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Adwords-Search student - Search Advertising Advanced test Updated: 2023

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Exam Code: Adwords-Search Search Advertising Advanced test student November 2023 by team

Adwords-Search Search Advertising Advanced Exam

Exam: Adwords-Search Search Advertising Advanced Exam

Exam Details:
- Number of Questions: The test consists of approximately 100 multiple-choice questions.
- Time: Candidates are given 120 minutes to complete the exam.

Course Outline:
The Search Advertising Advanced test is designed to assess professionals' advanced knowledge and skills in creating and optimizing search advertising campaigns using Google AdWords. The course covers the following topics:

1. Advanced Campaign Settings and Options
- Advanced campaign settings (location, language, device targeting)
- Ad scheduling and bid adjustments
- Advanced ad delivery options (ad rotation, frequency capping)
- Dynamic search ads and remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA)

2. Advanced Keyword Research and Selection
- Keyword match types and their uses
- Keyword research tools and techniques
- Long-tail keywords and their importance
- Negative keywords and their impact on campaign performance

3. Advanced Ad Formats and Ad Extensions
- Expanded text ads and responsive search ads
- Ad extensions (sitelinks, callouts, structured snippets)
- Ad customizers for dynamic ad content
- Ad quality and best practices for ad copywriting

4. Bidding Strategies and Optimization
- Bidding strategies (manual CPC, automated bidding)
- Conversion tracking and setting bid adjustments
- Ad rank and Quality Score optimization techniques
- Performance monitoring and campaign optimization

5. Performance Measurement and Analysis
- Key performance metrics and their interpretation
- Google Analytics integration for deeper insights
- Conversion tracking and attribution modeling
- A/B testing and experimentation for campaign improvement

Exam Objectives:
The test aims to assess candidates' understanding and proficiency in the following areas:

1. Advanced campaign settings and options for targeting and ad delivery
2. Competence in conducting advanced keyword research and selection
3. Proficiency in creating effective ad formats and utilizing ad extensions
4. Understanding of bidding strategies and campaign optimization techniques
5. Ability to measure campaign performance and make data-driven decisions

Exam Syllabus:
The test syllabus covers the following topics:

- Advanced Campaign Settings and Options
- Advanced campaign settings (location, language, device targeting)
- Ad scheduling and bid adjustments
- Advanced ad delivery options (ad rotation, frequency capping)
- Dynamic search ads and remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA)

- Advanced Keyword Research and Selection
- Keyword match types and their uses
- Keyword research tools and techniques
- Long-tail keywords and their importance
- Negative keywords and their impact on campaign performance

- Advanced Ad Formats and Ad Extensions
- Expanded text ads and responsive search ads
- Ad extensions (sitelinks, callouts, structured snippets)
- Ad customizers for dynamic ad content
- Ad quality and best practices for ad copywriting

- Bidding Strategies and Optimization
- Bidding strategies (manual CPC, automated bidding)
- Conversion tracking and setting bid adjustments
- Ad rank and Quality Score optimization techniques
- Performance monitoring and campaign optimization

- Performance Measurement and Analysis
- Key performance metrics and their interpretation
- Google Analytics integration for deeper insights
- Conversion tracking and attribution modeling
- A/B testing and experimentation for campaign improvement

Candidates are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of these courses to successfully pass the test and demonstrate their proficiency in advanced search advertising techniques using Google AdWords.
Search Advertising Advanced Exam
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Google Advertising student - BingNews Search results Google Advertising student - BingNews Google Presentation May Change How We Think About Ranking

Google’s Danny Sullivan posted details of a recent presentation he gave that focused on how the SEO community may have misunderstood how search rankings work, blaming the misunderstanding on Google’s guidance and documentation.

One of the examples he gave was how virtually the entire publishing industry adopted the idea of adding author pages and bylines based on the idea that Google’s algorithm was looking for that when in fact Google does not (according to Google’s Danny Sullivan).

However, the main point of the presentation wasn’t that Google doesn’t look for author pages.

The subject of the presentation was how Google’s guidance may not sufficiently take into account how those outside of Google may interpret it.

Danny wrote:

“The gap between what Google says to creators and what creators hear about being successful in Google Search needs to get better. That’s largely on us.

It’s something we’ll be working on. People-first content remains the path to success, but we hopefully can find better ways to communicate this…”

He used as an example of how some SEOs take what’s in their documentation or in the search quality ratings too literally when Google actually meant what was written in a broad sense and not in a specific sense.

Danny used as an example the documentation about how to assess a webpage, which was interpreted as indicating what is in Google’s ranking algorithm.

Danny explained:

“Our guidance is generally about a broad goal.

For example, we advise people to think of the product content in a way that *makes you want to trust it* (not Google, you – or a reader) with examples of what might cause people to trust content, such as background about an author….”

Danny means that when Google said to evaluate your content from the perspective of whether it instills trust with features like an author page, Google’s not saying that their algorithm is looking for author pages. Google’s just saying to evaluate your site in this way.

Danny talked about the challenge of communicating what Google wants:

“People focus on us talking about an author page as being something that people might expect from people-first content and believe Google itself wants that specific thing, as if we’re going to check for it and rank content better for having it (we don’t).”

How SEOs Should Approach Google’s Documentation

The next part of Danny’s presentation is remarkable because it completely changes how we should think about Google’s algorithms based on what’s in Google’s documentation.  The next step from there is to then rethink what is generally understood about how Google ranks websites.

Danny presented a slide with a quote from Google’s documentation, with the parts that some SEOs mistakenly focus on.

The first slide shows what the documentation says:

What we say: a broad goal
‘Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site’s About page?'”

The second slide is the same passage but with what SEOs take away from it:

  • background about the author
  • links to an author page
  • About page?’

Danny goes on to say how those cherry picked sections of what Google advises then get turned into recommendations for things Google never intended.

And again, it must be emphasized that Danny was not wagging his finger at SEOs. He was taking ownership for the failure of the documentation to communicate clearly by taking into account how it would be perceived from the outside.

He posted:

“Further complicating things, some read our guidance and make definitive recommendations we’re not actually saying, like “If you have an About page, you rank better!”

You don’t.

It doesn’t work that way.”

Danny Encourages More Critical Thinking

Danny then asked SEOs to think more critically about what people are telling them, to look closer at what some SEOs are saying.

He advised that there’s a difference between someone expressing an opinion of what they believed versus someone saying that this is what Google does.

Google Presentation May Change How We Think About Ranking

Google Presentation May Change How We Think About Ranking

Danny advised:

“Nothing with Google ranking – or in life in general – is that simple.

If someone is telling you “this is what Google says to do,” are they making clear if it’s what we actually have said or if it’s their interpretation?”

True Meaning Of Google’s Guidance?

An important takeaway was the part of his presentation devoted to explaining that much of the documentation for recent updates was essentially rehash of the same guidance from decades and not really new or specific to these recent updates.

And it’s true that Google has been advising the same thing for decades about being helpful and people-first.

The only difference between then and now is that back then we all kind of knew Google didn’t have the technology to create ranking signals that corresponded to what they were trying to rank.

When Google says the same thing today it’s against the background of AI, neural networks and machine learning.

So, unlike in 2002 or 2011, we tend to accept that it’s plausible that what’s in the documentation is also in the algorithm in some form or another.

