Search Ads to Target App Downloaders

Because search is one of the biggest drivers of app installs in the Play Store, Google is launching Search Ads on Google Play to its advertisers.

This move aims to capture people’s attention as they download new apps in what Google refer to as “I want-to-know,” “I want-to-go,” “I want-to-do,” and “I want-to-buy” moments. For example, someone getting ready to run a marathon may search for a mileage tracker app or a foodie may look for cooking apps. The update will start rolling out today to everyone who runs Search app install campaigns on AdWords.

Nordeus, a Serbian company that develops games for social networking sites, was one of the Search Ads’ early testers. According to Tomisalv Mihajlović, Nordeus’ chief marketing officer, Google Play inventory is already helping the company see significantly more app installs for Top Eleven, its top-selling football game.

“Search has already been a key component of our app promotion strategy,” says Mihajlović. “We now have an even bigger opportunity to connect with people in the moment they’re looking for new apps to download.”


To complement this move, Google is also introducing Android First App Opens, which will help advertisers better track their conversions in terms of when consumers are installing apps, opening them for the first time and taking actions within them. The tool, which works cross-channel, allows users to use advanced strategies for automated bidding, such as target CPA. In addition, advertisers can better align their AdWords conversion volume with the data they see from third-party solutions.

Universal App Campaigns, which was announced back in May, will start rolling out in the next few weeks. According to Google, this product will make it easier for marketers to promote their apps on Google Play, as well as its other properties such as YouTube and the Google Display Network.

“As the apps ecosystem continues to grow, we’re dedicated to creating products that help developers get their apps to the users who will love them,” wrote Surojit Chatterjee, director of product management for Google’s Mobile Search Adds, in a blog post.


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