Google rolled out a new layout for its call-only ads in an effort to help marketers drive higher-quality leads. The layout displays the business phone number at the top. The business name and headline appear below in smaller text. Google claims that on average the new design increases phone calls by 14%, up about 16% in call conversions, and 8% decrease in overall paid clicks. It also helps to prevent accidental clicks.
For search and shopping campaigns, store visits in smart bidding is now available to all advertisers by integrating store visits data in their smart bidding strategies. The update allows merchants with physical locations to optimize their foot traffic and online conversions.
Google announced a Healthcare and medicine policy to prohibit advertising for unproven or experimental medical techniques such as most stem cell therapy, cellular (non-stem) therapy, and gene therapy. This policy prohibit ads that sell treatments that have no established biomedical or scientific basis, as well as treatments around preliminary clinical experiences, but currently have insufficient clinical testing to justify widespread use.
Apple has adjusted its App Store algorithm so fewer of its own apps appear at the top of the search results, according to an article that cites a New York Times report which suggests that previously some searches for various terms would display as many as 14 Apple-owned apps before showing any results from rivals. Competitors would only rank higher than Apple's products if they paid for an App Store search ad, the report noted.
The U.S. Department of Justice criminally indicted ex-Google engineer Anthony Levandowski on 33 charges of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets. The announcement, made at a press conference in San Jose, alleges that Levandowski took confidential information from Google to Uber
Mustafa Suleyman, DeepMinds co-founder, has been placed on leave after controversy over some of the projects he led. The Google-owed subsidiary focuses on artificial intelligence. Suleyman runs the applied division, which looks for practical uses for health, energy and other fields. The company did not give Bloomberg specific reasons for the leave.
Microsoft Advertising on Wednesday announced support for the Domain Connect open standard that will allow webmasters to more easily verify their site in Bing Webmaster Tools. Domain Connect aims to make it easy for a user to configure a DNS for a domain running at a DNS provider such as GoDaddy. It will help those responsible for keeping sites up and running to find indexing and ranking issues faster. It also provides additional reporting.
Bidding complexities continues to rise. In 2019, about 80% of digital marketers spent time on manual tasks like bidding, while only 20% is spent on strategy, according to Emilia Lingwood, citing Google data. So, in a blog post, she details four main Google Ads Smart Bidding strategies designed to maximize conversions and one to maximize traffic. She explains how marketers can apply each and highlight the benefits as well as the potential pitfalls. Each describe a goal, benefit, condition and warning.
Google Search Outreach Vincent Courson explains Google’s search indexing problems and how developers fixed them and the lessons they learned. He summarizes in a blog post what happened and describes how the company plans to communicate issues in the future to keep everyone up to date. Courson also wants to bring clarity to the ways that Google's systems work, the complexity of search, and how technology can sometimes "break."
Google Play now lets developers add tags to their applications to determine where a listing appears. "Add tags," a tag feature, aims to help developers describe their apps, similar to the way content management systems allow users to tag articles and content. This is an extension of a list of categories that will help app developers build descriptions in app listings.