Danny shared a startling fact:

“Some people I’ve interacted with over the past few weeks believe our guidance about success with Google Search is new, that they now have to do something different.

But for us at Google, that’s confusing, because it’s not new.

The guidance is based on years-old and even decades-old guidance…”

He then posted the following slides to show how there’s no difference between Google’s advice then and now.

Guidance From 2022

Google Presentation May Change How We Think About Ranking

Google Presentation May Change How We Think About Ranking

Guidance From 2011

Google Presentation May Change How We Think About Ranking

Google Presentation May Change How We Think About Ranking

Guidance From 2002 Is Same As People-First Guidance Today

Google Presentation May Change How We Think About Ranking

Google Presentation May Change How We Think About Ranking

This Changes How We Think About Google’s Guidance

This really should deliver everyone a pause about how we should consider Google’s guidance.

As a consequence, that may also change how we should think about Google’s algorithms.

Earlier this week the big takeaway from Danny Sullivan’s presentation was his statement to “buckle up,” a statement that was taken out of context to mean that there were disruptive updates coming.

What Danny actually said in his presentation was far more consequential than that one phrase taken out of context. As can be seen clearly now is that the SEO industry might want to consider slowing down to rethink Google’s documentation because Google may be doing that as well.

Read Danny Sullivan’s post on Mastodon

Thu, 16 Nov 2023 20:27:00 -0600 en text/html
Google Voice Pricing Guide in 2023

Google occasionally introduces promotions or offers that could help you get a much lower price for Google Voice services. These promotions can vary over time and by region.

Here are a few ways Google Voice discounts, or offers that might be available.

Utilize Google Workspace

Google sometimes bundles its services together, offering discounts to users who subscribe to multiple Google services. These services include Google Workspace (formerly G Suite), Google Fi or Google One storage plans.

Student or Educational Discount

Google often provides discounts to students and educational institutions. You can get these promos via its Google Workspace for Education team or from your Google Workspace partner.

Here is a price breakdown to see how some of Google Voice’s biggest competitors compare:

Google Voice vs. Line2

Both Google Voice and Line2 cater to both personal and business users. Both platforms offer features tailored to professional communication needs, such as unlimited domestic calling, SMS text messaging and a mobile app—but notable differences exist.

Google Voice lets you make domestic and international calls from your Google Voice number. In contrast, Line2’s international texting rates are 10 cents per outbound message. Calls outside the U.S. and Canada will also be charged additional fees based on their international rates.

Google Voice vs. Zoom Phone

Each competitor offers unlimited domestic calling, text messaging and a mobile app. Both platforms shine with their close integration with a video conferencing platform. Zoom Phone is integrated with the Zoom platform, which enables seamless transitions between voice and video calls. While Google offers video conferencing through Google Meet, it is separate from Google Voice.

Zoom Phone offers more advanced business-oriented features including call routing, queuing and analytics. While Google Voice offers analytics on higher-tier plans, they are generally less developed than the analytics Zoom Phone offers. In addition, Zoom Phone has auto-attendants and ring groups on the basic plan, while these are only available on higher-tier plans of Google Voice.

Thu, 16 Nov 2023 02:22:00 -0600 Monique Danao en-US text/html
An In-Depth Guide To Google Ads

If you’re not using Google Ads, this could be the wake-up call your business needs.

Google Ads is the most widely used digital marketing platform, bringing in over $58 billion in ad revenue in Q2 alone.

Google also owns just under 92% of the search engine market share globally, processing over 8.5 billion searches each day.

This in-depth guide covers the ins and outs of the Google Ads platform, leaving you with the tools, techniques, and best practices to achieve optimal digital marketing results.

What Is Google Ads?

Google Ads is an online advertising platform that allows advertisers to pay for ad space on Google-owned properties.

The platform has been around since October 2000 and was formerly known as Google AdWords.

Since its conception, the advertising platform has evolved and expanded its offerings. It officially rebranded to Google Ads in July 2018.

Google Ads is a great way for companies to increase visibility to potential customers across its vast array of the Google network.

The most common form of Google Ads is a Search ad, which shows up on the search engine results page (SERP) when users search relevant products and searches of the advertiser.

As you can see above, ads for the search “project management” take up the top two slots on the search results page, followed by an organic result.

However, bidding on keywords doesn’t always mean that your ad will show above an organic result, let alone at the top of the page.

While Google Search ads are the most common, companies rely on its other products like Display ads, Shopping ads, YouTube ads, and more – depending on their goals.

Speaking of goals, let’s discuss who should use Google Ads.

[PPC Trends 2024] Download the free ebook

When Should I Use Google Ads?

Google Ads can be used for a wide range of business objectives and goals.

If your company is looking to meet any of these objectives, it’s worth exploring the potential of Google Ads further.

  • Starting a new business. Google Ads provides the opportunity to get in front of new audiences quickly, especially when launching a new business. Since organic traffic typically takes time with new content, Google Ads helps you reach potential customers faster.
  • Increase lead generation. If your business relies on lead generation, such as collecting email addresses or contact information, Google Ads can help you reach users interested in your products or services and direct them to lead-generation forms on your website.
  • Boosting sales and revenue. For e-commerce brands, Google Ads can be a powerful tool to drive sales. From Search to Shopping to Video, your ads can showcase products directly in search results or while a user is browsing the internet.
  • Promoting time-sensitive content. If you have time-sensitive promotions, events, or sales, Google Ads can help you get the word out quickly and effectively to a targeted audience.
  • Reach new audiences. Google Ads provides a myriad of targeting options, allowing you to reach specific demographics, interests, geographic locations, and more. This can be especially beneficial for niche markets.
  • Win back website visitors. If you want to re-engage users who have previously visited your website but didn’t convert, remarketing campaigns can remind them of your products or services and encourage them to return.

Get the picture yet?

Google Ads can be used for almost any business goal or objective out there.

With many different campaign types to choose from, the platform can be effective in helping reach those overarching business goals.

How Does Google Ads Work?

Before diving into how Google Ads works, it’s important to deliver context on who is involved in the art of advertising.

There are three key participants involved in a Google Ad auction:

  • The consumer/searcher.
  • The advertiser.
  • The advertising platform.

Google Ads primarily uses a “cost-per-click” (CPC) model for most campaigns.

For campaigns with a primary goal of awareness, the typical cost model used is “cost-per-mille” (CPM). This equates to how much an advertiser pays per 1,000 impressions.

This means that advertisers bid on specific keywords to ensure their ad shows up to users who are searching those keywords.

But because it is a bidding model, advertisers are also competing with other brands for that coveted ad space.

In a CPC model, an advertiser’s bids are considered a “maximum bid” – essentially, how much you’re willing to pay per click for someone to click on your ad and hopefully purchase.

When a user searches for a keyword that matches what an advertiser has bid on, their ad will show to that potential customer.

During the user’s Google search, Google Ads performs a real-time auction to determine what advertisers’ ads should show to that particular user. Many factors play into the ad order on the SERP, which we’ll get into later.

To summarize how Google Ads work, an advertiser has to know what keywords they should bid on in their campaigns. Those targeted keywords then inform Google Ads when and how their ads should appear to a user.

And finally, there has to be enough user interest for those targeted keywords for an ad to appear.

