Google Search, Chrome & Ad Execs Plotted To Increase Ad Revenues via @sejournal, @martinibuster

United States antitrust lawsuit against Google uncovers emails of executives from Google Search, Chrome and Ads discussing schemes for increasing ad revenue.

There are two documents, one from 2019 that features top Google executives from Search, Chrome and Ads hatching plans for pumping up ad revenues before the end of the quarter. At one point they even discuss the impact on Google’s stock price and their own personal fortunes.

Another document, dating from 2017, acknowledges reluctance of the Search team to do anything that could negatively affect users.

It must be pointed out that the most outrageous document consists of top executives, including Ben Gomes, who is one of the top engineers responsible for Google’s Search algorithm.

The PDF documenting the email discussion appears to shatter Google’s longtime insistence that that the Search Team is firewalled from the Advertising side of the company.

But again, these are top executives having a discussion, not the search team itself, apart from Ben Gomes.

Search Team Firewalled From Ads Teams

Googlers have made many statements over the years, at search conferences and in Google Hangouts and on Twitter that the search side of Google does not coordinate with the advertising side.

For example, in a May 8, 2015 Google Hangout, Google’s John Mueller explained how the search team is blocked off from the Ads team.

The question he answered was about a rumor that Google makes SEO more difficult in order to make more money from the ads.

Mueller responded:

“This is definitely not true.

So, this is something where we have a very, very strong firewall essentially between the paid side of Google and the organic search side.

And that’s not something that we would kind of connect, where we would say we would make algorithms that make the search results worse so that people go and click on ads more.

…So, it’s something where we’re not artificially trying to make it more complicated or harder or the search results worse so that people click on ads.

…So, that’s something where on the one hand, we really have the strong separation between the two sides.

On the other hand, we really need to keep that upright, so that we can make sure our search results are really as neutral as possible, as high quality as possible and really provide what users want.”

Google Executives Worked Together With Google Ads Team

The 2019 email is from a Google Ads executive Jerry Dischler. It was sent to a ChromeOS executive named John Maletis.

Also in on the email discussion is Ben Gomes who worked on the Google search algorithm since the earliest days, and Prabhakar Raghavan, an executive vice president who has been involved in the Search side as well as with Google Ads.

Google Ads executive Dischler wrote:

“The Search team is working together with us to accelerate a launch of a new mobile layout by the end of May that will be very revenue positive (exact numbers still moving), but that still won’t be enough.

Our best shot at making the quarter is if we get an injection of at least [redacted]% , queries ASAP from Chrome.”

He followed those remarks by lamenting how disappointed all the different team members will be should Google’s stock price drop because the advertising side didn’t perform well enough.

Frankly, it’s shocking that anyone involved with Google’s algorithm is in a discussion with the ChromeOS and Advertising teams about ways to artificially increase search queries in order to help meet the advertising side’s performance goals for the quarter.

And as disappointing as that is, it gets even worse.

The executives go on to discuss how not meeting their revenue goals will impact their personal wealth.

Dischler continued:

“I care more about revenue that the average person but think we can all agree that for all of our teams trying to live in high cost areas another $[redacted] in stock price loss will not be great for morale, not to mention the huge impact on our sales team.

In the next paragraph he expresses pride in Google’s “pure approach” and claims he doesn’t want to “poison the culture of any team.”

And with his next breath this is where he starts handing out the poison, saying:

“I don’t want the message to be ‘we’re doing this thing because the Ads team needs revenue.’ That’s a very negative message.

But my question to you is – based on above – what do we think is the best decision for Google overall?

…Are there other ranking tweaks we can push out quickly?”

A high ranking Chrome executive, Anil Sabharwal, responds by affirming they should go ahead with changes to search ranking (ostensibly to benefit Google Ads, which is the context of the entire email).

Tellingly, he worries about “bad press” at the upcoming Google IO event.

Sabharwal responded:

“…we don’t want bad press around IO, let’s roll out #1 and #2 now and get the benefits.

