Join us as we discuss the top news and trends from the PPC industry. Packed with new AI innovations, new ad types, and a range of Google Ads updates.

Google integrates Local Services Ads with Maps app

Google is integrating Local Services Ads into the iOS version of Google Maps, mandating their inclusion with no option to opt out without pausing Search ads.

This move targets users actively searching for nearby services, potentially increasing lead generation for advertisers.

How it works

  • Automatic creation: Ads are automatically created using existing Local Services Ads data.
  • Placement: Ads appear in Google Maps for iOS users.
  • No Opt-Out: Advertisers can’t exclude Maps placement without also pausing their Search ads.
  • Platform: Limited to iOS version of Google Maps.
Local Service Ads Maps App image

This integration boosts visibility for local businesses, targeting users at the moment of need. However, it limits advertisers' flexibility in campaign management and budget allocation.

For local businesses, this update offers increased exposure to potential customers but binds Maps and Search ad placements, impacting campaign strategy.

Meta unveils new AI chatbots and messaging tools

Meta has launched new AI-driven tools to boost brand performance and engagement, including AI chatbots and paid marketing messages on Messenger.

This new tool allows select advertisers to send paid messages to opted-in customers and enables businesses to publish posts, engage with replies, and access insights via third-party apps on Threads.

These tools help advertisers scale operations, drive revenue, and improve engagement across Meta’s platforms.

Reddit unveils new conversation ads

Reddit has revamped its conversation page ads, introducing a premium ad placement within discussion threads.

Reddit reports that two in three users are likely to purchase a product after seeing an ad on the platform, highlighting its influence in the consumer buying journey.

  • Conversation ads: Larger, premium media ads appearing between individual comments.
  • Prime real estate: 47% of Reddit screenviews occur on conversation pages.
  • Upcoming enhancements: New brand safety controls with machine learning tools later this year.

Performance stats

  • Combining feed and conversation ads boosts action intent by over 2.44% to 5.46%.
  • Campaigns using both ad placements see 83% higher brand awareness.

Reddit is capitalising on its unique, conversation-driven platform to provide advertisers with highly contextual and engaging ad placements.

Google Ads phasing out card payments for high-spenders

Google is requiring some high-spending advertisers to switch from credit or debit card payments to bank-based options by 31st July or face account suspension.

This change aims to push high-spend advertisers toward more automated payment methods.

  • New payment options:
    • Monthly Invoicing with 30-day payment windows (recommended by Google)
    • Direct Debit for automatic payments
  • No more cards: Credit and debit cards will no longer be accepted for affected accounts, which Google says offers more flexibility and control for high-growth spenders.

This shift could streamline monetisation for Google but may cause cash flow issues and potential account suspensions for advertisers who rely on card payments.

  • Impact: Google is notifying high-growth accounts throughout 2024. Criteria like spend thresholds remain unclear.
  • Central billing: Manager accounts must update billing information centrally.

This move by Google has been criticised for its potential to cost businesses more, with no benefit to them, while benefiting Google's income.

Pinterest launches AI ad tools

Pinterest is introducing new AI-powered ad tools and measurement partnerships to enhance performance and brand safety for advertisers.

  • Ad labs programme:
    • Personalised background generation using visual search AI.
    • Interactive, shoppable collage ads, currently being tested by brands like John Lewis, Wayfair, and Bumble.
Pinterestcollage image
  • Performance+:
    • Uses AI to optimise campaigns, showing over 10% improvements in cost per acquisition and reducing campaign setup time by 50%.
  • Brand safety:
    • Partnerships with IAS and DoubleVerify ensure 99% of measurable ad impressions are rated brand safe.

These updates aim to provide more engaging, personalised ad formats, improve efficiency, and ensure brand safety, helping advertisers reach their audience more effectively.

Pinterest's AI-driven updates are set to drive better performance and unique advertising experiences, positioning it as a leader in automated and personalised ad solutions.

Google Analytics enhances paid search attribution in GA4

Google is updating attribution models in GA4 to more accurately credit paid search campaigns for conversions.

This update addresses a longstanding issue where conversions that should be attributed to paid search were incorrectly assigned to organic search, particularly affecting single-page applications.

  • Attribution adjustment: The update aims to provide advertisers with more precise data to optimise their investments based on actual paid search performance.
  • Technical improvement: Currently, the 'gclid' parameter identifying paid search clicks sometimes fails to persist across pageviews. The update will ensure accurate capture of campaign data from the first event on each new page.
  • Impact on conversions: Expect an increase in conversions attributed to paid search campaigns, potentially affecting ad budgets and spending strategies.
  • Recommendations: Google advises advertisers to review and adjust budget caps ahead of the update rollout in the next two weeks.

