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Cross-posted from The Keyword
The web has opened a door for new communities and platforms that help people find diverse views and have a voice. Today, anyone with a smartphone can be a content creator, app developer or entrepreneur. And Google has enabled millions of content creators and publishers to be heard, find an audience, earn a living, or even build a business. Much of this is made possible through advertising. Thousands of sites are added every day to our ad network, and more than 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. We have a responsibility to protect this vibrant, creative world—from emerging creators to established publishers—even when we don’t always agree with the views being expressed.

But we also have a responsibility to our advertisers who help these publishers and creators thrive. We have strict policies that define where Google ads should appear, and in the vast majority of cases, our policies and tools work as intended. But at times we don’t get it right.

Recently, we had a number of cases where brands’ ads appeared on content that was not aligned with their values. For this, we deeply apologize. We know that this is unacceptable to the advertisers and agencies who put their trust in us. That’s why we've been conducting an extensive review of our advertising policies and tools, and why we made a public commitment last week to put in place changes that would give brands more control over where their ads appear.

I wanted to share that we've already begun ramping up changes around three areas: our ad policies, our enforcement of these policies and new controls for advertisers.

Raising the bar for our ad policies

We know advertisers don't want their ads next to content that doesn’t align with their values. So starting today, we’re taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content. This includes removing ads more effectively from content that is attacking or harassing people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories. This change will enable us to take action, where appropriate, on a larger set of ads and sites.

We’ll also tighten safeguards to ensure that ads show up only against legitimate creators in our YouTube Partner Program—as opposed to those who impersonate other channels or violate our community guidelines. Finally, we won’t stop at taking down ads. The YouTube team is taking a hard look at our existing community guidelines to determine what content is allowed on the platform—not just what content can be monetized.

Increased brand safety levels and controls for advertisers

Every company has brand guidelines that inform where and when they want their ads to appear. We already offer some controls for advertisers that respond to these needs. In the coming days and months, we’re introducing new tools for advertisers to more easily and consistently manage where their ads appear across YouTube and the web.

  • Safer default for brands. We’re changing the default settings for ads so that they show on content that meets a higher level of brand safety and excludes potentially objectionable content that advertisers may prefer not to advertise against. Brands can opt in to advertise on broader types of content if they choose.
  • Simplified management of exclusions. We’ll introduce new account-level controls to make it easier for advertisers to exclude specific sites and channels from all of their AdWords for Video and Google Display Network campaigns, and manage brand safety settings across all their campaigns with a push of a button.
  • More fine-tuned controls. In addition, we’ll introduce new controls to make it easier for brands to exclude higher risk content and fine-tune where they want their ads to appear.

Increasing resources, accelerating reviews and improving transparency

We’ll offer advertisers and agencies more transparency and visibility on where their ads are running, and in the coming months we’ll expand availability of video-level reporting to all advertisers.

We'll be hiring significant numbers of people and developing new tools powered by our latest advancements in AI and machine learning to increase our capacity to review questionable content for advertising. In cases where advertisers find their ads were served where they shouldn’t have been, we plan to offer a new escalation path to make it easier for them to raise issues. In addition, we’ll soon be able to resolve these cases in less than a few hours.

We believe the combination of these new policies and controls will significantly strengthen our ability to help advertisers reach audiences at scale, while respecting their values. We will continue to act swiftly to put these new policies and processes in place across our ad network and YouTube. But we also intend to act carefully, preserving the value we currently provide to advertisers, publishers and creators of all sizes. In the end, there’s nothing more important to Google than the trust we’ve built amongst our users, advertisers, creators and publishers. Brand safety is an ongoing commitment for us, and we’ll continue to listen to your feedback.

Posted by Philipp Schindler
Chief Business Officer, Google

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What: Google Marketing Next keynote live stream
When: Tuesday, May 23, 9:00 a.m. PT/12:00 p.m. ET.
Duration: 1 hour
Where: On the DoubleClick Blog

Be the first to hear about Google’s latest marketing innovations, the moment they’re announced. Watch live as my team and I share new Ads, Analytics and DoubleClick innovations designed to improve your ability to reach consumers, simplify campaign measurement and increase your productivity. We’ll also give you a sneak peek at how brands are starting to use the Google Assistant to delight customers.

Register for the live stream here.

Until then, follow us on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn for previews of what’s to come.

