Google rolls out search ad updates to drive up CPC

Google’s ongoing bid to bolster its cost per click (CPC) rate is accelerating with the roll out of new ad extension tools it claims will help improve engagement with people searching for products across multiple devices. 

Google named top ‘meaningful brand’ globally.

The search giant is furthering the rollout of Enhanced Campaigns with AdWords extensions, letting UK advertisers offer more content in their paid-for search ads, including images, plus the ability to capture the email addresses of those that click on their search ads. 

The development also means advertisers can target their search ads to web users that have previously visited their website. Google claims the changes will also let advertisers optimise campaigns for mobile devices, adjust campaigns according to time of day, and offer enhanced campaign analytics – down to each individual site link. 

Advertisers are now being encouraged to optimise their campaigns for the service ahead of a planned “auto-upgrade” on 23 September, and in the meantime they are also encouraged to adjust the copy on their paid-for search ads. This includes ensuring their messages are limited to 25 characters or below and that they then link to web pages containing original content.

The upgrade to Enhanced Campaigns, and subsequent education drive, forms part of Google’s wider drive to increase its average CPC rate, which it has reported as falling in concurrent recent financial results – a trend industry observers credit towards consumers increasingly searching for products on their mobile devices, where CPC rates have been historically much lower than on desktop. 

Meanwhile, some brand-side marketers have expressed concerns over potential consumer wariness towards the changes, particularly the ability to capture a web user’s email address after they search on a search ad. Although web users are required to actively input their email address into a database, brands must ensure their policies are aligned to Google’s to adhere to privacy standards, according to Serena Wong, head of advertising at online marketing agency 4Ps marketing. 

“When the client accepts the terms and conditions, they have to ensure their own privacy policy is in line and a lot of our clients have been concerned about this in particular,” she says. “Google has said that it’s the advertiser’s responsibility to make sure their privacy policies are up to date, then they’re covered. As long as it’s not filtered to a third party, the way they see it, it’s not much different to having someone land on a site and then ask them to sign up to a newsletter.”

Earlier this week, it was revealed in an US court filing by Google which stated users of other email providers that message its own Gmail users have no “reasonable expectation” their communications will remain confidential. The filing was made as part of a class action law suit that Google  “unlawfully opens up, reads, and acquires the content of people’s private email messages”.

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