[Introduction] – 00:00
Hey, everyone. Welcome to Episode 96 of The TWIMshow. This is your host Sajid Islam, and today I’ll be going over the notable news and updates from the week of February 14, 2022. This is also the Valentine’s week updates. Just so that you know, full disclosure, this is going to be a pretty packed week. There are like quite a few updates, so I’m going to go ahead and jump right in and I will be moving fast. However, if you do want to hear some of the updates or read more about it, make sure you visit a show notes page or go to marketandgrow.com. And you will find a link to a TWIMshow and you jump from there. With that
[Update 1 – Instagram Enables Likes On Stories] – 00:38
Let’s start off with something from Instagram. So Instagram Adam Mosseri, who is the CEO of Instagram, has announced this week that they are enabling likes on stories up until now, especially on Instagram. If you like or commented on something, those feedback would go straight into the creators inbox as a DM. And obviously that was like really crap because imagine if 20 people liked or something. You have 20 messages in your inbox, right? So now they’re enabling likes. They haven’t announced how they’re going to basically use if they’re going to use that as an engagement factor, ranking factor, or for the algorithm. But nevertheless, now you will be able to see this metrics on your dashboard. So this is a good move in the right way.
[Update 2 – Snapchat Will Enable Top Creators to Insert Mid-Roll Ads into Their Stories] – 01:30
Let’s move on to the next update. So the next update is that Snapchat is allowing the top creators to insert mid role ads into their stories. Now, why am I covering this is just that I’m covering it because obviously Snapchat is giving their creators additional opportunity to make money. However, we as a small business owners, we don’t really care about making money. Well, we do care about making money. We are not really trying to make money from Advertisement. We are making money by selling our products and services. However, if you look at this algorithm, the way it works is that if there are more creators creating awesome content and obviously then there are going to be more users eyeballs on that platform. And if there are more eyeballs, that means our cost ad inventory will grow, which means cost of ads are going to decrease. And obviously we can promote our products and services at a better rate. Plus, we will have more eyeballs. That’s the whole equation now as creators are going to go to platforms where they make the most money, right, because they spend the time making awesome content. So YouTube has been the King of that next, followed by TikTok. And now obviously Instagram and Snapchat and Pinterest, they’re all gunning for it. So that’s all you need to know. If you are not advertising on Snapchat, if you don’t have a product on Snapchat, then this is something you can quickly skip just because it doesn’t apply to you. Okay.
[Update 3 – Microsoft Advertising Expands to 29 New Countries] – 02:59
Next up is Microsoft. Microsoft advertising expands to 29 new countries. They’re obviously outside the US. Then why am I covering it again? Just to show you that Microsoft is making those move. Where now they’re becoming a global. Well, they are global now, but they’re going expanding into new countries, new languages, and basically reaching more people. Now, my focus through this podcast is definitely going to be the US market. Now, in the show notes, I have listed out the countries that are in Microsoft has allowing the advertising to continue or the 29 new countries. But some of the countries are Eastern European countries. It also includes the Turkey as well as some countries in Africa as well. Yes, South Africa is already there. I’m looking at it on my screen. Okay.
[Update 4 – Smart Pages, Microsoft’s Free Site Builder, is Now Available to US-based SMBs] – 03:53
With that, let’s move on to the next update from Microsoft Smart Pages. If you have been following our show last year, we covered it. Microsoft has this free website builder called Smart Pages that was in closed beta and you have to apply to get in. Now it’s available to all US-based, a small, medium-sized businesses. What is Smart Pages? Smart pages is basically a free website builder. It’s similar to Wix or Square Pages, except that you do not have weeks and Square Pages branding. Now, obviously, Microsoft not only is giving it out to all anyone can sign up for this, but I am looking at it. It also has new features such as video embeds, text suggestions, integration with Bing maps, and things like that. This is actually happening directly with toe to toe with things like Google Pages right now. Here’s why Microsoft is doing this. Microsoft is doing this because if more and more businesses who do not have a website brings either they show up. And on Microsoft Smart Pages, obviously they have more data. Like who are those people coming in, what kind of content they’re consuming, what kind of things are happening? It’s all about platform intelligence and being able to grow their footprints. This is what Google did 15/20 years ago. Right? So this is something Microsoft is slowly making move. And also they have LinkedIn, so they have a lot of rich data and they will be able to make a lot of great stuff in the future. Okay.
