and GFK Etilize. These partners are industry leaders in organizing and distributing product data.

Below, learn how three manufacturers -- Bosch, JanSport, and Speakman -- are using Manufacturer Center to help their shoppers make more informed buying decisions.

Bosch drills into richer product data, sees 4% conversion uplift 

Bosch, a leading power tool and accessories brand, has been an early adopter of Manufacturer Center, using the tool to upload rich product data for use in Shopping ads. Before Bosch added product data via Manufacturer Center, a user that searched for “lightweight drill” was unlikely to find the Bosch PS31BN Brushless Drill. The product description provided by Bosch, however, highlighted that the PS31BN is compact and lightweight. Even Shopping ads that don’t display product descriptions can benefit from this additional information, helping Google show the most useful ads to users. Now, when users search for “lightweight drill”, they are much more likely to find the PS31BN. As a result of uploading this more accurate, descriptive data, Bosch saw a 4% uplift in conversions across their updated products on the sites of retailers advertising Bosch products on Google.

Learn More About Google Manufacturer Center

JanSport packs in an extra 13% in conversions for back-to-school 

During the 2015 back-to-school season, JanSport, the world’s leading and largest backpack maker, used Manufacturer Center to overhaul their product images, descriptions, and details to improve how their products appear on Google. For example, JanSport updated their Big Student model backpack by including richer descriptions that highlight the product’s two large compartments, water bottle pocket, and extra large capacity. This information helped create more effective listings on Google Shopping and other Google services like Google Express, letting shoppers better understand what they’re buying. Jansport saw a 13% increase in conversions originating from Google for their backpacks with updated product data, compared to benchmark products without updates.

Learn More About Google Manufacturer Center

Speakman cleans up with an 8% increase in conversions 

Speakman, manufacturer of premium shower and bath products, was an early adopter of Manufacturer Center. They worked with Salsify, a Product Information Management partner, to send their rich product information to Manufacturer Center for use in Shopping ads. With the addition of richer and more complete data, including multiple product images and even videos of their products in action, Google was able to increase relevancy for users searching for Speakman products like their Speakman Reaction and Icon shower heads. After updating product data, Speakman saw an 8% uplift in conversions originating from Google, compared to benchmark products that were not updated.

Learn More About Google Manufacturer Center

Simply put, Manufacturer Center allows manufacturers to elevate their brands and ultimately attract more shoppers online. If you’re a brand manufacturer and are interested in getting started with Manufacturer Center, complete our interest form and we will reach out with next steps. If you already use a PIM, ask how you can get your data sent to Manufacturer Center for use across Google.

Posted by Christian Santiago, Strategic Partner Development Lead

14Apr/160

More defenses roll out to thwart Clickjacking

At Google we defend our ad systems from fraud using technology in a variety of ways. Often our investment in these defenses goes beyond protecting against only known threats. Our engineering and operations teams are continually working to identify new and emerging threats. Once a new ad fraud threat is found, we move quickly to defend our systems against it using a combination of technology, operations, and policy.

Recently we identified “Clickjacking” (aka UI Redress) as an emerging threat to cost-per-click display ads, and we’ve rolled out new defenses to protect advertisers against this threat. Clickjacking is a type of web attack where the appearance of a website is changed so that a victim does not realize they are taking an important action, in this case clicking on one or more ads. For example, a user may intend to click on a video play button or menu item, but instead clicks an invisible ad unit.


Figure 1: An example of a clickable ad hidden behind a video playback button.

Moving quickly to thwart Clickjacking attempts 
Earlier this year when our operations team identified Clickjacking activity on our display network, they moved swiftly to terminate accounts, removing entities involved in or attempting to use this technique to trick users. Our engineering team worked in parallel to quickly release a filter to automatically exclude this type of invalid traffic across display ads.

This approach delivered a one-two punch to publishers who violated our policies: our operations team, which forms an early line of defense against invalid traffic, cleaned out publishers from our ad systems, while engineers built a new filter as a durable defense to protect against Clickjacking traffic.

Figure 2: An example of mouse-tracking, which leads to a page with lots of ads being opened regardless of where a user clicks.

Even as there are ongoing attempts to perpetrate this type of attack, our ongoing and proactive hunt for emerging types of invalid traffic has enabled us to move early and quickly to address Clickjacking threats on several occasions.

A combination of defenses
Our Clickjacking defenses operate at considerable scale, analyzing display ad placements across mobile and desktop platforms, evaluating a variety of characteristics. When our system detects a Clickjacking attempt, we zero-in on the traffic attributed to that placement, and remove it from upcoming payment reports to ensure that advertisers are not charged for those clicks.

This latest effort also is a great example of how our work against invalid traffic is at the intersection of technology, operations, and policy. Each piece plays a key role in keeping our ad systems clean and defended against ad fraud.

We’re proud of our work to protect our ad systems against emerging threats like Clickjacking, and we’ll continue to be vigilant as we fight the good fight against ad fraud.