Google Ads Basic Terms

Now that you’ve got a basic understanding of how the Google Ads auction works, let’s go over a few necessary basic terms.

Make sure to study and familiarize yourself with them.

This section will cover the following definitions:

  • Ad assets (formerly “extensions”).
  • Ad Rank.
  • Bidding strategy.
  • Campaign type.
  • Click-through-rate (CTR).
  • Conversion rate.
  • Impression.
  • Keywords.
  • Landing page.
  • Quality Score.
  • Targeting.

Ad assets

Ad assets enable advertisers to include additional content to complement a search ad. If an ad asset is clicked, it would be at the same cost-per-click (CPC) as the ad itself.

Ad assets currently available in Google Ads include:

  • Sitelinks.
  • Call.
  • Location.
  • Callout.
  • Structured snippets.
  • Price.
  • App.
  • Lead forms.

Ad Rank

Ad Rank is a metric created by Google Ads. It’s a value that determines your ad’s position in any given auction, or whether your ad will show at all.

Google determines Ad Rank by calculating numerous factors, such as your bid amount, real-time ad quality, competition, and more.

Ad Rank is covered in more detail in the next section.

Bidding Strategy

A bidding strategy is set at the campaign level in Google Ads.

Simply put, a bidding strategy is a set of rules and parameters, defined by the advertiser, to help determine the optimal cost per action on ads.

Google offers many different bidding types to choose from based on the campaign goal.

At a high level, bidding strategies are clustered into three main categories:

  • Conversion-based bidding. Also known as Smart Bidding, Google provides numerous strategies to take into consideration any conversion goals such as CPA or ROAS.
  • Click-based bidding. These bid strategies are typically chosen if the campaign goal is focused on generating website traffic.
  • Reach-based bidding. Different bid strategies are available if the campaign’s primary objective is brand awareness.

Keep practicing to learn the ins and outs of bidding strategy types further in this article.

Campaign Type

When creating a new Google Ads campaign, a campaign type needs to be chosen.

The campaign type determines:

  • What Google inventory an ad can show on.
  • What ad formats and assets are available.
  • What type of targeting is available.

Be sure to check out the types of Google Ads campaigns section for further details.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click-through rate (CTR) is another key Google Ads metric.

To calculate CTR, simply take the number of clicks received on an ad divided by the number of impressions.

Different campaign types yield different CTR benchmarks, mainly due to differences in ad position, where the ad is shown, ad format, and more.

For example, a Search ad typically reports a higher CTR than a Display ad because the intent is greater on Search, whereas Display is more passive in nature.

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate measures the volume of primary actions (conversions) against the number of clicks on an ad.

Conversion actions could include a purchase, website form submission, subscription signup, and much more.

A high conversion rate usually means the ad was relevant to the user, as well as the content presented on the website page, which led to that ultimate purchase.


In simple terms, an impression is counted every time an ad is shown on Google.

Sometimes impressions are referred to as “eyeballs” on an ad.

The impression metric is used when calculating CTR and is useful when analyzing low CTR scenarios.

Keep in mind that one user can account for multiple impressions – meaning a user can see the same ad more than once – so impressions do not equate to the amount of unique “eyeballs” on ads.


A keyword is a word or phrase advertisers choose to bid on in Search campaigns.

When choosing keywords to bid on, it’s important to select phrases that align with what your target customer is looking for.

There are three types of keyword match types to choose from in Google Ads:

  • Broad match.
  • Phrase match.
  • Exact match.

On the other side, negative keywords consist of terms that you don’t want your ads to show for.

When implemented properly, Google will make sure that your ad won’t appear if a user searches for a phrase within your negative keyword list.

Negative keyword lists can be added at the ad group, campaign, or account level.

Landing Page

A landing page is where a user will land (no pun intended) on your website after clicking an ad.

When creating a landing page, it’s important to make sure that the website experience delivers on the ad promise.

If the landing page doesn’t match what’s presented in the ad, you’ve essentially wasted marketing dollars due to a poor user experience.

Quality Score

The Quality Score metric measures – you guessed it – the quality of your ad.

It’s made of measuring three components and presented with a score ranging from 1 to 10:

  • Expected CTR.
  • Ad relevance.
  • Landing page experience.

Read more in the next section on Ad Rank for a full picture of Quality Score.


Google provides many options to narrow down who to show your ad to.

This is referred to as targeting: choosing specific criteria to define and reach a particular audience.

Depending on the campaign type, Google allows these types of audience targeting:

  • Location targeting.
  • Demographic targeting.
  • Interest-based targeting.
  • Device targeting.
  • Ad schedule targeting.
  • Retargeting.
  • Placement targeting.
  • Contextual targeting.
  • Custom or combination targeting.

Effective targeting is crucial to ensure your ads reach the intended audience and achieve campaign goals.

[Recommended Read] → PPC Trends 2024

How Much Do Google Ads Cost?

While there are plenty of benchmark resources out there for reference, the best answer is this:

It depends.

There are multiple factors to consider how much Google Ads cost. The main ones include:

  • Your average daily budget.
  • Ad Rank.

Let’s look at each of these a little further.

Average Daily Budget

The maximum daily budget is determined by the advertiser and is set at the campaign level.

But, if you work in Google Ads, you’ll see that the daily budget is not followed to the letter by Google.

Per Google’s definition of spending limits, it determines cost by:

  • A daily spending limit (no more than 2x your average daily budget).
  • A monthly spending limit (no more than 30.4x your average daily budget).

So, campaign spend can sometimes look like this.

It’s critical to set an average daily budget high enough to meet the campaign goals, as well as the business goals.

It’s also important to do your research on average CPCs in your industry before setting a daily budget.

For example, if your industry is competitive, where average CPCs could range between $20-$30, a daily budget of $50 will not cut it. In fact, your ads likely won’t show as much because the algorithm’s learning is restricted.

Ad Rank

One of the primary factors that affects how much Google Ads cost is the Ad Rank metric.

Ad Rank is a value assigned to each individual ad by Google, which determines the ad position on the search engine results page.

Remember, when your ad is entered into an auction, Google compares your Ad Rank to other advertisers bidding on that same keyword.

It’s not enough to set a big daily budget and massive CPC limits.

While CPC bids are one facet of Ad Rank, there are others to consider. The main components that make up ad rank are:

  • Bid amount.
  • Quality Score/ad quality (expected CTR, ad relevance, landing page experience).
  • Ad Rank thresholds.
  • Competitiveness of auction.
  • Context of a user’s search.

Now, there are items within Ad Rank that you can and cannot influence.

Advertisers are not in control over the auction competition nor the context of a user search. Additionally, since the Ad Rank threshold is dynamic and made up of other advertisers, it’s not something marketers can directly influence.

The most important factors marketers should pay attention to when it comes to optimizing Google Ads cost are the bid amount and ad quality.

  • Bid amount. This is the amount you are willing to pay to show up in a specific position when a user searches a keyword. There are the minimum and maximum thresholds. For example, if you set a maximum CPC of $2 and the next highest bidder has a max CPC of $1.60, you would then pay $1.61 in that auction.
  • Expected CTR. The likelihood that your ad will be clicked on by a potential customer during the ad auction. Google doesn’t provide much context on determining what that likelihood is, unfortunately.
  • Ad relevance. How closely your ad copy and assets match the user’s search query intent.
  • Landing page experience. How relevant or useful the landing page is to the user who clicked on the ad.

