ComScore released the US search engine rankings for May 2010, and Google leads as usual with 63.7% of the searches, followed by Yahoo! with 18.3%, and Microsoft with 12.1%. As for the smaller engines, Ask has 3.6% of the search market and AOL is last of the top 5 with 2.3%.
Americans did nearly 16 billion searches in May, up 3% from April.
Google appears to have been steadily losing market share while Bing and Yahoo have been increasing their share for a few months in a row according to comScore’s data, but this information should be taken with a grain of salt. For example, the way Yahoo displays content on its various websites (viewing an image slide show triggers an image search) might be significantly inflating the search numbers.
Google rolled out a lot of new AdWords features in the past month, some we have already started to use, some have gone relatively unnoticed. Here is a check list to make sure you didn’t miss anything:
- Target CPA bidding, the new Conversion Optimizer feature I have mentioned in previous updates, have gone live for all advertisers. This new feature allows you to set the average amount you would like to pay for a conversion (instead of setting the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for conversion)
- A neat new tweak – the search box that appears above the navigation panel on the left side of your campaigns tab has been improved. You can use it for easier account navigation, but not only that – you can also use it to find AdWords features. For example, searching for “placement” will allow you to jump to the Add Managed Placements tool. Searching for “tool” will display a list of tools to jump to, such as the Keyword tool and Ads Preview Tool. It’s very cool but can be very slow. J
- Google created a template that makes it easier to generate ads by template for a large number of products. The Ads Multiplier combines your creative texts with the list of variables (such as product names, prices or locations) and generates a spreadsheet containing completed ads.
- Frequency capping in AdWords campaigns is now available at campaign level, ad group level and ad level. In addition you can choose the capping time period: the options are capping per day, per week or per month.
- You can now compare date ranges in the graph feature. Click on the graph button to toggle graph options, and select ‘Date Range’ in the ‘Compare To’ drop-down. This can provide valuable insights on the recent campaign activity trends.
- Another new feature in your Opportunities tab (currently in limited beta, so you might not have it yet): You can now get more insight into your competitors on AdWords (check your Opportunities tab to see if you have this feature already). The ‘Analyze Competition’ tool allows you to view a graph of your performance compared to average performance of other competitors in your category for the past two weeks. You can also drill down into the numbers and view data such as the best and worst performers in your category.
- New features are available for AdWords campaign reports: You can create reports right in the campaign tab by clicking the ‘Download Report’ button in the toolbar above the campaign data table. You can also segment your report by one or several dimensions such as Device and Day of the week and add filters such as showing only keywords with over 20 clicks. You can also schedule reports from the same menu.
- New Ad Extension tab: There’s a new tab in your AdWords account, in order to activate it, click on the ‘Show Tabs’ button and check the “Ad Extensions” checkbox, or it will appear automatically once you have enabled at least one ad extension. This tab allows you to view additional data relating to the recently introduced ad extensions – Locations, Phone and Sitelinks.
- The reporting of view-through conversions feature (available for display campaigns only) has been improved: you can now select a custom time-range for the reporting of view through conversions (previously it was set at 30 days, which means that the report was always counting the users that converted within 30 days after seeing the ad). In addition, it is now possible to exclude the users that converted through search campaigns from the view-through conversion count.
- New AdPlanner now offers better integration with AdWords and additional tools: You can now view a list of top 1000 website by unique user numbers, and using a new feature in Google Content Networks, you can also use a filter that will show your ads only on the top 1000 websites (this is mostly useful for brand advertisers)
In addition, you can export Google Content Network Placements directly into AdWords, which will create a new content campaign (or a new ad group) containing the selected placements. You can also create and save lists of placements for use in future projects.
- And finally, AdWords Campaign Experiments: Google announced a new limited beta of a tool that allows you to accurately split-test changes to your campaigns (such as keywords, placements, bids and so on). The tool will do this by enabling you to run your modified campaign alongside your original unchanged campaign. Right now the test is open only to US advertisers.
That’s all for AdWords updates for now, I will be back soon with news from other search engines and some keynotes from SMX advanced in Seattle.
Thanks for reading,
Senior SEM Account Manager