Traffic Arbitrage with Google UAC: Kick-Off Aspects


In this article, we’ll focus on Google UAC. We’ll disclose verticals to work with, principles of ad campaign launching, and share tips to improve ad campaigns performance.

What is Google UAC?

Google UAC is a service to help you promote mobile apps. Google UAC ads are impressed in Google Search, YouTube, Google Play, and the websites of Google partners. Even a beginner can comprehend that the service may offer enormous volumes of traffic.

One of the main issues with UAC is that you can’t adjust niche targeting because of targeting limitations. In case the offer requires specific gender, age, and active devices, you can only use this information to make your creatives.

Universal App Campaigns include a machine learning algorithm that tests various audiences, determines target users, and shows ads to them specifically. The algorithm takes time to learn, and you can only customize targeting to a specific country and exclude irrelevant GEOs.

In PPC or search ad campaigns you can customize stop words and targeting, while UAC doesn’t provide such options. But you might not want to give up on such a great source of traffic. Machine learning works very well, but it takes some time to identify the target audience of a particular app.

Some years back, webmasters indicated that the UAC AI was not always doing a good job. Today, it operates quite accurately, but there won’t be a good CR right after the campaign is launched.

It is impossible to predict the pace of algorithm learning in advance. Just wait and monitor statistics. It may occur that the cost of desired actions will remain high. In this case, you can copy the ad or company and start over.

One of Google UAC’s features is that launching ad campaigns will be different each time. Even if you adjust the same settings and copy the content of the ad, the algorithm will work with creatives differently.

You can set three cost types: installations, conversions, and actions. You can select any desired in-app actions, but you must configure mobile trackers integration.

Experienced webmasters recommend setting simple goals for UAC CPA. It’s all clear with CPI, but there might be troubles with payment for desired actions. For example, when working with gambling and deposits, it is more profitable to pay a publisher for the player who replenished the deposit.

With a tracker, you can set up such conversions, but UAC may produce conversions at a high price or limit traffic volume to a minimum because of the algorithm’s learning issues.

Universal App Campaigns are best to drive traffic to Android and iOS apps. You won’t be able to work with PWA, since the app must be uploaded to Google Play or the App Store. Webmasters who do not own any apps, use app rental services.

UAC offers huge volumes of traffic and good spending on warmed-up accounts. If you use a trusted profile, you can easily make several thousand dollars per day. If Google’s algorithms won’t have any questions about the offer or your approach, the account may not be banned at all.

UAC pros:

  • Many creative formats;
  • Quick launch of ad campaigns;
  • Enormous advertising outreach;
  • Automatic ad optimization;
  • No manual management;
  • Low competition.

UAC cons:

  • Apps in stores required;
  • No targeting customization;
  • You can’t affect the quality of traffic.

Practically the only solution to control the volume of traffic is to set the cost of the desired action and the budget. For example, if you set $1 on CPI and the daily limit of $20, there will be fewer installations than with a $50 budget.

Which Verticals Can I Work With?

Universal App Campaigns are subject to standard Google Ads policy. You cannot advertise binaries, dating, or other gray offers, but you can pass moderation with light creatives.

Keep in mind that AI algorithms check the content of an app and you can’t fool them. Although sometimes it happens that one out of ten app ads is approved.

You can’t use the cloak with Android or iOS or WebView, so the content must be fairly white. UAC is ideal to drive traffic to mobile offers. If you manage to get a good price per installation, the costs will pay off.

You can use Universal App Campaigns in the following verticals:

  • Gambling;
  • Betting;
  • Dating;
  • Cryptocurrency;
  • Finance;
  • Games;
  • Mobile utilities.

You can’t use the cloak with mobile apps as you do it with FB ad campaigns. Some webmasters first upload a light version of the app in stores for moderation and then update the package in Android or iOS.

The problem with this approach is that store moderation is harsh. Instead of a successful update, your app can be blocked along with the developer’s account. If you have dozens of reserved profiles, your losses won’t be significant, but beginners may not recover from this.

Publishers do well with UAC gambling using ready-made apps that affiliate programs provide. Bans are common in this niche, so you might want to split a few apps simultaneously so you don’t have to worry that one or more apps might be banned.

Working with various verticals via UAC is great because there are no troubles with micro spends or constant bans. If the offer is kind of white and your profile has at least a small trust, there’s no need to bother with personal Ads Manager, FP, or other FB stuff.

When working with CPI, you need to keep a close eye on the stats. Installs can have a low price, but if there is a bid for the desired action, you can waste your budget. You’ll need a mobile tracker and a simple desired action to convert to CPA.

To work with ad campaigns in the UAC you’ll require:

  • Trusted Google Ads accounts;
  • Ready payment methods;
  • Apps;
  • Relevant offers;
  •  

You can purchase accounts in e-stores and rent apps. The payments issue is solved via virtual card services. You might want to make several creatives and check which ones will work best with the target public.

It’s more cost-efficient to purchase accounts from PPC advertising agencies and digital studios. The bigger the account’s lifespan is and the more traffic was driven with it on white offers, the greater the trust will be. You can easily spend thousands of dollars with such accounts.

When launching ad campaigns, you must work within a single GEO. If you drive traffic to RU offers and select Russia in the settings, the account, and the payment method should fit into a bigger picture.

The cost of iOS traffic is about 20-30% higher than Android, as well as the rates for mobile offers. Therefore, with the right approach, you can repay the investment and earn more.