[Update 5 – Meta Provides New Recommendations to Help Advertisers Lessen the Impacts of Apple’s ATT Update] – 05:20
With that, let’s move on to Meta, which is the company previously known as Facebook. Meta has provided new recommendations to help advertisers lessen the impact of Apple’s ATT update Now, if you’ve been following our show or if you’re new to this, I’ll quickly tell you ATT update Apple made some Privacy adjustment from iOS 14.5 where they said they gave us the users the option to be able to track to be tracked by advertisers. Right? So when I update my phone and went to Facebook, Facebook, there was a message that says, do you want to be tracked? I said, no. Obviously, any activity that I do on Facebook are not tracked anymore. As a result, the Facebook advertisers do not really get an information of whether I clicked on the ad and what I did and things like that. This obviously had the effect of Facebook losing money quite a bit of money to the point where this year the guidance was they’re going to make like 10 billion with a B dollar less in revenue because a lot of the things that are going wrong. So now Facebook has come up and basically says, hey, here are some of the recommendations that you should do. Maybe this will help you with some of the data loss that you’re having. As a result, you really do not know if your ad is performing well or not. Right? In the past what happened, it was like, I see an ad, I click on it. And obviously on the back end there would be like conversion metrics set up whether someone to sign up for a webinar, someone would make a purchase, someone add to the car, things like that. And that data will get reported back to Facebook. And Facebook say, hey, here’s what your ad did. Your ad was shown to ten people, five clicked on the ad of that five to make the purchase. Now Facebook doesn’t really be able to tell you, hey, here’s your ad. We showed it to ten people, five click, Five clicked on it and we do not know what’s happening on the other end. Right. So it’s all dark. So Facebook has some ideas. Like one of the things that they’re saying is make sure you integrate and use the conversion APIs, make sure your domain names are verified and so on and so forth. And also the third thing they’re saying is make sure you wait 72 hours, give it some time to figure things out. And Facebook is doing some predictive modeling to say if this is going to work, if someone’s clicking on your ad or not. Having said that, there will be some more additional details in the show notes page. But basically what you need to know is that Facebook is really suffering and things are not going to change anytime. Things are not going to get any time better either for Facebook as well as what’s happening that Google has announced this week as well. So stay tuned and I am covering this towards the end of the show. Okay.
[Update 6 – YouTube Adds New Shorts Shelf in Channel Listings] – 07:56
With that, YouTube has added moving on. Obviously, YouTube has added new short shelf in channel listings. What this basically means is that there will be a separate section for shorts in a channel. Why YouTube is doing this because YouTube had 5 trillion views on shorts and YouTube is pushing it. So YouTube is making headway and competing directly with TikTok. TikTok does not publish their numbers, but Google/YouTube is pushing it. They say, hey, shorts are picking up on our platform. And obviously one of the things that why it’s picking up is because creators can make money on YouTube. Okay. So they’re saying we’re going to create a separate shorts channel on your what is it called? We’ll create a separate shorts section that for that channel when you upload it and they’re going to show up separately. Okay. So hey, maybe we should all create shorts. I know we do create shorts once in a while for our TWIMshow. Maybe we should create more shots. We’ll see. Okay.
