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Category : Pay Per Click

By Praveen Jayaprakash

Google’s eternal love towards mobile is changing the AdWords core products

As everyone expected from the Google’s Performance Summit, Google is yelling more and more about Mobile (at this rate mobile will rule the world very soon according to Google). Interestingly the starting point of most of our decisions in a day to day life that we make are depending on our mobile searches anyway (your swiped date, place for the date, the movie you want to watch, the place you want to go for holiday, things you want to buy and many more). So it’s fair to say that Google have a point.

The impact of mobile in the search engine is so overwhelming that Google decided to make some drastic new features to the core AdWords products (audacious!). One of the main 4 ballsy moves they are going to implement is; expanded ad text formats, responsive display ad units, bid adjustments on impressions according to device and expanded advertising in Google maps.

Expanded text ads:
An enhanced character limit for the headline (25 to 35) will allow the brand to show the product information before the click. And early testing proved this with an improved Click through rate by 20%. Instead of having a 2 description line with 35-character limit, there will be one consolidated description line with a limit of 80.
Manual entry of display URL is always having the disapproval issue because of the Google’s advertising guidelines even with minor changes. And it will be automatically extracted from the final URL to ensure accuracy, with a customized path.

Responsive ads:
Google Display Network is now offering ad units that can adapt with the various content across publisher’s sites and apps. By providing the headline, description, image and URL Google will optimize and serve the ad accordingly.

Device level bid adjustments:
This feature allows the bid adjustments in the device level (e.g.: mobile, desktop & tablets). Finally, they are separating tablet from the desktop which is always a best way forward (after a lot of complain). This will allow the campaign to have a specific KPI based on the devices which is good measure to check the efficiency.

Local search ads in maps & Google.com
This feature allows a more customised involvement which improves the brand awareness and driving more in-store visits to assist the retailers. As feature still on the testing phase, with formats like promoted pins for the nearby businesses, an innovative look at local business pages with browsing option for the products, this feature allows a comprehensive experience for the customer rather than top line results on the Google maps.

By Hayley Shannon

Google SERP Ads Go Green

Google SERP ads go green!

As of April 14th, Google has begun testing their new ‘green ad’ format to 5% of Global traffic, far exceeding their typical 1% test market.

This new SERP test is likely Google’s attempt at subtlety as users have become increasingly aware of the striking yellow ads that dominate the top of the page. Now that we are all too familiar with paid vs. organic listings, Google is rolling out tests to determine how to increase CTRs on paid ads in order to grow its $67 billion yearly advertising revenue.

There hasn’t been much coverage of Google’s latest move, so whether green is here to stay is still unknown. And like most of the search engine’s tests, this was implemented to improve their bottom line: $$.

But what does this mean to the advertiser?  Will it in fact increase CTRs? Will it affect bounce rates, avg. CPC, or other crucial metrics? Only time will tell.

Until then, keep an eye open for these new ads. Keep a frequency log. And perhaps green will become the new yellow.
Additional information at Searchengineland.

By Naomi Young

Are PPC ads really becoming invisible?

Ofcom’s latest media use and attitudes report says that half of search engine users couldn’t spot sponsored links in search engine results.

This is quite a significant number of people, and higher than I would have thought it would be. Are search results ads really that invisible? (I’m slightly biased as I do work with PPC ads on a daily basis…)

23% of the study thought they were the best or most relevant results, 20% said they were the most popular results used by other people, and 12% weren’t sure.

More established internet users were able to correctly identify the ads – 51% compared to 34% of newer internet users (newer internet users are defined as those who first went online less than five years ago).

So, what’s happening to the paid search results which is making them less identifiable as ads?

After cutting right-hand-side ads, all paid search results are integrated within the list of organic results. With organic following seamlessly into PPC ads, users may be finding it more difficult to differentiate between the two.

