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Google Algorithm Update for AdWords for Video

Just when we thought Google was done with updates for awhile… we are advised of yet another change.  This time Google has tweaked their AdWords for Video. This change to the reporting interface includes the addition of three new measurement features and will make reporting more goal-oriented as well as make it easier for advertisers to compare campaign performance across platforms and other forms of media.  Currently, YouTube is Google’s largest and most powerful publishers featuring video content.

The first addition will provide improved reach and frequency metrics, including Average Impression Frequency and Average View Frequency.  This will reveal how many unique viewers have seen an ad and the average number of times they have viewed it.  It will not be easier to make sure that ads are not pestering users but are providing enough impressions to get noticed.

The second improvement consists of column sets that are tailored to marketing goals and are grouped according to marketing objectives.  They are:

  • Views: Understand whether viewers watch more of your videos after viewing your paid video advertisement. Metrics include follow-on views and unique viewers.
  • Audience Development: Understand how your video ads drove people to watch and engage with more of your content. Metrics include subscribers and follow-on views.
  • Brand Awareness: See how broadly your video ad was viewed. Metrics include unique viewers, average view frequency and average impression frequency.
  • Traffic & Conversions: See how your video ads motivated viewers to action. Metrics include website traffic, number of conversions, cost-per-conversion, and your conversion rate from people who viewed your advertisement.

And, the final improvement will provide a detailed report that contains ad campaign statistics by location including, Views, Costs, Average Cost Per View, View Rate, Conversions or Impressions.

Capitalizing on online video advertisements is an exciting and interactive way to engage people on the web and encourage them to click through to your client’s site. And, with today’s variety of mobile devices, advertisers have more formats as well as opportunity to be seen.

How will advertisers be affected by these changes?

To start, we will look at mobile devices, specifically tablets.  According to a 2012 Google study, tablets are most frequently used in the home, more specifically on the couch, in bed, at the table, and in the kitchen.  The first on-the-go location was in the user’s vehicle, which occurred a slim 3% of the time.  These facts lead many to conclude that tablets are utilized more like a laptop than a mobile phone.

If you want to take advantage of this growing trend, understanding how digital advertising works and performs across devices is a must.  Ads seen on smartphones, tablets and desktops perform significantly different.  Accord­ing to data com­piled by Adobe, paid search con­ver­sion rates for tablets are 20% higher than desk­tops, and paid search con­ver­sion rates for smart­phones are 42% worse than desk­tops. If you fac­tor in that Cost-Per-Clicks (CPCs) on tablets are 30% lower than on desk­tops, paid search ROI on tablets is a whop­ping 70% bet­ter than desktops.

Traffic is exploding on tablets and smartphones, accounting for approximately one in five of all paid search clicks. By the end of 2013, they may account for one in three.  At the moment, tablet traffic converts are very cost effective  if compared to mobile phones and desktops.

Now for the not so good news, advertisers will no longer be able to target tablet users individually.  Actually, advertisers will no longer be able to create separate campaigns for desktops, smartphones or tablets.  Google is making it very clear that they consider tablets to be equal to desktops and that they are NOT mobile.

This change was motivated by users who utilize their tablets more like laptops or desktops and not like smartphones.  One “reason” for this change is that traffic patterns for tablets reflect similar patterns of laptop and desktops users.  The other “reason” is that CPCs are currently lower for tablets since com­pe­ti­tion for tablet traf­fic is somewhat rel­a­tively low. By combining higher per­form­ing tablet traf­fic with desk­top traf­fic, rev­enue per search (RPS) will increase for Google as CPCs increase on the com­bined desk­top and tablet traf­fic. (This may address Google’s mobile mon­e­ti­za­tion gap as an increas­ing share of searches is com­ing from tablets and smartphones.)

The down­side for adver­tis­ers in the long run is they may see lower over­all ROI as these CPCs creep up. Biznet will continue to maintain a close watch on any change effecting digital marketing and alert our clients.  The bottom line: tablets aren’t mobile – at least in Google’s opinion.