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Google will offer machine learning tools to advertisers

Google will offer machine-learning tools to help advertisers create personalized search ads, bid on YouTube ads to achieve brand lift and boost shopping and local campaigns, the company announced in a blog post and at Google Marketing Innovations event.

Here’s a brief:

  • Optimizing ad search
    Rather than manually developing and testing ads text for different search queries, Google will use machine learning to determine a combination from 15 headlines and 4 description lines provided by the advertiser, based on what is relevant to the user. According to Google, “advertisers who use Google’s machine learning to test multiple creative see up to 15 percent more clicks.”
  • Maximize Lift for YouTube buys
    A new Smart Bidding strategy, called Maximize Lift will deliver ads to users who are likely to consider a brand after viewing an ad. This feature will be rolled out globally later in the year. Also a machine learning tool, Maximize Lift will tweak video-ad bids in real-time to improve lift in ad recall and consideration to “maximize the impact your video ads have on brand perception throughout the consumer journey.”
  • Local campaigns
    Local campaigns is a new ad feature aimed at driving physical store visits. According to Google, mobile searches for “near me” have grown over 3X in the past two years, and almost “80 percent of shoppers will go in store when there’s an item they want immediately.” Advertisers have to provide Google with ad creatives and locations of their businesses, which it will optimizes using ML of course, and deliver ads to drive physical visits. Local campaigns report on store visits using anonymized and aggregated data from signed-in Google users who have opted to turn location history on. It is different to Smart Campaigns which are designed for small businesses.
    Google’s “near me” feature has shown increase in usage on mobile. Google’s head of ads, Sridhar Ramaswamy, said that the search engine has seen a 10x increase in the number of searches including the phrase “open near me tonight.”
  • Shopping Campaign
    Earlier this year, Google introduced Smart Shopping to drive ads as per advertisers’ goals. The campaign automatically optimizes ad delivery across Google’s properties to achieve the advertiser’s defined conversion goal value, such as revenue or return on ad spend (ROAS). Advertisers will now also be able to select store visits or new customers as goals. The tool will also taken in account factors like seasonal purchases and demand to deliver ads.
  • Cross-device marketing on Google Analytics: Google will now combine data from people who visit a site multiple times using different devices, so businesses can get a “comprehensive view of customers”. Advertisers will be able to look at how users behave on their sites, regardless of the device they’re using. Reports will only display aggregated data from users who have agreed to share it; individual user data will not be shared. Up till now, advertisers could not re-target past users when they came back to a website.

Recent Ad changes at Google

  • In June, Google rebranded some of its products to simplify its ad product lineup, and rebranded Google AdWords into Google Ads. It’s also combined DoubleClick Digital Marketing and its Analytics 360 Suite into Google Marketing Platform. It also merged DoubleChlick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange into Google Ad Manager.
  • At the time, Google also announced updates to give users more control over the ads they see on the platform. Or to put it another way, Google tried to improve targeted advertising by giving users the illusion of greater control. These settings have always existed but Google gave them a fresh coat of paint and dressed them up in its material design UI. The updates allowed users to remove those topics (from their Ads Activity log) related to which they don’t want to see ads. Although the company marketed it as giving users more control, the fact remains that Google is still collecting information on us. It still knows what users are watching and searching for online, the only difference with this update was that user can choose which ads not to see.

The vast majority of Google’s revenue comes from its advertising products. In 2017, Google made over $95 billion from advertising. It made less than $15 billion from other revenue streams, such as contracts and sales of its GSuite products.

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