According to the IAB, mobile drove around $6 billion year-over-year increase in search spend and surpassed desktop for the first time in 2016. Let’s look at the significant trends, launches and news so far from Google AdWords and Bing Ads in 2017.
Conversion tracking and attributions
- The first half of 2017 witnessed the final sunset of AdWords Converted Clicks and the onset of Google Attribution, a grand product release announced at Google Marketing Next.
- Google added Maximize Conversions to its suite of automated bidding strategies. Meaning, if you often import offline conversions into AdWords, you can schedule those imports now.
- There was big news in online-to-offline conversion tracking with Google’s in-store sales measurement programs. Retailers can upload their loyalty cards or customer email lists into AdWords, or in-store sales conversions will show up automatically in AdWords with a program powered by partnerships Google forms with different financial vendors that gives coverage of 70% of credit card transactions in the US.
- Now, Google can track and report on store visits from Youtube campaigns.
- After the Google Marketing Next event, as claimed by Frederick Vallaeys, former founder of Google and Optmyzr, machines learning is powering just about every innovation in search marketing. A perfect illustration is Google’s earlier smart display campaigns announcement. Those campaigns depend on machine learning to automate just about every aspect of the campaign.
- Another huge development came in mid-March. Google declared it was amplifying the meaning of close variants in exact match and would soon ignore word order. It means you can add or ignore function words in exact match keywords.
- An update to Ad Rank thresholds started rolling out in May to account for the contextual meaning of queries like whether a query belongs to recent news versus a consumer product.
- Google launched a pilot called “Ads Added by AdWords” in January in which two thousand accounts were selected to participate. The system automatically attaches ads into the testing rotation in ad groups.
- At the end of February, the green outline around Google’s ‘’Ad” label on text ads became official.
- Dynamic Search Ads got page feeds in March and now support expanded text ads. Both headlines are generated dynamically, and advertisers get the extra characters in the description.
- Google launched a beta that allows advertisers to point their mobile search ads to the AMP-enabled landing page.
- In mid-May, Google moved to open the Purchase on Google beta to make buying from PLAs faster.
- Audience targeting has been a major theme throughout this year.
- In February, Bing Ads enabled the ability to exclude lists in retargeting campaigns and has begun testing in-market and custom audiences.
- In the first half of 2017, in-market audiences and similar audiences for Search and Shopping rolled out in AdWords.
- In April, Bing Ads added inventory feeds and search query reports at the product level. Later, it rolled out Merchant Promotions for Shopping campaigns in the United States, enabling merchants to highlight special offers in their product ads.
- Google initiated the pilot called Retail Shopping on Display on home and fashion retail sites. Google opted all advertisers automatically into this pilot as of May 29.
- At last, Google gave advertisers the authority to see historical Quality Score data in AdWords. It’s also changing the bidding interface in the UI to show bid suggestions for various page positions.
- More than one million more advertisers got access to the new AdWords Next interface. Google confirmed it would be available to everyone by the end of the year.