Focusing on improving these aspects of a campaign can positively affect the cost efficiency of your Google Ads campaigns.

Types Of Google Ads

Google’s advertising platform provides marketers with numerous digital ad types to use, making it a platform useful for almost any brand.

The following campaign types are available:

  • Search campaigns.
  • Display campaigns.
  • Shopping campaigns.
  • Video campaigns.
  • App campaigns.
  • Performance Max campaigns.
  • Demand Gen campaigns.

Within those campaigns live the following ad types:

  • Text ads.
  • Responsive ads.
  • Image ads.
  • App promotion ads.
  • Video ads.
  • Shopping ads.
  • Call-only ads.

Because ad formats can be used in different campaign types, let’s focus on the Google Ads campaign types a bit further.

Search Campaigns

If you’ve been paying attention, the main focus up until now has been on Search ads.

Search campaigns use the text ad format, more specifically, a Responsive Search ad, that appears on the search engine results page for a particular keyword.

While the primary ad is text-based, marketers can utilize countless ad assets to complement the ad. Some popular ad assets used are image assets, price promotions, and sitelinks.

For example, here is a search ad result for the keyword “standing desk.”

The search ad is indicated by the black “Sponsored” symbol above the brand name.

This example uses image assets, which help deliver the user more visuals of the product to help encourage a click. The advertiser also utilizes additional ad assets like promotions.

As you can see from the example, other ad types appear for this particular search, even above the text ad. Those are known as Shopping campaigns.

Shopping Campaigns

Shopping campaigns let brands promote products more visually and not just on the search results page.

Going back to the “standing desk” example, A shopping campaign ad is made up primarily of the product title, description, price, and product image.

Shopping campaigns are run by the advertisers’ Merchant Center product feed.

There are many more available fields within a product feed that can and should be used to ensure your products are represented in the most accurate way.

Shopping ads can show up on the following Google properties:

  • Search results page.
  • Shopping tab.
  • Google images.
  • Google Search Network partner websites.
  • And more if utilizing Performance Max campaigns.

Display Campaigns

Display campaigns typically use a combination of image and text assets that are shown on web pages or apps within the Google Display Network.

The primary ad format used is the Responsive Display ad. As mentioned above, a Responsive Display ad takes a combination of headlines, descriptions, images, brand logos, or videos to mix and match the ideal ad format for each user.

Display campaigns are ideal for users who want to extend reach to their target audience, or to retarget interested users into re-engaging with them and purchasing.

Google allows advertisers to target (or exclude) specific website categories, apps, or individual placements.

Additionally, Google has recently allowed Display ads to show up on YouTube. This is important to review, especially if you plan on running YouTube ads in conjunction with Display ads to mitigate any potential overlap.

In the example below, a Display ad is shown on the right-hand side of the Good Housekeeping website as I was scrolling the homepage:

Video Campaigns

Video campaigns allow advertisers to show ads not only on YouTube but also on Google video partner websites and apps.

YouTube provides massive, scalable reach to your targeted audience.

If you’re looking to only showcase ads on YouTube, make sure to disable the Google video partners within campaign settings.

There are multiple video ad formats available to choose from based on your goals:

  • Skippable in-stream ads. These ads play either before, during, or after other videos on YouTube. Users have the option to skip the ad after five seconds.
  • Non-skippable in-stream ads. Since these ads are non-skippable, the video length maxes out at 15 seconds.
  • Bumper ads. This is a short video format, comprising only six seconds or less. Users aren’t able to skip these ads. They’re designed to increase awareness and reach users more broadly.
  • In-feed video ads. This ad format only shows on YouTube. The appearance of this particular ad varies based on the ad sizes and format that content publishers support. They appear in areas where users are discovering content. After a viewer clicks on the ad thumbnail, they’re taken to either the brand’s YouTube watch or channel page.
  • Outstream ads. This ad format only appears on Google video partner websites and apps, not on YouTube. They’re only available on mobile and tablet devices.
The example shows a skippable in-stream ad playing before a video I searched for. In the lower right-hand corner of the video, there’s the five-second countdown where a user is able to skip after.

In addition, the example also shows another ad by the same brand, taking up almost the whole real estate on the page.

App Campaigns

App campaigns let advertisers promote their app across most Google properties, including:

  • Google Search.
  • Google Play.
  • YouTube.
  • Gmail.
  • Google Display Network.

Like other campaigns, the ad format and appearance will vary depending on the ad placement.

App install ads are comprised of the following assets:

  • Headlines.
  • Descriptions.
  • Images.
  • Videos.
  • Assets from your app store’s listing.

Performance Max Campaigns

Performance Max campaigns all advertisers to access all of Google’s ad inventory in this single campaign type.

It’s a goal-based campaign intended to complement existing Search campaigns.

Per its name, Performance Max uses conversion signals to find and acquire new customers through all of Google’s channels, including:

  • YouTube.
  • Display.
  • Search.
  • Discover.
  • Gmail.
  • Maps.

The campaign uses other important signal inputs from the advertiser, such as audience signals, creative assets, data feeds, CPA or ROAS goals, and more.

The result?

A responsive ad format that can showcase to users in the form of:

  • Search ad.
  • Display ad.
  • Video ad.
  • Shopping ad.
  • And more.

Demand Gen (Formerly Discovery) Campaigns

Demand Gen campaigns are Google’s existing campaign type, officially debuting in October 2023.

It’s powered by Google’s AI learning, meant to assist advertisers who already serve ads on social media platforms.

This campaign type focuses on creating compelling visual assets to spark action during entertainment touchpoints, including:

  • YouTube (including Shorts).
  • Discover.
  • Gmail.

The ad assets combine a mixture of images and videos into one campaign. The resulting ad formats in Demand Gen campaigns include:

  • Short-form videos.
  • Carousel ads.
  • Portrait images.
  • Square images.

[Discover:] Expert insights & actionable tips for PPC in 2024

Google Ads Bidding Strategies

Choosing the proper bidding strategy in each Google Ads campaign is vital for optimal performance.

But in order to select the right one, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of larger business goals and other metrics.

Before selecting a bidding strategy, seek out the answer to some of these questions:

  • What does the company view as success? Is it a specific ROAS, CPA, or conversion rate?
  • What is the average lifetime value (LTV) of a user?
  • What is the typical cost per acquisition (CPA) for a new user?
  • Does a user purchase just once? Or are most customers repeat purchasers?

Obviously, there’s much more that can be uncovered to gain a better view of the company’s overall goals.

When it comes to selecting a bidding strategy in Google Ads, choose one that aligns most with that particular campaign goal:

  • Conversions.
  • Traffic.
  • Visibility.

Let’s take a look at the available bidding strategies within these three major goal types.

Conversion-Based Bidding

For any campaign that uses conversion tracking or relies heavily on purchases, a Smart Bidding strategy is your best bet.

Smart Bidding is a set of automated bid strategies that use Google machine learning (AI). It optimizes each individual auction in “real-time” and adjusts bids according to a wide range of campaign signals.

