Google Manufacturer Center rolls out international expansion, API updates, and new content discovery opportunities to help you better showcase your brand online

With the launch of self-sign up earlier this year, thousands of top brands and manufacturers have already begun using Google Manufacturer Center to enhance their product’s images, descriptions and variants in Shopping ads. Today, we’re excited to announce new ways to help brands — both in the US and abroad — manage their data more easily and provide a more consistent brand experience on Google and across the web.

Manufacturer Center expands to more countries

To help brands abroad, we’ve expanded availability for Manufacturer Center to the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, France, Brazil, and the Netherlands. Now, brands with products sold in these markets can use Manufacturer Center to best represent their products to shoppers, access unique analytics and insights, and improve the performance of Shopping ads featuring their products.

Increase opportunities to highlight your products’ best features and benefits

Shoppers are constantly looking for information, trying to ensure the product they ultimately choose is the perfect fit for their needs. Information from Manufacturer Center now appears in Google Knowledge Panels in the US, highlighting core product features to shoppers at key decision making stages. With descriptions, images, features and more directly supplied by you, the manufacturer, shoppers will be better informed and feel more confident choosing your branded products.

Manage product information programmatically with the Manufacturer Center API

We know that manually uploading, editing, deleting, and distributing product data can make it difficult to keep up with a brand’s ever-changing product assortment, and using feeds may not offer the desired level of control. With the launch of the Manufacturer Center API, brands (or their 3rd party data partners) can streamline product data updates in the following ways:

  • Add new products directly to Manufacturer Center.
  • Update existing products in Manufacturer Center with the most current product data.
  • Delete products from an existing Manufacturer Center account.
  • Monitor data quality and review product data errors to optimize a brand’s presence on Google.
  • Surface Google’s product data feedback in external data management tools.
  • Streamline product data updates and syndication to Google by creating custom workflows compliant with data management policies and procedures.

To get started with the Manufacturer Center API, check out the Developer’s Guide and Portal article here.

To learn more about Manufacturer Center, to read success stories, and to sign up, visit our website.

Holiday shoppers are in the driver’s seat — here’s what they’re looking for on Black Friday, and beyond

In those spare moments between basting the turkey, assembling gingerbread houses, and planning your ugly-sweater party, you might find yourself reaching for your phone to research holiday gifts you still need to buy. You’re not alone: With information readily available at the swipe of a finger, holiday shoppers are doing more research before buying than ever before. Indeed, mobile searches for “ideas” (i.e., “$25 gift ideas”) have increased by 55 percent over the past two years1. And with new improvements to our knowledge panel on Google.com, we’ve made it even easier for shoppers to quickly find product photos, videos, reviews, descriptions and more.

Armed with mobile devices as their “anywhere” assistants, today’s holiday shoppers are more informed than ever. The result? Promotion-driven shopping events like Black Friday are no longer anchored on a single day. Consumers are now in the driver’s seat—researching to find the best deals of the season before, during, and after Black Friday, and hatching a game plan to determine what, where, and when to buy.

Researching around the clock

With retailers sharing Black Friday deals earlier and earlier, shoppers have a bigger opportunity to make more informed decisions about their purchases. We’re seeing these curious consumers leaning into holiday shopping research with increasing frequency, trading in time spent standing in line for time spent researching everything from door-busting deals to details around specific products.

For example, mobile searches containing “Black Friday” increased by 80% over the past two years (e.g., “when is black friday,” “lowes black friday,” “best black friday deals”)2.

Beyond searching to find more information for Black Friday, people are also researching brands over the holidays. Earlier in November, we see generic, non-branded searches for Black Friday outpacing branded searches (e.g.,”black friday furniture sale” and “black friday makeup deals 2016”). Then, about 2.5 weeks before the four-day weekend, there is a switch to searches for Black Friday becoming mostly branded (e.g., “ashley furniture black friday” and “sephora black friday 2016”) as shoppers narrow down their options and begin laser-focusing their research on the specific items they want to buy.3

And what items are they searching for? We’ve got a good idea. We looked at popular trending products going into Black Friday, and here’s what we saw4:

