Google Adds Quick Insights on Ad Performance and 'Keyword Themes' for Ad Targeting - Social Media Today

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Google Adds Quick Insights on Ad Performance and 'Keyword Themes' for Ad Targeting - Social Media TodayGoogle Adds Quick Insights on Ad Performance and 'Keyword Themes' for Ad Targeting - Social Media TodayPosted: 17 Jun 2020 12:00 AM PDTGoogle's looking to enhance its simplified Smart Campaigns offering by adding a new way to quickly check on your Google Ads performance, and a new listing of keywords to target, based on your products and services.First off is the new ad check - Google's made it easier to check your ad performance in the mobile app, with a simple search on Google itself. As you can see here, search for 'Google ads' or 'My Ads' and Google will provide you with a basic overview of how your campaigns are going, while you'll also be able to see how your ads look to others.As per Google:"If you want an efficient way of checking your ad status, this feature is for you. We've made our reporting features …

A look at Google’s recent COVID-19 related policies in search - Search Engine Land

A look at Google’s recent COVID-19 related policies in search - Search Engine Land


A look at Google’s recent COVID-19 related policies in search - Search Engine Land

Posted: 19 Mar 2020 12:00 AM PDT

There's no doubting the impact that coronavirus has had on businesses around the world. From retail operations and restaurants shutting their doors completely, to Silicon Valley giants enforcing mandatory work-from-home procedures, the effects of COVID-19 have been widespread.

But against a sea of countless examples of sensible brands playing their part to slow the global pandemic and ensure customer and employee safety, are a mix of folks looking to profit by exploiting fear and misinformation online. In a vital step to combating these bad actors, Google recently announced that it would block all ads that appear to capitalize on the virus while helping the World Health Organization (WHO) and other government authorities run public service announcement ads in order to educate the general public.

The magnitude of Google's measures is perhaps impossible to quantify. Google's Trust and Safety team is working around the clock to safeguard consumers from phishing, conspiracy theories, malware and misinformation. Since these policies have been enacted, we've seen a significant decrease in the number of bad ads on the market. In this climate with many fearful for their health, the importance of removing ads that seek to exploit vulnerable consumers plays a major role in our fight to overcome this pandemic and resume our normal lives.

Despite new ad policies, implementation is a challenge

Stopping these behaviors from bad actors is easier said than done, however, and even with Google on the case, some questionable ads are slipping through the cracks. Serving approximately 30 billion impressions per day, and with search queries about COVID-19 so immense that it's being designated the "biggest trend in Google search history," the search giant faces a herculean task.

As a result of its recent policy changes, which include a temporary ban on ads for surgical face masks, it's become that much more difficult to monitor questionable ads and take the necessary actions to protect consumers. For these reasons, we are still finding advertisers avoiding detection.

For example, on March 13, our team uncovered this advertisement from Glowyy.com on the search term "travel hand sanitizer."

The words in the ad title and text of Glowyy's ad are in line with the search terms. Clicking on the ad takes the consumer to this page:

And this is where the problem arises. In addition to hand sanitizer, this landing page is selling COVID-19 home testing kits, even though the Centers for Disease Control have not approved these types of kits. The consumer, who initially was looking to buy hand sanitizer, may instead purchase an unapproved testing kit. The landing page for this ad, therefore, is selling a product that is meant to capitalize on the coronavirus, and could be potentially dangerous not to the individual consumer and the health of the general population.

Combatting "fake news" amidst heightened confusion

Despite some brands successfully bypassing Google's safeguarding efforts, ad monitoring is unquestionably a worthwhile practice. In 2018 alone, the search engine provider removed 2.3 billion "bad" ads and 28 million web pages deemed to be infringing on its advertising policies, and trends certainly suggest Q1 of 2020 will set records.

But it's not enough for just Google to take strict steps to remove bad actors amidst erroneous Coronavirus prevention and price gouging. In addition to launching a COVID-19 dashboard to help consumers stay informed on case locations, infection, and protection, Microsoft appears to have banned ads for surgical face masks (although the company has yet to confirm they've officially enacted any policy changes).

Based on what we've found through our ad monitoring, Bing has not been as successful as Google in stopping these types of ads. It is unclear at this point whether bad ads are coming through because of insufficient policy changes or implementation challenges.

See the ads below that we found on Bing using when searching for the terms "corona symptoms."

The top two ads aim to cash in on the anxieties of consumers and initiate panic-driven and impulsive purchases. But not only are these brands leveraging search engine advertisements to take advantage of the crisis, but they're also utilizing domain names intended to maximize their persuasion tactics. While Bing's policy changes remain somewhat unclear, these advertisements would most definitely be removed if they were run on Google.

With the above said, and taking into consideration the fact that Microsoft hasn't actually confirmed they're taking steps to thwart bad actors profiteering from this pandemic, Bing is a case study of what happens when you don't have a quick response and effective ad monitoring and filtering strategies in place.

Search engines must pull together to thwart bad actors

As coronavirus continues to dominate the news cycle, forces us to stay indoors, and effectively turns business operations on their heads, the procedures being put in place by search engines to combat the spread of misinformation and exploitation of fear should be applauded.

