Join us, as we discuss the top news and trends from the PPC industry in November.

Getting in the festive spirit, November saw Meta and Google announcing new features which will help save marketers time and enable small businesses to stand out.

Also featured is news about Amazon and Meta teaming up for a more seamless shopping experience, whilst Apple removes all its ads from X and secretly asks Amazon to restrict competitors from advertising against their brand!

Google Ads updates location asset requirements

In December, Google Ads will be updating the requirements for location assets in an effort to provide clarity on the types of location assets not allowed on the platform.

The update specifies that certain locations will not be permitted as location assets, including:

  • Closed locations
  • Locations unrecognised by Google.
  • Locations that don't align with the advertised business
  • Assets featuring products or services not corresponding to the specified location.

Location assets present a strong opportunity to display business information such as addresses and phone numbers which can improve conversion rates.

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Google updates child and teen ad policies

Another update coming to Google Ads in December includes an update to the language in three child and teen policies. The intent of this update is to improve clarity and transparency for brands and advertisers.

The policies included in this update include:

These updates don't involve enforcement changes, but instead aim to offer clearer guidelines to prevent unintentional violations of rules and regulations.

Google's updates involve clarifying language in restricted categories and prohibited content sections, aligning policies, incorporating new articles for easier understanding of existing protections, and revising language for better consistency across policies.

These revisions come following a study that accused Google of improperly tracking children for targeted advertising. Google denied wrongdoing, attributing concerns to confusion regarding brand safety controls and reporting in their PMax product.

Google introduces a new filter in shopping search results

This new filter is dedicated to showcasing products exclusively offered by small businesses and follows the recent implementation allowing businesses to identify themselves as a small business in their Google Business Profile or Merchant Center accounts.

Although the small business attribute had quietly gone live earlier, Google has now officially rolled out this feature, enabling searchers to filter and view products specifically from small businesses. Users can select the small business filter when conducting shopping-related searches to exclusively see products from these businesses.

This update aims to support people who prioritise backing local or small businesses. For small businesses, leveraging this attribute could potentially attract customers, providing them visibility among larger retailers in search results.

As this feature is currently only available in US markets we haven't been able to see it first hand yet, but love the example represented by Search Engine Land in this article.

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Apple breaks ties with X

Apple has reportedly withdrawn all its advertisements from X, following concerns about anti-semitic content endorsed by Elon Musk and worries about their products being associated with this content.

Other brands that have experienced a similar fallout include IBM, Amazon and Oracle, with ads showing next to other content which does not represent their brand values, many brands have responded by removing all ad spend from the platform.

This is a significant sign for other brands regarding the platform's potential for advertising.

Since Elon Musk took over X in 2022, ad revenue on the platform has seen a 59% decrease and brands making the decision to move their advertising budgets to other platforms is likely to further impact ad revenue significantly.

See also: Google display network partners with X

Meta announces text to video asset generation

Two new AI tools were announced in November including Emu Video and Emu Edit, which assists with video asset creation and image editing. These tools will become available on Facebook and Instagram, allowing content creators to generate videos and edit images within seconds using text prompts.

The significance of these tools is the time-saving capabilities of generating video assets and image edits. This not only aids marketers but also serves as inspiration for content creation.

Emu Video, based on Meta's ‘Emu’ AI research, generates short video clips using text prompts or still image inputs. It can animate user-provided images based on text prompts, setting a new standard in quality and capability. See it in action.

Emu Edit, Meta's picture editing tool, allows detailed editing instructions for tasks like local/global edits, background manipulation, colour transformations, and more. It accurately follows instructions while preserving unrelated pixels. See it in action.

A Meta spokesperson highlighted the potential use cases for these tools, envisioning users generating animated stickers or GIFs instantly for communication purposes.

While not a replacement for professional artists, these tools offer new ways for individuals to express themselves creatively, from art directors conceptualising ideas to friends sharing unique greetings.

Apple’s secret request to Amazon to prevent competitor ads showing on product pages

Apple has requested special treatment from Amazon which would put competitor brands like Samsung and Microsoft at a disadvantage.

Amazon seemingly agreed to limit ads to only show on the bottom of product pages which is a courtesy not extended to other brands on the platform.

This has sparked frustration among Apple's rivals as it provides Apple with a competitive advantage, creating an uneven playing field. Searches for Apple products on Amazon reveal restricted ads above, below, and among search results, with minimal advertising compared to searches for rival devices like the Samsung Galaxy S23, which display various ads throughout the results page.

It's unclear if Apple paid Amazon to block rival ads.

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Google trials a new ad format in Search Generative Experience (SGE) feature.

Users asking questions received AI-generated responses accompanied by sponsored content labelled ‘You May Also Like’. This section showcased a carousel of products displaying titles, images, and company names.

The impact of this new feature is uncertain. It's speculated that it might reduce Click-Through Rates (CTR) by up to 30% for both organic and sponsored content. However, securing higher placements within SGE could potentially positively influence CTR. Details about costs for these placements remain unconfirmed, as these ad formats are still in the testing phase.

SEO consultant Glenn Gabe discovered this test, noting that Google seems to be experimenting with sponsored content in SGE.

He highlighted the appearance of a carousel of sponsored content after follow-up questions in SGE. However, this test seemed temporary, indicating Google's ongoing experimentation with such modules.

Since its initial discovery, we haven’t been able to replicate the ‘You May Also Like’ sponsored ads.

Meta and Amazon introduce a streamlined conversion process for advertisers

US shoppers can now link Facebook and Instagram accounts directly to Amazon, allowing them to directly purchase advertised products within the social media apps.

While this update isn’t yet available to UK users, the benefits where available include:

  • Improved targeting and optimisation: Meta will utilise data from Amazon to refine ad targeting and optimisation for consumers.
  • Enhanced conversion rates: Linked Prime accounts facilitate quicker checkouts within ads, eliminating the need for re-entering payment details.
  • Personalised ad experience: Ad messaging and product pages will be tailored based on Prime membership status, displaying real-time pricing and shipping estimates.

The process involves Meta users clicking on ads within Facebook or Instagram, leading them to an in-app shopping experience where they can seamlessly purchase products using their linked Prime accounts.

This collaboration arrives in response to challenges faced by Meta due to Apple's privacy changes in 2021, impacting ad targeting and causing a significant drop in ad revenue.

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

Keep up to date with all the latest PPC news.

Read the October 2023 edition here
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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 ...