Creating a game plan

Once shoppers have done their research, they’re shifting their focus to the best way to go about crossing off gifts on their lists—whether that’s in store or online. We see mobile searches for “where to buy” (e.g. “where to buy ugly christmas sweaters” and “where to buy gift boxes”) grew more than 85% over the past two years.5

For Thanksgiving weekend specifically, with large sales happening within a few days of each other, people want to determine the best time to shop. Among the top Black Friday searches, we’re seeing searches for “cyber monday vs black friday,” “which is better black friday or cyber monday,” and “is cyber monday as good as black friday.”6

Purchasing with purpose

Having done the research and determined what they’re getting and where they’re buying it, today’s empowered consumers are deciding exactly when and how they want to purchase. These factors help explain why Black Friday is becoming less important as an anchor in-store shopping holiday.

As proof—and in line with industry reports—we see that foot traffic on Black Friday is declining. In fact, Black Fri-“day” is becoming a weeklong event. During the three-week period leading up to Black Friday, retailers are experiencing a larger percentage of store traffic the week before Black Friday7.


Changes in the concentration of store traffic during the lead up to Black Friday
Source: Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized store traffic from a sample of U.S. users that have turned on Location History, Nov. 2014, 2015 and 2016, U.S. Compared the percentage of store traffic to clothing stores, department stores, electronics stores, toy stores and shopping malls during the three-week period leading up to Black Friday weekend: Nov. 10-30, 2014, Nov. 9-29, 2015, and Nov. 7-27, 2016.

But with all the scrutiny around store traffic on Black Friday, it’s worth noting that online conversions stay steady throughout November, spiking on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, we see that the mobile transaction rate jumps 40% during the Thanksgiving weekend when compared with the rest of the year.8 It’s a sign that mobile researchers are likely to become mobile buyers over the four-day holiday break.

3 tips to reach the empowered holiday shopper this year

Ready to reach shoppers on-the-go as we head into the holidays? Take advantage of these 3 solutions from Google to help you find your next customer, whether they’re searching for ideas, hatching a game plan, or ready to buy:

For more insights into the holidays and beyond, check out Think With Google for the latest shopping trends.


1. Google Data, US, Jan- Jun 2015 vs. Jan-Jun 2017
2. Google Data, US, October – December 2014 and 2016
3. Google Data, US, November 2016. Search examples are among the top 1000 searches
4. Google Shopping Insights, U.S., all devices, Nov. 1 2016 – Nov. 13, 2017.
5. Source: Google Data, U.S., Jan.-June 2015 vs. Jan.-June 2017.
6. Google Data, US, October – December 2016. Search examples are among the top 10,000 searches
7. Source: Google Data, Aggregated, anonymized store traffic from a sample of U.S. users that have turned on Location History, Nov. 2014, 2015 and 2016, U.S. Compared the percentage of store traffic to clothing stores, department stores, electronics stores, toy stores and shopping malls during the three-week period leading up to Black Friday weekend: Nov. 10-30, 2014, Nov. 9-29, 2015, and Nov. 7-27, 2016.
8. Google Analytics, US, January – December 2016. Based on data from Google Analytics accounts that have authorized Google to share website data in an aggregate way.

New AdWords innovations to drive better results for your business

Consumers are more curious, more demanding, and more impatient than ever—and even more so during the busy holiday season. AdWords has been redesigned to help you reach these mobile-first consumers in faster and easier ways. Today, we’re introducing more innovations available only in the new experience. From promoting your latest offers to finding ways to grow your business, these products can help you save time and boost performance. Learn how some advertisers are seeing an increase in conversion rate and return on ad spend when applying these innovations to their campaigns.

Highlight your top deals with promotion extensions

People are always looking for deals, whether it’s for a discount on holiday gifts or a cheaper flight. In fact, 7 out of 10 internet users look for sales or discounts before visiting a store.1 To help attract these deal-seeking customers with your latest offers, we’re introducing promotion extensions.

Show your latest offers with promotion extensions

Promotion extensions make it easy for you to keep your promotions up to date without the need to create new ads. They also free up the rest of your ad for more unique content, like your brand terms or a clear call to action.

