The Latest Google Announcements

This week Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro) hosts PPCChat with another great question set titled “The Latest Google Announcements.” The following is the transcribed Streamcap from the live chat:

Q1: Which announcement surprised you the most? Why?

  • Probably different device bidding..because it was previously removed for the exact same reason! – Jonathan Maltz (@MaltzPPC)
  • Tablet bidding because Googl’e made it a habit to force bad inventory on advertisers. – Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)
  • Bringing tablet modifiers in…but more importantly, giving us the ability to break out campaigns again by device. – Matt Umbro
  • Definitely tablet bidding, considering the previous messages communicated about how computers and tablets “perform the same.” – Michael Fleming (@SEMFlem)
  • Agree that device bidding (tablet bids!) was not something I expected. – Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
  • Demo bidding for search. Very happy about that. – Kevin Adams (@KevinAdamsPPC)
  • Surprised they’re taking demo for search out of beta. Erin Sagin & I were saying how we typically use them to spend less money. – Mark Irvine (@MarkIrvine89)
  • Device-level bidding. – Marina Obsivac (@MarinaObsivac)
  • Most surprising to me: All the additional ad characters and space! – Aviva Downing (@AvivCuriously)
    • Definitely welcome, but IMO not surprising due to recent prominence of real estate text ads occupy. – Matt Umbro
  • Tablet bidding for sure. Never thought we’d see the day. – Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
  • The mobile base bid really surprised me, potential to be a game-changer! – Colleen McCaskell (@SpitfirePPC)
  • Tablet bids for sure, but the Analytics 360 features suprised me just for the fact they seemed out of place. Not universal. – Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
  • Tablet bidding. Shocked/encouraged to hear Google reverted. 
    Longer text ads was 2nd for surprise. Big news. – Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
  • Honorary mention to the “first 5 reports free, then $150,000/year” product. And it looked so cool. – Jonathan Maltz
  • Def. the device bidding… and the excuse as to why it was back. – Alberto Merola (@AlbertoMerola)
  • Longer text, bigger ads = turn-off for avg searcher. Doesn’t help in fight vs ad blockers. – Rohan Ayyar (@searchrook)
  • New map ads surprised me, but considering it now, I can see why maps are increasingly valuable in the mobile space. – Mary Hartman (@PPCHartman)

Q2: What are the major ramifications of the announcements? Why?

  • The biggest news is that we have to adapt a new format for pretty much all of our ads. This will keep us occupied over summer. – Martin Roettgerding (@bloomarty)
  • Something not being discussed that much is the need for device specific campaigns (not just the want). – Matt Umbro
  • Device bidding and opportunities for new ad inventory opening up via quasi-“natives” ad formats. – James Hebdon (@jphebdon)
  • With such broad range of announcements I expect it will be a significant audit & maybe rebuilt of many campaigns. Busy times. – Kyle Crocker (@kacrocker)
  • There are no mobile preferred ads and extensions anymore – advertisers will need to create mobile specific campaigns. – Matt Umbro
  • I think in-store beacons is nice for physical venues, but it’s not clear how they will tie (non-mobile) conversions to beacons. The one image – multiple ad sizes may overcome time hurdles to creative creation! – Jonathan Maltz
  • Ads are taking even more space on SERPS but being given back a little more control. – Kevin Adams
  • (1) Tablet ads going to drop significantly in my accounts. (2) heck-load of ad changes to make *praying they auto-transition. (3) Bing engineers be like this to make importing compatible again. – Kirk Williams
  • I’m just thinking of all the new ads I’ll need to rewrite to get a better message across. Not a bad thing though! – Joe Martinez
  • Huge brands get new toys, of course & local biz w/ physical locations get some good stuff too. Everyone else, not as much. – Julie Bacchini
  • How many new targeting options were mentioned ? How many of times did Google say the word “Keyword”? That tells you something. – Mark Irvine
  • I’m stoked to test tablet only campaigns among certain clients w/ mature female audiences (mobility solutions, grad schools!) – Mary Hartman
  • People have to decide where to spend their time. There is a LOT of work into ext ad copy vs restructuring for device bidding. – Maria Corcoran (@mariacorcoran)
  • Google is willing to change long-standing rules and UX, roll back decisions. Clicks will increase. – Rohan Ayyar
  • Testing which devices work best for which SMB vertical, more ad testing. – Alberto Merola
  • New copy means I don’t have to guess where/when a headline gets extended & where/when it doesn’t. Happy to say goodbye to that. – Mary Hartman
  • The other big takeaway with expanded text ads is using CTA in the headline – it will be more common now. – Matt Umbro

Q3: Do you believe expanded text ads will make a difference in performance? Why or why not?

