Google’s Marketing Live conference isn’t until July, but that isn’t stopping the company from sharing developer-specific AdWords and Admob updates at its I/O 2018 conference. The biggest news is that AdWords has now driven more than 10 billion app installs for developers.
Go back only two years to I/O 2016 and you’ll find that the number has quintupled: It was 2 billion in May 2016, which also happened to be neck and neck with Facebook at the time. A lot has changed since then, including the decision by Facebook in April 2017 to stop measuring total app installs.
Marketers can argue all day on whether these figures matter. In the meantime, Google is plowing ahead with more monetization options for developers.
Google is launching a beta “in the coming months” that allows developers to surface relevant app content within ads. The company has found that 70 percent of users decide whether to install an app based on how much they’ll use it, so it wants to offer such information right in the ad:
Wish is a shopping app and the ad above is showing off its product catalog. AdWords lets Wish surface relevant in-app product images and descriptions directly in its ads.
Google today also opened Google Play Instant to all game developers. The company has started testing compatibility with AdWords so users can try out games directly from ads (just like Facebook) across all the channels that Universal App campaigns reach.
Later this month, Google is planning on making view-through conversion (VTC) reporting available to AdWords app advertisers. VTC reporting gives you a more complete picture of how your ads are working so you can understand which viewable ad impressions were associated with conversions (such as determining how well your video and display ads influenced app installs). VTC reporting will only consider impressions that meet the Media Rating Council (MRC) definition of ad viewability.
Next, Google has joined an Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)-led working group to simplify and standardize in-app viewability measurement. Google is integrating IAB Tech Lab’s Open Measurement SDK into its Google Mobile Ads and Interactive Media Ads SDKs so developers who need to report viewability data to advertisers no longer have to use multiple SDKs and reconcile disparate methodologies. If you use DoubleClick AdExchange (AdX) or DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP), you can request to join the beta this week.
Google is introducing rewarded reporting in AdMob as an open beta to developers with linked Firebase and AdMob accounts. This is for all those rewarded ad experiences, where users opt in to view ads and receive in-app incentives or digital goods in exchange. Google says it has seen a 9x increase in impressions, across both free and paid apps, since introducing rewarded ads last year. Now developers on AdMob will be able to view rewarded ad metrics such as opt-in rate, consumption rate, and rate of reward use.
Ads drive the larger majority of Google’s — ahem, Alphabet’s — revenue. I/O 2018 would not be taking place if it weren’t for all that ad money. As such, Google is going to keep experimenting with new ad ideas to ensure the money keeps pouring in.