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Google Ads, Keyword Planner and introducing Duo: A recap of the last week at Google

Over the past week, Google has made some changes to Ads and the Keyword Planner that affect data related to ad campaigns. The company has also finally rolled out Google Duo, which was first introduced around the same time we discussed the rollout of Google Allo, the smart messaging platform.

Google has said the changes that will affect ad campaigns are designed to “help advertisers get the data they need to optimise their accounts” and “provide more transparency” in data results, according to posts on the company blog and the official Ads Google+ account.

Despite the positive spin from Google about the updates it is likely that some advertisers may not be very happy with the news. Here are some details about each of the updates…

Google Ads

Users may now see null values in the Quality Score columns of their Ads reports. The Quality Score is a figure that is drawn from the number of times the ad appears in search results, how many times the ad was clicked on and the content of the landing page that the ad directs users to.

Currently, if the score cannot be determined due to a keyword being new or lacking recent click and impression data, the Quality Score defaults to 6. From September 12th ad campaigns will now show null values in the Quality Score column, represented by a dash.

Update to Quality Scores in Google Adwords

If your ad campaign has filters in place for Quality Score data Google recommends checking reports, filters and scripts before the update is made to ensure that some Quality Scores are not excluded altogether.

Users now also have the option of sharing previews of how their ad will appear in search results. After running a search in the ad preview tool, an icon appears in the top left corner to “share this search”. You can then share the URL via email and the recipient can preview your ad before it goes live.

Keyword Planner

In late June, Ads users noticed some changes to the results in Keyword Planner. It appeared that some search terms were being grouped together with related terms, which meant that the bracket for search volumes was now much wider.

In a recent post to the Google Ads community page a spokesperson confirmed what users had already started to experience, announcing that “advertisers with lower monthly spend may see a limited data view in the Keyword Planner”.

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The Keyword Planner is used to provide guidance on the volume of searches for different keywords, so brands have a better idea of which terms to use in their ad campaigns. Now that the results are not as accurate, users find it less helpful for targeting the best search queries for their ads.

For example, a search result for a particular keyword that used to display the number of searches between 10,000 and 20,000 would now be included in a much larger bracket: 10,000 to 100,000.

For small businesses with lower budgets, this is likely to affect the accuracy and relevance of their Ads campaigns.

Google Duo

Google Duo is now officially being rolled out after the initial announcement in May. Google described the app in a blog post as a 1-to-1 video calling app designed to eliminate common issues associated with video calls like a choppy signal and voice delays.

The app can adjust to the available internet bandwidth to avoid bad connections and moves between mobile data and Wi-Fi without interruptions or disconnections. Some of the other features of the app include ‘Knock Knock’ which is a live preview of the call before picking up and end to end encryption for safety and security purposes.

Call preview feature in Google Duo voice calling app

Duo will be available to users worldwide in the coming days.

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