  • Not in the long term. – Nate Knox (@nateknox)
  • Yes. More characters is better for getting thoughts across. It will especially benefit early adopters. – Jonathan Maltz
  • Yes. More ad text should help qualify visitors better and allow for the all important Keyword + Features/Benefits + CTA. – James Svoboda (@Realicity)
  • Yes. Long copy beats short copy. – Steve Gibson
  • Yes, IF (1) competition doesn’t jump quickly, (2) it continues to push organic lower. Otherwise no if everyone does it. – Kirk Williams
  • For those already utilizing double headlines, the difference won’t be as much, but either way, I expect CTR to increase. – Matt Umbro
  • Yep, more real estate = more scrolling = more clicks on ads. – Michael Fleming
  • Continues to push up the premium on higher positions, especially for mobile. – Julie Bacchini
  • As with all new and glittery stuff, there will be a spike. Then, things will even out. – Rohan Ayyar
  • Honestly, I don’t think the extended description is that big a deal – the double headlines are the key update here. – Matt Umbro
  • I expect long term change will come from displacing organic results, particularly on mobile where they will be further down. – Kyle Crocker
  • The data will tell the story. It will be fun to play with the extra space, will probably change up our testing process a bit. – Mary Hartman
  • Also, ads with longer headlines and descriptions look more like Organic listings. – James Svoboda
  • In the beginning sure, but once everyone has it, it will eventually normalize. – Alberto Merola
  • Although Aaron Levy and I aren’t seeing early numbers in CTR improve, I suspect that may change with more impression share. – Mark Irvine
  • Yes. Raise ctr’s, decrease organic traffic, & Google will eventually factor them into QS. Ads using old format will drop. – Kevin Adams
  • I’d think so. More space = more room for value messages that organic can’t compete with even with metas expanding. – Joe Martinez
  • I don’t expect user behavior to change that much. “Regular” people probably will not even/barely notice this stuff. – Neptune Moon
  • CTR will increase, as with every change Google makes. For advertisers the big opportunity will be to be among the first to adapt. – Martin Roettgerding
  • Might be a stretch, but I wonder if it could have any positive impact on organic. We test PPC/SEO ranked terms now. – Brooke Townsend (@btownsend13)
  • I expect there to be a time when regular and expanded ads will both be eligible. Maybe forever. But ETAs will have the advantage. – Martin Roettgerding

Q4: What type of workload are account managers looking at as expanded text ads become the norm?

  • Initial heavy workload converting to expanded, but then no workload changes. – Melissa Mackey
  • Similar to enhanced campaigns. Start migrating early and over time so workload is balanced. – Matt Umbro
  • Test ETAs against current ads in higher volume campaings/ad groups. Learn from results. Then roll out account wide. – James Svoboda
  • After initial migration work, I don’t think it will make too much of a difference. – Jonathan Maltz
  • Honestly probably what I was used to in 2013. Managing 3 device type campaigns for all. Initial heavy workload to transition. – Brooke Townsend
  • Extended text ads will just be called text ads…like enhanced campaigns are now just campaigns. – Matt Umbro
  • We have already started crafting the text ads, so when available we can quickly implement. – Bryant Garvin
  • Agree that it will take a big push to update & then mgmt should not significantly change. More explaining to do as well. – Julie Bacchini
  • Basics wont change & ruthless time prioritization is key, but it opens the door to lots of fun additional ad copy tests. – Maria Corcoran
  • Workload might increase, at least a little. Depends on whether you want a customized 2nd headline. – Martin Roettgerding
  • Will be similar to the Enhanced Campaigns as we’ll need to restructure accounts & test w/ new eyes. Tons of conf talks. – Kevin Adams
  • Shouldn’t be a problem for those with solid Google reps. Request extended ads & migrate early before it’s mandatory. – Mary Hartman
  • The transition at first would probably be heavy. A lot of dividing by device & rewriting ads. – Alberto Merola

Q5: Do you believe the local search ad updates will provide significant value or are they just more of the same? Why?

  • Important for campaigns that are hugely based on local and map queries. It’s a largely untapped area for them. – James Svoboda
  • Value to users or advertisers..? I’m not sure the answer is the same. – Jonathan Maltz
  • I expect it to be very narrow improvement. Local search is only a primary element in a few of my accounts. – Kyle Crocker
  • The local search updates are nice, but I don’t think users will necessarily notice a huge difference. – Matt Umbro
  • Local is valuable for location-based businesses. For online, no impact. – Melissa Mackey
  • I believe promoted pins could be a huge success. Local inventory is only relevant for a few advertisers. – Martin Roettgerding
  • For biz w/ a physical location, could be good. For service area biz, nope. – Julie Bacchini
  • Definitely the same of organic having to deal with increasing paid ad competition. But I don’t mind. – Joe Martinez
  • No, sorry. Unless you noticed meaningful shifts during the last dozen or so, these changes are mostly just a talking point. – Mark Irvine
  • It is mostly dependent on advertiser innovations as to how they take advantage of them. – Kevin Adams
  • The biggest change was making Google Maps a core product. No need to enable search partners anymore. No effort needed. – Joe Martinez
  • Depends on the users. Will maps convert w/ inventory ads? Yeah maybe. Or they’ll use Yelp, website…Local is a big ecosystem. – Mary Hartman

Q6: What is the ideal way(s) to utilize Similar Audiences on the Search Network? Why?

