Google adds Maximize Conversions automated bid strategy in AdWords

Smart Bidding strategies in AdWords use machine learning to adjust bids tailored for every auction. The algorithms take a number of factors into account, including, of course, the type of bid strategy. The newest addition to AdWords Smart Bidding strategies is Maximize Conversions.

From this week’s announcement:

Maximize Conversions will help you get you the most number of sales from your existing budget by factoring signals like remarketing lists, time of day, browser and operating system into bids.

Maximize Conversions also takes historical performance into account. Unlike Target ROAS or Target CPA bid strategies, Maximize Conversions is concerned with conversion volume rather than return on investment goals. Maximize Conversions will spend the daily budget in pursuit of more conversions.

Google says decking company Trex saw a 73 percent increase in conversions, a 59 percent increase in conversion rate and a 42 percent lower CPA in its first test using Maximize Conversions.

A few things to note for Maximize Conversions:

  1. AdWords conversion tracking needs to be set up.
  2. The campaign must have its own budget, not share a budget with any other campaigns.
  3. Maximize Conversions will stay within the set budget but will aim to meet that daily budget. If a campaign is currently under-spending, expect to see spend increase when switching to Maximize Conversions.

Maximize Conversions is now listed as a Bid strategy option under campaign settings in Search campaigns.

The post Google adds Maximize Conversions automated bid strategy in AdWords appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland

Google: Our Algorithms Share Data With Other Algorithms

google algorithms

John Mueller of Google said in a webmaster video yesterday that Google’s search algorithms can and do share data from one algorithm to another. So if the Panda algorithm defines a site as being low quality, Google may share that data with their indexing algorithm to slow the crawl of the site or specific sections of the site.

John Mueller said “one thing that does happen though is that sometimes quality information from one algorithm is used in other algorithms.” “So for example, if we think this website is generally lower quality then that could flow into other things like, maybe maybe like, crawling and indexing speed something like,” John added.

He said this at the 16:48 mark into the video:

One thing that does happen though is that sometimes quality information from one algorithm is used in other algorithms where when it comes to understanding like how we should be treating this website. So for example, if we think this website is generally lower quality then that could flow into other things like, maybe maybe like, crawling and indexing speed something like.

I do believe Google does use machine learning algorithms for some of this. So they might pair a Panda score with a Penguin score to make up a new score – all theoretically. 🙂 I believe we covered this before, but I cannot find where I wrote this. If you see it, link to it below.

Here is the video embed:

Here are some tweets from Glenn Gabe who asked the question and summarized this answer and some other answers from John Mueller around his question:

Forum discussion at YouTube.

This post was scheduled to go live today but was written earlier – I am currently offline today.

Source: SEroundTable

Google AdWords New Maximize Conversions Smart Bidding

Yesterday, Google announced a new smart bidding feature within AdWords named “maximize conversions.” As the name suggests, Google will automatically set the right bids for each auction to help get you the most conversions within your daily budget.

Google says “it uses advanced machine learning to automatically optimize bids and offers auction-time bidding capabilities that tailor bids for each and every auction.” Here is a more detailed help document on this feature.

You can set this under your campaign’s settings page, and then by clicking “Change bid strategy” and select Maximize Conversions. You can test Maximize Conversions, get insights and monitor your bid strategies to understand their performance.

click for full size

Forum discussion at Google+.

This post was scheduled to go live today but was written earlier – I am currently offline today.

Source: SEroundTable

Google: It's Easier To Tell If A Page Is Slow Vs. Fast

google snail

Paul Bakaus, one of the more well-known faces behind Google’s AMP project, said a while back on Twitter that it is easier to tell if a page is slow versus telling if a page is fast. He said this after he said that the “whole area” of page speed “is technically very challenging.”

In fact, someone quoted him as saying Google is not able to tell if a page is slow, which he did not deny saying:

He then added:

Google’s page speed tool does try to determine page speed and in fact, Google has labeled pages as being too slow in the past. But that didn’t last. I guess Google can tell if a page is way too slow and act on that, anything more might be too hard.

Which is why maybe Google won’t include page speed in mobile first index at the start.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

This post was scheduled to go live today but was written earlier – I am currently offline today.

Source: SEroundTable

Google: Dynamic Breadcrumb Trails Isn't Spam

Having breadcrumbs on your site is good for usability and is also a good SEO check item to have on your internal pages. But what if your breadcrumb was defined based on user click behavior and not based on where the page might be situated on your web site. So for example, if you have a pair of sneakers on your site and someone clicks via the brand to get there and another clicks via size, the breadcrumb trail might be different depending on the click behavior.

