Analytics and, using machine learning, identifies visits deemed most likely to drive a conversion to the advertiser’s site.
Smart goals have been somewhat controversial for several reasons: 1. Why wouldn’t you have set a conversion or goal? 2. Why would you trust Google to make the right call? But in a big picture, it shows the growing sophistication of (and our reliance on) machine learning in paid search and beyond. Look at how conversations about Google’s automated bidding strategies have shifted in recent years, from contempt to acceptance. That’s not to say there isn’t healthy skepticism, but the conversation has certainly changed.
Vertical-specific advertising programs
This spring, Google rolled out new Germany Phone Number vertical-specific mobile ad formats for automotive and hotels. We’ve also seen Google expand its Compare product in the US – adding car insurance and mortgages to its existing credit card solution – and tackle the local services market with Home Services Ads (HSA).
Google has its work cut out for it in its challenge to Yelp (and Amazon, and likely Facebook, among others) in the home services business, many local search experts told us. Interestingly, Google recently changed the ad unit for home service ads, removing shots from service providers. They now display benefits as bullet points and ask for a zip code and job type.
Not only are more and more of Google’s advertising products appearing
with Compare and HSA, but more and more AdWords ads have started appearing on screen in 2015.
On mobile, Google started showing three ads on certain queries. Three ads almost always occupy the entire mobile screen. However, you will notice that depending on the number of ad extensions running on an ad, two text ads may also take up the entire screen. So moving to three ads may have more of an impact on mobile ad click growth (which we know has increased), rather than hurting organic more.
Numerous reports of four top text ads running on a computer started popping up this fall – most, it seems, from overseas. Google confirmed with us that it had done a small test, but said it wouldn’t be permanent. Something to look out for in this new year.