All I Want for Christmas (from Google)

Dear Santa,

How are you? How is Rudolf? Will you still bring me presents if my agency doesn’t have a chimney?

I promise I’ve been good advertiser this year. I hope it’s ok to ask for a few presents…

1. More transparency & control over extensions

In October 2014, Google announced changes to the formula for Ad Rank. Previously, Ad Rank was calculated using Max CPC and Quality Score. This update brought about a third component though: Expected Impact from Ad Extension and Formats. While they focused on increasing relevant and useful results for consumers, Google was not as jolly with providing advertisers the insight and control necessary to optimize for better performance. Santa, I’d love for you to bring better filtering options in the Dimension tab, the ability to control order or rotation, and full extension support in AdWords Editor. Please Santa? I’ll leave extra cookies and milk if you can make this happen.

2. Run Tablet & Mobile Campaigns

Google rolled out Enhanced Campaigns  with the best of intentions; their goal was to increase mobile adoption by offering a streamlined management process. Unfortunately, this one-size-fits-all solution was a preverbal lump of coal for advertisers with device-specific brand goals. With oversimplification comes a loss of control and transparency for advertisers, who see drastically different performance per device, or have a product offering tailored specifically to Mobile or Tablets. Santa, in your bag of goodies, will you please bring us back the ability to run Mobile or Tablet campaigns?

3. Insight into our Search Partners

Does the lack of visibility into Search Partners remind anyone else of a get-rich-quick scheme? (“If you give me $100 today, I promise I’ll quadruple this for you over the next month with my secret investment strategy”.) Advertisers crave full visibility and control down to the most granular level, and any lack of transparency leaves them in the [snow]dust. For Christmas, I want the ability to see performance metrics by search partner, and the ability to opt out/allocate budget based on success. Is that too much to ask, Santa? I don’t want to seem greedy.

4. Geo-Targeting At The Ad Group Level

Santa, you have a geographical strategy when delivering toys across the world. Do you think you could help increase these capabilities within Google too? Brands with robust location-based strategies tend to have unnecessarily large account sizes, which could be reduced with the introduction of ad group level geographical targeting capabilities. For example: a brand wants to run location-specific feeder market ad copy for their top 10 markets. So, 10 markets x 5 feeder markets x 3 match types = 150 new campaigns. That’s a lot of bulk to add into an account. Santa, you’re tight with Google. Can you help make this happen, big guy?

5. New Features from Google

These might be a stretch Santa, but I’d love to find some bright and shiny new features under the tree. Google could save advertisers' time by building automatic support for time-consuming optimizations. A few ideas:

  • Alerts when keyword bids are out of hierarchical order.
  • Optional automatic implementation of cascading (tiered) negatives.
  • Ability to filter for pieces of ad copy based on comparative performance within ad group.
  • New “Promotion-Level” extension that acts at the account-level, but trumps all lower extensions to ensure promotional messaging is visible.

You’re the man, Nick.



Bethany Burkett, Search Marketing Leader, contributed to this post.