Having different breadcrumb trails is not a form of cloaking or spam. It is just the way some sites are coded. Gary Illyes basically said that in his response to the question on Twitter:

This question came up in 2014 around having multiple breadcrumb trails on the same page, which Matt Cutts said was okay in many cases. Here is that video answer:

Personally, if you can keep the breadcrumb trail static, it is a bit easier to manage and I’d do it that way.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

This post was scheduled to go live today but was written earlier – I am currently offline today.

Source: SEroundTable

Google Doodle For Zaha Hadid, Iraqi-Born British Architect

Zaha Hadid Google Logo

Today on the Google home page, at least it should be worldwide but I am offline so I can’t verify, is a special Google logo, Doodle for Zaha Hadid. Zaha Hadid was an Iraqi-born British architect who died last year on March 31, 2016 at the age of 65 in Miami, Florida.

She was an awarded and recognized architect with well-known buildings such as the aquatic centre for the London 2012 Olympics, Michigan State University’s Broad Art Museum in the US, and the Guangzhou Opera House in China. She was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004. She received the UK’s most prestigious architectural award, the Stirling Prize, in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, she was made a Dame by Elizabeth II for services to architecture, and in 2015 she became the first woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.

So she has some accolades to say the least.

Sadly she died very young from a heart attack.

The Doodle Google made seems to represent the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Forum discussion at Google+.

This post was scheduled to go live today but was written earlier – I am currently offline today.

Source: SEroundTable

Programming Note: Offline For Shavous 5777

This is a programming note that I will technically be 100% offline for the next two days for the Shavous holiday.

Any story published on Wednesday or Thursday, May 31st or June 1st were pre-written and scheduled to go live on those dates.

If there are any comment spam that slip through the comment spam filters on those days, I won’t be able to get to it until I come back online.

I do not expect any big algorithm updates from Penguin, Panda or Fred – but who knows….

Thanks for bearing with me on this holiday.

Source: SEroundTable

Daily Search Forum Recap: May 30, 2017

Here is a recap of what happened in the search forums today, through the eyes of the Search Engine Roundtable and other search forums on the web.

Search Engine Roundtable Stories:

  • Google: The Guest Post Link Warning Was Just A General Reminder

    Late last week, Google posted a warning against using articles for link building and many thought we were going to see mass link penalties shortly after. I even asked Gary Illyes from Google about that and he didn’t reply to me about it…

  • Google Updated Quality Raters Guidelines Earlier This Month

    Google has quietly updated the quality raters guidelines (PDF) on May 11, 2017. No one seemed to notice but Glenn Gabe posted on Twitter that @ramesh_s_bisht noticed the update this morning…

  • Google Fetch & Render Better Than Cache

    Google’s John Mueller said this morning on Twitter that the Fetch and Render tool within the Google Search Console is the closest representation of what Google sees when they crawl your site. It is better for that purpose than the Google cache…

  • Google: Nofollow Does Not Burn Crawl Budget

    There is a lot more clarity from Google these days around crawl budget which is why I found it a bit surprising to see some SEOs ask if using a nofollow attribute on your links can hurt your crawl budget…

  • Massive Google Beach Chair
    Google has some really massive beach chairs at their office. I spotted this photo on Instagram posted by Jennifer Harvey, a Googler from I believe the UK office. She said she was having fun at the G
  • Memorial Day: Google Tiny Flag, Bing Arlington Cemetery & More

    Today is Memorial Day in the United States and many of the search engines have special logos and themes for the day. Google…

Other Great Search Forum Threads:

Source: SEroundTable

Google Attribution: What search marketers need to know

One of the biggest announcements to come out of Google Marketing Next, held in San Francisco last week, was the release of Google Attribution. The new, free solution can pull in data from Google Analytics, AdWords or DoubleClick Search to provide a more holistic view of conversion actions across channels and devices for attribution modeling and bidding information.

Here’s a look at what this new solution means for search marketers.

What is Google Attribution?

Google Attribution is the simplified version of Attribution 360, the enterprise-level offering that came out of Google’s 2014 acquisition of multichannel attribution solution Adometry. It integrates with Google Analytics, Google AdWords and DoubleClick Search and doesn’t require any additional site tagging.

Marketers link a Google Analytics view that’s already associated with a Google AdWords or DoubleClick Search account. Once the account is set up, Attribution is populated with the channel performance data from the connected Analytics view.

Marketers can then assign an attribution model to their conversion events. And as in Analytics, it’s possible to compare models side by side.

With the native integrations, the modeled conversion data can feed back into AdWords or DoubleClick Search to inform bidding decisions.