Implications

Accurate attribution is critical as user journeys become more complex across various sessions and channels. This update aims to rectify attribution blind spots in GA4, enhancing overall campaign effectiveness.

Google's efforts in enhancing first-party analytics and attribution capabilities are pivotal as the industry adapts to a cookieless future with initiatives like Topics API.

This update underscores Google's commitment to providing advertisers with reliable data for informed decision-making and efficient campaign optimisation in an evolving digital landscape.

Google launches Google TV Advertising network

Google has introduced the Google TV network, expanding its connected TV advertising capabilities to over 20 million monthly active Google TV and Android TV OS devices.

Connected TV viewing is on the rise, with a substantial audience watching YouTube on TV screens monthly. The Google TV network enables advertisers to target this expanding audience through targeted, in-stream video ads.

Key details

  • Audience reach: The Google TV network reaches viewers across more than 125 free channels on Google TV, including live sports, shows, and movies.
  • Ad formats: Advertisers can utilise non-skippable and 6-second bumper ad formats, with additional formats expected in the future.
  • Market impact: With 60% of U.S. households consuming content on free, ad-supported streaming channels, spending over 75 minutes daily on Google TV’s free channels, the network offers significant ad inventory.
  • Availability: Ad inventory is accessible through Google Ads and Display & Video 360, alongside YouTube reservations.

Google’s expansion into connected TV advertising allows advertisers to integrate their TV strategies with Google’s advanced ad technology and premium inventory. This move positions advertisers to effectively engage with audiences across both YouTube and TV screens, aligning with evolving consumer viewing habits.

As viewership shifts from traditional TV to streaming platforms, Google aims to consolidate its advertising offerings to provide comprehensive access to digital and TV audiences. The launch of the Google TV network underscores Google's commitment to enhancing advertisers' ability to reach and engage with audiences in an increasingly digital-centric media landscape.

Google Ads introduces brand recommendations

Google has launched "Brand Recommendations" a new AI-powered feature within Google Ads' Recommendations page, aimed at optimising awareness and consideration campaigns.

Brand Recommendations are designed to boost brand campaign performance by leveraging AI insights tailored to each advertiser's Google Ads history, campaign settings, and industry trends. These suggestions complement existing performance recommendations, offering advertisers a comprehensive suite of optimisation strategies across the marketing funnel.

This update includes:

  • Customised insights: Recommendations cover areas such as ads and assets, bidding and budgets (including CPM/CPV adjustments), keywords and targeting strategies, measurement enhancements, and full-funnel opportunities.
  • Automated optimisation: Utilising Google's AI capabilities, these recommendations are continuously updated to reflect the latest best practices and optimisation opportunities.
  • Ease of implementation: Advertisers can easily adopt and apply these recommendations within Google Ads, providing a straightforward approach to optimising brand campaigns.

By integrating AI-driven insights directly into its advertising platform, Google aims to empower brand marketers with effective tools to maximise campaign success. This move underscores Google's commitment to enhancing advertiser ROI and campaign effectiveness through data-driven recommendations.

Google's Brand Recommendations represent advancements in AI-powered advertising tools, offering advertisers actionable insights to refine and improve their brand marketing efforts on Google's expansive platform.

As advertisers seek more efficient ways to reach and engage audiences, these tailored recommendations provide a strategic advantage in navigating the complexities of digital advertising.

Microsoft Ads enables Google Ads conversion goal imports

Microsoft Advertising is introducing a new feature allowing advertisers to import conversion goals directly from Google Ads, aiming to streamline campaign optimisation across platforms.

This enhancement simplifies workflows for marketers by enabling seamless integration between Google and Microsoft Advertising platforms, improving efficiency.

  • Automatic import: Conversion goals will be imported by default with each setup, facilitating quick adoption for users of both ad platforms.
  • Compatibility: Supports value-based bid strategies like Max Conversions, ensuring flexibility in optimisation tactics.
  • Implementation considerations: Microsoft advises setting up a Universal Event Tracking (UET) tag with Google Tag Manager to manage new conversion events effectively.
  • Opt-out option: Advertisers have the choice to disable the automatic import feature if they prefer to manage conversions separately.

By allowing Google Ads conversion goal imports, Microsoft Advertising aims to attract advertisers by minimising setup complexities and enhancing usability. This move underscores Microsoft's strategy to compete more effectively with Google in the digital advertising space.

The announcement has sparked discussions among PPC professionals, highlighting concerns about potential attribution challenges and the need for careful setup to avoid discrepancies between tracking codes.

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check back next month for the latest trends and updates in the world of PPC in August.

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Meet the author ...

Maddie Crawford

PPC Manager

Maddie has worked in digital marketing since her apprenticeship in 2017 but quickly realised her true passion was in the PPC side of things! Since then she has worked across ...