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Inside AdWords
Google's official blog for news, information and tips on AdWords.

  • Easily update and validate ads with new enhancements to Merchant Center data feeds
    Your data feed is key to promoting your products on — it lets you capture the attention of shoppers by letting them know you’ve got exactly what they’re looking for. To help you seamlessly update ads and quickly get products in front of new customers, today we’re excited to announce two data feed enhancements to Google Merchant Center — one that improves efficiencies for large retailers, and one that helps small retailers get on board more easily:
    • Online product inventory feeds: a new feed type that lets you quickly update price, availability and sale price of your key products. This is especially useful for larger retailers that need to change these attributes frequently. 
    • Google Sheets add-on: a Sheets extension that connects your spreadsheet directly to Merchant Center for a faster and easier upload. This is especially useful to for smaller retailers looking to get up and running quickly with shopping ads.
    Whether you use Google Sheets or text file formats to upload your products, these new data feed enhancements make it faster and easier to upload your most up-to-date product information to Google Shopping and find more customers online.

    Online product inventory feeds help you quickly update key attributes 

    If the price, availability, or sale price information for some or all of your products changes frequently, online product inventory feeds is a new feed type to make quick updates to these product attributes, without having to re-submit the full product feed:
    • Save time with even faster feed processing: Submit new information for price and availability throughout the day to update these specific attributes. You can submit updates for just a small subset of your products for faster processing. If there’s an error processing your online inventory feed, your full product feed will not be impacted.
    • Show shoppers the most accurate product details: When your pricing or availability suddenly changes, update your affected items on the fly, allowing fresher information to appear on Google Shopping. 
    For more information on how to get started with online inventory feeds, check out our Help Center article.

    Validate and upload your feed directly from Google Sheets

    Google Sheets was designed to provide a fast and friendly way to get started with shopping ads for small and medium sized retailers. If you use Google Sheets to upload your inventory to Google Merchant Center, the new Google Sheets add-on simplifies how you create, upload and validate feeds:
    • Validate your products directly from Sheets: The sidebar in the add-on allows you to validate individual rows or your entire Google Sheet, showing you any errors and warnings before you upload your data feed. 
    • Upload your products directly from Sheets: From the sidebar, you can upload your entire spreadsheet into Merchant Center, without leaving Sheets. The results of your upload are displayed directly in the sidebar, giving you immediate feedback on feed processing.
    For more information on how to get started with Google Sheet add-on, visit our Help Center article.

    Be sure to check out these two new enhancements today to get up and running on Google Shopping and make the world your storefront.

    Posted by Sven Herschel, Product Manager for Google Merchant Center 

  • Introducing more powerful Dynamic Search Ads, built for your business
    Whether it’s “hotels near me” or “nearby hotels,” people often search for the same things differently. So reaching your customers in the moments that matter can sometimes be a moving target. In fact, of the billions of searches made on Google every day, 15% of them have never been seen before.1 Couple that with shifting product inventory and content hidden deep within your website, people don’t always find what they’re looking for. That’s why three years ago we introduced Dynamic Search Ads (DSA).

    Today, we’re excited to announce that DSA has been enhanced and retooled from the ground up, and is now available to all advertisers globally.
    What’s Dynamic Search Ads?

    DSA helps you reach your customers with the right information, in the moments they’re searching -- without the need to manage keywords. Using Google’s organic web crawling technology, DSA indexes your website to determine which searches to show ads for. If a search is relevant to the content on your website, Google will automatically create an ad to enter into the auction. Your ads’ headlines and landing pages are generated based on the products and services you offer, and what people are searching for. These highly targeted ads also complement other AdWords campaigns by delivering value for relevant searches that aren’t covered by existing keywords.

    Show ads based on your website

    Now, there’s an even more powerful way for you to reach your customers. In addition to crawling and indexing your website, DSA now organizes your website content into recommended categories for targeting your ads. Recommended categories are customized to your products and services, for example “furniture,” and only trigger ads for search queries where you have a relevant landing page. Each category can also be refined to show additional, more specific categories.
    Recommended categories for DSA
    For example, you might drill into the recommended category for “furniture” to advertise just your “dining room furniture” or “living room furniture.” Select as many or as few categories as you want, or select the option to show ads based on your entire website.

    Ad previews and insightful recommendations

    Once you’ve selected your categories, we’ve added new tools to provide more transparency into how your ads will show. For each recommended category, you’ll now see samples of the search queries you’ll be targeting, the text ads that’ll appear, and the pages your customers will land on. To help get your campaign started, a recommended bid is also calculated for each category. These recommendations are based on the performance of your existing keywords that are targeting similar search queries.

    Many customers have seen early success with these enhancements to Dynamic Search Ads.

    As a global player, trivago constantly faced the challenge of covering their huge hotel inventory throughout all markets. DSA and the new categories allowed them to do just that, even in markets with limited resources. Leveraging the scalability of DSA, trivago was able to roll out DSA to over 25 markets in a short period of time., one of the nation’s largest online retailers, helped beta test DSA. They used their new recommended categories to deliver a 5% incremental lift in qualified search traffic to their website.

    Immense reach with incredible ease

    DSA is now more powerful than ever -- and it takes less than 10 minutes to set up your first campaign. An improved workflow guides you through campaign creation, which includes a more intuitive way to ensure your ad templates remain relevant to your dynamic ad targets.

    You can learn more about Dynamic Search Ads in the AdWords Help Center.

    Posted by Jen Huang, Senior Product Manager, AdWords

    1 Internal Google data.

  • See the future of video by looking behind you: Introducing 360 degree video ads
    Video is already the most effective medium for connecting with consumers thanks to the power of sight, sound and motion. But what if there were a way to let people become even more immersed in your video ads? To help advertisers deliver richer experiences, we’re introducing 360 degree video ads on YouTube.

