New AdWords quality score and review extensions

New AdWords quality score and review extensions

This week, Google has released several new AdWords features:
– Officially released a new quality score algorithm;
Review extensions are available also for Italian accounts;
– Since October 30, it will be possible to manage location extensions only at campaign level
– In 2014, new campaigns with product feed specific features (PLA) will be available;
– Spotted interactive field ads.
Google confirmed that the click through rate expected from extensions has been included in a new algorithm to calculate AdWords quality score (official announcement).
This development surprised many, who suggested possible scenarios of a general growth of click costs. Personally, I was wondering since a long time if extension clicks would affect the quality score; therefore, I started to add at least site links during the stage of campaign creation, instead of afterwards (as I was doing previously).
On the other hand, it is hardly understandable why Google should not take into account also clicks that the advertiser may attract by means of the promotional extra text that extensions do provide. In my opinion, any option offered to most capable advertisers that would positively affect QS will be more than welcome (instead of groping in the dark with an algorithm that is far from being perfect).
Just to provide a quick brush up for those who may not realise the relevance of this update, here below is an example of an AdWords auction in the search network for a keyword with 4 competing advertisers.
The importance of Quality Score both for ad positioning (where it has a multiplier effect) and for the actual click price (where it acts as a divider) is obvious.
Recently, I have noticed review extensions enabled on several Italian accounts, after they had been made available for all US users over the last weeks, and I eventually had a chance to test them.
These are added in the same location as usual extensions. Here is an original example implemented for this site, which quotes two famous bloggers (Elena Farinelli e Sante J. Achille) who did participate to 2013 ADworld Experience edition and reported about the event on their website.
estensioni-recensioni1 [clear]
Once you have selected the new type of extension (provided it is already available for your account), the following window will allow you to insert 2 lines of maximum 67 total characters (including the source) with an exact or rephrased quote of the statement found on the original site. In this example, I had to rephrase the meaning of these posts (my apologies to the authors, but it is hard to add a meaningful quote along with its source in just 67 characters!).
estensioni-recensioni2 [clear]
The result is very close to existing extensions. Still, as for what concerns persuasion, the effect of a few well-selected quotes might be crucial and actually determine if the user will click on an ad or not.
Other important news, recently reported by Riccardo Perini, is that ads with an interactive field have been spotted over here as well.
Google has been testing this type of ads since 2010. At the beginning, it all started with the collection of e-mail address, but then, perhaps due to the final struggle of AdWords against squeeze pages (which are pages created with the obvious unique intent of collecting emails, without offering any value in exchange to the user), the use of the e-mail collection form has been restricted. Since some advertisers are allowed to use such fields as seen in the wide-scale example, one may argue that some similar feature might be soon be released to everyone.
Another interesting news is the release of a new generation of so-called ‘shopping’ campaigns. These eventually will provide advanced features for the optimisation of Product Listing Ads (PLA), i.e. of feeds of products uploaded in Google Merchant (here you find the official announcement along with some other technical details). Given the present limited control options that this type of promotion is able to provide, this innovation is more than welcome. Unfortunately, this will only be available in Italy later during 2014.
Finally, thanks to a tweet from Francesco Paternò, we advise that, since October 30th, it will be possible to manage location extensions only at campaign level, instead of advert group level (here is the relevant announcement with some more details about the transition phase). In my opinion, this is a significant loss in the flexibility of campaign management. Still, apparently Google has considered that this feature could be sacrificed to ensure an enhanced functionality of the platform.

Gianpaolo Lorusso
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