Google announces new ‘discovery’ ad formats, revamped Shopping experience, native placements at Google Marketing Live

By Greg Sterling

SAN FRANCISCO — Discovery is a big theme at this year’s Google Marketing Live, its annual event to unveil new ads products, held in San Francisco this year. And several new ad units announced today are designed to address top-of-funnel consumer scenarios. Discovery ads, Gallery ads and expanded reach for Showcase Shopping ads were all unveiled at GML.

These formats share the fact that they’re all highly visual, appear across multiple Google properties and are all automated, like Universal App Campaigns (now App Campaigns). Universal App Campaigns first launched in 2015 and have emerged as a model for all of Google’s newer automated formats.

Google also announced a redesigned and improved Google Shopping experience. Last week, we reported on updates to the Google Ads app and new inventory for Local campaigns.

Discovery ads

Discovery ads are native ads that appear in multiple Google feed environments. Google’s VP of Product Management Brad Bender said at a press briefing yesterday that Discovery ads are “visually rich, mobile first and use the ‘power of intent.’” Here, “power of intent” means signals Google derives from consumers’ past site visitation, app downloads, videos watched and map searches. These are essentially the same signals Google uses for its In-Market audience targeting.

To get started, advertisers must specifically create a Discovery campaign and upload ad copy and creative assets. Google will then optimize the best performing combinations using machine learning. Discovery ads appear in the Google Discover feed (iOS, Android Google app and mobile on the mobile YouTube feed and in Gmail (under the social and promotions tabs).

Google also revealed that the Discover feed now reaches 800 million users globally. The company added that Discovery ads will become available to advertisers later this year, worldwide. (Learn more about Discovery ads.)

Gallery ads

Gallery ads are more visually compelling units that will appear at the top of mobile search results. They offer a scrollable gallery with between four and eight images and up to 70 characters available for each image. Advertisers pay for these on a CPC basis, either when a user clicks through to a landing page or swipes to the third image in the sequence. There may be no CTRs on some of these ads, just image swipes. However, the cost for a click or a swipe (“paid swipe”) is the same.

Google said in a blog post that, in testing, Gallery ads saw “25% more interactions” that other search ad units. These ads will compete with other search ad formats for placement at the top of results. However, to the extent these units generate more engagement they may enjoy higher quality scores accordingly.

They’re not available for the desktop but may become so in the future. There’s also no word on whether Gallery ads will ultimately include video. However, Google has tested movie trailer ads in search. (Learn more about Gallery ads.)

New inventory for Showcase Shopping ads

Showcase Shopping ads were first introduced for …read more

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