[Update 7 – YouTube Rolls Out New Metadata For Educational Videos] – 09:02
The other thing YouTube rolled out this week was new metadata for educational video. This is only for English content. Why this is big is that if you have educational videos, like, for example, sometimes for market and grow, we do educational videos about how to run ads, what to do, things like that. Now I can add like I have four different metadata that I can do. One is type of video. Number two is academic system number three, educational level number four, exam course or standard. I don’t have to use all four of them. I can use one or all four or one or two or three, whatever metadata applies. But this is an important step because in the future, this metadata will be added to YouTube search results to help viewers decide whether the content meets their needs or not. So you’ve heard this from our show. If you haven’t heard this before, go ahead. And if you’re publishing educational video, go ahead and start using those educational metadatas.
[Update 8 – Google: Good Core Web Vitals Scores Won’t Improve Indexing] – 09:59
Next up is Google has come back, which is Google John Mueller come back on SEO stuff. And that says just improving on core web vitals will not really improve your indexing. So what John is trying to say is that, well, core web vitals is important. You have heard me talk about it. I said this is basically directly related to page experience in terms of how Google rates your page experiences, whether does it load fast, what’s the first input delay and things like that. Right. Improving on the score will not necessarily improve your ranking or indexing. However, having said that, I just want you to know it is important for you to have good core web vital scores because it will affect you how much you pay on cost per click. But if Google says that users are clicking on your page and they’re not waiting for it to load because it’s slow or they’re not able to interact, they will Ding you and eventually they will either lower your rank or as well as not show your site at all. So even though Google John Mueller is saying this, keep in mind that it’s important for you to have good web vital score on your website or on your page.
[Update 9 – Google: More Content Does Not Mean More Traffic] – 11:16
The other thing John Mueller said this week was more content does not mean more traffic. This is great for a lot of people, business owners. I’ve worked with this. Oh, we are not publishing enough. Oh, we are not putting a blog out every week or we are not putting a blog every two days, things like that. John saying just because you have a lot of content doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get more traffic. It will show up more because you cannot put spammy content, put good quality content and you will show up. That’s what it’s all about. And we have covered this in the past as well. I’m sharing it now as well. Frequency is not a ranking factor. Frequency is basically how often the bot will probably come to your site. But what you really need to do is think through and put quality content out there that people will find helpful. People will stay on your website to read, and as a result, you will rank higher and higher.
[Update 10 – 15% Of Search Queries On Google Are Still New] – 12:08
Okay, the next thing on the search front is that 15% of search queries on Google are still new. So it’s just a background. In 2007, Google said, hey, 25% of all queries that searchers entered into Google search was never seen by Google before. That figure changed to 15% in 2013. Google reconfirmed that number in 2017, 2018, and now in 2022, Google is saying 15% of search queries are still new for Google. Can you imagine in the last 15 years, despite all the advances that we have made in artificial intelligence/ machine language and all these things and so many people publishing so many blogs, there are still queries that Google see 15 out of 100 that Google has never seen before. What does this mean? It means keep an eye on your Google search console. Number one. Number two, keep publishing and think of different ways you can write the blog questions that your users or your customers may have and try to answer them through blogs and tap into those 15%. That is going right. And the third thing I can tell you is that maybe you should set up broad Google Ads campaign.
[Update 11 – Google Ads Announces 3 Changes to Automated Extensions] – 13:22
Okay, with that, let’s move on to the Google Ads announcements. Google Ad announces three changes to Automated Extensions Automated extensions number one will be eligible to show alongside your manually added extensions. Previously, this was not possible. So that’s one thing we need to know. In addition to automatic Extension number two is in addition to Automated extension eligibility, Google is making updates to reporting capabilities. Reporting will now be available at an individual level in the extensions page of Google Ads. At this individual level, you will be able to pause or remove any automated extension. This allows for easier management to your campaigns. You will also be able to easily identify which extensions were created manually. Automatically created by Google number three point from Google is that manual extensions viewability. Google already allows you to create an extension at a more granular level, which is Account Campaign or Group Ad group. However, the more granular extensions these were created, this would prevent extensions created at a higher level to be ineligible to serve. So what Google is now served campaign or account level extensions are eligible to show in your ads if they are predicted to improve performance. That’s what Google is saying. If Google thinks performance improvement comes from Google’s machine learning algorithm. If you have created a hyper specific ad extensions at the ad group level, it is a good idea to review any campaign or account level extensions that may be eligible to show in your ads. All in all, what’s Google is basically what’s saying and what I am telling you is that now there are ways that you can create some manual extensions and Google will create some automated extensions and obviously it’s going to combine them together and it’s going to show it to your users and obviously it’s going to give you more space on the search engine results page (SERP) That’s what it is all about. Okay. With that, make sure you are using automated extensions and manual extensions because if you are not, you’re missing out.
