Another month has gone and the world of PPC has evolved once again. At Genie we recognise that, with such a fast-paced industry, it’s easy to miss some of the large (and not so large) additions and updates that get reported every day. This post gives a brief round-up of all the main talking points from last month - you’re welcome!

Labels are coming to Bing

And everyone in PPC breathes a collective sigh of relief. Bing has announced labels are coming to its paid advertising platform, a long awaited feature. Soon advertisers will be able to navigate their accounts much more easily and efficiently. Filtering your ads, keywords, campaigns and ad groups will be an experience just as smooth and pleasurable as on Google.

AdWords extensions got some major upgrades for mobile

Mobile extensions have become even more interactive. Sitelinks, callouts and structured snippets have all gone through some major upgrades, changing the way they’re seen and used. The big news is sitelinks have become interactive and ‘tappable’ on mobile, allowing users to navigate deeper into your website. The sitelinks appear at the bottom of the ad (similar to desktop) and can be scrolled sideways by the user.

So far, Google’s data demonstrates users are almost twice as likely to interact with a mobile ad with the new sitelinks. Additionally, callout and structured snippets extensions have been moved from the bottom of the ad to in-line with the ad text, which will allow more visibility for both.

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Google expanded the number of sitelinks available for mobile and tablet

Not only has Google updated the way sitelinks appear, it has increased the amount you can use. It will now allow eight sitelinks to appear on mobile ads, doubling the previous number. This is a relatively new revelation and, at the time of writing, is without any official confirmation from Google. However, the change is confirmed deep within the company’s official support documents which have surreptitiously changed from saying “four” sitelinks will appear to “eight”.

Google rolled out its landing page assessment tool

Bad landing pages have been the bane of many advertisers since the dawn of interweb time. Checking through all your landing pages has been a daunting task, but Google has launched an excellent new feature which allows you to assess your landing page for quality.

The tool allows for better visibility, with mobile clicks separated from desktop. It also reports on the mobile-friendly CTR of your ads. Analysing your URLs’ performance is also made easier, with the tool showing the ones driving the most customer engagement.

Google introduced a new metric and report for Shopping

The new metric is called ‘absolute top impression share’ and will report on how often your shopping ads (and local inventory ads) place in the top spot on Google Search. The new report, which is exclusive to the new AdWords interface, sits below ‘report’ on the sidebar.

This report will allow for better transparency regarding any product status issues your shopping campaigns may have; a feature many have been longingly crying out for.

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Bing announced a new quality policy for keywords

There are three main components to this new policy which may affect your campaigns. First, keywords related to any of the following may be limited or removed: pharmaceuticals, weapons, adult content, gambling, or anything which uses a trademark without permission. Next, keywords (and ads) that haven't performed well over a given time period may be removed completely. And lastly, the number of keywords you can have in your account may be capped. These changes are just the latest in Bing’s attempt to regulate the quality of its ads, and their impact is expected to be minimal to most advertisers.

Yandex upgrades its search algorithm

Yandex has sought to better understand user search queries by upgrading its algorithms. The new update, named ‘Korolyov’, is now able to analyse the full page of content, rather than just the headline, as it was previously.

The Russian search engine now looks at entire web pages to match its relevance to the user’s intention, allowing for retailers to guarantee better quality traffic. Korolyov is Yandex’s attempt at Google’s RankBrain and is now adjusted to better handle long-tail search queries.

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Google announced updated display safety options for excluding site categories

Google has refined the options given to advertisers who wish to exclude some categories of websites from their display campaigns. This change has seen some category exclusions removed, some updated and others added. One new categories is ‘sensitive social issues’, which includes websites with content relating to discrimination, firearms and weapons, scandals and investigations, and more. Another is ‘content suitable for families’. One category removed was ‘gambling’, as Google already has restrictions in place.

These changes occurred, in part, due to a boycott from YouTube advertisers who saw their ads appearing alongside videos relating to extremist terrorism and violence. We recommend you make the necessary adjustments to your campaigns before the new system is fully implemented at the end of the year.

AdWords beta will auto-generate and enable ads

Google has announced that, from late September, the new AdWords beta will include a feature which will suggest new ads, then enable them after 14 days. These new ads will be based on data suggesting their inclusion in your campaigns will generate decent traffic. They will appear initially as a notification, then auto-enable if the notification isn’t responded to. This is a potentially very useful, especially if you’re suffering from writer's block, but the results should be monitored carefully as you’ll have to pay for them as normal.

Bing announced considerable market share growth

Earlier this month, Bing announced some interesting stats regarding its search engine market share – and it’s probably bigger than you think. According to data provided by comScore qSearch, Bing constitutes 33% of all searches in the USA (making it its biggest international market) and reaching five billion monthly searches. Taiwan, the UK and Hong Kong all came close with 26%, 23%, and 20% market share, respectively.

Microsoft has seen steady yet consistent market share growth since Bing’s launch in 2009 and has taken some considerable business away from global search giant Google. The data has obvious implications for PPC marketers, as many of us have likely underestimated Bing’s potential as a solid source of revenue, and may want to reconsider its PPC strategy to refocus resources and budget towards Bing PPC ads.

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