Let’s also start the search ranking experiments asap and roll those out once we get the data.”

Later on in the email chain, Anil Sabharwal questions how far the executives are willing to go in terms of the negative impact to the user experience, long term retention and team motivation.

He then talks about changes to search ranking:

“We are making progress here, and I’m hopeful the search ranking improvements in Omnibox will also be a material increase in SQV, but I understand we need to do more.”

The “improvements” being discussed are a way to increase search queries and presumably ad revenues.

In another part of the email chain Jerry Dischler remarks on the short term gains from reversing “query-driven revenue loss” and references experiments on the Chrome and Search side.

He then remarks on how they need to be more aggressive about raising the advertising revenues.

Dischler writes:

“It’s a decent start but collectively we need to figure out how to do more and this work is urgent because we continue to face these strong headwinds in Q2.”

Anil Sabharwal, the Chrome executive,  later discusses the changes to Chrome, specifically the Omnibox changes, that are designed to increase search queries, describing the work of the Chrome team for increasing search queries as “heroic.”

He wrote:

“1…we were able to get launch approval to rollout two changes (entity suggest and tail suggest) that increase queries by [redacted]% and [redacted]% respectively.

2. We are going to immediately start experiments to improve search ranking in the omnibox (more search results and nudging search to the top).”

The changes Google made to Chrome were so bad that the experiments were noticed by commenters on Reddit.

The executive found it humorous that the Redditors thought that the experiment was a “bug.”

Another government exhibit contains a discussion given in 2017 where the Ads side expresses frustration with the wall separating the Ads team from the search team.

The discussion calls attention to talk that the Search side should consider “query quotas.”

The document reveals:

…the old model of things getting thrown over the wall to them has outlived its usefulness…

There’s talk of suggesting that the Search team consider new goals around query quotas, focusing on monetizable queries, returning towards focusing Search experience on high revenue countries…”

The document outlines the fears of the Search team about metrics that could lead to “unnatural search experiences” from the quest for ad revenue.

So it’s not that the Search team itself was complicit in rigging search in service of more ad revenues.

The second document acknowledges that the Search team itself didn’t want to engage in activities that would negatively impact the users.

Read the entire email document in PDF format.

Read the second exhibit in PDF format that kicks around the idea about “query quotas”

Watch John Mueller discuss the firewall between the search and ads at the 41 minute mark:

5 Google Analytics Reports Every PPC Marketer Needs To Know About via @sejournal, @brookeosmundson

Like it or not, the Google Analytics 4 migration deadline has come and gone.

For someone who’s used Google Universal Analytics for the past 10 years, dealing with this change has been tough.

The previous platform provided easy-to-use reports at marketers’ fingertips in an instant.

It’s easy to have a love/hate relationship with Google Analytics reports right now.

As marketers, we have limited time in our work days.

Now, we are tasked with learning a new interface (UI) and re-creating those sacred reports, all while performing our regular duties.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to five Google Analytics reports to help you get the necessary information faster when making strategic decisions for PPC campaigns.

My favorite go-to reports will help:

  • Analyze and expand audience segments in PPC campaigns.
  • Expand PPC keyword selection.
  • Identify successful top-of-funnel efforts to support additional budget requests.

1. Interests Segment Report

As Google Ads keyword match types have loosened over the past few years, close variations have taken over campaigns.

As a result, targeted PPC keywords are more loosely managed as Google tries to master user intent.

Because of this, understanding the behavior of our target audiences is crucial for success.

The Interests segment report shows exactly that.

In the previous Universal Analytics interface, this report was called the “In-Market Segments” report.

While it’s a bit harder to find, the Interests report can be found in Google Analytics 4.

To find this report, navigate to Reports > User > Demographic details.

The report defaults to showing data by country. To view the Interest report, click the down arrow by Country and select Interests.

Navigate to the user demographics section in GA4.Screenshot from GA4, July 2023

This report shows the types of Interest segments (for Google Ads) of users who have purchased on your website.

