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Friday Recap: This week, Google makes things easier for … just about everyone

This week has been all about Google.

Once again, they’re making it easier for advertisers to examine how their products and pages are performing in search. Thanks to a handful of new tools in Google Analytics and AdWords, users will now be able to make much more informed decisions about their Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and their Shopping Campaigns.

They have also just announced a very cool new feature that will allow iOS users to screen-share on YouTube in real time. We can already think of zillions of ways for organisations to use the app to demonstrate their products, services and general knowledge.

Google supports those who have adopted AMP pages

One in three people now use their smartphone more than any other device to access the internet, according to HubSpot, and this only stands to increase as more and more users put down their laptop and pick up their mobile.

That’s where Google’s AMP project came in. Launched over a year ago, AMP pages are those pages that load ultra fast on a mobile device. Videos, embeds and other features can’t slow them down and they make most of us smile as they populate quickly (and attractively) before our eyes.

Until recently, however, there was no way to evaluate the performance of AMP pages compared to traditional (read: slow) URLs. That’s all changed, however, as Google has just announced a new opt-in feature in Google Analytics that will allow you to better understand visitors’ journeys across your AMP pages. The tool will identify users who have clicked on your AMP pages that have also clicked on a non AMP page on your API.

Formerly, this one user would be identified by your Google Analytics as two distinct people, meaning you’d be unable to really compare behaviour. Now, however, you’ll be able to examine user behaviour more accurately, and use the information to understand which pages are performing, as well as those you might need to optimise for mobile use.

Updated YouTube app lets iOS users livestream their screens – and the possibilities are endless

iPhone and iPad YouTubers rejoice – an app update will now allow you to livestream your screens. The feature will be integrated in Apple’s ReplayKit API, meaning that if you’re a verified YouTube user with no live streaming restrictions, all of your followers will be able to see just what you’re doing (if you want them to).

two phone screen with face of woman

When you’re live streaming, you’ll be able to enable your iPhone or iPad’s microphone and front facing camera, allowing you to pop in with commentary when you see fit. What wonders will this new feature unlock? The options are really endless, but we foresee it being popular for:

  • Demonstrating an operating system, software or other program
  • Showing off a new app and how to use it
  • Live streaming mobile games
  • Giving a mobile presentation
  • Hosting tutorials and trainings using the front-facing screen

Unlike other live streaming apps, YouTube also has ultra-low latency, meaning that there won’t be any irritating lag between what the user is doing and the audience is seeing.

Ranking for retailers – how often are you number one?

The holiday shopping season is coming in hot, and for online retailers, that means their Google Shopping campaigns need to perform now more than ever.

To help retailers understand how their ads are faring, AdWords has released a new reporting system that allows them to see product gaps and rate how their shopping campaigns are stacking up against competitors.

For one, the new reporting system will allow retailers to see if their performance might be affected by products not ready to serve. If your campaign includes products not ready to serve, you won’t be able to participate in certain auctions.

graph of product groups

AdWords will now also group products into aggregate statuses, such as ‘ready to serve’, ‘inactive’, or ‘disapproved’. Side by side with performance columns, product status columns will help you see which high performing products might be missing out on traffic because they’re ineligible to participate and fix the issue immediately.

Finally, a new metric will let you see how often your ad lands itself in what Google calls the ‘left-most position’ – but we like the ring of ‘number one’ a bit more!

cast iron skillet google searchAds in this position get 3X more engagement, according to Google internal data, and impressions here are called ‘absolute top’ impressions. AdWords will now feature an absolute top impression share, which will show the percentage of times ads make a top impression based on the number of results they were eligible for.

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