Posted:

Valentine's Day is the #2 holiday for last-minute gift shopping1, and consumers are increasingly turning to their smartphones to help them plan their celebration.

In our personal lives, we write the perfect message in a card and attach it to the perfect gift. In our professional lives as search marketers, we try to write that perfect message in our ad copy and attach it to the right landing page, but this hasn't always been easy. That’s why we are excited to share our latest enhancements to DoubleClick Search which will help you quickly find the ad copy and landing page that your customers will love - this Valentine's Day and beyond.

Find the perfect message

Using search, 50% of consumers lookup brands they’ve never purchased2. Being there with useful information can help you win the love of new customers. Ad copy testing in DoubleClick Search helps you test new ad copy in order to make sure your campaigns are having their greatest impact. Ad copy testing works by normalizing the variables that can impact campaign performance such as flight dates, device type, and display frequency, and measuring the performance of what matters most - the ad copy.

Testing ad copy in DoubleClick Search requires just three quick steps:

  • Step 1: Write your new ad copy
  • Step 2: Choose a test goal such as click-through rate, action rate or revenue.
  • Step 3: Measure results.

When your test is over, you can make changes to your campaigns directly from the testing interface.

"Ad copy testing is a task all SEM managers know to be absolutely necessary and a pillar of a successful account. Previous to DoubleClick Search ad copy testing, we would have to rely on in-house scripts or expensive and clunky 3rd party tools to get the job done. Now that we can take direct action inside of DoubleClick Search, we’re able to save several hours every week putting together and reporting on our testing data and use that time more effectively to help strategically drive our clients’ business forward.” -Kyle Petzinger | Lead, Paid Search, iProspect

To learn how to use ad copy testing in DoubleClick Search, watch our training video or read about it in the Help Center.

Mobile insights on landing page performance

With so much last minute shopping, brands that find ways to be useful to consumers in the moments when they are seeking information for their purchases will win. So, when a consumer clicks one of your search ads, which page should you show? A promotional page? A product details page?

A DoubleClick Search landing page test helps answer this question by randomly splitting ad traffic among multiple landing pages on your site. For AdWords engine accounts, we’ve added the ability to specify the device(s) consumers used to reach your landing page in order to ensure you have the most actionable insights about your page performance, no matter what device a consumer used to get there.

We're excited to see DoubleClick Search customers use the mobile landing page test to optimize the journey for their customers from mobile search to mobile landing page to action.

To learn how to start a landing page test, visit the Help Center.

Meeting all your search marketing needs

Ad copy testing and improved landing page testing in DoubleClick Search are just two of the many ways we are enhancing DoubleClick Search to help save you time and boost your performance. If these features make a difference for your business, let your account manager know. We'd love to hear about your success.

Posted by Amit Varia
Product Manager, DoubleClick Search

1 Google Trends, January 2013-December 2015, United States.
2 Google, “The Role of Mobile on the CPG Purchase Journey” study, United States, September 2015. n=371

Posted:

When Netflix launched its new series Narcos1 in August of 2015, it faced a big global marketing challenge.

Narcos is a realistic look at the rise of the Cocaine Highway as told through the lives of legendary kingpin Pablo Escobar and the American DEA agents tracking him. It's a passionate story of crime, drugs, money, honor and politics, set in the late decades of the 20th century, with dialogue half in Spanish and half in English.

Netflix wanted to reach a global audience that included target groups like "thrill seekers" (men 25-34 drawn to the excitement of crime culture) and "conspiracy theorists" (older males fascinated by the political implications of drug trafficking). That meant Netflix and its digital agency, AvatarLabs, needed to bring the Narcos story to countries from Peru to Sweden with targeted messages that would appeal powerfully to different target viewers in each culture ― without overwhelming their budget or their marketing teams.


See how they made it happen.

Posted by Becky Chappell
Product Marketing Manager, Google Web Designer

1 Narcos can been seen exclusively on Netflix.

Posted:

Keeping fake traffic that originates from infected computers (aka “botnets”) out of our ads systems has been a priority since we launched, and over the years we've worked hard to put in place extensive technology checks and filters to safeguard against this type of traffic.

Today we're further reinforcing our existing botnet defenses across our ad systems through a new feature that automates the filtering of traffic from three of the top ad fraud botnets, amongst those we are monitoring and defending against. One of the key benefits of this new feature is that it is resilient to possible changes to the malware that generates this botnet traffic.

This move boosts our defenses against invalid traffic generated by some nasty ad fraud malware, including Bedep and two other malware families that we have code-named Beetal and Changthangi. Together these three botnets are comprised of over 500,000 infected user machines.

