Welcome to ‘What Happened in Search’.
Packed full of the week’s search marketing news each Friday, this week we’re talking about Google’s war on mobile app ads, native Gmail ads coming out of beta and Google’s new logo.
TONE IT DOWN
In an update to ranking factors that will take effect from 1st November this year, Google has announced that large app interstitial ads will rank less well, as they will be deemed not mobile friendly.
Although the impact will kick in from November, testing tools will show interstitial ads that do not comply and that are not mobile friendly as of this week. Advertisers can test their mobile-friendliness here and here.
With no exact sizing definitions, Google has said that the move will affect app ads that cover a “significant amount of content” and has given examples of what will and won’t be considered mobile-friendly.
Google said, “After November 1, mobile web pages that show an app install interstitial that hides a significant amount of content on the transition from the search result page will no longer be considered mobile-friendly. This does not affect other types of interstitials. As an alternative to app install interstitials, browsers [should] provide ways to promote an app that are more user-friendly.”
GOOGLE’S FRESH FACE
This week, to much clamour, Google unveiled its new logo in its first big redesign since 1999.
As part of the visual upgrade, the search company also announced that its mobile search results page and Now cards will be getting an update.
Now cards will be organised by category, with cards changing throughout the day in order to make them as relevant as possible to users.
The Google App homepage on Android now aims to help users “dive into diverse content such as images, videos, news stories and more.”
Native Gmail ads are now available to all advertisers in AdWords, with targeting to include keywords, affinity audiences, demographics and topics.
Formerly referred to as Gmail sponsored promotion ads, they have been in beta since 2013.
The native ads will be expandable, aiming to deliver a ‘landing page experience’ with three template options and one for custom HTML uploads.
addmustard SEM Director, Vicki Gore, says “addmustard has been using this format on behalf of its clients for the past year, putting them ahead of the curve as it becomes available to all.”
A recent consumer survey has revealed that 67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews, with 19.2% of respondents rating them as very important when making major purchase decisions online.
21.9% said one negative article about a company would make them decide not to buy.
The study gathered data from 1,000 consumers and was conducted through Google Consumer Surveys.
The data also showed that 36% click through to the second or third page of Google, while approximately 50% only look at the first page.
The Google Chrome browser has now started automatically pausing plug-in content, including Flash ads.
Announced in June, one of the latest blows to Flash took effect this week.
On Chome for desktop, ‘central content’ such as videos is allowed to play, while non-essential animations are paused by default.