01 Nov 2011

Google Dynamic Search Ads

November 01, 2011PPC Advertising

Last week Google released a new tool with the intentions to make life a lot easier for advertisers with large web sites. Whether you have products that change availability on a daily basis or you have varying offers from day to day, you will benefit from this new program, which Google is calling Google Dynamic Search Ads. This is meant to complement AdWords by using web crawling technology that will find more relevant ads for its larger advertisers.

Websites that boast huge numbers of Stock-Keeping-Units (SKU's) that change daily will benefit greatly from this service because Google will automatically generate their ads based on what is current on their website. Some of these lucky sites that immediately come to mind for me are concert ticket brokers, or booking sites like Travelocity that always have a huge variety of vacation offers on the market.

There are a couple of differences here that make Google Dynamic Search ads a win-win for these kinds of websites. For one, Google's web crawler will actually navigate through your website's index. It works similarly to how the crawler navigates the entire web, but in this case, it gets more specific and is able to come up with fresh and relevant ads on a daily basis. It is also flexible, allowing you to decide whether you want the crawler to search through your entire site, or just go through specific categories and products.

Google says that every day about 16% of the searches that occur are ones that they have never seen before. With the changing online marketplace it is essential that these big sites are accommodated appropriately.

The next big difference might prove to be a giant step for PPC marketing as a whole. Now, when a potential customer runs a search, Google will dynamically generate a headline for your ad based on the text and content of the user’s search query. It will then connect them to the best match in regards to your landing pages. However, the ad will be held back from the auction if there is an eligible keyword-targeted ad. Dynamic Search Ads are creating additional opportunities for exposure, without putting a damper on your current results.

This new method ensures that the ads that appear to that user are for current, in-stock inventory. By using these dynamically generated ads, you don't have to worry about newly expired ads going into auctions where you can no longer benefit from the click-through. This also guarantees more exposure for you if your site is one with hundreds of the aforementioned SKU's.

The program has been in Beta testing for the last year or so. Hundreds of participating sites have seen an average of 5%-10% increase in their click-through rates and conversions, and some already claiming much higher numbers than that. Of course, this also means lower prices for those advertisers with higher conversions, and some are already boasting price drops of more than 70% per click. Because of these successes, on October 20th, the Beta testing expanded from those select hundreds of advertisers and was released to all countries and languages.

Some might argue that the most exciting thing about Dynamic Search Ads is that you will no longer have to struggle over choosing specific keywords. Because Google is doing the site navigation, they are able to generate those headlines that will automatically relate to whatever the user is searching for at that time. That means no more worrying about where to put your bids. Google has a plan for you, and that plan goes into action every time a user runs a search. Based on Google's site navigation and the users' searches, Google will send ads to users who are more likely to click through.

There are however, some limitations as to who can use this new program. The key requirements are as follows: Your website must have at least 50 pages of unique items which are trying to advertise; your conversion tracking system must be compatible with Google Dynamic Search Ads (you can visit the AdWords help center for more details); your account must not be a My Client Center Account. You will still need to closely monitor broad match keyword queries as well, to ensure that Google is not linking irrelevant ads to users. You can sign up to try Google Dynamic Search ads by visiting this link: https://services.google.com/fb/forms/dsabetainterest/.

This is a huge step for AdWords and the PPC world in general. Even though it's only the beginning of this type of Dynamic Searching, we think this is a look into the future of PPC and how this kind of advertising will work in the next decade. The next round of Beta testing will teach us more about impacts of this type of advertising on Adwords users. We will be able to see how it is benefitting sites for the long run in terms of response, conversions, and lower prices over time.