Posted by Sridhar Ramaswamy
Senior Vice President, Ads & Commerce

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With consumers watching video across screens and devices, you need to be able to reach these audiences wherever they are — on YouTube, on the web and on apps — and analyze your campaign results in tandem. This requires access to engaging formats and to reporting and measurement capabilities that work across your buys. Today, we’re excited to announce several improvements to YouTube buying and reporting in DoubleClick that make it easier to align your YouTube and cross-exchange buys under one roof, and understand how your viewers are engaging with your brand across all of your media strategies.

New YouTube formats to drive awareness and consideration

Bumper ads, now available in DoubleClick Bid Manager, are YouTube’s 6-second non-skippable video format. Bumpers are great for driving upper-funnel brand impact at an efficient CPM and in a mobile-friendly way. TrueView Shopping ads, currently in beta in DoubleClick Bid Manager, allow you to add product details from your Google Merchant Center account to your video ads on YouTube, making it easier for viewers to engage and learn more about your products.

Enhanced reporting for YouTube TrueView campaigns in DoubleClick

Starting soon, we'll automatically track YouTube TrueView campaigns bought through DoubleClick Bid Manager with pixels from DoubleClick Campaign Manager. No more waiting for support to manually set them up.

Automated tracking enables us to offer substantial enhancements to TrueView reporting across the DoubleClick suite:

  1. Enhanced conversion tracking in DoubleClick Bid Manager. Now you can measure de-duplicated conversions across YouTube TrueView and cross-exchange inventory.
  2. A wide variety of brand metrics: Easily track additional brand metrics in DoubleClick Campaign Manager for TrueView and cross-exchange buys. Metrics now include: standard VAST, viewability, audibility and visibility metrics.
  3. Automated TrueView attribution: See how TrueView impressions factor into your viewers’ conversion paths without having to manually set anything up. We’ll expose TrueView in DoubleClick Campaign Manager’s attribution reports automatically, helping you compare different models of assigning credit to your TrueView campaigns (e.g. last interaction, first interaction, linear and time decay).
  4. Data extraction for custom analyses: TrueView data is now available in DoubleClick Campaign Manager data transfer files, so you can extract the raw data and complete custom analyses, or export your data into Data Studio to build advanced dashboards and visualizations. This allows you to determine campaign effectiveness across media and can inform your strategy for future campaigns.

Track standard VAST metrics, core viewability metrics and new audibility and visibility metrics in DoubleClick Campaign Manager for your TrueView campaigns bought in DoubleClick Bid Manager.

It’s difficult to analyze and understand what’s working best — and what isn’t working — when your media exists in silos. Combining your video strategy under one roof, in one reporting interface and with a single set of brand metrics can help you understand which strategies are performing well across all of your inventory. Consolidation with DoubleClick can lead to greater efficiency, reliability and insight for your video advertising.

Posted by Rany Ng
Director, Product Management, Google Video Ads

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Having successful bid strategies is paramount to successful campaigns. To help you monitor the performance of your bid strategies, and identify and fix potential issues, we’re introducing a helpful health panel with details and recommendations for fixes, a timeline to show when issues start and end, and icons representing issue severity in the new bid strategies Overview page.

Quickly uncover issues affecting your bid strategy

It can sometimes be challenging to identify the issues that are holding back your bid strategies. That's why the bid strategies Overviews page will now automatically surface those issues and help you monitor any fixes you decide to apply.

Under the performance summary graph, you’ll now see a timeline highlighting days when an issue was detected and when a fix was applied. For example, if you’ve applied a fix to increase the max bid limit for your bid strategy, you can now see when that fix was made and monitor its impact on performance.

Easily see the issues affecting your bid strategy

Diagnose your bid strategy, at a glance

New icons throughout the bid strategies page will help you identify the severity of detected issues, status of automated fixes, and when your bid strategy is learning. For example, if a small number of keywords are hitting the max bid limit, you’ll see the minor issues icon:

 

However, if a large number of keywords are hitting the max bid limit, the critical issues icon will show:

 

These icons let you quickly see the severity of all your issues and make it easy to prioritize the ones you should fix first. You can also see a brief summary of all the issues detected on a particular day by hovering over the icon in the performance summary graph.

Take action to improve performance

When bid strategy issues are detected, you’ll want to address them quickly to minimize potential negative impact. The new health panel provides more information about the issues affecting your bid strategy and what you can do to fix them. For each message that’s displayed, you’ll see an overview of the issue, and where possible, the estimated impact on conversions, revenue and spend, as well as links to learn more or apply an automatic fix.