Also, some of the team noticed that Google has been experimenting with the colour of the ad labels, turning them green. The official reason for this isn’t known, perhaps it was a bid to blend more in with the colour of the display URL? And this isn’t the first time Google has changed the labelling – until a couple of years ago, PPC ads were more obvious as they were on a shaded background, suggesting that Google might be taking steps in order to try and reduce the visibility of results.

Possibly ‘banner fatigue’ could be playing a part in the results of Ofcom’s study, with people just becoming too used to ads and therefore not being able to tell one from the other.

Whatever the reason, this study highlights the importance of organic and paid results working together ensuring visibility.

More info here and the full report can be found here.

By Naomi Young

The death of Facebook’s 20% text rule

In the past, to use an image in Facebook ads, it had to pass the vigorous 20% text rule. This meant that if the banner was made up of more than 20% text, it would not be approved. This was Facebook’s way of making sure ad copy was confined to the text and heading, keeping banners image focused and of high-quality.

Today I went to use the grid tool, which helped you check whether your image would be approved or not, however, I couldn’t find it. And this is when I discovered Facebook’s policies have changed… dun-dun-dun!

Now, images must have as little text as possible. It means that the more text these images have, the more the reach of the ad will be limited.

An email to Greg, our Facebook contact, confirmed this. He said:

The text policy has changed slightly in that your ads won’t be disapproved for having over 20% text anymore, instead the ad will be approved but if an ad has a lot of text in it then it will be penalized on the delivery front so the reach will be limited.


Going forward, I imagine it will help with relevancy, making ads look more streamlined within the news feed and less intrusive for users.

More info can be found here 

By Naomi Young

Facebook Canvas: Painting a New Creative Ad

You may have already heard that Facebook have released a new type of advertising format – Canvas – that promises advertisers “more space” and “unique” experiences on mobile.

When clicked on through a native Facebook ad in the newsfeed, the ad will take up the whole of a mobile screen and allow people to interact with it by scrolling horizontally, vertically or with the video. This full-page, immersive experience will allow for visually engaging stories using video, still images and text. Load times will be minimised with integrated calls to action, so the user experience will be instantaneous.

Creating the ad will be easy, as advertisers will have access basic self-service tool that requires no software or coding. Also, most of Facebook’s ads objectives, delivery, pricing and auction mechanics that are already in place will apply to the Canvas format

More exciting news; the Canvas format is also going to be released onto Instagram in the second half of this year!

Here at Tug we’ll be interested in testing out Canvas when creating paid social ads, and can’t wait to see what other engaging content is created with the tool!

By Stephanie Terrett

Will Google’s Latest SERP Changes Hurt SEO?

Last weekend Google announced the frightening news that they have removed all PPC ads from the right-hand side of the search engine results page with instant global effect. This news has sparked fears that organic search results will take a hit, as organic listings have now been pushed even further down the SERP with four ads now at the top instead of three for “highly commercial” search terms.

So why is Google filling the entire above the fold space with paid ads? Googles decision behind this appears to be purely commercially driven, and they’ve sacrificed their own user experience in doing so, which is hypercritical as their whole theory behind the Panda algorithm update was to enhance user-experience, so why is this any different?

This isn’t Google’s first attempt at ditching sidebar ads according to TechCrunch, although last time in 2012 the change that was implemented didn’t involve increasing the number of ads above organic search results. And I’m sure the latest changes won’t be the last either!

Some of the questions SEO’s are asking themselves is what does this all mean for organic search results and what should we do in response to this radical change? Well we shouldn’t panic, because it does not mean the death of SEO. Now more than ever, we are competing against paid ads, so if you are ranking for a commercial term it’s important to ensure everything is done to make the organic listing stand out with optimised META information and schema markup.

We can’t get too worked up over this, because this change has only been made to desktop SERP’s, which accounts for less than half of searches. So to quantify the impact of this, that’s about 8% of queries affected according to Search Engine Watch.

For now, we’re going to keep an eye on our clients’ keyword positions and look out for changes. Time will tell, so watch this space for evolvements on the situation!

