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Good morning, Marketers, and did you watch Google Marketing Live yesterday?
The overall reactions from the PPC community were mixed at best. Some outrage, some resigned acceptance, but overall, the crowd goes mild. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
We’ve got the full coverage on feature releases and updates for you below, but some of the highlights include new options for local search marketers, new travel ads, shopping partnerships, and a lot of expansions of existing products.
Plus Microsoft’s new platform to help SMBs manage search and social ads in one place includes organic social media management, as well, which would be HUGE for businesses just getting started with advertising.
P.S. You won’t see a newsletter from us on Monday in honor of Memorial Day.
Director of Search Content
PPC: Google updates Customer Match, Performance Max campaigns, the Insights page and product feeds
In addition to launching new products, Google also announced expansions for numerous existing products at its Marketing Livestream event.
- Customer Match: Google has removed the $50,000 total lifetime spend requirement for this feature. This may make Customer Match more useful for more SMBs, and the feature itself can help advertisers remarket to customers, especially as we move away from third-party cookies.
- Insights page: Demand Forecasts are being added to the Google Ads Insights page. These forecasts predict search behavior changes over the next 90 days and can help advertisers prepare their inventory, campaigns and identify upcoming opportunities.
- Performance Max campaigns: This automated campaign type that runs across all Google ad inventory is now in open beta and available to advertisers globally.
- Product feeds: Support for product feeds is now generally available for Video Action campaigns. Support for them in Discovery Ads is also available as an open beta.
- tROAS bidding: tROAS bidding is rolling out for both Video Action campaigns (generally available globally) and Discovery Ads (available globally as an open beta).
A new pilot program from Microsoft will allow small businesses to manage their paid advertising and organic social media in a single place. Unified Campaigns, which will be available initially via an application process to select businesses, allows SMBs the opportunity to control their search and social media ads from a single platform. The platform will also provide a social media management solution where businesses can post, reply, and report metrics for each of their social media channels.
Travel: Google announces travel product updates for vacation rentals, hotel booking extensions to begin rolling out
With the unpredictability of travel last year, Google Ads made adjustments to help both advertisers and searchers adapt. At GML, Google announced three new travel ads products and updates to help partners capture this increase in demand.
- Google Ads will now include vacation rental listings in the Hotel results page for a given listing.
- Hotel booking extensions, which automatically surface Hotel Ads feed data within search text ads extensions, will roll out to advertisers on the allowlist and, in the coming weeks, will launch globally.
- Google is adding 3 new features to commissions (per stay) for advertisers to make reporting, bid adjustment and payment easier.
The travel industry was heavily disrupted last year by the pandemic, travel bans and lockdown orders. These Ads product announcements from Google Marketing Live anticipate the consumer and advertiser changes as more travelers will be booking flights and finding places to stay this summer.
Local: Google launches new ad formats for local campaigns and pickup later option for local inventory ads
Google launched new products and services for local advertisers at GML:
Auto Suggest ads. Google launched a new ad format for local ads named Auto Suggest ads. Auto Suggest ads show ads based on the searcher’s location. When a searcher is nearby and looks for a related product or service in Google Maps, the ad will auto-suggest the advertiser’s nearby location to that searcher.
Navigational ads. Google also launched the new Navigational ad format for local ads. Navigational ads are shown while you are using Google Maps driving directions. This allows businesses to show their ads while a user is en route to a destination.
Similar Places ads. Google also launched a new ad format for local ads named Similar Places ads. These ads show up when you search for a specific business location and that business is closed at the time of the search. In that case, Google may show a similar business on the map by showing the business name with the label “Similar and open.”
Pickup later. Google is launching an open beta for US-based advertisers to expand store pickup options by labeling their local inventory ads with a “pickup later” option.
Expanding on the Shopify integration it announced at I/O, Google has launched partnerships with WooCommerce, GoDaddy and Square to enable retailers on those platforms to list their products for free on Google. This move benefits retailers by making it easier to show their products across Google, but also plays into Google’s strength as a place where shoppers discover products.
Along with that news, the company also announced a new screen that consolidates all buying options offered by a seller. The screen shows during the checkout process for products discovered on Google and is currently being tested in Google Search and the Shopping tab, with plans for a YouTube and Image search rollout later this year.
Tech SEO: News from Google I/O for technical SEO practitioners and site developers
Tons of new developments for technical SEOs and developers came out of Google I/O last week. Here are some of the most important from the “What’s new for The Web Platform?” session.
APIs. Given that third-party cookies have been so prevalent, the Chrome Team announced a new “family of APIs” such as federated login, personalized ads, and conversion tracking that can provide alternate pathways for use cases that might have previously required a third-party cookie implementation.
Context menu and badges for PWAs. Progressive web apps, once installed with an icon on home screens and desktops, now allow you to write “shortcuts” that expose “quick actions” as context menu items (right-click or two-finger tap) with supporting operating systems that include Android, Chrome OS, Windows, and macOS.
Core Web Vitals. Rankings will adjust according to scores gathered in the field. The good news is that Lighthouse is “calibrated to be representative of a user in your upper percentiles.” That means if you get good lab scores, then nine times out of 10, users in the field will transmit even better scores to Google for your User Experience ranking factor adjustment.
Search Shorts: The one where we troll Twitter
The SEO implementation problem. In a Twitter poll, more than half of SEOs say that 40% or less of their SEO recommendations were actually put into practice… Makes you wonder when companies say they’ve “tried SEO before.” Did they actually try 100% of it?
GML Twitter reactions. Lots of PPCers had lots of feelings about GML. Check out the #PPCChat hashtag to see varying levels of excitement, eye-rolling, and hushed acceptance.
International SEO #SEOChat. The challenges of global SEO have more to do with people than with Google. What is your process for understanding user behavior in other countries and satisfying user intent? Check out the answers here (and add your own).