Google Ad Words replaced Sidebar Ads with Product Listing Ads

Google Ad Words replaced sidebar ads with product listing ads

I happened to notice Google Ad Words replaced Sidebar Ads with Product Listing Ads. Now you can see just 4 ads on top and 3 to 4 ads below the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP).

This is how I got an SERP for “T Shirt Printing in Bangalore” keyword.

Notice just 4 ads on the top

Adwords 4 Ads at Top

3 Ads on downside of Search Engine Result Page

Adwords Bottom Ads

What about side bar ads?

Side bar ads have been replaced by Product Listing Ads.

Side Bar Ads Replace with Product Listing Ads

Why the change ?
1.Google might have noticed that, people are not reaching out textual or search ads appearing on side bar. Consequently, side bar ads are poor candidates for contributing good CTR, hence resulting in poor conversion rate.
2.Google wants us to associate tiny images along with textual or search ads, like we do in Face book ads. It is possible through Product Listing Ads.
3. Google is convincing us to make use of Product Listing ad technology for enhancing, user search experience. I like this campaign type because, it is my chance to bring down my virtual store on to Search Engine Result Pages with appealing product images.
What google says ?
There is no official confirmation from Google about this new format of Adwords ad display. But there is buzz around the internet . Check out SEMPOST latest article for further reading.

Enhanced Campaign :Real Time Marketing to increase Mobile Conversions

Almost a year passed since Google Ad words campaigns have been upgraded to Enhanced Campaigns. Indeed, Enhanced Campaigns are inevitable for successful Real Time Marketing campaigns for any product or service intended to be marketed online or / and  Offline.


  • How successful are we in implementing Enhanced Campaigns to achieve  ad campaign goals?
  • What strategies are in place to tap the mobile traffic by implementing Enhanced Campaigns?
  • How have we been enhancing our customer search experience through Enhanced Campaigns?

Multi – Device World and Enhanced Campaigns

Customer journey from Research to acquiring Product and Services span across different devices. Devices also vary according to place and context customers are searching in internet. A typical user may use Laptop and desktop during the office hours to search,whereas the same user may use Smart Phone, Tablet or Mobile outside the office.

Customer Journey across Multi Devices.

Customer Journey Across Multi Devices and Constant Touch with your Brand

The search patterns and search contexts differ across devices. Majority of Smart phone searchers require instant and real time solutions for their real time problems. The problem could be search for a required  product , service or solution.  Off course, time and place are the two fundamental factors which contribute to the Utility of product , services or solutions what so ever you may offer to customer. Fundamentally, what is the use of Online Marketing, if you do not present your product and services to customer when they want it?

So, how do you present your product or service to the customer when she or he really need it?

Ad words Enhanced Campaigns offer you host of real time marketing solutions like call extensions, location extensions and multi device ad display capabilities to your PPC campaigns.

1. Location extensions display the address of store to the visitor who is on go and looking for your product to purchase at the time and place.

2. Call extension associate mobile number along with your text add to facilitate the user to call and enquire.

Down load to check out an interesting and eye opener case study from Google: How an American Apparel increased mobile conversions 100% after up grading to enhanced campaigns.

Yeah! Do you know what is the mammoth growth of using smart phones from previous word cup 2010 to 2014. Download this research paper to know why we need to be serious about building Mobile Marketing Infrastructure i.e. Responsive website, Mobile Marketing Strategy, Mobile Marketing Measurement Framework and why should we run Enhanced Campaigns, for mobile devices and smart phones.

Enhanced Campaigns: The definition.

The ad words Campaigns which is  scale able across multi-devices, reachable to right audiences, at right time and place. All campaigns you build through ad words SaaS interface today is by default enhanced campaigns. It means campaigns are eligible to target audiences across any device they constantly be in touch.

So, what have you been benefited by Enhanced Campaigns?

1. Enhanced Campaign brings you the ease of managing complex targeting, polymorphic ads suitable to appear across multi devices i.e. desktops, tablets, smart phones and WAP enabled phones.

2. Customer context and target device oriented ad serving with right ad creative, appropriate ad extension i.e. site links, call or app extensions based on context in which customer carried on his search.

3. New conversions like digital down loads, call conversions and ability to track conversion across devices.

Generally, all type of ads (i.e. text, banner and video ads)  in Enhanced Campaigns are eligible to appear on all devices without any extra configurations and settings in ad words interface.  A single campaign can include different ads to be shown to customers, based on the type of the device they are using or at what time they are searching for your product and services.

Ad Extensions and Enhanced Campaigns

Ad extensions are extra pieces of business information showed along with your search or display ads. There are 9 ad extensions are available at present with in ad words interface, to name them

1.         App Extension ( Globally available for Mobile / Tablet only)

2         Call Extension ( Globally available)

3         Consumer Ratings Annotations ( Available in US, UK, Canada only)

4         Location Extensions

5         Previous Visit Annotations

6         Review Extensions

7         Seller Ratings Annotations

8         Site link extension

9         Social Annotation

Among 9 ad extensions, App Extension, Call Extension and site link extension are up graded ad extensions, on which you can have more control with respect to :

1. Up graded extensions can be created either at Campaign level or ad group level.

2. Up graded extensions can be scheduled with start and end date for appearing with ads.

3. You can set mobile preferred site or call extensions. So that, the users search experience can be enhanced with    relevant information like business phone and  address can be made available to the user at required time and     place.

