Earlier this year, Google announced that it was expanding paid search advertising to the Google Play store. Given that people frequently go there to search for apps, this seemed like an obvious place for search ads, and it's still surprising it's taken Google this long to offer them to app makers.
Better late than never though. Google has been testing the ads since February, but on Wednesday, announced a full roll-out to all advertisers and developers who use Search app install campaigns on AdWords.
According to Google, Google Play reaches over a billion people on Android devices in over 190 countries, so there's a lot of potential reach here.
"Search Ads on Google Play can provide consumers new ways to discover apps that they otherwise might have missed and help developers drive more awareness of their apps," says Surojit Chatterjee, Director of Product Management for Mobile Search Ads at Google.
"As we expand the opportunities for developers to promote their apps, we’re also committed to providing conversion tracking tools that work seamlessly across channels and align with whichever measurement solution a developer chooses to use," says Chatterjee. "That’s why we’re introducing Android first app opens, a new conversion tracking solution that measures when a user first opens an app after clicking on an ad and completing an Android app install. In addition to providing app conversion tracking across Search, Display and YouTube, this new solution also allows developers to better align the conversion volume they see in AdWords with the data they see in a third-party measurement solution. First app opens are the standard conversion type for third-party solutions, so we’re working with key partners like Tune, AppsFlyer, Kochava, Adjust and Apsalar to ensure data consistency and give developers the freedom to use reporting and optimization features across AdWords and third-party solutions of their choice."
Google says that Universal App Campaigns will soon (in the coming weeks) make it easier to promote apps on Google Play in addition to Google Search, YouTube, AdMob, and the Google Display Network.
Images via Google