As a charter GWO Authorized Consultant, my company watched its development from the beginning. It started out in the shadow of AdWords, and was only available as a tab in your AdWords account. Even though you did not have to spend any money on AdWords to use it, it was still seen as an add-on to the PPC advertising platform and did not initially get the attention that it deserved.
With today's announcement, GWO steps into the spotlight in recognition of its important role in Google's future. The company is committed to investing significant resources behind this product. As an example, GWO is now available in 27 languages worldwide: Czech, Danish, Dutch, English (Australia, UK & U.S.), Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil & Portugal), Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Tagalog, Thai and Turkish).
If a landing page has a higher conversion rate it clearly had more relevance for the person who clicked on the PPC ad, so Google can properly trot this out under the banner of improved relevance and a better user experience. At the same time, increased adoption of landing page optimization and testing can only benefit Google since more efficient advertisers will be willing to spend more per click while still maintaining their CPA targets.
Several key enhancements will make GWO even more powerful and useful to the wider online marketing audience:
Easier sign-up outside of AdWords - Google is making it easier for anyone to sign up and use Website Optimizer. In addition to accessing the tool through AdWords, people can now access it with any Google Account, such as the one they may use for Google Analytics or Gmail. They will see only the stand-alone testing tool features, uncluttered by other applications. Existing AdWords and Google Analytics users can still continue to use it as before (as part of their AdWords interface).
Easier Multivariate test setup - Based on user feedback, Google has improved the setup flow for multivariate experiments, with more straightforward tagging instructions and a sample tagged page for users to examine.
New Website Optimizer website and resources - The Website Optimizer site will be globally revamped to include more educational information, including archived webinars, articles on optimization, testing strategies, and best practices. Google Website Optimizer main site.
New Blog - Google is launching a new Website Optimizer product blog that will discuss the latest product news, industry insights, and testing strategies.
After the jump: free Google Web Optimizer Tool chapter (pdf) from my book, Landing Page Optimization.