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Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) vs Google Ads (AdWords)

by Andrew Alexander , October 17, 2018
PPC
0 Comments

Google Ads (AdWords) is a similar tool but it does not allow marketing campaigns to be run across multiple engine accounts. It is limited to the Google Search Network and its search partners such as Youtube Search. 

Powerful, machine learning reporting features on Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) enable buyers to efficiently run campaigns, while automated bidding improves campaign performance. Native integration with the Google Marketing Platform allows buyers to manage and track digital campaigns across a single platform, enabling rich, cross-channel buying, reporting and attribution.

Google Ads (AdWords) has sophisticated reporting features and Smart Bidding automation but this can only be set at the ad group and campaign level and not the keyword level. Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) allows automated bid strategies to be set at keyword level across engine accounts. 

Without Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search), you'd need to manage your ads and keywords on each search engine, and it would be much more difficult to analyze your ad/keyword performance across engines. You also wouldn't have the automated bidding power of the more sophisticated Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) bid strategies. With Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search), you save time, reduce complexity, and have the ability to make better decisions and increase your Return on Investment (ROI) for search marketing.

1. Campaign Example for Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search): Traffic your ads and keywords to the search engines

Business challenge: A consumer enters a keyword in a search engine, and ads appear in the search results. The consumer clicks on one of the ads and eventually makes a purchase. What caused the ad to appear in the search results? And how did it end up ranked where it was in relation to the other ads?

Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) solution: Use Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) campaigns to traffic ads and keywords to the supported search engines. The ads and keywords in a Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) campaign are mapped to a similar object on the search engine through the API. Then, when a consumer enters one of these keywords on the search engine, an ad from the campaign may appear in the search results.

Similar solutions are available on Google Ads (AdWords) but only on the Google Search network and it search partners. 

2. Strategic bid optimization example for Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search): Apply automated bid rules to your keywords

Business challenge: You can use campaigns in Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) to set your bids for keywords. But what if you don’t have the time to manually set bids for the keywords in your search program, see where your ads are ranking, position-wise, in the search results, and then adjust as necessary? You know how much profit you want to make on your search campaign – or how much you’re willing to spend for each action/transaction – but you don’t want to take the time to manually adjust the bidding on your keywords to make it happen.

Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) solution: Remove the complexity from keyword bidding by using Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) machine learning bid strategies, which set bids automatically based on a straightforward set of rules/KPIs that you provide.

Google Ads (AdWords) offers less sophisticated bid strategies that can be applied at campaign and ad group level but not at keyword level and not across difference search engines like Bing, Yahoo! Gemini & Baidu.

3. Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) models an agency structure


Just as many advertising agencies maintain separate teams to manage search and social marketing for multiple advertisers, in Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search), you can manage multiple advertisers under a single agency network. 

Google Ads (AdWords) My Client Centres allow as similar managing of multiple advertisers but not across multiple search engines. 

Each of these advertisers contains its own group of engine accounts and campaigns, as well as its own set of users who can view reports and edit settings.

You can run reports for individual engine accounts, individual advertisers, or even an entire agency network.

In Google Ads (AdWords), reporting is restricted to GSN engine accounts. 

4. Search Ads 360 ( DoubleClick Search) exchanges data with search engines 

Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) has a direct API connection with several search engines.  Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) and the search engines use APIs to send a variety of information back and forth over the internet, such as campaign settings, keywords, and ads. Each search engine has its own API with unique behavior, including supported features, how often data is refreshed, and how often Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) is permitted to access the API.

Once you connect Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) with an engine, you can create and manage search engine marketing campaigns in Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) and have the changes automatically copied to the engines. Likewise, you can make changes directly in the engines e.g. Google Ads (Adwords) or Bing and import (sync) them into Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search). 

In Google Ads (AdWords), you are only connected to Google engine accounts. 

Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) has a direct API connection with several search engines. Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) and the search engines use APIs to send a variety of information back and forth over the internet, such as campaign settings, keywords, and ads. Each search engine has its own API with unique behavior, including supported features, how often data is refreshed, and how often Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) is permitted to access the API.

Once you connect Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) with an engine, you can create and manage search engine marketing campaigns in Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) and have the changes automatically copied to the engines. Likewise, you can make changes directly in the engines e.g. Google Ads (Adwords) or Bing and import (sync) them into Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search).

In Google Ads (AdWords), you are only connected to Google engine accounts.

5. How Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) acquires performance metrics

Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) uses URL redirection to track performance metrics for individual ads, keywords, and other items that can specify a landing page URL or a URL template. URL redirection is a standard Web technique that directs a click through one or more services or vendors before landing on a web page. Each service or vendor may add information to the URL, or it may use information in the URL to track activity.

Here's an overview of the URL redirection process Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) follows:

A consumer searches for a product on a search engine.

