Google Display Network – Major Updates!

Google announced in late March that they would be rolling out exciting updates to the Display Network. These changes should not only simplify the process of managing Display Network campaigns, but also provide advertisers with an opportunity to improve campaign performance altogether.

One of the updates includes the addition of the new Display Network Tab to the AdWords interface. Previously, the interface had tabs that looked like this:



Now, the Networks, Audience, and Topics tabs will all be rolled up into the Display Network tab. Here’s what the updated interface looks like:


Advertisers can now manage all Display Network related aspects of their account in one place! Google is releasing the Display Network tab update to advertisers in the course of a few weeks. Many of my clients already have the new Display Network tab update, but some still haven’t seen it. If you still don’t see the Display Network tab, don’t worry, it’s coming soon!

The biggest update to the Google Display Network is the addition of Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting. This allows advertisers to see data for contextual campaigns at a keyword level. Previously, advertisers had to manage content campaigns at an ad group level. Some advertisers would add only one keyword per ad group to manage their contextual campaigns at a more granular level. Those days are no more! With Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting, you can now view contextual campaign performance down to a keyword level.

I highly recommend reviewing individual keyword performance for contextual campaigns for a date range of at least a few months back. You’ll probably find what we find, that there are keywords that are under-performing within ad groups which are otherwise performing well. In the example below, we found a number of keywords that weren’t working that needed to be paused:



Having data available at the keyword level allows you to now pause or lower bids on under-performing contextual keywords. You can also isolate keywords that are working well and optimize accordingly. You may even find that you need to restructure your contextual campaigns altogether. Although it may now be tempting to extend your search campaigns to the display network, I would still recommend keeping the two networks in separate campaigns since they will perform differently sometimes and need to be optimized accordingly.

With the addition of Display Network Tab and Next-Gen Keyword Contextual Targeting, it’ll be interesting to see what the next updates to the Display Network will be. My fingers are crossed for similar updates to AdWords Editor. Or, a Search Partner Tab would be great too. What I’m hoping will NOT ever happen is a Quality Score for Display Network keywords.



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