Google Responds to Rise of Multiscreenwelt with AdWords Campaign Enhancements

Google mobile adwordsThere are a range of reactions to Google’s newly announced AdWords Enhanced Campaigns, which are directed substantially at improving mobile paid search. The changes are significant.

Some are viewing it cynically and critically as a revenue-related move, while others are focused on the new capabilities: making mobile search ads more accessible and more effective.

One widely held view is that Google is trying to close the gap between desktop CPCs and mobile CPCs, which are lower on average. Indeed, Adobe argues advertisers will probably have to pay higher CPCs as a result of the changes. However, according to Larry Kim of Wordstream, call reporting/tracking fees have been dropped.

Marketers will also no longer able to separately target tablets (as they have been able to do). The tablet and PC are being lumped together because of similar user-behavior patterns (although tablets have lower CPCs and higher conversions). I wonder if that holds true for seven inch tablets as well.

There will apparently be no mobile-only keyword bidding any longer. Keywords will need to be shared across the PC and mobile campaigns. But Google is bringing much more depth and nuance to mobile campaigns despite this.

Google is allowing mobile campaigns to be targeted (and bid) by context: location, device, time of day. There will be dynamic elements (as with location and phone extensions) that respond in the ad creative. Bidding can be variably set to reflect the perceived value of leads depending on context, location, day part and so on.

There will also be a wider range of conversion metrics tracked and available. One of the problems with mobile is that marketers often can’t see conversions that don’t happen online, on the same device — and most do not. If they do happen online they typically happen later on another screen.

Some have suggested that small businesses are the intended beneficiaries of many of these changes. I don’t think so; as far as I can tell Enhanced Campaigns creates more options, requires more sophistication (at least around bidding) and therefore adds complexity. As always third parties will have to help the SMB.

Here is useful additional coverage:

Below is a promotional video that doesn’t reveal much about the mechanics of the new system.

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6 Responses to “Google Responds to Rise of Multiscreenwelt with AdWords Campaign Enhancements”

  1. Scott says at

    Nice analysis here as always here, Gregg. I would just argue that you don’t need to be particularly cynical to see this as a revenue move for Google. They will absolutely make more money by forcing people to target tablets, through new clicks from those who currently are not and higher CPC from those who are currently segmenting and controlling those costs. I’m hopeful that the new features will prove useful for clients, but this is definitely a move to grab more revenue.

  2. Greg Sterling says at

    On one level Google’s right to make people see the value of mobile advertising and give them the tools to realize that value. However, the tactics being used in some sense are fairly heavy-handed.

  3. Adam says at

    I’d agree w/ Scott. Anytime Google takes away options to specify where and how you can spend your money (while claiming it’s a “better” option based on any number of reasons), the end user typically loses. While I do like some of the “enhancements”, I do not agree with forcing users to have to pay for mobile devices.

  4. Greg Sterling says at

    I suspect that if the outcry is loud enough there will be some modifications in version 2.0 or perhaps even before the full rollout.

  5. jonjon says at

    I think this will help the SMB, but not in a direct sense. It will make it easier for resellers to manage their SMB customer’s campaigns (e.g. day-parting on call extensions is a huge benefit), however that same reseller is going to go through a lot of initial pain as they upgrade their campaigns to enhanced.

  6. Scott says at

    I do really like the idea of dayparting extensions. I’m looking forward to testing that out with some of our retail clients.

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