[Update 12 – New Google Ads Destination Not Accessible Policy] – 15:33
Okay, next up, Google Ad says destination not accessible policy is new. Something you need to be aware of is basically it boils down to if you have a page that is not reachable or if you have a page that is under maintenance or if you have a page that is not available to a certain geography but you are using it in your ads, Google is going to Ding you, it’s going to flag you. It’s just something they’re getting very serious about. So make sure if you are putting a destination in your Google Ads, that’s the destination that will work, that everyone in that region will be able to use it. If not, hey, I cannot help you.
[Update 13 – Like Apple, Google Will Limit Sharing of User Data with Third Parties] – 16:14
Okay, next up is something this is something I covered when I was talking about Meta and the Apple ATT tracking. With that, Google is saying that they are planning to roll out Apples like Privacy settings in Google Android. Yes, Google Android, that’s the thing. Or Android. Basically, up until now, Apple made these changes to how advertisers and platforms can track users on Apple. Google is saying hey, we are going to roll it out and we are going to move forward with the similar to Apple style Privacy, but they’re not going to do it now. No need to panic unless you are Facebook. No need to panic unless you are Pinterest. No need to panic unless you’re Twitter. But you as a business owner should be aware this is happening. This will affect how you track your users, how you do your conversions, things like that. This is about like in at least a year and a half to two years out there, it’s happening. But Google is kind of putting it out there so that the business owner can start thinking about it. Now obviously you, the business owner would not be able to do much about it. What you need to do is work with a smart market here who can help you position and do some of the stuff now so that when it happens in 2024 or maybe 2025, you’re not panicking and trying to figure out I don’t have data, how am I going to measure my conversions, things like that.
[Update 14 – Google Confirms Standard Shopping Campaigns Will Remain Available] – 17:41
Okay with that. Google does confirm the next update is that Google confirms that standard shopping campaigns will remain available. A lot of people were freaking out thinking that standard shopping campaign is going to go away because Google has a smart campaign smart shopping campaign. But Google has confirmed that they’re not going to get rid of it. A lot of us like standard shopping campaigns, including myself, only because we have a lot more levers, a lot more control. It’s like driving between automatic and a manual car, right? Automatic car works well because it shifts the gears and everything. However, if you are going into a race, you probably want more control. So you have the manual stick shift, which is you can move your gears depending on how fast where you want to do slow, things like that.
[Update 15 – Performance Max Will Absorb Smart Shopping and Local Campaigns] – 18:27
So having said that, Google does also say which is that Performance Max campaigns will basically absorb smart shopping and local campaigns this summer, which is summer 2022. Basically, smart shopping and local campaigns will become performance max campaign. Google will offer a self-service tool for two advertisers who wants to move their campaigns over the Performance Max ahead of the transition window, which could give you time for testing. By the way, one of the things that I plan to do this week is moving some of my clients smart shopping campaign into Performance Max. Maybe I’ll just do some testing as well. So if you want to follow along and you want to find more information, make sure you visit us at marketandgrow.com or follow us on social. M-K-T-A-N-D-G-R-O-W that’s the same handle ID across all platforms, but definitely I know we are going to publish something on Instagram as well as YouTube.