Interest segment report in GA4 sorted by revenue.Screenshot from GA4, July 2023

The key features of this report allow you to:

  • Segment by past purchasers or converters to identify the most relevant Interest segments to target.
  • Sort by highest revenue or conversion rate.
  • Layer relevant and converting Interest segments into existing Google Ads campaigns.
  • Create new PPC campaigns targeting those segments exclusively.

2. Site Search Report

This report is useful for many reasons aside from PPC.

By utilizing this Google Analytics 4 report, you can understand how users are searching to find what they need on the website.

The key features of this report can:

  • Help inform ongoing keyword strategy.
  • Provide expanded keyword lists based on real user behavior.
  • Identify potential gaps in expected vs. actual search behavior.

Speaking of gaps, the Site Search report can also help product teams understand if additional demands exist for the products offered.

For example, say you have a wedding invitation website that has a decent product assortment for different themed weddings.

When using the Site Search report, you see an increasing number of searches for “rustic,” – but none of the website designs have that rustic feel!

This can inform product marketing that there is a demand for this type of product, and they can take action accordingly.

To find the Site Search report, navigate to Reports > Engagement > Events.

Look for the event “view_search_results” and click on it.

GA4 view_search_resultsScreenshot from GA4, July 2023

Once clicked, find the “search_term” custom parameter card on the page.

A few important notes on search terms data:

  • Before using this report, you must create a new custom dimension (event-scoped) for the search term results to populate.
  • Google Analytics will only show data once it meets a minimum aggregation threshold.

While it’s not as robust as the previous Site Search report in Universal Analytics, it does provide basic data on the number of events and total users per search term.

3. Referrals Report

This report is highly underrated, in my opinion.

The Referrals report shows the top websites that have sent traffic to your website and if any of those users convert.

To find this report, navigate to Reports > Acquisition > Traffic Acquisition.

GA4: AcquisitionScreenshot from GA4, July 2023

To view the websites from the Referral channel, click the “+” in the default channel group and choose “Session source/medium.”

GA4: identify how users are finding the websiteScreenshot from GA4, July 2023

The key features of this report can:

  • Help identify how users are finding the website.
  • Analyze high-quality vs. low-quality referral traffic to the website.
  • Allow you to create a list of top referral websites.

To take your PPC campaigns one step further, try creating a new “Placements” audience and test it in a new Google Ads Display campaign.

This is a cost-efficient way to test expanding new PPC efforts responsibly because the referral websites chosen are known to provide high-quality traffic to your website.

4. Top Conversion Paths Report

As marketers, we’re often asked how “Top of Funnel” (TOF) or brand awareness campaigns are performing.

Leadership typically prioritizes channels that are proven to perform. So, they want to make sure marketing dollars are spent efficiently.

In today’s economy, this is more important than ever.

This Google Analytics report helps analyze and interpret TOF behavior.

If you’re running any type of campaign beyond Search, this report is absolutely necessary.

Campaigns like YouTube and Display and other paid channels like social media (Meta, Instagram, TikTok, etc.) naturally have different goals and objectives.

TOF campaigns are undoubtedly criticized for “not performing” at the same rate as a Search campaign.

As marketers, this can be frustrating to hear over and over.

Using the Conversions Path report provides a holistic view of how long it takes a user to eventually make a purchase from the initial interaction.

To find this report, navigate to Advertising > Attribution > Conversion paths.

When drilling down to specific campaign performance, I recommend:

  • Add a filter that contains “Session source/medium” to the specific paid channel in question (“google/cpc” for example)
  • Include an “AND” statement to the filter for “Session campaign” specific to the TOF campaigns in question.
Conversions Path Report in Google Analytics 4.Screenshot from GA4, July 2023

In the example above, we found that our Paid Social campaigns should have been credited in more of the early and mid touchpoints!

The key features of this report can:

  • Identify how many touchpoints to final conversion.
  • Analyze complex user journey interactions when multiple channels are involved (especially for longer sale cycles).
  • Report on credited conversions based on the attribution model.

