Google AdWords Advertisers Impacted as Chrome “Stops” Flash Ads

August 31st, 2015 by Brad Garlin

Chrome Stops FlashBack in June, Google announced it would be rolling out “power save” mode in Chrome in order to increase page load speed and reduce power consumption by blocking various plugins, including Flash. As part of this change, Chrome will automatically pause Flash content that is not considered central to a user’s experience, including Flash-based video and display ads. Flash will still be supported on Chrome, but these ads will only play when initiated by the user. Flash ads will show a static image until a user clicks to activate the ad, likely resulting in lower CTRs and overall performance for these ads.

While Flash initially allowed for some really powerful ad creative production, its popularity continues to decline over time. Safari never supported Flash content, Amazon banned Flash ads on their ad platform, and Firefox also made a similar move back in July, blocking all Flash on the browser due to reported security risks. Google Chrome will change the way it serves Flash ads on September 1st.

The impact on Google AdWords and other PPC advertising platforms:

Online advertisers will have to upgrade all current Flash ads to the HTML5 format in order to achieve ad animation without required user initiation.

Google is automatically upgrading “eligible” ads to HTML5, stating that, “Over half of time spent online is now spent on mobile devices. This presents a tremendous opportunity for marketers to reach their customers throughout the day, whenever they may be browsing. But there is an all-too-common barrier: many mobile devices and some browsers do not currently support Flash. That’s why we’re introducing a way to automatically convert Flash ads to HTML5, giving advertisers better access to the portion of Google Display Network inventory that is HTML5-only. Eligible Flash campaigns, both existing and new, will now be automatically converted to HTML5 when uploaded through AdWords, AdWords Editor, and many 3rd party tools.” You can use Google’s Swiffy tool to determine if your Flash ad is eligible for conversion to HTML5.

Yahoo stated that, “Yahoo has been working hard to accelerate its support of HTML5, and is ready to accept HTML5 creatives across display and video. We also acknowledge that some advertisers and publishers may not be fully HTML5-compatible by September 1st. While we encourage HTML5 adoption, we will still support campaigns built with Flash assets for the time being. We have enabled some short-term workarounds, including browser de-targeting for display ads, to ensure that our clients’ campaigns run without issue.”

If your various PPC advertising campaigns are running flash ads, this change is something that should be further explored. If flash ads are just a small portion of your current ad inventory and their results have not been historically any better than static ads, then there is nothing to worry about here. However, for advertisers that run a great deal of successful flash ads, this change can have a substantial impact on future results. If you have not already explored transitioning your animated ads to HTML5, now would be a really good time to consider that path.

Will Google’s Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Change Impact AdWords?

April 14th, 2015 by Brad Garlin

Google-Mobile-Friendly-Algorithm-ChangeWe’ve been hearing from clients who are concerned about Google’s approaching mobile-friendly algorithm change. Per Google’s recent announcement, “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”

Now advertisers are reasonably questioning if this change will also impact mobile results on AdWords. All indications are that this change will not impact AdWords at this time. Google has not made any mention about this change impacting AdWords, and historically they have pre-announced changes similar to this well in advance of it actually happening. It certainly stands to reason that this same algorithm change may eventually also apply to AdWords, but it doesn’t appear likely to have an impact with this upcoming algorithm change. Google’s shareholders would certainly be none-to-pleased if Google abruptly shut down a substantial number of their mobile advertisers without even giving any warning, plus they would be creating a huge headache for themselves by needing to deal with confused and upset advertisers; That just wouldn’t make any sense on multiple levels.  So should advertisers be concerned about making their website mobile friendly according to Google, and what should they do right now?

The first thing I personally suggest is for website owners to review Google Analytics results to determine exactly how much traffic is actually generated from Google mobile organic results. In many cases, I have seen that Google mobile organic traffic represents an incredibly small portion of overall total traffic. Based on this reality, I am not too concerned about Google’s upcoming algorithm change for those businesses.

For others who are are receiving a decent amount of Google mobile organic traffic, this change is very important and should be addressed immediately if it has not been already. Google said the new algorithm will start rolling out on April 21st and will take a few days to a week to fully implement. They also stated that websites are either mobile-friendly or not, with no degrees of mobile-friendliness, at least not at this time. The fastest way to see if a web pages is mobile-friendly according to Google  is to check it with Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool.

If you are an AdWords advertiser, the next thing to review is how much mobile PPC traffic you are generating. If AdWords mobile traffic is relevant and converts, then making sure that your website is mobile-friendly according to Google is likely a good idea to start taking into consideration. I would suspect that it is just a matter of time until mobile-friendliness does impact AdWords advertisers, and it’s always better to be prepared in advance rather than need to rush to get something done by a specific deadline… especially if is really important and related to technology. Over the years, I have seen over and over again that website development often takes twice as long and costs twice as much as planned. So even if your AdWords account is generating favorable results from mobile traffic, you likely have nothing to worry about right now. However, I strongly encourage advertisers in this position to consider looking into making their websites mobile-friendly according to Google. It’s always a good idea to cater to best-practices that Google suggests, so exploring mobile-friendly web design is likely a good idea for every business, but of course that could be said about many things that require time and money. Therefore my suggestion is to review Google Analytics, review Google AdWords, and then determine how high of a priority making your website mobile-friendly to Google should be on your to-do list.

JumpFly Releases Proprietary PPC Management Software

September 29th, 2014 by Brad Garlin

PPC Management SoftwareJumpFly unveiled revolutionary proprietary PPC management software, available exclusively to JumpFly clients. This world-class resource provides an additional level of account review and analysis that competitors cannot provide. After years of development, JumpFly’s powerful PPC alerting software now tracks all client accounts, providing another layer of valuable monitoring and critical performance based analysis.

JumpFly determined that the best possible way to manage accounts is through a combination of human and software powered analysis. As many unfortunate advertisers have learned, relying on a set of automated rules to manage a PPC account can have disastrous results. However, properly developed software is an incredible tool to help account managers identify potential warnings, trends and opportunities. Below are some examples of what JumpFly’s tools include:

  • Results Based Opportunity/Warning Alerts
  • Account Offline Alerts
  • PLAs/Shopping Campaigns/Feed Offline Warnings
  • Account Level Budget Monitoring
  • URL Monitoring Identifies Any Offline Landing Pages
  • Call-Tracking Services

This one-of-a-kind software was developed in-house, over several years, by experienced PPC professionals in order to help all JumpFly clients realize the best results possible. Software alone cannot understand every unique variable relating to each specific client’s business, but when properly developed, acts as an invaluable tool to help identify potential opportunities or areas of potential concern. JumpFly’s software currently triggers alerts based on hundreds of pre-set rules, providing each JumpFly client another set of automated eyes that helps monitor results all day every day.

“There is currently no other software on the market that works anything like this,” commented Brad Garlin, JumpFly Managing Partner. “We’ve developed something truly unique that enables JumpFly clients to benefit from the power of advanced artificial intelligence, without the risk associated with relying on automated bidding solutions. This is a significant advancement in the way we manage accounts, and the winner is our clients.”