Negative Word Lists
In the past there were only ad group or campaign level negative keywords but now Google is supporting keyword lists that can be applied across multiple campaigns. The process is simple to implement and it starts by building the negative keyword list in the Control Panel and Library section. Here you create the list and add the keywords, then at the campaign you attach the list in the negative keyword section. Now you can add a keyword to your list and have it applied to all the connected campaigns.
Better Mobile Targeting
Mobile targeting was greatly enhanced by a new campaign level setting that allows for targeting the device type and the carriers. Everyone knows that mobile is rapidly expanding and changing and not everything works for everybody so now you can control this to a much finer level. If your site uses Flash you probably want to turn off iPad and iPhone traffic since we know that Apple does not support this. If your web site isn’t designed for a good mobile experience you may want to turn off Andriod, iPhone, and Palm, but keep the iPad traffic since the screen size is large enough that a desktop design works just fine. Carriers are another item to consider, especially in a very localized campaign.
Display Network Bidding
In one of the great non-events of recent time the split bids between managed and automatic placements has been consolidated. We are not sure why they ever split this up to begin with but it is no longer the headache that is was. Now we have only search and display bids as it should be.
You have probably noticed some changes in the Top position ads with longer than normal headlines. This is controlled by including a period, exclamation point, or question mark on the first line of body text. When this is there and the ad qualifies for a top position above the organic, the line will be appended to the headline with a dash and the punctuation will be removed. This is a big deal to several of our clients and we have begun a full review of all accounts to leverage this change. While we are very excited about the potential of this for many of our clients the early testing shows there are some bugs to be worked out. If you do this yourself make sure you test the outcome of the change!
Ad Copy Conversion Optimization
Google rolled out a new change to the Ad Rotation settings for campaigns extending the optimization based on Conversions rather than Clicks. We have been asking for this for years and the problem is so old that it was a chapter in our first book several years ago. We have some testing underway to see if this operates as you would expect, but the fact that it exists means I can take this off my Christmas Letter to Saint Google.