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Last December, we introduced +Post ads to a limited number of advertisers as a new way to amplify content and create conversations across the web. +Post ads let you to take a piece of your public Google+ content, like a photo or video, and turn it into an engagement ad that runs across the Google Display Network.

Starting today, +Post ads are available to all advertisers who meet a minimum threshold of Google+ followers. We’re also piloting two new features - promoted Hangouts on Air and automatic post promotion - to help you create compelling ad experiences and make it easier to extend the reach of your social content.

Partner success
+Post ads are already helping advertisers run creative campaigns that make the entire web their social stream. For example:

For the launch of the 2014 Corolla, Toyota USA sought to drive consideration from a younger audience by promoting their Google+ content with +Post ads. For this campaign, Toyota USA saw a 50% higher engagement rate than the industry average for rich media ads.
Click to see the Toyota case study
To raise awareness with their potential customers, prAna, a yoga and climbing inspired apparel company, incorporated +Post ads into their existing AdWords display campaigns. “We focused on highly targeted audiences that best reflect the interests of our core consumers, such as yoga, climbing, outdoor lifestyle etc. We chose the most hyper relevant Google+ content to promote to each targeted audience, to ensure high engagement rates,” says Karen Hardy Online Marketing Manager.

The European Parliament worked with Ogilvy Brussels to run a campaign in 11 countries encouraging European citizens to cast their votes in the upcoming EU elections. Koen Van Impe, CEO Ogilvy Brussels, found the combination of an easy to create ad, the potential reach and targeting of the Google Display Network, and the powerful ad format promising and saw engagement rates that were 50% to 100% higher, and at a lower cost-per-engagement, than previous campaigns.
Click to enlarge
Promoting Hangouts on Air across the web
You can now promote your Hangout on Air with +Post ads that lets users take specific actions before, during, and after the broadcast. Users can RSVP prior to the Hangout, watch the broadcast live, and view a recording after the event.

ASOS hosted a shoppable Hangout where fans could check out styles and make purchases from a collection created in collaboration with a global activewear brand. The event was promoted live in a +Post ad, driving awareness and live tune-ins of the event on relevant web sites. In total, 71% of live viewers for the Hangout watched from a +Post ad.
Promoted Hangout on Air
Automatically promote your most recent post
At any given moment, there is someone interested in your brand, but it’s challenging to make sure you reach people at every moment that matters. Now you can automatically promote your most recent Google+ post, and pay only when people engage with your content, extending the reach of your social content across the web.

Lean more about +Post ads and Google+ by visiting the Google+ for brands site.

Posted by Eran Arkin, Product Manager, Social Display Ads

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Next Tuesday, April 22nd at 9am PT and 12pm ET, we invite you to step inside AdWords as we share our next generation of advertising innovations with you, live, right here on the Inside AdWords blog. As part of this global livestream, we will announce 10+ new AdWords products, features, and research studies that we have worked hard to develop over the past year. We built these innovations with you in mind, using customer feedback to inform our product development decisions. Register for the livestream here.

As we met with advertisers, both large and small, and conducted consumer research, we learned the following:
  1. It’s no longer about devices.  Consumers are constantly connected, and the average American today owns four digital devices and spends 60 hours per week consuming content across platforms.* In this multi-device world, the way people use desktops, laptops, notebooks, tablets, and smartphones is blurring. This means people don’t think about which device they’re using, they just expect the right content to appear seamlessly wherever they are ready to engage.
  2. Context matters more than ever. The ways people connect -- whether that’s on a computer, a mobile website or an app -- have become increasingly important in showing people the right content -- and the right ads. With more insight into people’s contexts, we can make more meaningful connections and create better consumer experiences.
  3. Connecting people to content. With more consumer touchpoints than ever, it can become increasingly complex to reach people in the moments that matter. At Google we work hard to develop innovations that let technology do the hard work so that businesses can focus on reaching their customers.  
With these insights, our team of product managers and engineers went to work to build a brand new set of AdWords innovations to help businesses continue to grow while saving time and improving efficiency.

Join us for our big announcements. Our livestream is on Tuesday, April 22nd at  9am PT / 12noon ET -- right here on the Inside AdWords blog. Register here.

Posted by Your Inside AdWords Team

*Nielsen, February 2014.

