When Google wants to try out a new consumer-facing product, it usually puts it in Google Labs. That is where experimental products can be found. There are separate Labs for Gmail, Calendar, Maps, Search, and YouTube (although sometimes they are called “experiments” or “TestTube”). Now Google Ads has its own Labs, which it is calling Ad Innovations. It is a central place where advertisers can “explore new marketing technologies.”
Some of the highlighted technologies include Google’s new remarketing option, which shows ads to people who have visited the advertiser’s Website as they visit other sites that serve up Google ads. Another feature highlighted on the Ad Innovations page is Google’s new Search Funnels analytics tool, which shows advertisers the history of interactions with their ads leading up to a click. The online advertising industry is trying to prove to advertisers that even ads that don’t get clicked on can lead to conversions. Search Funnels is Google’s way of making that argument. The page also highlights product listing ads, special YouTube ads, and mobile click-to-call ads.
It’s about time Google’s advertising products got their own Labs. But hopefully ad products that don’t work won’t be allowed to linger around as long as some of the consumer stuff in Google Labs proper. We’re talking about products designed to make money here, after all.