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Paid Media Developments in October 2022

Laptop displaying 'get the most out of your marketing budget with Google Ads' on the Google Ads homepage.

Our expert team of digital media specialists have put their heads together and assessed some of the latest paid media developments across October, and have shared their thoughts on the impact they might have for digital marketers. From a Data Studio rebrand to Google Ad updates – our paid media pros have got the latest for you. 

Google Ad recommendation experiments

Google announced this month that recommendations in Google Ads (from the recommendations tab) can now be implemented into experiments first, rather than straight into an existing campaign.

This is a useful workflow improvement, as often these suggestions are not always guaranteed to result in improved performance. Being able to quickly create experiments to test implementing some of these more uncertain recommendations will allow us to more easily evaluate the success or failure of the suggestions.

Optimisation of Google Ads keyword match types

Google recently tested an option during account creation prompting users to not use match types in their keywords. This would mean every keyword would be using the broadest match type available. This spawned immediate questions from advertisers about whether this was a signal that match types would be disappearing.

Google emphasised that this was not the first step towards the removal of match types, but just a workflow optimisation for users who did not use them. Although we are glad to hear that match types are not going away any time soon, it is frustrating that Google continues to add features that push users towards using broader and broader targeting. As always, we advise taking Google recommendations with pinch of salt.

Data Studio rebranded to Looker Studio 

The new Looker studio logo.

Earlier this month Google announced the rebrand of Data Studio to Looker Studio. Google has stated this has been done to bring Google business intelligence products under the ‘Looker Studio umbrella’, having acquired the BI and data analysis tool, under the same name, in 2020.  

Aside from the new name and updated logo, the Looker Studio update came with the announcement of a pro version, which includes:

  • Team workspaces, meaning all users within a team can access and edit a report, rather than needing individual access.
  • Ability to link to a Google Cloud project, meaning organisations will own the data sources and reports, rather than individuals who create them (and may leave a company)
  • Access to Cloud Customer Care, to help with any specific issues that may arise.

With the regular updates Google has, we don’t find this change or the monetization of Data Studio surprising, although, we are not completely set on the name choice itself. We are, however, interested to see what else Looker Studio Pro can offer. 

‘Sponsored’ label being added to Google Ads for mobile

Google have announced that they are replacing the existing black “Ad” label for text ads with a bold black “Sponsored” label, making it easier for users to distinguish between organic and paid results. The label will also be on a separate line to the top left of the ad to increase clarity for users. 

Screenshot of the new 'sponsored' label which will be shown on mobile Google Ads.

Given that the addition of a more distinguishable label may have an impact on your click through rate, we’ll be keeping an eye on how CTR’s may be impacted, especially for those with mobile-focussed sites and audiences. 

Google Ads Content Suitability Center

Google has just launched a new “Content Suitability Center” for YouTube and Display Network advertising. The aim of this is to allow advertisers to have greater control over their brand safety settings across campaigns in a single place. There are now 3 inventory options, with increasing levels of suitability and safety measures: 

Screenshot of new content suitability center.

Expanded Inventory: Allows you to maximise available inventory by showing ads with some sensitive content.

Standard Inventory: Allows you to show ads on content appropriate for most brands.

Limited Inventory: Excludes most types of sensitive content and limits your available inventory.

While we usually default to using DV360 for most display/video campaigns (where brand safety settings are more in-depth) those using GDN should find it easier to find the right option; avoiding misapplication of settings and poorer results.

Will Google increase Ad Grant spend this ‘giving season’? 

For the last 2 years, Google has announced that they will be awarding Ad Grants additional funding during ‘Giving Season’ (Dec-Jan). In 2020, we saw most Ad Grants have their budgets at least doubled, and in some cases more than tripled. In 2021 though, the pool of selected Ad Grantees awarded with additional funding was significantly reduced.

We are yet to receive any information about additional funding this year though, and are eagerly awaiting to see what is on offer – if anything. We would expect Google to make an announcement in the next few weeks, so will be looking out for this and keeping our clients up to date. We’ll otherwise be reaching out to the Ad Grant community and team if we don’t hear an update as we approach the end of November. 

Did we miss any Paid Media developments?  

Were there any paid media developments we haven’t mentioned that caught your eye? Want to talk about paid media in general? We’d love to hear from you! Join the conversation and tweet us @upriseUPSEM, email us at hello@upriseup.co.uk, or simply send us a message through our contact page. 

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