Now that the dust has settled on the hectic Christmas period, you may be spending much of your time reflecting on the results. While doing so, you may be forgiven for missing some of the more interesting updates and news from the world of PPC in January. Just as we do every month, we have compiled what we think are the most interesting.

Bing unveiled new audience segmentation feature

Advertisers are now able to receive detailed insights about the performance of their remarketing audiences and compare them against non-targeted users. Following the update (which should roll-out worldwide by early February), you should be able to see data on audience category and audience name for campaigns, ad groups, ads, keywords, and ad extensions. This is a great update, and is something which many marketers have been requesting for a while; the data this update will provide is sure to give confidence when making audience bid adjustments.

AdWords app updated to include more functionality

Previously the AdWords app only allowed advertisers to view their campaigns, make changes to bids and budgets, and see overall statistics. However, a new update will allow advertisers to add, delete, and edit their keywords. To make these changes, simply click the blue ‘plus’ button at the bottom of the keyword pages. To delete keywords, a small bin icon has now been added – which will appear in the top right corner of the screen.

Many marketers probably aren't even aware that an AdWords app exists. However, these updates provide a decent enough argument to justify a download, as the ability to make adjustments to campaigns while on the go is certainly an attractive concept. The app is also free!

Bing announced hotel ads will get general release

Bing Hotel Ads are a new form of search ads designed to allow for real-time room rates to be shown on the Bing search results page and within Bing maps – rather like what you find on Google.

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The ads were running in beta for much of last year; and will require a new campaign type – similar to shopping. Advertisers will need to assemble an XML feed, which will need to contain the hotel name, a phone number, the address, and the location.

Facebook updated their policy on branded content

Since Facebook’s branded content tagging system went live a couple of years ago, the number of posts paid for by marketers in order to promote their brands has increased significantly – with Facebook claiming that these posts quadrupled in number last year.

The update (which will go live in March this year) will ban publishers who use Facebook’s tagging tool to promote content that they didn’t aid in the creation of. This is an interesting development which many marketers will look upon favourably, as it will provide a fairer playing field for marketers with a limited social budget. We’ve written about the update in much more detail here if you would like to find out more.

Bing released fix for Apple’s tracking prevention.

Back in September, we covered Google's response to Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention initiative; and now Bing has introduced their very own workaround. You may have already noticed an alert within the Bing ads interface requesting that you enable auto-tagging of click ID. Clicking this alert will allow you to properly track ads on safari, as the Microsoft click ID will automatically tag URLs. You should be aware however that this update only fixes tracking for attribution, and doesn’t address the issue with remarketing – something which Bing are sure to address in the coming weeks.

Bing Ads updated to allow Google Merchant Centre import

Marketers in the UK, the US, Canada, Australia, India, France, and Germany are now able to import approved product offers into the Bing Merchant Centre from Google. Currently in Beta; this update will be a welcome change for many marketers, as they are now able to manage a single feed in Google and copy it into Bing.

Single sign-in for multiple users rolled out for Bing Ads

The latest update sought to improve the usability of Bing ads sees the addition of Multi-User Access. This will allow marketers to access all their Bing Ads accounts under a single email and password. Following the update, you will see a list of all the accounts which a particular email has access to upon logging into Bing ads.

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We cannot recommend this feature more, it just makes the whole experience much easier. If you currently use multiple logins, contact Bing Ads support within the interface and they will consolidate your accounts for you.

Google tightened it’s policy on ads selling event tickets

Google have implemented these restrictions in an attempt to avoid scams or misleading search ads from advertisers reselling tickets. Those wishing to sell event tickets must now complete an application form, which involves providing Google with the company name, AdWords login email, and AdWords customer ID. Other requirements involve full disclosure regarding pricing and fees, as well as the fact that they are a reseller and not the original suppliers of the tickets.

Additionally, sellers must provide the face value of the tickets being sold. If you feel like these changes might affect your business, then check your notifications; Google sent out notifications way back in November, and again in December.

Call notifications from search ads launched in AdWords express.

Advertisers using AdWords Express, the simplified version of AdWords designed for smaller businesses, will now receive notifications asking them to review the relevance of the call, as well as a notification if a call is missed. After a call from a search ad finishes, you will receive the following notification:

This feedback will be reviewed by Google, which will use the data to attempt to drive more relevant calls to you. The other notification added simply informs advertisers that a call was missed, and gives the option to call them back within the interface.

Google announced more consumer control affecting remarketing ads

Users will soon have the ability to see which companies are remarketing to them, and be able to opt out from receiving their ads. Within each individual’s Google settings, a new section called ‘Your Reminder Ads’ will display this information. This update will firstly affect ads on the Google Display Network, and will roll out to YouTube, Search, and Gmail later this year.

Advertisers should be aware that when a user removes their company from ‘My Reminder Ads’, they are opting out of all remarketing ads, not just a single ad that they found irritating – therefore the ability to sell to these individuals with remarketing ads will be impossible.

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