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Last month we shared some stories about how Search Network with Display Select is driving strong performance for many advertisers including Elmo Learning, Wordstream and ShopPivot. This new, high performing hybrid campaign type helps advertisers, on average, see a 35% higher click-through-rate, and a 35% lower cost-per-customer purchase on the Display portion of their Search Network with Display Select campaigns.

Upgrade now for better performance
To start tapping into this opportunity, upgrade your “Search and Display Networks” campaigns to “Search Network with Display Select” today. You may be offered an option to create a ‘Display Network only’ campaign during the upgrade process. If you would like to maintain your click volume on Display, accept this option and we will automatically create a ‘Display Network only’ campaign for you. As we continue to invest in Search Network with Display Select and see strong adoption from advertisers, we will begin upgrading all ‘Search and Display Networks’ campaigns to ‘Search Network with Display Select’ campaigns starting on September 16th, 2014. Click here to upgrade.

We’re here to help
We want you to be successful with AdWords, so please visit the Help Center or Contact Us if you'd like assistance with your upgrade.

Posted by Ahmad Anvari, Product Manager, Google Display Network

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On Monday, the Media Rating Council (MRC) announced that it is lifting its advisory on transacting on viewability for display advertising, originally issued in November 2012. In taking this step, the MRC is signaling that great strides have been made toward the goal of transacting display advertising using viewable impressions, and the industry is ready to begin the process of adopting viewable impressions as a standard metric. We applaud this move and are thrilled to see the industry move closer to the reality of a true viewability currency.

Google has been a longtime supporter of this effort and we’ve partnered with the industry, the Media Rating Council and the IAB, as part of the Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative, to help guide the definition and adoption of a viewable impression standard. Last April our viewability measurement solution Active View received accreditation by the Media Rating Council and, in the coming months, we’ll be making Active View reporting available to all DoubleClick customers across our platform. We believe that giving marketers, agencies and publishers access to a common, integrated viewable impression metric will set the foundation for viewable impressions to become an actionable currency.

But measurement alone will not make viewable impressions a currency. To become a currency we need technology that allows advertisers and publishers to not only measure, but also transact on viewable impressions. In December, we took our first step toward making viewable impressions a true currency by giving advertisers the ability to target and buy only viewable impressions on the Google Display Network. We’ve seen a strong positive response as thousands of advertisers and brands have adopted viewable impression buying on our network, but we’re not stopping there. We’re investing heavily in Active View and working quickly to enable our DoubleClick platform clients to value, buy, sell, serve and optimize to viewable impressions across the web. 

The MRC announcement represents an important milestone in the journey towards a viewable currency. As marketers and agencies adopt the viewable standard we can start to build a new display market that is more transparent and actionable for brand marketers.

Posted by Sanaz Ahari, Senior Product Manager

Originally posted at http://doubleclickadvertisers.blogspot.com/

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In February, we made Shopping campaigns available to all Product Listing Ad (PLA) advertisers and, in March, we released AdWords API support to help you manage your campaigns at scale. Shopping campaigns offer the ability to browse your inventory directly in AdWords, report on your performance down to the product-level, and bid competitively with new metrics like benchmark data and impression share. We’ve received great feedback from you so far and are excited to share what’s next:
  • Size your opportunity with Bid Simulator - To provide more actionable insight into your PLAs, we’ve been rolling out a Bid Simulator that’s now available in all Shopping campaigns. With a Bid Simulator, you can now estimate how bid changes could impact your impressions, clicks or costs.
  • Options to create a Shopping campaign - In the coming days, we’ll be adding some options to help you get started. You would be able to create a Shopping campaign from scratch or, for many of you, use one of your regular PLA campaigns to create similar product targets, negative keywords or promotional text.
  • Multiple ad groups for advanced retailers - While many of you will be happy with your Shopping campaign as is, we’ve heard from advanced retailers that they’d like to create multiple ad groups. It’s now possible to do this within a Shopping campaign.
Continued Retailer Success
Since we made Shopping campaigns available to all PLA advertisers, we continue to hear many examples of how it helps you manage PLAs and effectively grow your business. Here are a few:
“The benefits of Shopping campaigns can’t be overstated – the ease of setup, the transparency of data, the ability to group products into logical categories and manage to the product level make it a must. All of these contribute to our clients’ ROI almost tripling, and there’s still room to improve.” -JumpFly
“The new Shopping campaigns allowed us to achieve a much higher-level of profitability, cutting costs by 13% and increasing return on ad spend by about 22% on average. Not only that, the new campaign type trims about 2 hours of setup time.” -Exclusive Concepts 
“We used the product-level data from our Shopping campaign to fine-tune our bidding strategy, focusing on the products that acquired the most traffic & lowered the ones that are less important. This helped us increase visits 25% & ROI by 16%.” -Wiggle 
“Shopping campaigns effectively reduced the time spent setting up product-specific bids and optimizing in half. We can now invest even more time into each client, and the results we’ve seen have been no less than amazing. A client selling home accessories saw a 301% increase in revenue after only one month. As a result, we are now changing our agency standards within PLAs to only use Shopping campaigns.” -White Shark Media
Future of Shopping campaigns and retirement of regular PLA campaign type
Shopping campaigns offer a truly retail-centric and seamless approach to PLAs. We're very excited by the positive feedback we've heard so far and will continue to build tools and features into this new campaign type to help you manage your PLAs. Thus, we'll be retiring the regular PLA campaign type and asking all PLA advertisers to upgrade to Shopping campaigns by late August 2014, at which time all remaining PLA campaigns will be automatically upgraded. Over the next few months, we’ll share more information and release more tools to help you upgrade your campaigns and manage them at scale. We encourage you to start planning your upgrade to Shopping campaigns today to take full advantage of the new features as soon as possible.

