On Tuesday, May 24, Google hosted the annual Google Performance Summit where they unveiled new search and analytic technology for their AdWords and Analytics platforms. The summit includes a 1-hour global live stream where announcements are shared worldwide simultaneously. Below are some of the most interesting announcements in the search landscape and my personal reactions to them:
1. Increased Device Segmentation
The Details: Beginning this year, AdWords will allow base bids to be set for either desktop or mobile device, with device modifiers built off of those. This will include a new tablet device modifier.
My Reaction: Woohoo! Though a little detail-light, this should make splitting campaigns based on device 100x easier by setting -90% (or maybe even -100%?) bids for the non-main device. Still a little wary that there’s a catch, but I’m overall excited about what promised to increase device flexibility.
2. Expanded Text Ads
The Details: Almost 50% more characters between giving two 30-character headlines and one consolidated 80-character description line (instead of two DLs). Put across all device types. Display URLs will now be automatically taken from your final URL, from there you can “customize the URL path.”
My Reaction: There are so many new ads we can test! This takes the amount of brand building, urgency creating, and value driving we can create in an ad to the next level. Curious to see whether “customizing the URL path” can mean putting up vanity display URLs or if those will be taken away in the new world. Also – was that a double exclamation point in the description lines in his example ad copy?
3. Demographic Audience Targeting in Search
The Details: Will be able to target and bid differently on the age and gender profiles of a searcher.
My Reaction: Mostly just excited it’s out of beta. Maybe higher match rates now that this is an official product?
4. Similar-To Audience Lists in Search (woohoo!)
The Details: An audience list you can target in search based on similarities to an existing RLSA list.
My Reaction: I’ve heard rumblings about this, but had most recently heard it had been delayed. So excited to see that they’re coming soon! We’ve seen some audience lists perform 4X better from a click conversion perspective, but have always struggled with them being too small to be scalable. Excited to get the larger reach from Similar-to lists in search.
5. New AdWords Interface
The details: Umm… There weren’t many.
My Reaction: 500 People on the redesign and it’s still an end of next year thing…eesh. Prediction: We’ll all be upset with it for a few months and then beg Bing to do the same things.
Sean Murphy (@PPC_Sean) has been a paid search analyst at Red Ventures for the past two years. Prior to that, he was an administrator at a school that taught Chinese to elementary school students. He still hasn’t had to translate ads to Mandarin at RV, but who knows what the future might bring? As a father of two kids under 2, he doesn’t get much sl…zzzzzzzzzz.