There are five Smart Bidding strategies to choose from:

  • Target cost per action (CPA). Helps increase conversion value while optimizing for a specific cost per action (CPA) set at the campaign level.
  • Target return on ad spend (ROAS). Helps increase conversion value while optimizing for a specific return on ad spend (ROAS) set at the campaign level.
  • Maximize Conversions. Ensures the entire budget is spent while optimizing for more conversion volume. This bid strategy isn’t constrained by a CPA or ROAS target.
  • Maximize Conversion Value. Ensures the entire budget is spent while optimizing for more conversion value. This bid strategy isn’t constrained by a CPA or ROAS target.
  • Enhanced cost per click (ECPC). An optional feature that can be used with Manual CPC bidding. Automatically adjusts manual bids to increase conversion volume.

Traffic-Based Bidding

If a campaign’s primary goal is to generate website traffic, choose from one of these two CPC bidding strategies.

  • Maximize clicks. An automated bid strategy where Google automatically manages bids while bringing the most clicks possible for your budget.
  • Manual CPC bidding. Advertisers manage CPC bids manually. Bids can be set at the ad group, keyword, or placement level.

Visibility-Based bidding

There are four different bid strategies to choose from if the goal is brand awareness or visibility.

  • Target Impression Share. Bids are set automatically based on the particular goal of showing an ad at the absolute top of the page, top of the page, or anywhere on the Google SERP.
  • CPM. Also known as “cost per mille” (cost per thousand impressions). Ads are charged based on the number of impressions received on the Google Display Network or YouTube.
  • tCPM. Also known as “target CPM” bidding. Advertisers set an average of how much they’re willing to pay per thousand impressions. Bids are optimized to increase unique reach.
  • vCPM. A manual bidding strategy to use if the goal is increased awareness and not focused on clicks or traffic.

Google Ads Conversion Tracking

You’ve spent all this time learning about setting up Google Ads campaigns.

Now it’s time to learn about how to actually track campaign performance.

If you jump straight into launching a campaign without proper tracking in place, your efforts may as well go to waste.

Ensuring proper conversion tracking setup from the start is a necessary part of the Google Ads process.

Conversion tracking allows you to analyze your data to make more informed optimizations to achieve your goals.

Convinced yet?


Let’s go over two ways to go about conversion tracking for Google Ads.

Using Google Analytics Tracking

Assuming you already have a Google Analytics account and are tracking website performance, the first step is to link those accounts.

By linking Google Analytics and Google Ads, you’ll be able to do things like:

  • Integrate campaign click and cost data to Google Analytics conversion data.
  • Import necessary conversions in Google Ads for conversion tracking and bid strategies.
  • Analyze paths to conversion with other marketing channels.
  • And so much more.

To link your Google Analytics account, go to Tools & Settings > Setup > Linked Accounts.

From there, you’ll be able to choose from dozens of accounts to link based on your needs. You can link accounts in these categories:

  • Conversions.
  • Apps.
  • Customer Match.
  • Lead Export.
  • Store Sales.

To link Google Analytics, you’ll need to make sure you have access to that particular Google Analytics account and property.

Select the property (or properties) to link and save.

Once linked, you’re able to import conversions set up in the chosen Google Analytics property and start measuring conversions!

Google Tag Tracking

If you aren’t using Google Analytics, another way to set up conversion tracking is through the Google tag.

It’s important to note that you don’t need the Google tag and a separate Google Analytics tag. Only one setup is necessary.

Having multiple tags can be detrimental because you run the risk of duplicating conversion counts, which essentially gives Google false data to optimize bidding strategies for.

So, implement the Google tag if you’re not using any other conversion tracking methods.

Google has made it easier for marketers to implement the Google tag.

The Google tag can be installed using a website builder or CMS like Wix, Shopify, etc., or it can be installed manually.

The full tutorial on installing the Google tag can be found here.

Once installed, you can create Conversion Actions to track primary conversions like purchases, demo requests, etc., as well as secondary conversions like email signups etc.

At the end of the day, choose the method for conversion tracking that makes the most sense for your business.

Without proper conversion tracking, it’s not possible to fully optimize Google Ads campaigns, and it will be harder to achieve those goals.

How To Get Started With Google Ads

Hopefully, this guide has convinced you to try out Google Ads.

Getting started is relatively simple and requires a few steps in order to craft your first campaign.

#1: Set up A Google Ads Account

Navigate to to set up your account. In the upper right-hand corner, choose Sign in or Start now.

If you have a current Google account you want to use, you can click Sign in. If you don’t have a Google account, it will prompt you to create a new one.

#2: Add Business Name And website

Next, you’ll need to add your business name (how you want the Google Ads account to be named) and your website URL.

#3: Link Accounts (Optional)

As mentioned in the conversion tracking section, you have the option to link any necessary accounts to Google Ads at the very start.

If you’re not ready to do that yet, don’t fret! You’re able to link accounts at any time under the “Setup” tab later on.

#4: Choose Advertising Goal

Now it’s time to choose the primary advertising goal.

You can choose from four main goal types:

  • Get more calls.
  • Get more website sales or leads.
  • Get more visits to your physical location.
  • Get more views and engagement on YouTube.

Hit “Next” once you’ve chosen the most relevant goal.

#5: Write Your Ad (Option A)

The next logical step, according to Google, is to craft your ad.

At this point, your screen will look like this to craft your first ad:

Part of Google’s version of ‘getting started’ automatically puts you in the flow of creating a “Smart” campaign.

This campaign type is designed to take the “heavy lifting” away from many marketers and let Google do the rest.

Essentially, you’ll create your first ad consisting of headlines and descriptions and then pick your keyword themes.

If creating your first campaign from scratch seems daunting and time-intensive, then this step may be for you. And that’s OK!

But if you’ve made it this far in the ultimate Google Ads guide, there’s another not-so-known route.

#5: Create Your Campaign From Scratch (Option B)

If you’re looking for a bit more control in setting up your Google Ads campaign, this step #5 is for you.

Instead of choosing your objective in step 4, click View more goal types:

You’ll be taken back to this screen, where you can click the down arrow next to Skip and then click Leave Campaign Creation.

#6: Input Billing Information

After exiting campaign creation, you’ll be prompted to input billing information. This is the final step before being able to craft your desired campaign type from scratch.

As you can see, the initial steps to get started with Google Ads are relatively simple.

It’s important to remember that you have options when setting up an account for the first time.

While Google guides marketers to their first Smart campaign creation, it may not always be the best option – especially for seasoned marketers.

[Free Download:] Top PPC trends to shape your 2024 strategy

Google Ads Best Practices

There is a wealth of information on Google Ads best practices; it’d be impossible to sum it all up here!

Best practices are meant to be guidance – not the “end all be all.” They will vary by things like:

  • Campaign type.
  • Audience.
  • Budget.
  • And more.

However, there are some universal best practices to be aware of when launching any Google Ads campaign.

Keep User Intent In Mind With Ad Copy

If your ad copy doesn’t mirror a user’s search query or even their search intent, you’ll likely end up with a lower CTR.

Or worse, a user clicks on an ad when they’re not the right audience, wasting those precious ad dollars.

By keeping keywords grouped by theme, it’s easier to craft ad copy to mirror a search query or, at the very least, relate to that user’s search intent.

Keeping ad headlines relevant to the user’s search query is important to keep a good Quality Score and Ad Rank.

Those metrics help keep your competitive CPC in line so you don’t overspend that ad budget.

