For many PPC marketers, November is by far the busiest month of the year; what with the Black Friday frenzy and Cyber Monday madness (Not to mention preparation for Christmas) – you can be forgiven for not keeping up to date with all the goings-on in the world of Paid Search. Thats where we come in! We’ve compiled a list of some of the more interesting/important things which have happened in the past 30 days. So, in no particular order...
Bing launched shopping in Canada & India
Advertisers are now able to target Canada and India with their shopping campaigns, as well as the UK, the US, France, Germany and Australia. The province of Quebec is the exception for Canada, as the ads are only supported in English – and Quebec law requires that retailers provide French ads as well as English. However, this is sure to be a welcome update for many advertisers, given the large populations of both countries and the potential for quality traffic.
Google rolled out new design for mobile search results page
You may have noticed a slight aesthetic change to Google search on mobile recently; with Google rolling out a new curved design.
The new design started rolling out in November, and should be available for everyone to see now. This was quickly followed by another update; this time to the Google home page – now the search box will show recent searches by default (so best delete any secret Christmas shopping!).
Google update shopping results with more info
Consumers can now see buying guides for broad categories such as ‘washing machine’ or ‘speaker systems’ as well as more product-related information for certain searches. Users will also see related items, reviews, prices, and other specifications. These additions were implemented in order to allow consumers to make a more informed buying decision, and is expected to result in a better click-through rate.
Promotion extensions made available in AdWords
Just in time for Black Friday; AdWords made the latest ad extension available for all PPC marketers. Promotion extensions are a great way of advertising what your promo is and when it's valid (See below).
This extension is best utilized over any busy sale period, as they allow you to advertise your offers without having to create new ads.
Firefox dropped Yahoo for search
Firefox have ended the three year partnership with Yahoo and have reverted back to Google as their default search provider. The switch from Yahoo to Google will first affect the US, Canada, Hong Kong, and Taiwan – but is expected to be rolled out internationally soon after.
As the second most popular browser after Chrome, marketers should be vigilant to the potential change in PPC traffic following the switch back to Google. It should be noted that Yahoo use a shared PPC network with partners Bing.
AdWords Editor updated to include a variety of new features
Some of the new features include support for asset-based ads in Gmail, as well as new options for video campaigns budget types. Promotion extensions (mentioned above) is also fully compatible with AdWords editor. Other updates include new built-in custom rules for structured snippet extensions, the ability to set bid modifiers to target ads by location, and support for all video campaign extensions. Also, the ‘Life Events’ category is now available as a category for audience targeting.
Google rolled out donate button for US charities
For US based non-profits enrolled in Google’s ad grants, a “Donate” button has now been made available for use in the knowledge panel. This allows donations to be made directly from the search results page. According to Google, charities wishing to utilize the new feature can opt in via their non-profit initiative.
This new feature has come at a time of year when, according to Google data, 30% of all online charitable donations occur.
Google extended visibility of snippets
Snippets are the extensions which appears below the URL in an organic search result; showing how the listing relates to the search query. Google announced last month that these have been extended to allow for a better description of the landing page. According to RankRanger, the average length of the snippets has increased from 160 characters to around 230 on average. You may wonder if this more generous character allowance requires any re-thinking of your snippet’s content; however, it should be noted that in most cases this snippet is dynamically generated in relation to the user's search results.
Google Trends expanded to include more data
Last month, Google updated Trends to include data for YouTube, Shopping, News search, and image search - as part of the latest effort to provide even more data to users. New filters have been added to sort this data; where you can toggle among the various search types.
Google revealed YoY increase for Black Friday sales
Another Black Friday weekend has passed, and with it even more record breaking statistics. Research conducted by Merkle reported that sales for Google PPC saw further growth this year; with Black Friday sales increasing by 21% and Cyber Monday by 16% overall. Shopping campaigns continue to outshine the other formats with a year-on-year increase in sales of 54% between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday.
The product with the largest surge this year was mobile phones, with sales increasing by 28% and constituting 26% of all PPC traffic over the Black Friday weekend.