[Update 16 – Google Ads Needs At Least 15 Conversion In 30 Days For Machine Learning To Work Better] – 19:31
Okay, the next update is that Google Ads has come out and that says you need at least 15 conversions in 30 days for machine learning to work better. What does that mean? This means I have always told customers that, hey, you don’t have enough conversions to jump into automated bidding strategies. So definitely don’t jump in. And Google is coming in and proving my point right. At a minimum, you need 15 conversions in 30 days for machine learning to work. Machine learning basically means there’s automated bidding strategies, but ideally it will be at least you need to have at least 50 to 100 conversions so that there’s a data point for you to know what type of people buy your product on Google Ads, what type of people interact your product, who does not buy things like that. So Google can basically really optimize your campaign. If you’re not getting at the minimum 15 conversions,then manual bidding strategies are the best for you.
[Update 17 – Google Ads Shares Top 3 Priorities for 2022] – 20:27
With that. The last update for this week is that Google has shared three top priorities that they’re going to work on in 2022. Number one is they’re going to focus on automation. As you can see, I’ve talked about smart shopping campaigns, performance Max, things like that. So Google is going to continue to do that just because that’s where Google makes money. They have the control, they can play around things like that. However, for small to medium sized advertisers who are not getting maybe 15 conversions or who have a smaller budget, we will stay with manual bidding strategies. The next is measurement. They’re going to focus on measurement and we have already touched about enhanced conversions, consent mode, conversion modeling, and data driven attribution by the way, talking about consent mode, I know we are publishing a blog this week where we are going to talk about consent mode. So make sure you follow us again. marketandgrow.com or M-K-T-A-N-D-G-R-O-W because we are going to talk about consent mode and what it is and how it affects. The third thing is they’re focusing on Privacy, making sure that your data are stored safely, as well as making sure you are being tracked the way you should be tracked and limiting the use of third party cookies and things like these are updates we already covered this week in a few updates back. This should not come across to you as a surprise, but all I want to tell you is that how you measure success on your website is going to change drastically in the next twelve to 18 months. So this is a time for you to work with your market and be more strategic and be more intentional and see what are we tracking and what we need to change now, if you are still in the old style where someone comes website and someone is going to make a purchase and I’m going to get a sale registered into my dashboard. If you’re still doing that in 2022, you will be shocked towards the end of this year, early next year, early 2023 because things are going to change drastically. Okay
[Closing] – 22:33
OK with that folks, that’s it for This Week In Marketing. Now you know everything you need to know if you want to read more, make sure you visit our show page. Again, the show page can be found on our website marketandgrow.com. And I apologize for this being such a long podcast. It’s just that there were a lot of updates I had to cover so that I bring you the best updates that you need to know to stay up to date with that. Take care. Bye. Bye.
Thank you for tuning in this week, it was a pleasure to serve you all. Hit the subscribe button so that you remember to sign on next week. Same place, same time for another round of This Week In Marketing.
1. Instagram Enables Likes On Stories (00:38) – Instagram has added a new, simple way for users to engage with Stories content with Stories likes, which enables you to ‘like’ any Story in your feed, and let the creator know, without having to start up a DM conversation.
Stories likes are not public, and only the creator will be able to see them. Creators will be able to view their Story likes in their Story insights, with a small heart icon added next to the viewers’ name in the view listing.
Stories likes will not come through as a DM, so you’re not suddenly going to get an influx of DMs as people use the function to react to your Stories. To be clear, Instagram hasn’t indicated that this is or will be a ranking factor at this stage. But you would assume that with another means of direct insight, Instagram will look at how it could utilize such to improve each users’ experience, by showing them more of what they literally like.
2. Snapchat Will Enable Top Creators to Insert Mid-Roll Ads into Their Stories (01:30) – Snapchat’s adding another new monetization opportunity for Snap creators, with mid-roll ads for Snap Star Stories, providing a directly attributable revenue pathway for the app’s biggest stars.
As explained by Snap, soon, Snap creators will be able to switch on ads within their Stories, with a cut of any revenue generated by those ads then allocated back to the creator. Though the specific revenue cut here is not entirely transparent – according to Snap, the revenue share from these ads will be based on its proprietary payment formula, “which may include a number of factors such as posting frequency and audience engagement”.