  • Hopefully to pre-qualify traffic…if it works. – Jonathan Maltz
  • Still getting my head around this one. Curious what others think. – Melissa Mackey
  • Why would you use similar audiences on the Search Network instead of just targeting keywords? – Matt Umbro
  • I plan to test it with a bid modifier to see how conversion rates compare. – Kyle Crocker
  • I’m thinking initially as a unique campaign similar to my RLSA builds. Will be interesting to see about match types though. Generally in RLSA I stick to broad, but since the Similar Audience lists are bigger I might test with restrictive MTs. – Kirk Williams
  • My idea of an ideal strategy: Try them out but don’t expect much. – Martin Roettgerding
  • Increase the “Likelihood” of targeting relevant customers that might convert. – James Svoboda
  • I’m not expecting big things here. Maybe play it as a bid adjustment? – Mark Irvine
  • Important note – G’s data to identify “similar audiences” is not the same (as good) as say, Facebook’s data. – Julie Bacchini
  • More successful (hopefully) RLSA campaigns for small clients w/ teeny tiny remarketing lists. – Mary Hartman
  • Could see it working like RLSA for bidding lower. But do Demos do that already?. EG: Income segmenting does really well for us. – Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
  • Also interested to test Similar Audience layered with DSA to see if it can be effective for getting narrowing the targeting. – Kyle Crocker
  • Users that convert if audience is big enough. Event attendees of a specific niche can be good. Depends on commonality. – Kevin Adams
  • It should be interesting to use in parallel to RLSA campaigns for higher funnel traffic Combine them with DSA & personalized LPs. – Maria Corcoran
  • Now some ads will be starkly irrelevant to the kws but theoretically interesting to the user, so performance could go either way. – Katie Mullins (@katiemuffins)

Q7: How are you messaging these AdWords updates to your clients?

  • Slowly and gradually. Too much to take in at once. – Melissa Mackey
  • It’s primarily good news, so just a brief email detailing changes that will affect them, why it’s good, & how I’m handling it. – Kirk Williams
  • Well, Google had good timing & gave us a week to digest before the monthly reporting, so. – Martin Roettgerding
  • Cautious optimism: good opportunities, but lots of disruptive changes. “Be patient while we try new things.” – Kyle Crocker
  • Many of my clients already knew about expanded text ads…everything else except for the bid modifiers is minor. – Matt Umbro
  • Very high level summaries with an explanation that we’ll be implementing these changes in phases as the rollouts occur. – Joe Martinez
  • Going to tell them we have a new opportunity with more ad space and need to test to see what works best. – Kevin Adams
  • The ETA update is the only thing we’re communication to everyone. The rest is either technical, or only for individual clients. – Martin Roettgerding
  • As a general rule, publishing a post helps proactively manage clients on things like this. – Mark Irvine
  • Package it as an opportunity to test & analyze new data/devices/ad types. No judgement just yet. – Alberto Merola
  • Monthly reporting meetings start this week, and we’re breaking it to them on their respective calls w/ recommendations. – Mary Hartman

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More PPCChats

Don’t forget to stay tuned for the next #PPCchat on Tuesday at 12 noon Eastern, 9 am Pacific and 5pm in the UK. Same Chat time, same Chat channel.


Check out the PPCChat Twitter list to see and connect with all current and prior participants.

• Matt Umbro (@Matt_Umbro)
• James Svoboda (@Realicity)
• Paul Kragthorpe (@PaulKragthorpe)
• Alberto Merola (@AlbertoMerola)
• Aviva Downing (@AvivCuriously)
• Brooke Townsend (@btownsend13)
• Colleen McCaskell (@SpitfirePPC)
• Doug Thomas (@ferkungamaboobo)
• James Hebdon (@jphebdon)
• Joe Martinez (@MilwaukeePPC)
• Jonathan Maltz (@MaltzPPC)
• Julie Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon)
• Katie Mullins (@katiemuffins)
• Kevin Adams (@KevinAdamsPPC)
• Kirk Williams (@PPCKirk)
• Kyle Crocker (@kacrocker)
• Maria Corcoran (@mariacorcoran)
• Marina Obsivac (@MarinaObsivac)
• Martin Roettgerding (@bloomarty)
• Mary Hartman (@PPCHartman)
• Melissa Mackey (@Mel66)
• Michael Fleming (@SEMFlem)
• Nate Knox (@nateknox)
• Rohan Ayyar (@searchrook)
• Steve Gibson (@stevegibsonppc)

The Latest Streamcaps

This is a guest post by Paul Kragthorpe; works at WebRanking in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Connect with Paul @PaulKragthorpe, and Google Plus.

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