By Kathryn Green

Interactive Mobile Advertising

In the past few months Google has been doing more research than ever into mobile advertising. Just months after they released the Mobile App Marketing Insights Guide, Google has launched two new types of mobile app advertisements. This could be because the insight guide revealed that most downloaded apps never get used, one in four to be precise. To stop this happening and increase usability, Google are trying to increase the level of user intent before the user downloads an app. The apps have been designed with this in mind.


Ad number one is ‘the Trial run ad’. This particular app gives the user a short experience (60s) within a game app such as Cookie Jam. This would mean users could try the game first and see if they enjoy it, and if the outcome is positive they are more likely to open the  game and play after the download completes.


Ad Number two is ‘the interactive interstitial’. This is an ad that appears during natural transition points in an app, for example between  levels in a game. However, now they are interactive and the user can not complete one of many CTAs. Google has given developers full  creative reign over each ad therefore, their range of capabilities is vast. Templates can be given, but users can custom create their own  also. A big positive about this kind of ad is that it will easily allow advertisers to A/B test in order to increase conversions.


By Alexander Pitt

The Battle for Mobile Web Advertising – Facebook Vs Google

According to AdExchanger, Facebook Audience Network (FAN) has gone head to head with Google, again, by expanding into mobile web advertising.

FAN was originally launched as an in-app advertising network which allowed publishers to harness Facebook data and buy in apps outside of the social network while still using the Facebook ad interface. Publishers can use the same targeting available for Facebook ads, including Custom Audiences, core audiences and lookalike audiences to make their ads personal, relevant and easy to measure.

This major move allows the 2.5 million existing Facebook advertisers, plus a large quantity of new customers, to reach more of their audience via mobile web. Facebook recently reported they reached a billion dollar annual run rate for advertising spend through the Audience Network in Q4 2015. This expansion enables them to grow this figure in 2016 and gain more market share from main competitors Google.

Audience networks for mobile web is still in beta. To sign up click here.  

By Naomi Young

Google’s ‘Super Bowl’ Idea

One of the biggest events in a Brands calendar, the Super Bowl, is fast approaching. It’s the perfect opportunity for Brands to react with real-time creatives, with Twitter being the predominant platform for this.

This year, for Super Bowl 50, Google are going to be joining Twitter in a competition for advertising dominance with the launch of a new ad format. Real-time ads will allow advertisers to react during relevant TV moments with video ads across YouTube and GDN. It’ll be widely rolled out later on in the year, but moments like the Super Bowl allow for the perfect opportunity to shout about the feature.

Although the creative must be pre-planned and uploaded beforehand, the content can be pushed out in real time. This element of pre-planning can’t be achieved with Twitter. Google will also have advantage over Twitter because of its power as a platform – the reach and scale that can be achieved in video and display is much greater.

It’ll be interesting to see how Brands use this development. The website-development company Wix is one of the first marketers to sign up and use the service, so we look forward to see how their campaign unfolds on February 7th!


By Naomi Young

Google AdWords Latest Feature – Customer Match

Customer Match has been recently launched by Google, and is designed to help reach the most highest-value customers on Google Search, YouTube and Gmail. The feature allows you to upload a list of email addresses and target these people with specific campaigns and ads.

Google gives the following example to explain how it works:

“Let’s say you’re a travel brand. You can now reach people who have joined your rewards program as they plan their next trip. For example, when these rewards members search for “non-stop flights to new york” on Google.com, you can show relevant ads at the top of their search results on any device right when they’re looking to fly to New York. And when those members are watching their favorite videos on YouTube or catching up on Gmail, you can show ads that inspire them to plan their next trip.”

Similar Audiences can also be generated to reach new customers on YouTube and Gmail who are likely to be interested. Based on the parameters identified in the uploaded email lists, new prospects who share similar characteristics can be targeted.

This feature brings forwards some interesting opportunities for helping to convert leads, targeting offline customers and notifying about new offers – something here at Tug we are excited to test out.

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Will Google’s Latest SERP Changes Hurt SEO?