How to Launch Ad Campaigns?

Experienced webmasters recommend that beginners have a shot at search and contextual-media campaigns. They work differently with a lot more targeting options, but that’s great as an early experiment.

In case your apps are available in stores and passed moderation successfully, and you have a relevant offer, ready payment method, and pack of creatives, you can start working. Before you start, you must make sure that the account has a good trust and there are no spending issues.

There are seven steps to launch an ad campaign:

  1. Go to Google Ads and select “App Ads”.

  1. Select CPI or CPA, the type of platform, and upload the app by inserting a link from the store.

  1. Set location and language.

  1. Specify the average daily budget and the goal for the campaign.

  1. Indicate cost per installation and dates.

  1. In the last step, create ad options.

  1. Wait for moderation to complete and start receiving traffic.

You can use different strategies, but it’s better to make several creatives and test them. In case the algorithm does not provide users at an adequate cost in a few days, you can copy the ad to another AC and launch it again.

Beginners will have to face the fact that this traffic source is unstable. One day you can get a bunch of installations for a minimum price, and the next day the cost per installation will skyrocket.

Webmasters, who are actively involved with this traffic source, advise splitting the campaign into dozens or hundreds of ads and specify a minimum budget for each. In this case, Google algorithms will provide good volumes for each ad.

The service’s performance depends heavily on the quality of apps and accounts. If a Google Ads profile is not warmed up with no history, there is no point in depending on high spending rates.

You don’t have to worry too much about apps. If they have successfully passed moderation on Google Play, it may be considered a certain vote of trust. But the algorithms are unlikely to approve some crap because there is an additional check before the campaign is launched.

As to payment methods, prepaid cards work best. In white niches, you can use your credit card with relevant GEO. For the gray niches, the plastic issued by various services is ok as well. For example, AdsCard, MajorFund, and other platforms provide such services.

Some publishers use ad accounts refill services, but in this case, you will have to add an extra 20% to the budget to pay VAT. There will be no problems with ad accounts replenishment if you use such services.

Replenishing the balance with $5,000-10,000 at a time is risky since algorithms may consider it suspicious. You might want to slowly build up the budget instead and keep an eye on indicators. If you do not encounter any issues, you can increase the amount without the risk of being blocked.

The advertising network offers several basic creative formats:

  • Text;
  • Video;
  •  

Videos work best and are recommended by Google. When you work in classic niches like gambling or betting, you can use ready-made creos from SPY services. You shouldn’t include obvious triggers, which are very likely to end with a ban.

Opt for the Google Cloud Vision API to check creos. It’s an AI that recognizes objects and text. Upload your creos and check the result. In our case, the AI handled text recognition perfectly.

Beginners might want to start with the CPI model. If you can’t guess the average cost per installation of the offer, you can ask the manager of the affiliate program for the information, but the figures may be different in each case. Google recommends setting the CPI 50 times lower than the daily budget.

If you don’t want to work blindfolded, you’ll require a third-party analytics service. You can install Firebase to track user behavior hence adjusting your campaign strategy.                                             

Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Campaigns and Accounts

Not all can kick-off Google UAC from the start with hundreds of deposits daily, and no worries about account switching. The outcome will be unstable: one day the ad network sends traffic at an adequate rate, and the next day the figures would drop dramatically.

However, there are no ad prohibition bans, micro spends, or other FB trappings in Universal App Campaigns. With a good mobile offer, you can make money and don’t worry about bans.

We have collected some useful tips that will be of help to beginners and advanced publishers:

  1. Don’t start with the CPA. CPI campaigns might work just as well.
  2. Be careful with iOS.The cost of desired actions in Apple devices is always higher.
  3. Cast your stats to an external tracker.Without a tracker, you would stumble through the darkness.
  4. Disable underperforming creatives. The status is updated in the ads list a while after the ad is launched.
  5. Increase your budget in stages. If the creative performs well and the AI learning phase is over, you can increase costs by 20-30% and monitor the stats.
  6. Prepare for high rates. Traffic is expensive at high volumes and it takes some ingenuity to make it pay off.

Many beginners singe their feathers with UAC and its lack of targeting settings because they charge high CPI right away. Or they select CPA and customize a complex desired action.

You need a lot of conversions to make CPA work then Google’s AI will learn and produce a stable volume of traffic. But you still have to work hard since such a scenario is not always the case.

With UAC, you can forget about never-ending Facebook bans, but you might not want to consider it a “money button”. You can spend a lot of money with trusted accounts at a good traffic rate, but your eventual outcome hinges on several factors.

Keep in mind that you’ll require apps that should be available in stores. You can buy secondhand apps for an average of $500, or you can design them from scratch and spend a lot of money on the development, paying for a Google Play account and technical settings.

When working with Universal App Campaigns, you might want to go easy and control the situation. If the traffic flow is low, raising the budget is not advisable. There might be a problem with the campaign settings, rather than low costs.

Reports On the UAC

  • Report by Eugene Stolpovsky at the Kinza Сonference: How to Drive Million-Dollar Traffic with UAC in a Month? (text version).

  • Report by Eugene Stolpovsky at the MAC 2021 Conference: Black offers in Africa.

You can obtain a good volume of traffic from Google within gambling, betting, and other verticals, but don’t get too comfortable. In the ad network, you might not receive any conversions or be banned, if you are too careless with your creatives or app content.


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