Despite current practices proving to be less than perfect, Google is leading by example. With widespread anxiety fueling price gouging, panic buying and the spread of misinformation, it's absolutely critical for Bing and other search engines to strive to keep the internet free of bad actors and protect its status as a place where consumers can search for the accurate information they need.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.



About The Author

David Naffziger is CEO of BrandVerity, which provides technology solutions that protect the world's leading brands online. David was previously VP of Engineering at Judy's Book, a Seattle-based local search company. Before Judy's Book, David co-founded and was Director of Research at Quova prior to its acquisition by Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR). David received his BS from MIT.

How to Use Paid Search & Social Ads for Promoting Events - Search Engine Journal

Posted: 29 Jan 2020 05:40 PM PST

Many businesses, from consumer to B2B, have special events or time-sensitive activities that can be better promoted through paid search and social advertising.

It is important to consider this as a separate strategy from your ongoing campaigns when deciding to promote business events.

Let's dig in!

What Types of Events Can Be Promoted?

First, let's take a look at a few examples of possible "events":

  • Company's booth at tradeshows
  • Speaking at tradeshows
  • Product launches
  • Webinars
  • Open houses
  • Sales events
  • Grand openings
  • Pet adoptions
  • Sports events
  • Registration for classes

There are opportunities for every advertiser, but we are generally looking for a notable activity, outside of normal business, with a limited time for engagement.

What to Consider Before Campaign Setup

It is always beneficial to add the special event to your campaigns as a new ad copy, sitelink, or image, but the event should receive a separate and unique targeting and messaging strategy.

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A new campaign should be created for each event to accommodate its settings and to track conversions/ROI.

Allotting event campaigns their own additional budget, instead of shifting from the ongoing campaigns, will help to keep the main account stable and retain volume.

4 Tips for Designing Event Campaigns

After creating a new campaign for your event and allotting its own budget, there are many other factors to consider unique to promoting events.

1. Awesome Creative

Text ads and image ads related to the promo should follow the best practices with clear details on the event and an enticing CTA.

This will be a time when it will be tempting to layer your images/ video assets with text overlays about the sale or event.

Please note, each ad platform has editorial guidelines on the text in the image ratio so be sure to review this so your ads are approved and there are no delays in the launch.

Bells and whistles: count down timer and ad customizers can be inserted into ad texts on Google Ads and Microsoft Ads. Microsoft has a great explanation of how the countdown feature works.

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How to Use Paid Search & Social Ads for Promoting Events

The countdown timer is a type of ad customizer, but overall, this is a great reason to start using ad customizers if you are not already.

Ad customers allow advertisers to dynamically fill in the information in the ad copy based on the user's search, device, location, and many other factors.

The possibilities are endless for event ads and booting the response.

2. Timing

Timing on designing event campaigns is mission-critical, especially if your event is only occurring for a few days, or one day.

  • Do you want to reach your audience on the exact days the event is running? Or build up to it for days or weeks?
  • Does the "build-up" promotion to the event require a different approach than while the event is taking place?

For example, promoting weeks prior to a webinar or product launch makes common sense. Some local events may only require a few days so it is fresh in the user's mind.

When setting the run dates and ad schedule, pay attention to the time of the day the ads will end. Google will end at midnight of that day, so you could miss an entire day.

Facebook has the ability to set a specific time of the day. Please note this is in military hours!

3. Locations

The geo-targeting will be largely dictated by the location of the event but there are a few things to consider.

Depending on the density of the customer base, the geo-targeting will look different for each advertiser. For example:

  • A local sidewalk sale in the city will have a narrow radius or city target.
  • A large event – like a tradeshow – will have attendees from the local area as well as travelers to the area.
  • A national target, such as a webinar, will present the most challenges to hyper-target it to reach your audience.

With national targeting, you may want to prioritize budget allocation to major metro areas. Another approach is to review your customer purchase data for trends in revenue or ROI by locations.

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4. Targeting

Targeting for events will likely be different from the main ad account targeting.

Let's take an example of a tech trade show since this applies to many scenarios where the event is in a physical location.

Assuming that the ad copy is specific to the event, you will want to reach people searching at or near the show. The search queries used for Google and Bing could fall into keyword groupings such as:

  • Technologies at the show.
  • Companies at the show.
  • The name of the show, such as "tech expo."

These possible search terms provide a great opportunity to target individuals around this tech show example.

As a layer to the keywords, or on its own, you could target your market in the search engines by using audience lists such as "technology news and trends" or "new technology products" within your target geography.

Interests and behaviors will obviously be our primary targeting strategy in Facebook and other paid social media channels.

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How to Use Paid Search & Social Ads for Promoting Events

Bonus Tip: How to Leverage Events (Local or Otherwise) Even If You Are Not Participating in Them!

If you have been assuming during this post that you are participating in or hosting the events, that's great, but you can also piggyback off of any events that are related to your business to get extra exposure.

For example, in the spring, home shows are in full swing.

Even if you are not exhibiting in the show, you can leverage the exposure around f the show to promote your home services and / or related content on your website.

Armed with new tips on promoting your business event, think creatively about how you can reach your target audience with a laser focus on location, searcher intent, and relevant interests.

More Resources:

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Image Credits

In-Post Image: Microsoft blog
All screenshots taken by author, January 2020

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