Microsoft adCenter has been working tirelessly to release updates for its advertising platform in order to increase usability throughout its interface as well as stay on the same playing field as Google AdWords.
Last month Google transitioned its Merchant program to Google Shopping and encouraged advertisers to create Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns. Now some users are starting to see ad links on Bing.com that look similar and have the same format of Product Listing Ads. The PLA ads on Bing include a small square image, headline, along with a company name and price of the product and have been shown on the top right hand side of the search engine results page (SERP).
In addition, Bing has added seller review extensions to its paid search ads. Seller reviews are an easy way for searchers to see which ads are from merchants with customer feedback and ratings. What’s more, the seller reviews have an additional line for the paid ad and stand out with yellow stars.
Below is a screen shot with a paid search ad on Bing.com with seller reviews.
Google has announced that they will be introducing a new small [x] button on the corner of banner ads that will allow users to no longer see future ads after a user clicks the [x] button. The search engine will be rolling out this new feature over the next few weeks within Remarketing and Interest Categories campaigns throughout the Google Display Network.
Google says that they are investing in many ways to give users control over the ads they see and is giving users more control through their Ads Preferences Manager which enables users to edit interest categories or even opt out of all interest ads including remarketing ads throughout the Google Display Network.
Once a user clicks on the [x] icon within the ad, they will be shown a confirmation page that explains the advertisement has been muted. From there, the user will be able to change their settings within the Ads Preferences Manager. Although a user may mute an ad by clicking on the [x] icon, it does not guarantee that they will never see an ad from the same advertiser again, because a similar ad could be shown via other targeting methods throughout the Google Display Network.
It will be interesting to see how the [x] icon will affect the performance of Remarketing campaigns as well as further impact other display ad campaigns on the Google Display Network. The new move gives consumers more control over ad preferences in regard to advertisers being able to target them specifically.
Google AdWords recently began to transition its Merchant Center platform to a paid model called Google Shopping at the end of June. The shift is expected to be complete by the end of October and the search engine has advised merchants to set up Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns in order to remain visible within the Google Shopping network. Now Google has announced that Google Shopping will be available for both smartphones and tablets in the United States (note that the Merchant Center transition only occurred within the U.S.).
Google says that these new devices will help businesses reach customers while they are shopping. Indeed, many consumers use mobile devices to research upcoming purchases as well as utilize these devices as price comparison tools within brick and mortar locations. Google Shopping for mobile and tablet devices will make it easier for customers to find and compare different products, just like on desktop computers. In addition, the product images give shoppers quick visual comparisons while shopping various products. Tablet devices will have search refinements which will help filter by brands, features and pricing so shoppers have a better experience and find what they are looking for easily.
To target mobile and tablet devices, in the Settings tab of your PLA campaign, make sure that you select to target mobile and tablet devices with full browsers.