What problems does Google Attribution aim to solve?

There are two key problems Google is aiming to address with this product

1. How to see and credit upper- and mid-funnel interactions: Bill Kee, group product manager at Google​, who introduced Attribution onstage last week, said in a phone interview that Google Attribution is focused on understanding the full customer journey versus only last-click impact. The limitation with last-click is that gives all the credit to the user’s very last touch point before converting. For example, if a user searches and clicks on an ad on a non-brand search term, then converts later from a brand ad click, only the brand ad will get credit in a last-click attribution model.

And if a marketer can’t see that a generic keyword actually got the ball rolling, she might lower the bid or pause the keyword altogether. There are obvious benefits for Google in showing advertisers that more of their search and display ads played a role in the conversion path, which brings us to second problem Attribution aims to solve.

2. How to easily inform bidding decisions based on full-funnel attribution data: By automatically sending modeled conversion data into AdWords, advertisers can see the conversion impact of keywords and ads based on multichannel and multidevice conversion path data. Automated bidding can take upper- and mid-funnel contributions into consideration. Again, this obviously has a benefit to Google as well.

How is this different from attribution already in AdWords?

Google has been taking steps over the past several years to take AdWords from an exclusively last-click platform to one that is more flexible. Google completed the migration from Converted Clicks to Conversions last September, in large part because Conversions supports attribution modeling other than last click. Google started showing click and conversion assist data from Analytics before that, but there was no way to set a conversion action to a model other than last-click for conversion reporting and bidding until last year.

The attribution tool introduced in AdWords in 2014 is for search funnels only, which means it only reports on whether users interact with multiple ads from an advertiser. It doesn’t provide any insight into the interplay of ads with marketing efforts on other channels, unless advertisers are using data-driven attribution (more on that below). Google Attribution provides the cross-channel context that is missing in AdWords attribution.

How is this different from what’s available in Analytics?

Through the existing integration with Google Analytics, AdWords advertisers have been able to see paid search and Display Network data in Analytics’ multichannel funnel reporting and in the attribution model comparison tool in Analytics. Attribution offers more depth than Analytics, however.

All of the attribution models in Google Attribution include more touch points than they do in Google Analytics. It also includes Google’s data-driven attribution.

What is the data-driven attribution model?

Attribution is by nature an imperfect science. Capturing all the touch points involved in a conversion event in one system, then assigning credit to one, some or all of those steps in a way that accurately reflects the impact on a consumer’s purchase decision is what Google is trying to get closer to with data-driven attribution.

Google’s own data-driven attribution model uses machine learning to understand how marketing touch points increase the likelihood of conversion given a particular sequence of exposures. Based on the custom probability modeling, the data-driven model assigns fractional conversion credit to each touch point.

Google first introduced data-driven attribution modeling in 2013. It’s been available in Google Analytics 360 and Google Attribution 360, and Google brought the model into AdWords last year.

Requirements: Because it doesn’t simply assign credit to an channel based on where it occurred on a conversion path, data-driven attribution needs sufficient data for the modeling to work. The modeling is done at the conversion action level. A conversion action must have at least 15,000 clicks and at least 600 conversions within 30 days to be eligible for data-driven modeling. The model then captures 30 consecutive days of data before reporting. (In a sign of advancement, when it first became available in AdWords, the data-driven model requirements were 20,000 clicks and at least 800 conversions.) If none of your conversion actions meet the criteria, it might make sense to set up a micro-conversion event that still has some business meaning and can be used to evaluate this model against the others.

Data-driven attribution in Google Analytics 360 only includes the last four touch points, whereas, in Google Attribution & Attribution 360, the model includes all touch points, whether a user visits the website or not. That means it also factors in ad impressions. Google says that where measurable, viewability can also be counted for display impressions.

In the screen shot example above, last-click/interaction attribution is compared against the data-driven model. My experience with using data-driven attribution in Adwords reflects the paid search results above, though less dramatically. Brand campaigns convert somewhat lower and non-brand campaigns convert somewhat higher when compared to last-click, which intuitively makes sense.

Google is encouraging adoption of data-driven attribution, but advertisers can still use the other models in Attribution. It’s possible to monitor and evaluate how the various models perform for each conversion action within Attribution before opting to push new models into AdWords. Once pushed, the models will override whatever models were set in AdWords, and conversion columns will reflect the new modeling. Automated bidding strategies will then use that data in decisioning.

Google Attribution is now in beta and will roll out to more advertisers over the coming months. In the meantime, advertisers can look at data-driven attribution modeling in AdWords if available.

The post Google Attribution: What search marketers need to know appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Source: SEland