New Google smart bidding signals coming: price competitiveness, seasonality for Shopping campaigns

Google’s automated smart bidding algorithms can take many signals into account at the time of the each auction — device information, search query, location, etc. Soon, it will add more signals to that list for App and Shopping campaigns, according to a help page.

What’s coming? Mobile app ratings will be a factor, with bids adjusted automatically based on “the strength and quantities of an app’s reviews.” An ad for app with a high number of positive reviews might be deemed likely to result in an install.

Price competitiveness and seasonality will each soon be factors for Shopping campaigns.

It’s no secret that price plays an important role in Google Shopping success. It’s already included among the product attributes signal Google uses, along with condition, brand and product category. But price competitiveness hasn’t explicitly been listed. Though, Andreas Reiffen of Crealytics, for one, has written and spoken on this very topic. When this update rolls out, Google may optimize bids based on a product’s price compared to its auction competitors. Low prices, deals and discounts will influence automated bids.

Google will also soon take seasonal performance trends into account with smart bidding in Shopping campaigns. As an example, Google says, an electronics retailer’s bids on ads for television sets may be adjusted during the holiday season “which typically sees a higher conversion likelihood.”

Why we should care. Once these three signals get incorporated, the list of automated bidding signals Google uses in smart bidding will number 18. Though many are campaign-type specific — search queries are used in Search and Shopping only, while site behavior is used only in Display campaigns, for example. As more signals get incorporated into smart bidding, it should theoretically make the bids “smarter,” yet the issue of transparency becomes even more muddled as it becomes harder for advertisers to parse which factors are having the greatest influence on their ultimate bids and results.

When will these be active? That’s not clear. Google just says they will be “coming soon.” They’ve been posted as such for at least a month, so that could mean in the coming months.

About The Author

Ginny Marvin is Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, managing day-to-day editorial operations across all of our publications. Ginny writes about paid online marketing agency topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land, marketing agency Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing agency experience, she has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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