The search engine displays an ad and reports an impression.

The consumer clicks on the ad.

The search engine reports a click.

The consumer is redirected to the Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) clickservers.

Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) records some tracking information and directs the click to the advertiser's landing page. 

To acknowledge that it successfully directed the click to the landing page, Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) reports a visit.

Note that engines report Clicks, while Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) reports Visits. The number of clicks differ from the number of visits when landing pages are unavailable, perhaps due to incorrect landing page URLs, connectivity problems, or spam filtering. The consumer makes a purchase and lands on the advertiser's confirmation page.

The confirmation page contains a Floodlight tag that fires and reports a conversion.

Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) reports a Floodlight conversion.

6. Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) uses Floodlight tags to track conversions

Floodlight is the conversion tracking system for the Google Marketing Platform. Like other conversion tracking systems, the Floodlight system consists of tags that track activity on your site, along with reporting features for adding conversion data to your reports. A DoubleClick cookie enables Floodlight to recognize repeat visits from a specific browser.               
                                                                   
Because all properties within the Google Marketing Platform—Campaign Manager, Display & Video 360, and Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search)—can use Floodlight, you can use a single set of Floodlight tags to track conversions from both display and search advertising. This prevents cross-channel conversion funnels from counting conversions more than once (for example, conversions that start from a display click and end with a paid search click will give last-click credit to the paid search click).                                                                     
In Google Ads (AdWords), conversion tracking is not as easily integrated with all the properties within Google Marketing Platform as Google Ads (AdWords) tags are specific to Google Ads (AdWords) unlike Floodlight Tags in Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) which are designed to integrate seamlessly with all GMP properties.
7. Summary.

Until the announcement of Google Marketing Platform (GMP) on the 27th of June this year, a very common question from clients was, “What is the difference between Google AdWords and DoubleClick?” The very predictable reason was because clicks and impressions cost the client money on both platforms but AdWords was free and you had to pay a fee to use DoubleClick.                  
                                             
With the advent of GMP we have had a raft of name changes and platform integrations. Search Ads 360 (DoubleClick Search) is the new name for DoubleClick Search but that is just one part of the amalgamation.                                                                                                                     
Brad Bender - Vice President of Display and Video Advertising at Google - sums things up the best when he writes, “Google Marketing Platform brings together DoubleClick Digital Marketing and the Google Analytics 360 Suite to help you plan, buy, measure and optimize digital media and customer experiences in one place.”                                                                         
Google AdWords has also had its name changed to Google Ads (AdWords). Google feels that the Words in AdWords is too semantically tied to the GSN when in fact your format choice is now a long list that includes text ads, shopping, display, video, UAC, YouTube, Gmail & Maps. Apparently the coterminous name and UI change is entirely coincidental. The old framework was 8 years old and needed a spruce up to more seamlessly incorporate evolving technologies.                                                            
                                                                                                          
Like Brad Bender, another Googler, Sridhar Ramaswamy - head of ads and commerce - has the best grasp on the reasoning behind the rebrand. “With Google Ads (AdWords) as opposed to Google AdWords, it is moving the imperceptible default opinion that you get as an advertiser when you hear ‘Google AdWords’ … you think, ‘Oh, Words. Search.’ It’s basically a slight cognitive dissonance to all the other great things that we are doing in terms of both the format and surfaces these ads can show. And so, Google Ads (AdWords), in our opinion, is a much more straightforward representation of what Google advertising can provide. It’s that simplicity and alignment of the core message from the first instant you hear the name, which is the goal.”                           
                         
Mr Ramaswamy has certainly told us all we need to know about the name change but clients will still want to know what the difference is between Google Ads (AdWords) and GMP. A very similar question could be asked about Standard (free) Google Analytics and Analytics 360 (paid for). But this isn’t a blog comparing and contrasting individual features across the offerings. That exercise is a textbook and best approached feature by feature according to a campaign or client’s needs. Any of the google product help sites will tell you everything you need to know.                                                                                                                                                            
The simple and unavoidable answer to the question in the title is that this exercise, apart from the very innovative and useful Integration Centre in GMP, is largely a rebranding exercise and, much more importantly, like anything in life, you get what you pay for.  
                                                                               
Let’s use a air travel metaphor. Bing, Yahoo, Baidu and Apple Search Ads are Economy Class offerings. Not as many features, less customer service and fairly begrudging clients. Google Ads (AdWords) is Business Class - excellent customer service, lots of extras and ticking all the boxes that most clients need. GMP is first class. No algorithms spared, tailored for the sophisticated and big spending clients and very profitable. Having said that, a great campaign manager can get you better results on Google Ads (AdWords) than a bad one on GMP. You’re the consumer so do your research and decide what works for you. Then choose an award winning, data-driven agency like TMI
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