Posted by: Andres Ferrate, Chief Advocate, Ad Traffic Quality

7Apr/160

No products left out with new Shopping product insights

With winter sales coming to an end and spring finally upon us, now is the perfect time to clean the clutter and ensure all of your products are live in your Shopping campaigns. Approved and ready to serve products are essential for great performance. In fact, 12% of top-clicked products for all advertisers in 2016 are currently not being advertised because they are disapproved or out of stock. Ensure that all the products in your inventory are ready to go using new product status and effective max CPC reporting.

More insights in the Products tab
Now you can easily spot the status of your best performing products with the product status column. Product status will help identify items that have stopped attracting traffic and conversions because they are disapproved, excluded or out of stock.

Let’s say you sell shoes and want to know why there’s been a 50% decrease in total conversions this month from your top performers. You can use the product status column to see if this drop was due to an inventory issue. Select “product status” from the columns drop-down, then sort the table by descending conversions.

Google Shopping product-level performance data
Product-level performance data

Adjust bidding immediately for top shoes with the effective max CPC column; the effective max CPC column shows the bid you set on products within your product groups. Clicking on it takes you directly to the product group that covers this shoe.

Inventory status for Products Groups 
We're also bringing new inventory insights in the Product groups tab. See which shoe products need to be updated in your product data and Shopping campaigns so your campaign reaches its full potential. You can use these new columns for a snapshot of inventory status:

  • Products submitted: Total products in your linked Merchant Center account 
  • Products approved: Total of submitted products approved by Google 
  • Products active: Approved products with a bid 
  • Products ready to serve: Active products that are in stock 
  • % approved: Percentage of approved from total submitted products 
  • % active: Percentage of approved products with a bid 
  • % ready to serve: Percentage of your total products eligible for auction 

Google Shopping new product status column for product groups
New product status columns for product groups

For example, use these snapshots if you notice a conversion drop specifically in your "running shoes" product group. If “% approved” is showing only 60% for “running shoes,” the loss in conversions could be the result of disapproved products.

Robust performance analysis 
Also, starting today, Shopping attributes like brand or product type are now available in the AdWords Report Editor. After you’ve reviewed the status of your products, you can analyze your performance by building custom tables and charts to identify trends, compare sales across brands or devices, and optimize for your goals.

Getting your products live is key to helping shoppers find exactly what they’re searching for. Find more information and tips on how to use the new product status and effective Max CPC reporting using the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Tom Beyer, Product Manager, Google Shopping

5Apr/160

Making the Most of Display Advertising – Google Best Practices

Guide to Programmatic Advertising on the Google Display Network

Today, people have higher expectations of ads than ever. It’s never been more important to tailor messages to the right people at the right moment as they engage in blogs, news sites and more across the web.

We’ve put together a new guide, Making the Most of Display Advertising, to help you deliver relevant ads and efficient results on the Google Display Network. The guide touches on topics such as:

  • Reaching the right audience at the right moment 
  • Matching the message to the moment 
  • Optimizing for performance 

Check out these display advertising best practices to deliver on consumers’ expectations and drive more sales for your business.

Want to stay on top of even more Best Practices? Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter. 

Posted by Matt Lawson, Director, Performance Ads Marketing

1Apr/160

A new guide to entering international markets with AdWords – Google Best Practices

A new guide to entering international markets with AdWords
It’s possible to connect across the globe in an instant. Expanding your business to new countries unlocks new opportunities and challenges for your AdWords account.


We’ve published a new guide to help advertisers go global. This resource offers best practices on exporting your AdWords advertising to new countries, covering topics such as:

  • Discovering your opportunities abroad
  • Connecting with the locals
  • Setting up your account for international optimizations
  • Using automation to scale your coverage

By understanding how you can prime your AdWords campaigns for new markets, you can expand your account effectively and take your business worldwide.

Want to stay on top of even more Best Practices? Sign up to receive our monthly newsletter.

Posted by Matt Lawson, Director, Performance Ads Marketing

31Mar/160

Rev up the car shopping experience with Automotive ads

The way people shop for cars has changed. The days of going from dealership to dealership are over. People now turn to their smartphones in critical auto shopping moments to research models, find deals, and get real-time advice. In fact, 1 out of every 2 automotive searches on Google, like those for make and model, occur on smartphones1 - up 51% year over year.2 To help you reach these auto shoppers with the most relevant and useful experience in those critical micro-moments, we’ve fully rolled out Model Automotive ads, a new mobile ad format now available to all OEM automotive advertisers in the US.

Engage shoppers in your mobile showroom
Undecided auto shoppers turn to images to help narrow down their choices. Searches for “pictures of [automotive brand]” are up 37% year-over-year3 with 80% of those searches occurring on mobile.4 In fact, viewing images of cars and trucks is the most common mobile action when shopping for a vehicle.5 That’s more than any other mobile action taken when shopping for a car. Model Automotive ads recreates that showroom experience by featuring images of your cars along with additional information about each of them, like estimated MPG or advanced features, right within mobile search results.

Shoppers can swipe through high-quality images of a car’s exterior and interior, view details about performance and features, find a local dealer, or navigate directly to your website to build the car of their dreams. Brands are seeing more than a 30% average increase in engagement rate with Model Automotive ads compared to standard text ads.6

“Google's Model Automotive ads provide an immediate and immersive mobile experience for our guests, and the ability to show and tell our story helps highlight the value of the Toyota brand and our vehicles. Across our core line of car models, we’ve seen a 45% increase in conversion events and a 30% decrease in CPA compared to standard text ads.” - Dionne Colvin-Lovely, Director, Traditional and New Media, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.