For additional help, here are a few resources:

Posted by Eric Tholomé, Director of Product Management, Google Shopping

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It’s an exciting time to be a performance marketer. When we combine the creative magic of marketing with technology that’s available anytime, anywhere, and on any device, we can connect with customers in more innovative and relevant ways than ever before.

We are constantly working to improve AdWords, and on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 9am PT, Jerry Dischler, VP of Product Management for AdWords will share a brand new set of innovations with you live on the Inside AdWords blog.  Register for the livestream here.

Building on the success of enhanced campaigns, Jerry will announce a number of new features that help you use context to reach customers in even more effective ways. We’ve designed new tools so you can increase awareness and engagement everywhere your customers are online – from the web, to the mobile web, to mobile apps. And when it’s time to manage your campaigns and measure performance, we want to help you do so efficiently in AdWords with new functionality designed for the multi-screen world.

These AdWords innovations are the result of countless conversations we’ve had over the past year with advertisers, both large and small. Based on your feedback, hundreds of product managers and engineers worked hard to build these new products. Simply put, we built these new products for you.

We hope you’ll join the April 22 livestream of our announcements featured here on the Inside AdWords blog. Register for the livestream here. Until then, follow us on our +GoogleAds page for sneak previews of what’s to come. Use hashtag, #StepInsideAdWords, to join in on the conversation.

Posted by Your Inside Adwords Team

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Since its debut in 2010, the TrueView format has enabled advertisers to break free of time constraints, grow view count with opted-in views and only pay when people choose to watch their video ads. Thanks to these benefits, TrueView advertising connects users with relevant ads, and empowers creators to monetize their content. In our ongoing quest to help advertisers unlock the power of online video, today we’re announcing a forthcoming improvement to make TrueView both simpler and more capable.

On April 15, we will go from three TrueView formats to two: TrueView in-stream and TrueView in-display. This will effectively combine the in-search and in-display formats into one format called TrueView in-display.

In addition to simplifying campaign creation and management, this change offers the following:
  • Organizes TrueView around how a user interacts with the ad (either by viewing as a pre-roll video or clicking on a thumbnail) rather than where the ad appears.
  • Tell us where you want your ads to appear at the campaign level – YouTube videos, YouTube search and the Google Display Network – and all ads within that campaign will run on your selected networks.
  • Deliver more relevant ads on the YouTube search page. Just as you can use in-stream ads to reach different demographics or audiences, now you can tailor in-display ads running on YouTube search pages to these same parameters, in addition to keywords.

What do you need to do?
Starting April 15, all new video campaigns will use new campaign settings and simplified ad formats. At the same time, you'll have access to an upgrade center where you can upgrade any or all of your existing campaigns to the new functionality. Starting May 15, all campaigns will be automatically upgraded.

We believe this change will make TrueView an even more effective tool to help you build your brand with videos. For further reading, please visit our Help Center article.