Today we’d like to take this opportunity to take a deeper look at ad fraud botnets.

Ad fraud botnets: a menace to the advertising ecosystem

Ad fraud botnets are armies of malware-infected computers that are controlled by malicious fraudsters intent on generating large amounts of non-human ad traffic volume, typically for unscrupulous publishers. As a result, ad fraud botnets are a major threat to the budgets of advertisers, the reputation of publishers, and the safety of consumers. And this threat is considerable, given that hundreds of thousands of computers around the globe are infected with malware used specifically for ad fraud.

The Bedep Botnet size over the course of 60 days. Dips in the graph represent weekends, when some infected machines are turned off.

Global distribution and concentration of Bedep Malware.

Botnet traffic is difficult to consistently filter in advertising platforms because malware authors try to make their fraudulent traffic look as human as possible so that it resembles legitimate traffic. For example, botnet traffic has many of the same characteristics as real traffic, including the use of common browsers, and typical user behavior on a web page (e.g., scrolling, clicking, and mouse movement).

Our move to consistently and confidently cut out the traffic from these botnets, despite any changes in the malware on which they’re based, represents a significant milestone in the defense of our advertising ecosystem.

The art and science of protecting against botnets at scale

Identifying ad fraud malware and protecting ad platforms against botnets is a sophisticated effort that requires deep technical knowledge, diligence, and the ability to think several steps ahead. It’s a game of chess against an opponent that is constantly changing the rules.

In addition, it takes robust and extensive infrastructure to properly analyze malware threats at scale. For example, there are millions of malware programs out in the wild, although not all of this malware is associated with ad fraud botnets. This scenario represents a considerable technical challenge, since the malware, along with a vast amount of botnet traffic, needs to be continuously analyzed. To compound the challenge, there are hundreds of thousands of new malware programs produced each day that our systems need to analyze as well.

Our team has expanded its expertise by working to gain a deep understanding of the Bedep, Beetal, and Changthangi malware families. Subsequently, we have expanded the capability to significantly protect our systems against traffic generated by this malware through an automated, scalable, and seamless filter. This filter is already available to all marketers on DoubleClick Bid Manager and Google Display Network (GDN).

A bold move, but there’s more to come

We believe in fighting the good fight in order to stop malicious actors in the advertising ecosystem. We also know that our success is not based solely on sophisticated algorithms or robust, highly-scalable infrastructure. Our success also relies on a team of warrior scientists that combines art and science to innovate and cultivate, relying on creativity and collective wisdom to effect change in unique ways.

This is a really exciting start to the year for us, yet we know that our work is not done yet. We will continue to be vigilant, working hard to protect our systems from fraudsters in 2016 and beyond. Stay tuned.

Posted by Andres Ferrate
Chief Advocate, Google Ad Traffic Quality

Posted:

Over the last year, we’ve rolled out tools to encourage advertisers to build in HTML5, so you’re able to reach the widest possible audience across screens. To enhance the browsing experience for more people across more sites, DoubleClick Digital Marketing, DoubleClick Ad Exchange and the Google Display Network are now going 100% HTML5*.

  • Starting June 30th, 2016, advertisers will no longer be able to upload Flash ads into DoubleClick Campaign Manager, DoubleClick Bid Manager, or AdWords.
  • Starting January 2nd, 2017, Flash ads will no longer be able to run through DoubleClick Campaign Manager, DoubleClick Bid Manager, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, or the Google Display Network.

It’s important to update your ads to HTML5 before these dates.

Advertisers who currently use display ads built in Flash in their campaigns have several easy ways to navigate the transition, ensuring your creative continues to reach people successfully. Read more here.

Posted by Karin Hennessy
Product Manager, DoubleClick

*Note: this update applies only to display ads; video ads built in Flash will not be impacted on these dates.

Posted:

Ever since Weight Watchers first began as a gathering of friends in 1963, the company has been helping people lose pounds and live healthier lives. Today the Weight Watchers digital marketing team is focused on acquiring new generations of customers for those classic local meetings as well as their online products and services.

The Weight Watchers team has had ample success with search and social media, where they found it easy to test different headlines and calls to action. But they hadn't found a way to do the same kind of vigorous testing on display advertising. Building and managing dozens of creative iterations, and accurately measuring the results, seemed like a major challenge.

To tackle that challenge, Weight Watchers, its agencies, Neo@Ogilvy and OgilvyOne, chose DoubleClick Dynamic Creative.

See how they managed their creative testing to identify the best-performing creative iterations and boost acquisition volume by 56%.

Posted by Becky Chappell
Product Marketing Manager, Google Web Designer