4. Unlike legacy extensions ( i.e. other than up graded extensions)  you can edit these up graded extensions without    resetting past performance statistics. Where as legacy ad extensions performance statistics resets on editing them.

5. Performance metrics like clicks and impressions data for each up graded extension is available.



Google Adwords Quality Score Metrics to Measure Ad copy,Keyword relevancy and Landing page experience

Quality Score is google’s estimation of how relevant ads, keywords, landing page experience.

If Google Adwords system awards you with high quality score, you have well done your job by compiling relevant ad copy, researched relevant keywords and designed a good landing page. On other hand, if you score a low quality score you have written a poor ad copy, conducted a scrappy research of keywords and landing page is just a dump yard.  So Google is your Master, he knows how to reward you for good ads or punish you for irrelevant ads.

Google calculates quality score, whenever your ad is eligible to be auctioned on search network or display network.

Ad positions are based on Ad Rank, where as Adrank is calculated based on Quality Score and Bid.

Ad Rank  = Quality Score X Bid , google claims that now a days they consider type of target also to calculate Ad Rank.

The Quality Score calculation varies according search and display network  as shown in below : 

Quality Score differes between search and display network

Quality Score calculated differently for Search and Display Network


Google also considers following factors to calculate quality score.

  1. Keywords Click Through Rate
  2. Display URL Click Through Rate
  3. Adwords account History
  4. Quality of Landing page
  5. Keyword relevancy
  6. Ad relevancy
  7. Keyword relevancy to search conducted every time
  8. How successful your ads in targeted geographical areas
  9. Ad performance on other site for display ads
  10. Target devices

 Ok, ok, let us agree with all of the above, because google should have implemented them in ‘Adwords algorithm’ and abstraction of ad word features implementation is available in Google Adwords Documentation. But why the algorithm is so complex and why google holds the cards so close to the chest ( off course it is trade secrets & tricks).  A PPC Strategist has a lot of ingredients to consider before he cooks in his adwords account. So if conversions are your the best dish, quality score is the best taste. Conversion metrics is for your boss, quality score metrics is for YOU. Achieving Quality Score is your pain, conversion is your boss’s gain.

A general rule of thumb : keywords with CTR of 1% or higher and a quality score of 5 and above indicates that keywords in adgroup are relevant and performing well. Otherwise you messed with your cooking.

Well so far what you read is well known to you too. So what is bothering me is:

1. Where does history exist for a fresh Adwords account?

Adwords wants a good account history to assign quality score for keywords. So, time is the only answer to reap the best benefit out of Adwords.

2. How can we get a good CTR for a new account?

Not possible at all. CTR is ongoing metric, your ad words account starts accumulating CTR from the day you start running your campaign.

Click Through Rate is another mystery metrics we trust in our day to day reports. If Google calculates ‘Quality Score’ from ‘Click Through Rate’ then how can we consider Quality Score as a reliable metrics for optimizing our Adwords campaigns.

In below diagram we can see keywords with CTR more than 1%, have quality score of  4. it is against general rule of thumb

Quaity Score and CTR

Ad words assigns low quality score to keywords with high CTR

In below diagram we can see  keywords with CTR 0%, have quality score of  7, it is against general rule of thumb

Quality Score

Ad words assigns high quality score for keywords with no CTR

3. Google assigns Quality Score immediately you add keywords in adgroup. Adwords calculates quality score by establishing relevancy among adgroup keywords, ad copy and landing pages, but without CTR. It is so strange that few AdWords account I have created for testing purpose have no Landing Page existing. But still I have quality score showing as high as 7. So, quality score formula applies to any junk?

4. What if you are very sure that ads are compelling and  keywords are well researched and they do well some time later. On other you have used a strict and stringent keyword match types say Broad Match Modifier, Phrase Match and Exact Match. Hence, my clicks, impressions are very less ( but relevant ) and my CTR remains very less.

So, what you do?

Adwords wants you to drive as much traffic as possible. So how do you drive massive traffic? You need to keep limit less budget and  use keywords with ‘Broad Match keyword match type’ the biggest money sucker ( Let me call it as Leech) and you get fired from your job!

5. Why does google assign different Quality Score for different type  of devices?

Google again wants more CTR ,traffic   from type of device you target. But who cares about just traffic, we care about relevant traffic.

6. What is significance  of  Display URL Click Through Rate ?

Display URLs are used to display the name of the web page, where visitor will be sent after he clicks the ad. Even Display URLs are not hypertext elements, they just appear as part of an Ad in green color. Well let us not deny the relevancy of Display URL, which contributes in convincing the visitor to click on the ad.

Then Adwords considers overall CTR of an ad copy and CTR for display URL with in it. When Display URL is an integral part of Adcopy, how does google differentiates CTR between entire Ad and Display URL which is just a part of the Ad.

Do not you think quality score a metrics surrounded by  mysteries ? where google shifts all your success and failure to quality score. If your adwords do not go well with you, Quality score, the mystery metrics is haunting you.

if quality score is so mysterious, then how to succeed in achieving this metrics? because Google ad words uses ‘Quality Score’ as fundamental metrics to measure quality of ad copy, keyword relevancy and landing page experience.

I bring you the strategies and work around in my forthcoming posts to resolve this mystery and succeed in your ad words campaigns.

Mean while any thoughts………go ahead and share your comments.