Google’s ‘Remarketing in Search’ programme could have huge impact on existing remarketing approach

Google recently launched a new beta 'Remarketing in Search', that could have a substantial impact on the way we traditionally use remarketing. It aims to take the benefits of remarketing and leverage them within the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Until now Adwords remarketing was based on the Google display network (GDN) and was a product where marketers could select various audiences based on their behavioural web page browsing history. Remarketed ads would then be targeted to entice browsers and potential customers, who may have entered the conversion funnel, back to a certain webpage where they are more likely to perform a conversion function.

Google's beta programme now allows advertisers to target users on the search network based on their keyword search history within SERPS. This is a powerful targeting option for marketers whose aim is to increase brand awareness, obtain new customers and tailor ads to existing customers with the SERPS.


Some of the major benefits of remarketing in search in relation to the placement of ads on the SERPs include:  

  • Ability to monitor bids on expensive generic keywords, as ads will be targeted towards browsers that have already been to a certain site and therefore more likely to convert.
  • Higher quality of traffic as ads are targeted towards keywords instead of webpage history.
  • Tailored ad copy & bidding strategies based on a customer's browsing & conversion history.
  • Option to exclude existing or previous customers from brand awareness campaigns, therefore more targeted advertising, saving costs etc.
  • Ensures the most relevant landing page (LP) is used based on the customer's level of interaction, keyword search and conversion history with the respective Brand.

In a case study, World Travel Holding said it saw a significant 145% increase in click through rate (CTR) versus its original campaigns.

Although this all sounds like the product should be fundamental to any good search engine marketing (SEM) campaign, remarketing in search, like any Google product, comes with boxes that need to be ticked, some which may raise more questions than answers.


Firstly, a concern for most marketers would be the fact that they would essentially be bidding on similar, if not the same keyword for their text ad. As always quality score will determine which ad will be shown. As mentioned, the advantage of bidding higher if need be for an audience you know has already visited your site, has some form of brand awareness and is more likely to convert should justify this. Also once the specific remarketing for search campaigns have a history and gain traction, the quality score should improve thereby helping to reduce cost per click (CPC).

The main red tape requirement for this product would be the fact that marketers must use the specific Google remarketing pixel. This automatically limits Adwords users that have limited pixel placement capabilities.

Also advertisers will have to use discretion with certain 'call to action' ad copy in order to comply with Google policies, but exact details of this are still to be released.

All in all, remarketing for search would allow marketers to create a more personalised search experience, as it gives digital marketers the opportunity to create and target ads based on a users' level of interaction with the brand, from new user to premium member. This is a huge step from the standard advertising options that Adwords currently presents us.

Google Remarketing

Source: Google UK Agency product kick-off Q4 2012

It remains to be seen whether remarketing for search will completely change the face of remarketing as we know it, what will further impact this also depends on what tweaks are made before its release. Despite this I would suggest taking the initiative and testing the beta as soon as possible otherwise you may be left behind on one of Google's most innovative ways to create even more targeted and granular methods of online advertising.

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