Recap: Google Adds Search Ads to Google Play, Enhances Merchant Center Feeds, Introduces Retooled DSA, and Updates Quality Score Reporting

It’s Monday and time for our weekly recap. Last week it was all about Google. The Internet giant released several updates and enhancements for its advertising products, such as Ads on Google Play, Merchant Centre Feeds, Dynamic Search Ads, and Quality Score reporting.

Google Rolls Out Search Ads for Google Play

In February, Google announced Search Ads on Google Play, meaning that text ads could appear in the Play store’s search results. With more than 1 billion people on Android devices in more than 190 countries, this was very promising for advertisers.

What started as a pilot project with a few selected partners has now officially been rolled out –available to all advertisers and developers who use App Install campaigns on the Search Network.

Search App Install Campaign

Two New Data Feed Enhancements to Merchant Center

Your product data feed is the central element of Google Shopping. To help you update ads quickly and seamlessly, Google has introduced two new enhancements to the Google Merchant Center – one for large retailers and one for smaller ones:

  1. Online product inventory feeds: if you’re a large retailer and have to update your inventory (price, availability, sales price) frequently, this new feed type will help you update key attributes without re-submitting the whole product feed.
  2. Google Sheets add-on: if you’re a smaller retailer and possibly new to Google Shopping, the Sheets extension will help you upload your product data quickly by connecting a Google spreadsheet directly to the Merchant Center.

Enhanced and Retooled Dynamic Search Ads

About a year ago, we published an article about Dynamic Search Ads, discussing the relevancy of this ad type (see “Dynamic Search Ads – helpful or a pain in the neck?”).

A few days ago, Google introduced “more powerful Dynamic Search Ads”, “enhanced and retooled from the ground up”. So, what’s so new about them? Well, DSA now come with recommended categories:

In addition to crawling and indexing your website, DSA now organizes your website content into recommended categories for targeting your ads. Recommended categories are customized to your products and services, for example “furniture,” and only trigger ads for search queries where you have a relevant landing page.

Recommended Categories

When you’re finished selecting your recommended categories, you will be able to see a preview of sample queries, your text ads, and their respective landing pages. In addition, a recommended bid is also calculated for each category.

A year ago, DSA was one of the most debated subjects among PPC experts, who were unsure whether they actually helped advertisers or caused them more pain due to bad traffic. A look at Barry Schwartz’ closing comment on Search Engine Roundtable, as well as some of the reactions in the comment section, show that this debate is still ongoing.

QS Reporting Update: New Keywords Automatically Assigned a Score of 6

Google quietly and secretly announced an update to its Quality Score reporting. Advertisers do not have to worry. This update is done to simplify some core systems. It will not change how ads are served or ranked.

The most prominent change is the default score. From now on, new keywords will automatically be assigned a score of 6. After a day or so, the quality score will have gathered enough data and will be updated. According to SearchEngineLand, 6 seemed a decent number for people not to panic unnecessarily (e.g. compared to a default score of 1).


Maximilian Hainlein

I'm working for crealytics as Social Media and Marketing Manager since 2011. My motto: "It's better to be the needle than the haystack."