3. Microsoft Advertising Expands to 29 New Countries (02:59) – Microsoft announced the expansion of Microsoft Advertising in 29 new countries. This expansion goes across Europe and Africa, with a reach to 19 new languages. Microsoft estimates this brings the reach of the ad network to 41 million consumers, making 400 million searches each month on Microsoft and partner sites.
The following markets are live and ready for you to upload your Microsoft Advertising ads: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Turkey, and the Vatican City.
You can learn more about the expansion on the Microsoft blog.
4. Smart Pages, Microsoft’s Free Site Builder, is Now Available to US-based SMBs (03:53) – Microsoft first launched Smart Pages, Microsoft’s free website building service, in February 2021. Until now, businesses that were interested in the service had to sign up for the closed beta. In October 2021, Microsoft announced the website builder’s first round of feature updates, which included an analytics dashboard and the ability to create a Smart Page from directly within a Bing Places account.
Starting Feb 16, 22, Smart Pages, is available to all US-based small and medium-sized businesses. Microsoft has also added new features to the service, including video embeds, text suggestions, integration with Bing Maps, and an updated Social Posts section.
Far too many SMBs operate with just a social media profile or a local listing as their only online presence. Having your own website opens up more opportunities to connect with potential customers and drive both online and in-store traffic. Now that this service is more widely available, more business owners can use it to establish a basic website for free. And, the new features, particularly the video embeds and Bing Maps integration, can be used to improve the user experience while providing relevant business information.
5. Meta Provides New Recommendations to Help Advertisers Lessen the Impacts of Apple’s ATT Update (05:20) – Meta has published some new recommendations to help advertisers maintain their data flows, and improve the performance of their campaigns.
First off, Meta says that advertisers should integrate with the Conversions API, which will provide more insight into consumer pathways.
Meta also recommends that advertisers verify all of their domains, especially for brands looking to track performance across multiple websites, while it also says that businesses should ensure that their conversion events are aligned with their campaign priorities.
Meta also recommends that brands allow some time before analyzing campaign performance, due to delayed data and modeled reporting (Meta recommends giving conversion-optimized campaigns at least 72 hours), while for App Conversion campaigns, it also recommends that brands use a 24-hour conversion window to help its ad systems optimize “for the fastest and most predictable feedback cycles”. Meta also says that its machine learning ad recommendation and audience tools are improving, which can help to limit the impacts.
Meta also suggests showing your ads across 6 or more Placements – “like on Facebook Marketplace or in Instagram Stories”, which can give its system more flexibility to control costs and generate better results.
6. YouTube Adds New Shorts Shelf in Channel Listings (07:56) – YouTube continues to make Shorts a bigger focus, with a new addition on the desktop version of YouTube channel pages that will display each channel’s Shorts clips (where available) in a separate element.
Now, when a channel has uploaded Shorts, they’ll be displayed in a separate section, giving Shorts content a more specific focus, and likely driving more viewers, which could also make Shorts a more critical promotional element.
This is in line with usage trends, and engagement around short video clips. Indeed, YouTube recently reported that Shorts clips have cumulatively amassed over 5 trillion views thus far, and with Shorts catching on in India in particular, it makes sense for YouTube to lean into the format where it can, and help its creators boost their channel performance via the format.
7. YouTube Rolls Out New Metadata For Educational Videos (09:02) – YouTube is bringing additional metadata to English language videos that are educational in nature. Videos can be marked as educational during the upload flow via a drop-down menu where you can select a category. Selecting Education as a video category will grant access to a new set of metadata you can use to describe the content. The new metadata fields include:
- Type of video
- Academic system
- Education level
- Exam, course, or standard
Each of these fields is optional. You can utilize some, all, or none of them during the upload process. This is an important update for YouTube channels because, in the future, this metadata will be added to YouTube’s search results to help viewers decide whether the content meets their needs.