By using multiple headlines with Responsive Search ads, you have the opportunity to test out different messaging directly related to a user’s search query to find out what resonates the most.

Maximize Ad Space On The Google SERP

Speaking of ad copy, don’t forget about those ad assets!

By adding relevant ad assets such as sitelinks, lead forms, phone number, and more, your ad can take up more real estate on the Google Search results page.

Why does that matter?

By taking up more ad space on the page, it provides less opportunity for competitor content to show.

The more ad space you take up, the more likely the user is to click on your ad or corresponding asset.

Which can ultimately lead to more conversions and revenue.

Create A Stellar Landing Page Experience

A good ad is nothing without a strong landing page experience.

If your ad is promising a solution to a user’s problem, then that landing page better deliver on that promise.

Not only should the landing page content mirror the ad copy, but it should also be optimized to function as best it can.

What does that mean?

At the very least, ensure the site speed is optimized, especially on mobile devices.

Additionally, make sure the desired call-to-action (CTA) is clear and visible to the user.

If the experience is confusing to them, it’s going to take some extra effort (and possibly marketing dollars) to convert – especially if they leave the site without purchasing.

Have A Negative Keyword Strategy

As keyword match types continue to loosen within Google Ads, make sure to have a solid negative keyword strategy.

By using negative keywords correctly, you’re ensuring that your ads won’t be shown for irrelevant search queries.

If there are certain queries you know you don’t want to show up for at any time, start by creating a “catch-all” negative keyword list and apply it to the account level.

Another good list to have in place is branded keywords, and apply them to any non-brand Search campaigns.

This ensures little-to-no overlap between brand and non-brand searches, as these campaigns perform very differently from each other.

Mining for negative keywords should be done weekly when reviewing the Search Terms Report in Google Ads.

Negative keywords are never a “one-and-done” tactic, as user search intent is ever-evolving.


Google Ads should be an integral part of any paid media strategy.

This ultimate guide to Google Ads gives you the tips, tools, and resources you need to start a successful journey with Google Ads.

Remember – success is in the settings. Creating a sound Google Ads strategy comes from the understanding of larger business goals, as well as knowing the intricacies of the Google Ads platform.

Once you’ve launched your first Google Ads campaign, remember to analyze, refine, and optimize to achieve your goals.

More resources: 

Featured Image: BestForBest/Shutterstock

Tue, 07 Nov 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html
Google Business Profiles Verification Method: Upload Photo At Customer Location

Construction Worker At Site Google Logo

Google Business Profiles is adding a verification method for some categories of businesses to make it easier for them to verify their business with Google. This one, you can upload a picture of your vehicle in the local area where you meet your customers.

This was spotted by Kevin Pauls who posted on X saying that this is a "Win for service area business verifications!" Google has added a new option to upload photos of your vehicle in a "local area where you meet customers," he added.

Here is his screenshot showing this option:

Google Business Profiles Truck Customer Location Verification

I assume this is for some sorts of local service area business categories?

Forum discussion at X.

Thu, 16 Nov 2023 22:11:00 -0600 Barry Schwartz en text/html
Google is rolling out tools that let advertisers create AI-generated content

Google is rolling out a new feature that allow advertisers to create AI generated content using the same technology as the Bard chatbot, confirming a report from earlier this year. The feature is now available in beta on Google's Performance Max advertising product, allowing US advertisers to create and scale text and image assets for campaigns using AI, the company announced in a blog post.

Performance Max is already an AI-powered product that works across multiple Google products including Youtube, search, display and others. It optimizes ads by analyzing performance data, and the new feature supplements that by using AI to assist in asset creation as well. As Google puts it, the features will allow advertisers to quickly create high-quality, personalized assets on various Google platforms.

"Asset variety is a key ingredient for a successful Performance Max campaign," wrote Google's Pallavi Naresh. "You’ve told us that creating and scaling assets can be one of the hardest parts of building and optimizing a cross-channel campaign. Now, you’ll be able to generate new text and image assets for your campaign in just a few clicks."

Google is rolling out tools that let advertisers create AI generated content (Google)

Much like Bard or ChatGPT, users feed prompts to the AI, and it creates unique images and text for each business. Marketers can review and edit any assets created by the system prior to publication. It can be used to create versions of the same ad, or build new ads from scratch. All AI-generated imagery contains a visible watermark and is tagged as such. "We also have guardrails in place to prevent our systems from engaging with inappropriate or sensitive prompts or suggesting policy-violating creatives," Naresh wrote.

The feature should help marketers create advertising materials more quickly, while of course helping Google post those ads and make money more quickly. In that sense, it's pretty much a perfect AI use case for Google, which makes the vast majority of its revenue from advertising. The new system is currently in beta and only available in the US, but is expected to roll out more widely by the end of 2023.

Tue, 07 Nov 2023 18:02:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Colleges Face Gambling Addiction Among Students As Sports Betting Spreads

Author: Jason W. Osborne

(MENAFN- The Conversation) Three out of four college students have gambled in the past year , whether legally or illegally, according to the National Council on Problem Gambling .

An estimated 2% to 3% of U.S. adults have a gambling problem. The portion of college students with a problem, however, is potentially twice that number – up to 6% .

As an educational psychologist who follows gambling in America, I foresee the potential for gambling on campus to become an even bigger problem. Sports betting continues to expand , including on college campuses, since a 2018 Supreme Court ruling allowing states to make it legal .

As a faculty fellow at an institute that promotes responsible gaming , I know that colleges can take steps to curtail problem gambling among students. It is all the more urgent given that adolescents in general, including college students, are often uniquely susceptible to gambling problems , both because of their exposure to video games – which often have hallmarks of gambling behavior – and the stress and anxiety of college life , which can lead to using gambling as a coping strategy .

The spread of legal sports betting

As of November 2023, sports betting is legal in some form in 38 states and Washington, D.C. Further, 26 states allow sports betting online. Bills have been introduced – and some recently passed – in more states. These states include Vermont , Missouri and North Carolina . Thanks to technology, sports betting is now accessible beyond casinos. Anyone can access it online and on their smartphone.

More than US$268 billion has been gambled legally on sports betting between June 2018 and November 2023. Revenue in all U.S. gaming sectors has increased significantly, with sports betting growing the fastest, at an estimated 75% annually . It has generated about $3.9 billion in tax revenue to date.

Sports betting is also becoming more accessible on college campuses. A New York Times investigation found that sports betting companies and universities have essentially “Caesarized” college life . That is to say, they've made campuses resemble elements of the world famous casinos by introducing online gambling to students.

College betting scandals shine light on campus wagering.

These profits have driven increased advertising. Some estimate that total advertising through all media channels could approach $3 billion annually . This includes social media platforms like TikTok, where young adults are more likely to see ads for gambling . A study in the United Kingdom found that 72% of 18- to 24-year-olds have seen gambling ads through social media.

While advertisers reportedly focus on young adults of legal age, research suggests that children under 18 are also being exposed to advertising related to gambling. The intensity of advertising activity on social media has raised concerns and brought scrutiny. Earlier this year, for example, prosecutors in the Massachusetts attorney general's office expressed concern that sports betting and other gambling might spread quickly through college campuses as a result of advertising.

Why college students are at greater risk of gambling addiction

Gambling addiction affects people from all backgrounds and across all ages, but it is an even bigger threat to college students. Adolescents of college age are uniquely likely to engage in impulsive or risky behaviors because of a variety of developmental factors , leaving them more susceptible to take bigger risks and experience adverse consequences.