Drive shoppers to local dealerships

Even as the majority of the car shopping process moves online, the visit to a dealership remains a crucial step in the journey. In the past year, search interest for “car dealerships near me” has doubled,7 with interest in dealer phone numbers up nearly 80% year over year.8 Dealer Automotive ads captures this growing opportunity by featuring the location, directions, and a click-to-call button of nearby dealerships at the top of mobile search results.

To help shoppers navigate from the mobile showroom to a test drive at their local dealership, we’ve built Automotive ads to work seamlessly together. Auto shoppers who start their search with a car model can easily tap on the “Dealers” button in the Model Automotive ad to get directions to or call local dealerships. For example, if someone taps on the Model Automotive ads “Dealers” button after searching for “2016 Toyota Prius,” Google will automatically show Dealer Automotive ads for Toyota dealerships near their location.

"Our goal is to make the car buying process better. Dealer Automotive ads lets us do this by giving shoppers the option to find the closest dealer, get directions, or call them for more information. Results to-date have been incredible. This format is driving 30% higher CTRs and has increased website visitors from intent-based dealership queries by 40%." - Chris Vessey, Director, Digital Media Solutions at Dealer.com

Learn more

Dealer Automotive ads are available to franchise and authorized dealerships in the US. You can learn more about Model Automotive ads or Dealer Automotive ads by reaching out to your AdWords account team.

Posted by Bhanu Narasimhan, Director of Product Management, AdWords



1 Google internal data, United States, February 2016
2 Google internal data, United States, April 2014 vs. April 2015
3 Google Trends, United States, September 2015 vs. September 2014
4 Google internal data, United States, September 2015
5 Mllward Brown Digital/Google Vehicle Shopper Path to Purchase Study, September 2013
6 Google internal data, United States, March 2016
7 Google Trends, United States, July 2015 vs. July 2014
8 Google Trends, United States, August 2015 vs. August 2014

29Mar/160

Redesigning AdWords for marketing in a mobile-first world

Since introducing AdWords 15 years ago, we’ve seen a fundamental change in the way people find what they want, when they want it. We now use multiple devices throughout the day, and watch more videos and visit more websites and apps than ever before. Today, more Google searches take place on smartphones than on computers, globally.

The days of predictable web sessions have been replaced by numerous short bursts of digital activity throughout the day, primarily on mobile. In these micro-moments, consumers expect ads to be helpful and relevant - whether that’s showing product details, directions to the nearest store, a phone number to call, or additional information about the business they’re interested in.

The innovations in AdWords that make these experiences possible have helped many businesses reach their customers in better, smarter ways. What was once a tool to help advertisers place text ads on search results has become so much more than that. As a result, we’ve seen an increase in the complexity that marketers face every day. For example, AdWords now encompasses display and video media that can be bought on YouTube and across the web. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

This rise in complexity has created the need to reimagine AdWords, and over the past year, our product teams have been thinking hard about about how we can make AdWords as relevant for the next 15 years as the first 15. From creating a single Shopping campaign to updating thousands of text ads, we needed to do this in a way that works well for all advertisers around the world, regardless of size or objective.

So we met with many of you - large and small advertisers, from power users to beginners - in order to understand what we’re doing well and where we’re falling short. The comments we received and insights we uncovered were illuminating, and they ultimately resulted in user studies, product refinement, and this important milestone.

Today I’m excited to provide an early look into the new AdWords experience and three key areas of the platform we’re deeply focused on. Each is rooted in the feedback we heard from you.

AdWords should be more about your business, and less about our product. We want everything to support the way you think about your business. From the way you express business goals to the way you measure and manage your ads, we want to make it super easy to execute and optimize campaigns based on your unique marketing objectives.

You want the data you care about at your fingertips. From the campaigns that drive the most profit to the percentage of traffic coming from mobile, we want to surface insights and help you visualize them in more actionable ways. By seeing the data most relevant to your business goals, you can spend more time optimizing campaigns and identifying opportunities.

At the end of the day, you need simple yet powerful tools that help you do more in less time. You should be able to complete your most important tasks, like managing ad extensions and building reports, all in one place. With less clutter and more intuitive workflows, you can quickly make the changes that move your business forward.

What should be most noticeable about this new AdWords experience is the look and feel. This is Material Design, the design language that’s at the core of our favorite Google apps like Maps, Search, and Gmail. While this AdWords may look and feel different, your campaigns will run the same as they run today - with no upgrades or migrations.

Through 2016 and into 2017, we’ll continue to build out this new AdWords experience, and invite advertisers along the way to try it out and provide feedback. Invites will be sent based on a number of factors, therefore not all advertisers will be able to test the new experience right away.

We look forward to undertaking this journey with you and to delivering the tools you need to connect with consumers in meaningful and relevant ways.

Posted by Jerry Dischler, Vice President of Product Management, AdWords

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