    360 degree video ads let you engage your audience in an entirely new way. Available today in Chrome and the YouTube app on Android and iOS, viewers can explore every angle of your videos by dragging their mouse or moving their phone to shift their POV 360 degrees – up, down, left or right. Thanks to the ability simply to move your phone to see different parts of the video, 360 video ads are a truly mobile-first video ad product.

    We’re thrilled that as soon as the ability to create 360 video became available to YouTube creators, brands immediately began experimenting with this new tool to deliver engrossing consumer experiences. Since then, we’ve seen stunning videos from Coca-Cola and Nike, among others (check them out on Cardboard!). And for those videos that were run as ads, campaign results have been impressive: for instance, Coca-Cola’s 360 video celebrating the 100th anniversary of their iconic bottle design outperformed standard in-stream video ad view-through rates by 36%.

    And today, Bud Light becomes the first advertiser in the US to launch 360 video running in TrueView ads. The series of ads feature three different events from Whatever, USA – Bud  Light’s takeover of Catalina Island. The immersive ads drop you right in the middle of the action, including a performance by Diplo, the welcome parade, and the “Turn of An Era” 1920’s themed party.

    As with the recent launches of cards in TrueView in-stream ads and TrueView for shopping, 360 video ads offer you another way to deepen consumer engagement with your ads on YouTube. Compatible with YouTube HTML5 Rich Media Mastheads and now TrueView in-stream and in-display units, you can maximize the reach of your 360 degree video ads with the power and scale of YouTube’s most popular ad format.

    To create 360 degree video ads, you will need access to one of the following 360 degree cameras: Ricoh Theta, Kodak SP360, Giroptic 360cam, or IC Real Tech Allie. All of these cameras are already available or coming soon. Once your video is ready, follow these steps to upload the video to desktop Chrome. Campaigns for 360 degree videos running as TrueView ads can be set up in AdWords and your Google sales representative can help you with YouTube Mastheads.

    Whether you’re skydiving or experiencing what it’s like to stand in the front row of a Wimbledon match, 360 degree video ads unlock new opportunities for your brands to engage with consumers on YouTube.

    Posted by JR Futrell, Product Manager, YouTube Ads

  • Introducing Manufacturer Center - a tool to help brand manufacturers provide authoritative product information to online shoppers
    With more than 100 billion searches per month, Google answers a significant number of the world’s product and shopping-related queries. And online shoppers expect product information, such as images, descriptions and variants, to be accurate, rich and consistent. Manufacturer product data is critical to deliver this experience.

    Today we’re launching Google Manufacturer Center: a tool that helps brand manufacturers accurately represent their products to shoppers across, Google Shopping and other Google services. By uploading authoritative product data to the tool, manufacturers enrich their product listings across Google to help shoppers make more informed buying decisions.
    Product data submitted to Manufacturer Center influences how your brand is represented across Google.
    In addition to ensuring their product data is accurate, manufacturers can also gain product level insights into the data they provide. For example, they’ll learn how many times their products appear on Google within a given timeframe and how many times shoppers click on their products versus competing products in their category. "The reports available through Google's Manufacturer Center help us understand how shoppers interact with our brand so we can optimize our product data and grow impression volume as well as shopper engagement," says Sonesh Shah, Director of Digital, Bosch Power Tools.
    The analytics dashboard in Manufacturer Center provides tips on how to improve the performance of your products across Google.
    Manufacturers can choose to either upload their product data directly to Manufacturer Center or select an approved Google Shopping Partner for product information management. These partners, such as Salsify and Shotfarm, are industry leaders in organizing and distributing product data.

    If you’re a brand manufacturer and interested in Manufacturer Center, please complete our interest form and we will reach out with next steps. You can also learn more about the product in our Manufacturer Help Center.

    Posted by Matt Henderson, Product, Google Shopping

  • Working Together to Filter Automated Data-Center Traffic
    Today the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) announced a new pilot blacklist to protect advertisers across the industry. This blacklist comprises data-center IP addresses associated with non-human ad requests. We're happy to support this effort along with other industry leaders—Dstillery, Facebook, MediaMath, Quantcast, Rubicon Project, TubeMogul and Yahoo—and contribute our own data-center blacklist. As mentioned to Ad Age and in our recent call to action, we believe that if we work together we can raise the fraud-fighting bar for the whole industry.

    Data-center traffic is one of many types of non-human or illegitimate ad traffic. The newly shared blacklist identifies web robots or “bots” that are being run in data-centers but that avoid detection by the IAB/ABC International Spiders & Bots List. Well-behaved bots announce that they're bots as they surf the web by including a bot identifier in their declared User-Agent strings. The bots filtered by this new blacklist are different. They masquerade as human visitors by using User-Agent strings that are indistinguishable from those of typical web browsers.

    Google has always invested to prevent this and other types of invalid traffic from entering our ad platforms. By contributing our data-center blacklist to TAG, we hope to help others in the industry protect themselves.

    We’re excited by the collaborative spirit we’ve seen working with other industry leaders on this initiative. This is an important, early step toward tackling fraudulent and illegitimate inventory across the industry and we look forward to sharing more in the future. By pooling our collective efforts and working with industry bodies, we can create strong defenses against those looking to take advantage of our ecosystem. We look forward to working with the TAG Anti-fraud working group to turn this pilot program into an industry-wide tool.

    For more details about the kinds of data-center traffic filtered by the TAG Data-center IP blacklist read our detailed post on the Google Online Security Blog.

    Posted by Vegard Johnsen, Product Manager Google Ad Traffic Quality

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