It's no secret that drinking alcohol is prevalent on college campuses, and this can increase the likelihood of other risk-taking behaviors such as gambling . Like other addictive behaviors, gambling can stimulate the reward centers of the brain , which makes it more difficult to stop even if someone is building up losses.

Sports betting has become more accessible on college campuses with the rise of gambling apps. GCShutter/E+ via Getty Images What colleges and universities can do to help

If you're worried a student in your life might have a gambling problem, the Mayo Clinic describes signs to look for . These include restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop or reduce gambling, gambling more when feeling distressed, and lying to hide gambling or financial losses from it. Gamblers Anonymous provides a 20-question, self-diagnostic questionnaire to help people identify problems or compulsive gambling.

For more resources, organizations like the Gateway Foundation offer information and support to help someone with a gambling problem. Immediate help is available at the national problem gambling helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER . The National Council on Problem Gaming has lists of resources within each state that can provide more local support and assistance.

At the Miami University Institute for Responsible Gaming, Lottery and Sport, my colleagues and I are working to ensure that the recent dramatic expansion of legalized gaming is matched by effective guidance for policymakers and leaders within higher education. Many institutions, like the University of Oregon , have begun to acknowledge that widespread legalized sports betting and gambling can affect their students. A comprehensive and coordinated approach is required to protect them from harm.

There are resources available to help institutions, such as the“get set before you bet” initiative adopted by the University of Colorado, Boulder and others. This gives students practical tips to follow if they are going to gamble, such as setting time and money limits before they start.

Colleges and universities could do even more. According to the International Center for Responsible Gaming , institutions can address gambling risks to students by:

. Ensuring there are clear policies on gambling and making sure they align with alcohol policies. United Educators provides examples of how institutions can create effective policies and support student wellness, like Arizona State's policy . Theirs prohibits legal and illegal gambling at any event related to ASU and reinforces that alcohol possession, consumption or inebriation is illegal for all students under 21.

. Promoting awareness of addiction as a mental health disorder and making resources for getting help available to students.

. Ensuring those who work in campus counseling and health services are familiar with gambling addiction and prepared to support students struggling with addiction or problem behavior. Providers should also be aware that multiple addictions can be present, enhancing the challenges to management and recovery.

. Surveying student attitudes toward gambling to track changes in attitudes, behaviors and norms.

With various sports championships, including in baseball, football and college basketball, taking place throughout the academic year, there's no shortage of occasions for universities to check in with students about sports betting on campus. Gambling addiction is treatable, but preventing it from the start is the best solution.

The Conversation


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Thu, 16 Nov 2023 04:23:00 -0600 Date text/html
Best Credit Cards for Google, Facebook and Other Ad Spend of November 2023

NerdWallet’s editorial picks: Best credit cards for Google, Facebook, ad spend

Search engine and social media advertising

These cards earn bonus points for Google ad spend, as well as money spent on Facebook and Instagram ads. Amazon pay-per-click advertising also qualifies for bonus points.


Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

is one of the best business travel cards and earns 3 points for every $1 spent (up to $150,000 combined) in a handful of business-friendly categories, including advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines. Other eligible bonus categories include travel, shipping and internet, cable and telephone services. The

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

also has one of the best welcome offers on the market:

Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $8,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Online, TV and radio advertising

Earn bonus points on online advertising — including Google, Facebook and Amazon — as well TV ads and radio spots and sponsorships, with these options.

With the

American Express® Business Gold Card

, your bonus points apply to your highest spend areas, including online, television and radio advertising purchases:

Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points on the 2 categories where your business spends the most each billing cycle from 6 eligible categories. While your top 2 categories may change, you will earn 4X points on the first $150,000 in combined purchases from these categories each calendar year (then 1X thereafter). Only the top 2 categories each billing cycle will count towards the $150,000 cap. Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels booked on using your Business Gold Card. Terms Apply.

Other eligible categories include airfare, software, gas stations, restaurants and shipping. There’s a $


annual fee ($375 if the application is received on or after 2/1/24), which is higher than any of the other cards on this list.

🤓 Nerdy Tip

Google, Facebook and Amazon ads are covered under online advertising with the AmEx Business Gold.

Cash back on all advertising spend

Earn up to 2% cash back on all your spending, including advertisements and direct marketing, with a flat-rate cash back business credit card.

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

doesn’t offer bonus points for ad spending; instead, cardholders earn 2% cash back on the first $50,000 spent each year. But unlike the other options on this this list, the Blue Business Cash doesn't have an annual fee. It also comes with a generous intro APR period, making it one of the best cash-back cards for businesses.

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

is another option that doesn’t pony up specifically for advertising spend, but instead offers a high cash-back rate (


%) — and with no caps on how much you can earn. The Spark Cash Plus also rewards heavy spenders with a lucrative welcome offer:

Earn a one-time cash bonus of $1,200 once you spend $30,000 in the first 3 months.

Plus, your annual fee is refunded if you spend $150,000 in a given year. The Spark Cash Plus is a charge card, so you won’t accrue interest, but you need to pay your balance in full each month. (See rates and fees.)

Hotel and airline cards for ad spend

These branded hotel and airline cards earn 2x to 5x points on advertising spend, with no cap on how many bonus points you can earn. But rewards lose value if you don't fly or stay with that brand.

Frequent flyers can earn 2 miles per $1 spent on online, television and radio advertising with the Delta SkyMiles Gold business card. (Note that as of January 1, 2024, this benefit will have a cap of $50,000 in eligible purchases per category, per year.) Bonus points also apply to restaurants, shipping and money spent with Delta airlines. Other perks on this airline business card include free checked bags, priority boarding and an annual flight credit (terms apply). There’s a $


annual fee, which is waived for the first year.

Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

has a high annual fee ($


) but a lot of included perks, including 2 points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising. You also earn 4x points on Southwest purchases and 3x points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners. There’s also a big welcome bonus, anniversary perks and a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. Unlike other business cards, there is no cap on how many points you can earn in a given bonus category.

Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Business Credit Card

offers an impressive 5 points per $1 spent on marketing, advertising and utilities. You’ll also earn 8 points per $1 spent on Wyndham hotel stays and on gas. This hotel business card is best for Wyndham loyalists, though, since your rewards have the most value when redeemed for free or discounted nights at the chain’s properties.

How to choose a business card for ad spend

There are three main data points to consider when determining the best business card for your advertising spend.

1. Where you advertise. Eligible advertising categories vary from one card to the next. If your business primarily spends on Google and Facebook ads, the

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

is a great option. If TV and radio spots are also part of your advertising mix, the

American Express® Business Gold Card

might be a better fit (it gives bonus points for Google and Facebook ad spend as well).
2. Your annual advertising budget. Many of the best cards for ads cap bonus points based on spending. For example, the

American Express® Business Gold Card


Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

both cap bonus points to the first $150,000 in combined spending across multiple eligible categories.

Using a dedicated business card or your advertising spend can be a smart move if your business has a sizable advertising budget. If your business’s annual advertising budget exceeds $150,000, a combination of cards may be best to maximize rewards earned.