8. Google: Good Core Web Vitals Scores Won’t Improve Indexing (09:59) – Having good Core Web Vitals scores won’t necessarily lead to improved indexing of your webpages in Google’s search results. This is stated by Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller during a recent Google Search Central SEO office-hours hangout.
As per Mueller, “the Core Web Vitals kind of plays into the Page Experience ranking factor — and that’s more of a ranking factor. That’s not a quality factor. And in particular, it doesn’t play in with how much we actually crawl and index from the website. In some cases, there is a little bit of a relationship between how fast the page is and how fast we can crawl it, but it doesn’t have to be that way. So that’s something where usually these sides are less connected and not completely tied together.”
9. Google: More Content Does Not Mean More Traffic (11:16) – Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter “more content definitely does not mean more traffic.” Meaning, writing more content does not always translate to more traffic, especially from Google Search.
I can relate, creating more content, does not always translate to more traffic. Sometimes sites push out bad or spammy content and that won’t always lead to more traffic. But in general, if you write quality and useful content often, it is more likely that you can produce more traffic from more content. Not always but often. John Mueller has said this before, saying Just putting out more content doesn’t necessarily make a site better. He also said content frequency is not a ranking factor.
10. 15% Of Search Queries On Google Are Still New (12:08) – Here is a not-new piece of data, 15% of the searches Google sees each day are new. Google shared this stat, again, on Twitter the other day saying “Fun fact: 15% of all Google searches have never been searched before.”
Just some history on this stat, in 2007, 25% of all queries that searchers entered into the Google search box was never seen by Google before. That figure changed to 15% in 2013 and has remained at that figure according to Google even through today. Last I covered it was about two years ago in 2020, Google reconfirmed the 15% figure in 2017 and 2018 and now again in 2022.
11. Google Ads Announces 3 Changes to Automated Extensions (13:22) – Google Ads rolled out three updates to automated ad extensions. Here’s what’s new.
- Automated extensions will be eligible to show alongside your manually added extensions. This change will roll out sometime in mid-March. The ad extensions that will be eligible to show in tandem with manual extensions include Sitelinks, Callouts, and Structured snippets. This change to automated extensions eligibility helps your ad take up more real estate on the SERP. Previously, the automated extensions above weren’t eligible to show when manual extensions were created. What were the implications of this? For example, if your ads had two manual site link extensions created, your ad would only be eligible to show those manual extensions. With this update, your ad would now be able to show your two manual extensions, as well as automated extensions, at the same time. Keep in mind, your account has to have opted into automated extensions in order to show.
- In addition to the automated extensions eligibility, Google is making updates to reporting capabilities. Reporting will now be viewable at an individual level in the Extensions page of Google Ads. At this individual level, you’re able to pause or remove any automated extension. This allows for easier management of your campaigns. You’ll also be able to easily identify which extensions were created manually, or automatically created by Google.
- Manual Extension Viewability – Google already allows you to create extensions at a more granular level (account, campaign, or ad group). However, the more granular these extensions were created, these would prevent extensions created at a higher level to be ineligible to serve. Campaign or account-level extensions are eligible to show in your ads if they are predicted to improve performance. Predicted performance improvement comes from Google’s machine learning algorithm. If you have created hyper-specific ad extensions at the ad group level, it’s a good idea to review any campaign or account-level extensions that may be eligible to show in your ads. If there are any extensions not relevant to those ad groups, you will want to reorganize them in a way that makes sense for your account.
12. New Google Ads Destination Not Accessible Policy (15:33) – Google Ads announced it is adding a new “destination not accessible” policy under the Google destination requirements policy. Google is also making changes and clarifications to the document overall. Google said the changes go into enforcement on March 21, 2022.
The new independent destination not accessible policy is part of the overall Destination Requirements category for ads related to a destination’s access limitation. Google said that this policy will also “provide self-service appeals management for advertisers.” These include pages that lead to error messages such as “This site is not accessible in your location” or “down for maintenance” that were previously enforced under the “Destination not working” policy. The new policy language will say “Not allowed Destinations that are not accessible in the targeted location.”