For example, if you’re a shoe store, you might use promotion extensions to show a “30% off” promo code on all Black Friday orders. You can also make these types of seasonal offers more prominent in your ad by selecting one of 12 occasions, like Black Friday or Back-to-school.

Brands like Torrid and Shoe Carnival have already seen great results after using promotion extensions:

Promotion extensions effectively communicate our promotions without sacrificing our core message of quality and fit, giving us a conversion rate lift of 30%.– David Chau, Senior Digital Marketing Analyst at Torrid Brands

Promotion extensions give customers even more reason to come to our site and buy–all while raising our ROAS by 20%. This extension should be in every ecommerce advertiser’s toolbox.– Michael Nuss, Director of Digital Marketing at Shoe Carnival

Test drive new ideas with ad variations

Sometimes small changes to your ad text—like adding a touch of holiday spirit or using a different call to action—can dramatically affect performance. That’s why today, we’re rolling out ad variations in the new AdWords experience: a fast and easy way to test changes across your text ads at scale.

For example, you may want to see how “Happy Holidays” performs when used in your text ads. With ad variations, you can test this change across thousands of ads in just a few clicks. In fact, some advertisers have set up variations for more than 1 million ads in less than a minute.2

You’ll then get the test results as soon as they’re statistically significant. If you see that an ad variation is doing well, you can quickly replace all of your original ads with the new variation.

Businesses like Merkle and Agoda are already using ad variations to test, measure, and apply variations that drive better results for their business in less time.

Performance marketing agency Merkle helped their client, a leading online educator, achieve a 13% increase in clicks and a 14% increase in conversions when their ad variations test revealed that expanding their text ads and implementing optimized ad rotations would improve their performance.

With ad variations, we’re able to test ad copy changes across our entire account in just a few minutes, which previously took hours of manual work. This means we get to quickly test ad copy and make improvements that result in better ad performance.– Robert Tayon, Head of PPC at Agoda

Reach the right shoppers with custom intent audiences

Right now, people may be actively shopping for gifts that only you can deliver. To help you reach these I-want-to-buy shoppers, we’re rolling out custom intent audiences for the Google Display Network. Custom intent audiences make it easy for you to reach people who want to buy the specific products you offer–based on data from your campaigns, website and YouTube channel.

For example, if you’re a travel agency offering holiday getaways, Google could automatically create an audience of people shopping for “all-inclusive ski resorts” or “flights to Palm Springs.” We’ll then show you reach and performance estimates for each audience, so you can plan your campaign with precision.

Find new opportunities to grow your business

Looking for more ways to improve campaign performance this holiday season? The Opportunities page now offers more actionable recommendations, relevant insights, and best practices to help you meet your business goals. With manager account support and the ability to filter by category (like “bids & budgets”), your opportunities are clearly organized so you can apply them across all your accounts and campaigns with just a few clicks.

Customers like Mindshare said the improvements on the Opportunities page were very helpful for their business:

The Opportunities page in our manager account lets us quickly identify optimization and efficiency improvements, estimate cost, traffic, and performance impact across multiple markets, and implement them in one click.” – Amy Perkins, Paid Search Account Director, Mindshare

Get started

Log in to the new AdWords experience to start using these innovations and deliver better results for your business.


1. Google / Ipsos Connect, How devices connect consumers to stores, March 2016
2. Google internal data, October 2017

Reach more shoppers this holiday season with new innovations from Merchant Center and AdWords

The “last minute” is getting later and later for holiday shoppers: with mobile searches for “where to buy” peaking on Christmas Eve, today’s empowered consumers still expect to be able to find and get that perfect gift—right up until those final hours.

To help you reach those last-minute shoppers in a hurry this holiday season, we’re sharing new innovations from Merchant Center and AdWords.

