Every month I sit down to write the monthly blog, and each time it seems the landscape of PPC has evolved into something which even the keenest enthusiast among us would have struggled to predict. Keeping abreast of all the goings-on in such a fast-paced industry is a daunting prospect. Luckily, we have you covered! Like every month, we have compiled a list of the more interesting news from the world of PPC. In no particular order…
Google Asked Publishers To Manage Ad Consent For Users
Following the restrictions laid out in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Google has asked advertisers to obtain the consent needed for ad targeting. Those of us who operate within the EU are required to get opt-in consent from users by the 25th of May. Failure to do so could result in a fine of either 4% of annual turnover, or €20 Million (whichever is larger). In the meantime, Google is developing non-personalised ads to serve to users who haven’t given their consent. GDPR should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind at the moment, as it will undoubtedly have a major effect on our marketing strategies.
Reddit Introduced Promoted Posts
Promoted posts will allow marketers to target some 330 million active monthly users who currently use the Reddit app on mobile. At present, the ads aren’t supported on the desktop version of the site, but it’s believed they’re being tested on the app version first – with a rollout to desktop expected later this year. The ads have all the elements of a regular Reddit post; with up/down voting and a comment thread. Targeting includes user location, interest, device, time of day, and by subreddit. Advertising on Reddit is something which many marketers consider as low priority, however their active user figures of 330 million individuals a month cannot be ignored!
Google Announced The Removal Of Billions Of Bad Ads
According to Google, over 3.2 billion “bad” ads were removed in 2017, compared to just 1.7 billion in 2016. The ads were removed due to policy violations, with millions of ads sending users to malware-laden sites or prompting unwanted software installation. In early 2017, Google announced new brand safety policies for display and video ads, which resulted in around 320,000 publishers seeing their ads removed. We strongly advise all advertisers to carefully reviewGoogle’s ad policies – especially with GDPR around the corner!
Snapchat Updated To Include Location Targeted Ads
Those advertising on Snapchat are now able to target users based on their location; through either radius targeting or location categories. Radius targeting will allow advertisers to target users if they are in a specific geographical location, such as ‘New York City, US’ or ‘Cambridgeshire, UK’.
Location categories allow for targeting users when they are at a certain type of location, regardless of their specific geography; for example at the beach, or at the cinema. Advertisers can, for example, target users if they are at any cinema within the UK, with a specific ad. This is a great addition for those who advertise on Snapchat, and should certainly be utilised – especially as targeted ads are generally very successful.
The European Commission Is Forcing Google To Reveal Their Ranking Algorithm
Following the ruling regarding competitors in Google Shopping, and the steady approach of GDPR, it’s safe to assume that the European Commission are probably not in Google’s good books at the moment. To further cement themselves as Google’s public enemy number one, the European Commission announced that the search giant must divulge the methodology behind their ranking algorithm.
According to the European Commission, the intention behind the ruling is to help smaller companies compete with the big boys, by allowing them to fully understand what it takes to rank highly in Google search. If you are a smaller company, then keep your eyes peeled! This is certainly an encouraging step towards a true level playing field.
Bing Ads Editor Announced Support For Account Level Ad Extensions
Following the release of account level ad extensions in the Bing Ads live interface, a March updatesaw support for the extensions within the offline Editor tool. The support is for the time-being limited to callout extensions – which is the only extension which allows for account level inclusion in the live version too. Editor support for the remaining ad extensions are to be rolled out in the future.
To access account-level extensions, navigate to the top right and select ‘account level’. From here you will see a drop down box allowing you to add callout extension associations.
AdWords Updated To Display Ad Version History
When it comes to making changes to our ads, there are two types of PPC advertisers in the world: Some of us add new ads and pause the old ones, and others simply update the existing ads with new copy. For the latter, a new tool has been made available within the new AdWords interface. Users are now able to compare the performance of all the ad variations through ‘Version History’. This is a great tool for those who make ad copy changes with nervous trepidation, and will help us make informed decisions based on data (rather than based on assumptions or ‘best practice’ advice).
To do so, simply hover over an ad and click the pencil icon (see picture). You will then be able to see all the old versions of that specific ad, as well as when the ad was changed and what the change was.
Bing Announced The End Of Sidebar Text Ads
It has been known for Bing to have a bit of a reputation. That is, they just copy everything that Google does, albeit at a much later date. Following this notion, Bing revealed that sidebar text ads will no longer appear in Bing search; a design decision which mirrors a similar omission from Google in 2016. Instead, an additional slot for text ads will appear below the organic search results, meaning as many as four are eligible to show here. This change will first occur in the US, and is expected to roll out worldwide shortly after. Will this negatively impact your Bing PPC strategy? Probably not; although Bing are yet to reveal any details of testing, Google in 2016 demonstrated that removing ads from the sidebar to below organic saw an increase in customer engagement.
New YouTube Ad Option Makes Bumper Assets Skippable
Last Month, Google introduced a new option for short-form ads called TrueView for Reach – a new format which, according to Google, is “optimised for efficient reach”. These ads will allow viewers to skip them after five seconds, and will only charge if the user either watches the video for 30 seconds or longer, or interacts with the ad. They will be sold on a CPM basis. According to Samsung, who tested the ads in Beta, the new format was able to reach 50% more customers at around half the CPM; very encouraging data indeed for those of us who utilise YouTube for brand awareness.
Bing Finally Launched Price Extensions
After what seems like months of deliberating, Bing price extensions are now available to the United States, with a worldwide rollout just around the corner. Price extensions appear when your ad is in pole position on the search results page, and are designed to display prices of specific products or services with a link to the product page. For Bing, one price extension will be viewable in the ad, with an additional three in a drop down box. The extensions are available for both mobile and desktop, and you’ll be charged every time a customer clicks on them; just like sitelinks. We strongly advise adding prices extensions to your campaigns, as any additional visibility is always beneficial. Research from Google suggested both click-through rate and conversion rate increase when price extensions are used.
Subscribe For Regular Content On All Things Digital Marketing!