13. Like Apple, Google Will Limit Sharing of User Data with Third Parties (16:14) – Google announced that it will be bringing Privacy Sandbox to Android with the goal of introducing new, more private advertising solutions. Privacy Sandbox is an existing initiative by Google to better protect users’ private data. These solutions will limit sharing of user data with third parties and operate without cross-app identifiers, including advertising ID.
14. Google Confirms Standard Shopping Campaigns Will Remain Available (17:41) – Google confirms Standard Shopping campaigns will remain available. This will come as a relief to advertisers that still rely on Standard Shopping’s manual controls and capabilities — especially as Google Ads continues to release more automated products.
Standard Shopping campaigns offer a set of capabilities, controls, and data that many advertisers rely on, and knowing that they’ll continue to be available will come as a relief, especially since Google has been taking away manual controls in so many areas.
15. Performance Max Will Absorb Smart Shopping and Local Campaigns (18:27) – Performance Max is set to absorb Smart Shopping campaigns this summer. Local campaigns will also be rolled into Performance Max sometime between August and September. Once that occurs, advertisers will no longer be able to create new Smart Shopping or Local campaigns.
To facilitate the transition, Google Ads will offer a self-service tool for advertisers that want to move their campaigns over to Performance Max ahead of the transition window, which could give them more time for testing. The tool will be available for Smart Shopping campaigns starting in April, with support for Local campaigns starting in June.
16. Google Ads Needs At Least 15 Conversion In 30 Days For Machine Learning To Work Better (19:31) – Ginny Marvin, the Google Ads Liaison, confirmed some time ago that for the Google Ads machine learning models to work faster (and probably better) Google would need a minimum of 15 conversions in the last 30 days. She added that you really need 50 to 100 conversions if you want machine learning to outperform manual strategies.
17. Google Ads Shares Top 3 Priorities for 2022 (20:27) – Jerry Dischler Vice President / General Manager, Google Ads shared his top three priorities for 2022: automation, measurement, and privacy.
1. New Opportunities With Automation – Under the Automation pillar, Google is emphasizing the use of Performance Max and Discovery campaign types. Both campaign types focus on reaching users at scale from a single campaign. Google touts the benefits of these campaigns to include:
- More simplicity in management (fewer campaigns)
- Multi-channel reach
- Greater ad inventory
- Incremental conversions
2. The Future Of Measurement – It’s no secret that measurement has been a challenging topic for most advertisers. With the iOS 14 update, the future removal of third-party cookies, and more – new approaches to measurement will be critical for success. Without meaningful results and data to back up your marketing efforts, it’s going to be harder to prove the value of marketing. Google is rolling out new solutions to privacy and measurement including:
- Enhanced conversions
- Consent mode
- Conversion modeling
- Data-driven attribution
3. Delivering Expectations For Digital Privacy – It’s difficult these days to go without hearing of some sort of privacy breach. Google understands the increasing need for user privacy and controls. While you need to build and cultivate relationships with your customers, they need to know that their data is safe and maintain some level of anonymity. Google has updated its privacy playbook to capture these needs both from the advertiser and user perspective. The three main highlights of this playbook include:
- Building direct relationships with customers
- Ensuring measurement remains accurate and actionable
- Keep your ads relevant
In building direct relationships with customers, you’re able to capture first-party data for more 1:1 direct communication, such as email marketing or in-app messaging.
What does this mean for advertisers?
While we are all used to relying on paid media to drive the final sale and showing direct ROI, the role of paid media may need to change. For example, the goal of some of your non-branded or awareness efforts should shift to capturing first-party data, instead of the final sale.
If you’re able to capture that first-party data on the first touch, you would be able to attribute a final sale back to that original touchpoint. Just remember to shift your attribution modeling to reflect changes in strategy.