Posted by Ryo Akasaka, Product Manager, AdWords for Video

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Whether users are searching for clothes, car insurance, or a holiday, they have never had so much choice. And as users increasingly rely on the opinions and experiences of others to help them choose, a brand's reputation matters more than ever before. That's why we've developed ways to show ratings, reviews and social endorsements for your business as part of your search ads on Google. This kind of information makes your ads more useful to potential customers and can improve ad performance.

Introducing Consumer Ratings Annotations
Over the next few days, we'll be rolling out consumer ratings annotations, a new format for search ads that provides detailed consumer opinion data. Consumer ratings annotations highlight one or more strongly rated aspects of your business as part of your ad. For example, if you're an insurance company, this annotation may be focused on claims handling. If you're an airline, it may highlight your rewards program.

Example search ad showing consumer ratings annotations

Testing with our beta advertisers has shown that consumer ratings annotations can increase click-through rates (CTR) by 10% on average. Many advertisers have already seen the positive impact of this format. Brian Borkowski, Director of Digital Marketing at Farmers Insurance Group, says, "Consumer ratings annotations help us stand out from competitors and attract new customers. When we looked at our ads that displayed these ratings, we saw an increase in CTR, which speaks to the awareness, trust and impact from this format."

Consumer Ratings Annotations: Powered by Google Consumer Surveys
Data for this annotation comes from hundreds of thousands of surveys we've run using the Google Consumer Surveys platform. Google Consumer Surveys provides a controlled platform for sampling consumer opinion, helping to avoid some of the potential biases and risks with other types of open-to-everyone review platforms. Each rating is based on at least hundreds of completed surveys, with the average above 1000. We plan to regularly refresh the survey data to keep the ratings current.

Learn more
For the last few years, we’ve been working on bringing trust and transparency to your search ads with formats like seller ratings and review extensions. Consumer ratings annotations will soon start showing with several hundred advertisers' search ads in the US, UK and Canada. We hope to expand availability to more advertisers in the future, so drop us a line if you’re interested in showing consumer ratings annotations with your ads.

To learn more about consumer ratings annotations, check out the AdWords Help Center.

Authored by Shreyas Doshi, Group Product Manager, AdWords

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Last year we announced that we began enforcing the unique product identifier requirements to improve data quality on Google Shopping. The new specifications help us serve better Google Shopping results to users while creating more opportunities for merchants. Specifically, unique product identifiers help us create one listing for a product with its various sellers, allowing users to discover a wider range of products on Shopping and easily navigate to a retailer of their choice to purchase the product.
In order to meet the unique product identifier requirements, you must provide comprehensive and accurate data. We highly recommend making the necessary changes to comply with data quality requirements as better data quality is a key lever to improve your Product Listing Ads performance.

Last year we began enforcement by (1) disapproving products that did not have data in the feed for the unique product identifier attributes - GTIN, MPN and/or brand (2) demoting products that incorrectly used the identifier_exists attribute and (3) disapproving products that provided invalid GTINs that didn’t conform to standard GTIN specifications.

Additional unique product identifier enforcement

Soon we will start to (1) disapprove products with incorrect GTIN, MPN and brand and (2) globally demote products that incorrectly use the identifier_exists attribute. We will continue to ramp up enforcements to find and disapprove products with incorrect GTIN, MPN and brand data in the coming months.

We recommend reviewing product warnings and disapprovals in the Data Quality and Data Feeds tabs in Merchant Center. For pending product disapproval launches, the violations may show up as warnings and eventually show as errors in the UI after the enforcement launch date. For products demoted due to incorrect use of ‘identifier_exists’ attribute, please review your products where it is set ‘false’ to make sure you marked so only for custom goods.

For more information, please review the unique product identifier requirements and the latest product feed specifications to make the appropriate changes to your data. You can also review our previous office hour session to help merchants with these new requirements.

Posted by Angelika Rohrer, Program Manager, Google Shopping

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As part of our efforts to help you connect with consumers and promote your products online, we introduced Shopping campaigns to all Product Listing Ad (PLA) advertisers in February. Shopping campaigns offer a streamlined, retail-centric advertising experience with robust reporting and insightful competitive metrics like benchmark data and impression share.

Today, we’re excited to announce that you can now create and manage your Shopping campaigns at scale with the AdWords API. We are working with external agencies and search management platforms to add support for Shopping campaigns.

For more information on Shopping campaigns, here are a few resources to help you get started:


Posted by Eric Tholomé, Director of Product Management, Google Shopping