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Finally, Google Play sponsored app ads are here

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Google had taken it up a notch and released search ads on Google Play, along with new app promotion tools. Why only now? Google has the answers. This move is positioning Google, at last, as a real competitor to Facebook and Twitter in the paid app install ads industry. Also, in the Apple-Google rivalry, some may consider it a knockout move. Here’s what we think.

Introducing install ads on the Play Store

A lot was said about the importance of app discovery. No need for me to say more on that. Now Google launched a game changer. Sweet… install ads, as sponsored results, right on the Play store, where they belong…

Google Play sponsored app adsSource: Google

When thinking about it, it’s Google play’s answer to iOs burst campaigns, only they get to leverage the full campaign budget, instead of splitting it with ad networks that specialize in burst campaigns.

Although officially rolled out, Google has been experimenting with these ads in a pilot since February 2015, enabling this option to selected few. As it is now fully launched, I am guessing the pilot went well.

So now, if you want to launch a Google play sponsored search ad campaign for your app, all you have to do is to launch it from your regular Adwords dashboard (to avoid confusion – Adwords install ads, in mobile web search, have been around for a year or so, but never before in the Google play store).

Editing Google Play sponsored app ads on Google AdwordsSource: Google

What else?

All in one, who’s in? Google will also launch Universal App Campaigns, so you will also have the privilege of running ads across all of Google’s platforms: AdMob, Google search and display, YouTube, mobile sites and the Play Store. Yes, the Google world is becoming quite crowded with app promotion tools. Google sure knows how to ease on us into spending money smoothly and easily, with no effort at all, just like taking a deep breath on a spring day.

universalSource: Google

In addition, just to make things interesting, Google is promising to provide conversion-tracking tools, starting with “Android first app opens”. This is a feature that enables measuring when a user first opens an app after clicking an ad and completing an Android app install – Yes, it’s becoming crowded in the inbound app analytics industry as well, I can tell you that much.

Yep, Google might have been late to join the paid install ads party (you can also call it a jungle), but they sure made quite an entrance (well, they came, but left, then popped up again, and left again, but now they came in with the band playing)

Apple – don’t just gossip behind the curtain. Tell us what you are planning…

Wait, are Google play sponsored search results ads any good?

Although it sounds superb, not everyone are pleased.
Some are saying this will ‘make the strong stronger and the weak weaker’, but I am thinking, isn’t it how things usually work?
Too early to provide statistics and benchmarks (I am on it!!!)
But all and all, it seems that developers and marketers are welcoming the opportunity and are looking forward to getting access to a fresh (and hopefully low cost) ad format that will outsmart all current, existing offering.

Next steps? What would I do if I were Google… Hmmmm….

Apple still beats Android in the game of ROI. This is disturbing. Both Google and Android app developers are concerned. Yes, the gaps are closing, but are still there, and they are significant enough.
I am sure that Google has some plans around the ROI challenge. Knowing Google I am sure they will be super smart about it. Mandatory payment method maybe? Naaaa, that’s not Google’s style. I am still looking for directions. Why don’t you comment below with your take on that? I’d be interested in getting some additional views.

Summary

Play Store ads will probably be used mostly by app companies with budgets for paid media. Still, they can also be used by less popular apps, we’ll see.
For sure, things are about to get more interesting, if that’s even possible. My guess is that Apple will soon follow. I know I would.

Renana
Renana is AppGo2Market.com Product Marketing manager. She has years of experience in the digital marketing world, offering specific expertise in product marketing, content, UX, social media and more
Renana
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