Get more of your products online with new Merchant Center features

More products means more chances to get in front of those last-minute customers searching for what you sell. This holiday, be sure to take advantage of these new features in Merchant Center that will help you save time and find your next customer:

  • Drive more holiday clicks by regularly checking for new Opportunities to prioritize your product data changes.
  • Make changes directly in Merchant Center to fix any disapprovals or optimize your product data with expanded Feed Rules and supplemental feeds.
  • Make sure to stay alerted of account, product or performance issues immediately by adding relevant users to your Merchant Center account and updating email preferences.
  • Show customers your holiday shipping deadlines by adding the cutoff dates in your shipping settings. (Available soon in the U.S. only)

Keep your most valuable products at the top of the list

Shopping ads in the top results on mobile see up to 3X the engagement from shoppers.1 We recently launched absolute top impression share (ATIS) to help you identify opportunities to stay above your holiday competition, especially on mobile where visibility on a small screen matters. Use the bid simulator to get estimates on optimizing bids for your top products with gaps in ATIS, or use the Target ROAS Smart Bidding strategy to automate your bids to stay in the best position for the most relevant queries. Advertisers using Target ROAS Smart Bidding are twice as likely to be in the first position for queries that convert most, versus those on manual bidding, when controlled for average cost.2

Re-engage your customers with Gmail ads

We’ve extended remarketing campaigns and dynamic remarketing ads to Gmail, allowing you to reconnect with customers in their inbox with the right offer at the right time. For example, when someone clicks on your dynamic remarketing ad, they’ll be taken to an immersive shopping experience where they can swipe and tap through four of your products.

Your dynamic remarketing ads can now show in Gmail

Ready to get started? Get more tips and best practices to ramp up for this holiday season.

Wishing you happy holidays and shopping success!


1. Google Internal Data, 2016
2. Google Internal Data, Q3 2017

Let it snow new users with Universal App campaigns

This holiday season, consumers want to get exactly what they want, instantly and effortlessly. And it’s often a mobile app that delivers what they need — whether it’s a flight home or a new puzzle game to pass the time during the flight.

To reach these consumers when they’re ready to take action, marketers, app developers and agencies turn to Universal App campaigns (UAC). UAC uses Google’s unique machine learning technology to help find more customers based on business goals you define — across Google’s largest properties like Google Search, Google Play, YouTube and the millions of sites and apps in the Display Network.

Advertisers that have upgraded to Universal App campaigns are finding more of the customers and driving more of the results that matter to their business. Here are some of their stories.

Reminder: Existing Search, Display and YouTube app promotion campaigns will stop running on November 15th, 2017, so it’s important to upgrade to UAC as soon as possible.

ChimpChange and Bamboo bank 12K new registrations

Consumers use banking and finance apps to stay on top of important tasks, like budgeting for holiday gifts. ChimpChange partnered with Bamboo to find users who are more likely to make daily transactions in its app.

“We saw UAC as an opportunity to reach users that matter most to our business. By leveraging Bamboo’s marketing expertise, UAC gave us quality growth in LTV users, in addition to 12K new in-app registrations,” says Tom Russell, VP of Product & Marketing at ChimpChange.

PeopleFun and Incipia spell out a 60% higher retention rate

PeopleFun wanted to find more active players for Wordscapes, a hit game that combines word searching and crosswords for brain challenging fun. So they partnered with Incipia to find new players via UAC, and doubled down on creative assets—particularly images and vertical videos—to deliver more effective and engaging ads. This helped PeopleFun acquire users with a 60% higher retention than their day 7 retention goal.

“Google is an important marketing partner. Working with Incipia to manage and optimize our UAC campaigns enabled us to focus on our product and grow our broader marketing efforts,” says John Boog-Scott, COO of PeopleFun, creator of Wordscapes.

Wordscapes reached 34th-rank in US Games

Choices and Bidalgo play to a new level: Top 25 grossing app in the US

How do you become a top grossing app in the US? Pixelberry thinks it’s by developing “games with heart” and finding quality players who are likely to come back and convert. Bidalgo captured new users’ attention with images and videos that presented users with a typical decision that they’d face in the game, like “should I go to the party or study for that all-important test coming up?”

“Pixelberry has only three people leading the marketing for Choices: Stories You Play. With the help of Bidalgo’s ad automation platform and design expertise, Universal App campaigns allowed us to reach millions of players around the world…(which drove) a 4X increase in scale,” says Filippo De Rose, Head of Marketing and Ad Monetization at Pixelberry.

Growing your app business like these leading agencies and marketers is easy. Check out our most recent UAC best practices for specific tips on creative, bidding strategies and measurement.

VP of Product, Mobile App Advertising at Google