On October 20th, Google officially released Dynamic Search Ads (DSAs) as a limited beta. Basically, DSAs appear the same as any standard Adwords text ad, but are triggered by category selections rather than keywords. Advertisers can select specific product categories, site URLs, site content, or even page titles as their DSA targeting options. Once these targeting otions have been selected, some ad copy has been created, and credit card information has been entered, things are pretty much ready to go. Based on these parameters, Google will determine when to dynamically generate an ad for your site based on relevant search queries.

Personally, I have a bit of a problem with this "fox gaurding the hen house" approach. DSAs appear to work the very same way that Google Adwords Express (formerly Google Boost) does—it removes full control from the advertiser and shows their ads for searches that Google thinks are relevant. The problem here is that Google is often not the best judge of keyword relevancy (anyone using broad match can attest to this). With DSAs, you don’t even have the option to create your own ad headline (this is another dynamic component of the ad that Google will generate). Maybe it’s just me, but I have a hard time turning over that much control to Google when it comes to my paid advertising.

For now, Dynamic Search Ads are in beta, and limited to a select number of advertisers. However, given Google’s recent history of rolling out automated paid search features, I’d expect DSAs to be available to all U.S. advertisers shortly.

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