Google is said to be testing yet another new ad format – this time in the shape of giant image ads which appear in a carousel format. The large scale adverts feature multiple headlines, followed by a set of images in a swipe able format and then an advert description. The ad design appears to be based on an automotive image ads test Google ran a couple of years ago. At the moment, the test ads are only showing to some users for some search queries but, when a user does click on the ad, they’re taken to a page hosted by Google which shows all of the images and captions. The link to the advertiser’s own website then displays at the bottom of that page.

The test was spotted by a columnist at Search Engine Land, who described the format as being “crazy-immersive”.

search images

11x increase in use of AMP ads

Google has long been vocal about the need for better mobile experiences and set up AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) in order to help publishers create content that loads faster on mobile devices. In a blog post shared a few days ago, Vamsee Jasti, who is the project manager for AMP shared that there has been a 11x year-on-year increase in serving of AMPHTML ads by Google. The post says that AMPHTML ads offer users performance benefits and safety guarantees – which in turn, results in better ROI for advertisers. The upshot is that Google has ramped up how often it serves up AMPHTML ads, not only restricting them to AMP pages but adding in standard web pages too. 12% of display ads served by Google are now AMPHTML.

Jasti says AMPHTML ads are better for advertisers too, with a 3.83% improvement in ad CTR and a 4.88% gain in page CTR, adding “Once mobile app support launches in Q2, 2019, advertisers can fully transition to creating a single AMPHTML ad and have it render across all environments and devices.”

Universal App Campaigns renamed

Universal App campaigns have been given a mini overhaul in the last few days and will now be known as ‘App Campaigns’. This new title will sit alongside Google’s other Ads formats as a top-level campaign option on the interface. It won’t impact on functionality or features so if you have campaigns running now, they will continue as is with no disruption.

New mobile page tools launched

Over a decade on from the dawn of mobile, Google has updated two of the tools it developed to help website owners better serve their visitors on mobile devices. The biggest change is for Test My Site, which the search engine has revamped in a ‘top to bottom’ update. Noting that a one second delay can hit conversation rates by a factor of 20%, the updated Test My Site is packed with additional functionality and tools.

Website owners can use the new look service to speed test the site as a whole along with individual pages, run comparisons with performance over the previous month, get a fast, slow or average rating and learn how it stacks up against others in their industry. Test My Site will also create a complete report for the webmaster and provide a list of suggested actions to increase page speed by 5x.

The second mobile update comes in the form of RCS (Rich Communication Services) Business Messaging – a new partnership Google has launched to focus on modernising the traditional mobile messaging format with an aim of delivering enhanced experiences to consumers.

RCS messaging gives brands plenty of new possibilities with message branding, the addition of rich media, analytics and interactivity.

As always, Adrac has its finger firmly on the pulse and continues to leverage any and all new Google developments and insights for our clients. To find out more about working with us, get in touch.