Google announces slew of search ads and Analytics updates at SMX East

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In a keynote discussion Wednesday morning, Google’s Jerry Dischler, VP of search ads, and Babak Pahlavan, senior director of product management for analytics solutions and measurement, discussed a wide range of topics affecting search marketers and made several announcements.

The search ads news centered around audience targeting, while the analytics announcements ranged from new integrations for Tag Manager to the global release of a free version of Optimize 360.

New in search ads

  • Cross-device remarketing for remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA). Following on the news earlier in the week that display retargeting is now available across devices, Dischler announced that RLSA targeting can also now occur across devices. That means that if a signed-in user first visits on a mobile device, they later can be retargeted on a desktop, for example.
  • RLSA can soon be set at the campaign level instead of only at the ad group level. That announcement was particularly welcomed by the audience and will roll out in the next month or so. List membership duration has also been extended to 540 days.
  • Launch of demographic targeting for search ads. This has been in beta for some time now. Demographic targeting will be rolling out generally, allowing advertisers to target based on gender and age. (Edit: A previous version of this article mentioned household income, but that’s not included at this time.)
  • Similar audiences for search are now in open beta. Advertisers with account managers can reach out to their reps to find out about joining that beta now.

Thousands of advertisers are now using the Store Visits metric, and it is now available in 14 countries, up from 11.

Analytics news

The following updates were also detailed in a blog post Wednesday. There were four announcements.

  • A free version of Optimize 360 is launching globally. This is a version of Google’s testing and personalization product that was introduced as part of the Analytics 360 Suite in May. Optimize pairs with Google Analytics to provide a feedback loop on performance. If a test version reaches the goal thresholds set by the marketer, the test version can take over automatically. Those interested can request an invite online now. google-optimize-free-version
  • Data Studio, the free version of Google’s collaborative reporting tool, is now available globally. It has been available in the US since May. Additionally, Google is introducing several new reporting templates designed to make creating visual reports turnkey.
  • A new metric called session quality score will start appearing throughout Google Analytics. Powered by machine-learning, session quality score is actually the technology that has underpinned Smart Goals, which became more widely available earlier this year. Session quality score “predict[s] the likelihood of a visitor making a transaction (purchase) on your site or app.”
  • google-analytics-session-quality-scoreOver the next couple of weeks, tag templates for 20 additional data sources will be available in Tag Manager and Tag Manager 360, including from Quantcast, Twitter, Microsoft Bing, Nielsen and more.

Watch the full session here.

About The Author

As Third Door Media’s paid media reporter, Ginny Marvin writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She provides search marketing and demand generation advice for ecommerce companies and can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.


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