For example, if your campaign budgets are capped, you may see a message with details about the issue and a recommendation to increase daily budgets to drive additional sales. With one click, you can automatically apply the recommendation and move on to the next one.

The health panel provides details about issues and, where applicable, automatic fixes

Merkle | Periscopix, a London-based performance marketing agency, has been using these new features to successfully monitor their bid strategies:

"I found the DoubleClick bid strategy health feature a definite time-saver, and can envision it becoming the first step for the effective management of bid strategies. It allows for the quick and effective diagnosis of both critical and minor strategy issues, and provides meaningful recommendations and insights that are immediately actionable within a few clicks” - Ruaridh Stewart, Senior PPC Account Manager, Merkle | Periscopix
 

You can learn more about monitoring the health and performance of your bid strategies in the DoubleClick Help Center.

Posted by Tris Southey
Product Manager, DoubleClick Search

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Cross-posted from the Google Agency Blog

Measurement has been top of mind in our recent conversations with advertisers, and for good reason. As we’ve said many times, “If you can’t measure it, how do you know it worked?” Committing to measurement is critical, but just the first step. We believe that that the industry needs metrics that are trusted, transparent and easily verified. Today, we’re pleased to share several updates on the work we’re doing with third party verification and audit partners to ensure that the metrics available from Google are objective and accurate.

Transparency and trust are the core principles of our measurement strategy. We strongly believe in the need for third-party accreditation through the Media Rating Council (MRC). We gained our first accreditations back in 2006, and for over ten years we’ve partnered with the MRC, advocating for standards across the industry and contributing to ongoing discussions that set guidelines for measuring the effectiveness of ads. We currently maintain over 30 MRC accreditations across display and video, desktop and mobile web, mobile apps, and clicks, plays, impressions and viewability.

MRC accreditation for 3rd party viewability reporting on YouTube

Since 2015, we've completed integrations with Moat, Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify to enable third-party viewability reporting on YouTube. These integrations offer advertisers additional choice for measuring viewability on YouTube, alongside Active View.

Today, we’re announcing that each of these integrations will undergo a stringent, independent audit for MRC accreditation. The audit will validate that data collection, aggregation and reporting for served video impressions, viewable impressions, related viewability statistics and General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) across desktop and mobile for each integration adheres to MRC and IAB standards. In short, advertisers will have even greater confidence in the metrics returned by these third party partners about their campaigns on YouTube.

“Google’s announcement that they are undertaking an independent audit of their 3rd party viewability reporting integrations is a positive step forward for marketers. At the ANA, our goal is to create transparency for the advertising supply chain. This action from Google today demonstrates their commitment to partnering with us to deliver this goal."
—Bob Liodice, President and CEO, Association for National Advertisers

New MRC accreditations for DoubleClick and AdWords

Our commitment to MRC accreditation goes beyond our media to include our platform solutions as well. We maintain several accreditations for DoubleClick already, and today we’re announcing that we are now fully accredited for video impressions and viewability statistics for desktop web, mobile web and mobile app in DoubleClick Campaign Manager.

We are also seeking MRC accreditation for video impressions and viewability statistics and GIVT detection for display and video in both AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager. These MRC audits will span across all video available through these buying platforms — including YouTube and partner inventory.

"Google's commitment to MRC's initiatives has been unwavering over time, and their participation in industry standards projects has been helpful. We look forward to working on these new audits and expanding the industry's trust as it relates to YouTube's third party integrations and DoubleClick Bid Manager."
—George Ivie, CEO and Executive Director, Media Rating Council

“Google’s announcement to bring more media transparency is important progress that will help move the industry forward. At P&G, we are encouraged by Google’s actions, which should make a positive impact on creating a clean and productive media supply chain.”
—Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble

With so much activity underway, we know that it can be difficult to stay current. For an up to date list of all MRC accreditations, click here.

Transparency and trust are fundamental to measurement, and they’re fundamental to our strategy for giving marketers and publishers the metrics and insights they need to make better decisions. A solid foundation has been created, but there is much more work to do. In 2017, we’ll continue to seek ways to raise the bar on transparent and trustworthy measurement, and we welcome your partnership along the way.

Posted by Babak Pahlavan
Senior Director of Product Management, Analytics Solutions and Measurement, Google