3. The card’s annual fee. Some of the best business cards for ad spend come with steep annual fees. The

American Express® Business Gold Card

, for example, has a $


annual fee ($375 if the application is received on or after 2/1/24). While the card's welcome bonus can easily offset that fee the first year, you'll want to make sure the ongoing rewards outweigh the cost after that.

4. Other business spending. Advertising is likely just one piece of your company’s budget. If you plan to use your card for more than ad spend, factor other expenses like travel, software and telecom services into your decision.

If your business spends equally across multiple different areas, a general cash back business card like

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card


Capital One Spark Cash Plus

may be your best option. Both offer 2% back on all spending, but the

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

does cap how much you can earn. (See rates and fees.)

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

limits 2% back to the first $50,000 spent per year.
Spend a lot on hotels or airfare? Take a closer look at branded cards, like the

Wyndham Rewards® Earner℠ Business Credit Card


Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card

. These cards deliver a rewards boost for advertising spend, but offer even higher rewards for flights or hotels purchased with the brand. And all those rewards you rack up can be redeemed for free stays or flights.
Wed, 15 Nov 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html
GCSE students in England to get Covid support
  • By Hazel Shearing
  • Education correspondent

Image caption,

Students will receive formulae and equation sheets for maths, physics and combined science GCSE exams

GCSE students in England will get formulae and equations in their maths and science exams under plans to limit the impact of Covid.

The Department for Education (DfE) has asked the exams regulator, Ofqual, to extend the extra support for another year.

Most students due to sit exams next summer were in Year 7 when the first national lockdown was introduced.

Teaching unions have welcomed the proposal, which is being consulted on.

The DfE said it would mean "enhanced formulae and equation sheets" for students in maths, physics and combined science GCSEs.

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: "Young people taking GCSEs next year will be the last who experienced two years of national closures during secondary school and it's right that we recognise that with some additional support."

Sarah Hannafin, head of policy for school leaders' union NAHT, said there was "no need for an additional test of memory" in the exams.

However, she said it was "disappointing that this decision has been made so late on" in the run-up to pupils taking mocks next month.

The Association of School and College Leaders also welcomed the consultation, but argued that students should be given the materials "on a permanent basis".

"This would reduce some of the stress of test preparation and ensure students can focus on core knowledge and skills," said Geoff Barton, its general secretary.

Exams in England had been due to return to 2019 arrangements this year, until this latest announcement.

They were cancelled across the UK in 2020 and 2021 and grades were based on teachers' assessments, leading to a spike in top results.

When students returned to test halls in 2022, they were given extra support to reflect the disruption they had experienced as a result of the pandemic.

Some of those measures remained in place for exams in England in 2023. GCSE papers in the same subject were spaced apart more than they were before the pandemic, allowing for rest and revision.

Students had formulae and equation sheets in some subjects, and were not tested on unfamiliar vocabulary in modern foreign language exams.

But, unlike in the rest of the UK, GCSE students in England were not given advance information about the courses on which they would be tested.

England was also the only nation this summer to bring grades back in line with 2019, with Wales and Northern Ireland planning a slower return to pre-pandemic grading.

Last month, colleges told the BBC they were having to expand class sizes and hire test halls to cope with a rising number of pupils taking compulsory maths and English GCSE resits.

Following the DfE's announcement about formulae in maths and science GCSEs, a Welsh Government spokeswoman said exams in equivalent qualifications in Wales "include formulae as standard, and this will be continuing."

Thu, 16 Nov 2023 00:05:00 -0600 en-GB text/html
Few community college students go on to earn 4-year degrees. Some states have found ways to help

After delaying college for two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jaden Todd wasn’t sure a four-year school was the right place to start.

“I was extremely concerned that I forgot how to learn,” he said.

Community college appealed as a stepping stone, but he also had heard stories of students who had to start over when they transferred because their credits didn’t count at the new school.

Todd, 21, was relieved to wind up at Northern Virginia Community College’s ADVANCE program, a partnership with George Mason University that put him on a clear path to his goal of a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

Northern Virginia Community College student Jaden Todd, 21, sits at a computer terminal Nov. 9 at the Annandale, Va., campus. Todd plans to transfer to George Mason University to finish a degree in computer science with help from a partnership between the two colleges.

Such established arrangements between two- and four-year colleges and universities have shown promise in helping more community college students go on to earn bachelor’s degrees, according to data released Thursday by U.S. Education Department.

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Only 13% of federal financial aid recipients who enrolled in community college in 2014 received a bachelor’s degree within eight years, the data found.

Hundreds of thousands of those who enroll annually at the more affordable two-year schools plan to transfer to a four-year program at a college or university, but obstacles get in the way. Frequently, students lack the guidance they need to navigate the transfer, and their credits don’t transfer the way they planned.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, seen Sept. 20 in his office at the Department of Education, says, “Our current higher education system stacks the deck against community college students who aspire to earn four-year degrees.”  

“Our current higher education system stacks the deck against community college students who aspire to earn four-year degrees,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said ahead of a gathering of 200 higher education leaders convened Thursday by his department to examine state and school transfer policies.

The new data tracked roughly 620,000 federal financial aid recipients. The outcomes are especially concerning for Black, Hispanic and low-income students, who are more likely to start at community colleges.

Colleges in New Jersey, New York and Illinois graduated the most transfer students, with schools in South Dakota, Delaware, Indiana and New Mexico recording the lowest numbers.

“One of the things that I think has really played a pivotal role in transfer student success is our goal to make as much information transparent,” said Alicia Alvero, associate vice chancellor for academic and faculty affairs at the City University of New York.

CUNY relies on an online transfer explorer, known as T-Rex, that makes it easier for students to see which of their courses will transfer between campuses, Alvero said.

The State University of New York is experimenting with artificial intelligence to let students map courses between any of the community and four-year campuses in the system, said Dan Knox, a director at the National Association of System Heads, an organization of 48 public higher education systems across the country formed to advance innovation in higher education.

“At SUNY, that’s 30 community colleges and ... 64 campuses in total, so the choice sets in a system that large for students are just overwhelming,” Knox said.

“It’s just very tough to map all that out manually,” he said.

The Education Department data also found widely varying results when it looked at pairings between two- and four-year institutions in each state to evaluate how often community college students graduated from the four-year institutions they would most likely attend.

Among the highest-performing pairings were those with established partnerships designed to ease the transfer process, like the one at George Mason.

Todd, a 2020 high school graduate in Woodbridge, Virginia, said he liked that the co-enrollment program set from the start the classes he would take in community college and at George Mason. He’d heard of others paying thousands for tuition only to lose credits and find themselves behind when they transferred.

“I mean, I could spend $15,000 a year and want to try another college out,” he said.

Researchers said evaluating why certain pairings do better than others would help Improve transfer systems as a whole. The findings are expected to guide higher education leaders who are struggling with declining enrollment and students concerned about adding to the $1.77 trillion in student loan debt.

“We have never before had national data that look at how well students do when they move among colleges and universities,” said James Kvaal, undersecretary of education, “so this study we’ve done, looking at people who get student aid, is really groundbreaking and has shed new light onto the role that both community colleges and four-year colleges play in helping their students get that college degree.”

The summit also is expected to address statewide policies such as assigning codes to courses to create consistency across schools and guaranteed admission for certain students.

Thu, 16 Nov 2023 06:45:00 -0600 en text/html
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