Video: Mobile Apps Forced Into the GDN… Now What?

google ads gdn mpbile app changes

If you follow PPC news, you’ve likely heard of the recent changes Google made to force mobile apps into all mobile and tablet GDN Campaigns now in Google Ads. If you’re feeling a little frustrated, you have good reason to be! However, I don’t think it’s all bad, and I give my reasons in this LinkedIn video. There is a silver-lining on the edge of this tornado of disaster!

View the video or catch the transcript below:

Video Transcript on Google Ads Mobile Apps in the GDN Update

Hey, Kirk here. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to bring you one of these videos because, well, we’ve been busy. We started a new business, and that’s not why you’re here, which is okay, but here’s our new business. It’s really cool. Coworking space in Billings, Montana. Let’s hope it takes off.  More info here: BHive WorkSpace.

The reason why I wanted to do this video today was because of the crazy amount of exploding discussion that has happened about Google, specifically the Google Display Network and its impact based upon the App Network, and how those two have been integrated.

There’s been a lot of confusion about this. Google certainly did not handle this well. I know they get blamed a lot for new releases and sometimes that’s just because advertisers are annoyed, but they didn’t handle this one well. I actually talked to my Google rep and frankly, she was just as confused as everyone else until they finally got the official word.

What happened with the GDN and Mobile App Network.

So here’s what has happened, all right? The final word is that Google will be making it impossible to exclude the App Network now from your mobile and table GDN campaign.

So if you have a GDN campaign and it is targeting all devices, mobile, tablet, desktop, you will no longer be able to exclude the App Network. Now, I think that’s a big deal, and I think it’s not. So, here are my two thoughts. I’m split on this.

Google should have educated, not coerced.

First of all, I am really annoyed at Google. I think this is one of those things that even if longterm it might be good for things, and we’ll get to that, I do think that this was not handled well. The release was not handled well. And to be quite honest, I think this was one of those decisions where it’s going to significantly and automatically increase the money going to Google, but primarily from advertisers who don’t really know what they’re doing, or agencies who are not really good at AdWords (well, Google Ads, excuse me). Because basically, what they’re doing is they’re opening up this entire network of ads that will automatically start happening now on your GDN campaigns.

Really, unless you kind of know about this and are aware of it, you’re just gonna start showing on it, and it probably is because of the drastically expanded inventory for ads, it probably is gonna cost quite a bit of money. So there is a level, to me, of education that should have happened. They should have gone first of all by educating the consumer, as well as bringing in the app exclusions that they are opening up now (tthere are app exclusions that you can add in now, which I think are a good thing that we didn’t have previously). So maybe starting with those exclusions, educating advertisers, and all of the above.

They probably could have done that. They didn’t do that, all right? There’s a proverbial gun to the head of advertisers now. Like, “You will start advertising on mobile apps.” There it is.

What can you do?

So, if you don’t like that, I would suggest investigating your campaigns, checking historical data on your GDN campaigns, remarketing, and your audience campaigns.

(1) Do mobile and tablets send a bit of conversions for you? If so, it would be worth keeping those open and just heading into app exclusions and excluding things like games and stuff like that and seeing what happens. So I do think it’d be worth testing that.

(2) If you do some investigating and realize that, hey, there’s just nothing … We have limited budget and we don’t really do well on mobile and tablet, it might be worth it for right now (until we figure this out), it might be worth it just to actually make your GDN campaigns desktop only. So that’s one suggestion. That’s a little but of the nuclear option, but, hey, the proverbial gun is at our head, so maybe we need to do the nuclear option here. So that’s one thought.


A Silver Lining to this tornado of doom

Here’s the other side of that, and this is where I frankly see a silver lining here. I think that even though they did not handle this well at all, I do think that Google is on track right now with what is happening with mobile devices, and that is that people really are utilizing more of their time on mobile devices within these apps. And so Google is seeing money signs $$ in that.

But for me, this might be a great opportunity for a lot of top of funnel, very cheap visits, especially now that we have the app exclusions.

So there’s an argument, and I think it’s a good one, for the savvy advertiser to head in there and start investigating ways to get in front of your audience. With all of this new inventory, CPCs are likely going to go down. That might also be part of what Google’s happy about because then they can release these reports about how CPCs are lower than ever, and it’s more affordable than ever for small business. Yeah, that’s a line, right? Because search CPCs are going up.

But in terms of overall branding, top of funnel traffic, there could be some real opportunity here. So consider integrating, segmenting for audiences, finding good audiences, finding some specific app categories, giving those things a try, and really kind of drastically blowing up low-cost top of funnel campaigns to your clients. So I do think there’s a silver lining there.

I don’t think it was handled well by Google, but it is what it is. So now, we’ve got to react well to it and make good on it.

So, there it is. Good luck with that.