This report can uncover necessary data to support the request for additional marketing dollars in TOF channels.

A win-win for all parties involved.

5. Geo-Location Report

This one may be a no-brainer, but surprisingly, it is an overlooked report that can help your PPC performance.

Oftentimes, once a target location is set, we tend to forget it.

Location performance is an easy setting to overlook.

If campaigns are performing well, what’s the point of changing anything, right?


The Locations report will show top users by city, but also revenue and conversion rate.

This is a crucial step in optimizing and maintaining performance in PPC campaigns.

I typically look for the ratio of users by area vs. the amount of revenue and conversion rate in that same area.

If a large amount of dollars is spent in a state that produces low revenue, do I want to continue spending money in a place that’s not converting?

Of course not!

Consider bidding down on those areas or potentially excluding them altogether.

To find this report, navigate to Reports > User > User Attributes > Demographic details.

In the same example of the Interests report, change the default sort from “Country” to “Region.” Or add a secondary dimension to the report.

From there, sort the report by Revenue or Conversion Rate to identify top-performing or low-performing regions.

Make sure to add a filter for specific paid media channels or campaigns if you want to segment further.

Cross-reference where PPC campaigns are showing to usersScreenshot from GA4, July 2023

In the example above, I see that California has the highest amount of revenue and sessions.

This indicates I should, at a minimum, test increasing bids in that region because of historical high performance.

Simple optimizations such as location bid adjustments can make significant impacts over time on PPC performance.

The key features of this report can:

  • Cross-reference where PPC campaigns are showing to users and the amount of traffic sent to the website.
  • Identify any performance gaps based on region.
  • Provide optimization recommendations for top-performing regions.


The five Google Analytics reports can be impactful when analyzing PPC performance.

Because they provide meaningful trends over time, it may not make sense to view these every day or even every week.

The Google Ads platform has its own robust reporting features when reviewing and optimizing campaigns daily and weekly.

By utilizing these five Google Analytics reports on a monthly or quarterly basis, performance can be viewed holistically.

It’s always important to take a step back from the “day to day” optimizations in Google Ads to better understand how PPC fits into overall channel performance.

Reviewing these reports not necessarily made for PPC can give you the upper hand in making strategic improvements that can supercharge your campaign performance.

More resources: 

Featured Image: Sutthiphong Chandaeng/Shutterstock

Microsoft, Snap Partner To Serve Snapchat My AI Sponsored Links via @sejournal, @kristileilani

Microsoft Advertising and Snap have announced a pivotal partnership that positions both tech giants at the vanguard of advertising innovation.

Using Microsoft’s Chat Ads API, Snap aims to serve sponsored links in Snapchat’s My AI chatbot, augmenting a dynamic user experience.

Snapchat My AI Chatbot Displays Ads To 150 Million Users

Snapchat boasts an impressive reach, with more than 750 million active users per month who send billions of messages daily.

Microsoft, likewise, has been making strides with its recent advancements in AI technology, notably through Bing and asset recommendations for Responsive Search Ads.

This partnership will facilitate Sponsored Links in Snapchat’s My AI, one of the largest consumer chatbots, interacting with over 150 million people.

The following shows sample ads from CDW, ADT, and Amazon, along with the conversations that led My AI to serve sponsored links powered by the Ads for Chat API.

Microsoft, Snap Partner To Serve Snapchat My AI Sponsored LinksScreenshot from Snapchat, September 2023

New Ways To Reach Specific Demographic

For advertisers, this collaboration offers a significant ROI potential.

Using Microsoft’s generative AI technology, brands can engage deeply with Snapchat’s youthful, mobile-first audience.

Furthermore, Microsoft’s focus on mobile improvements resonates well with Snapchat’s user base, making the partnership a strategic move for both companies.

Advertisers can view the impact of Snap traffic in the Microsoft Advertising publisher report, found under the “Microsoft sites and select traffic” category.

During the testing phase, advertisers saw an increase of over 15% in mobile impressions from this category while maintaining or improving cost per acquisition.

Future Chat Ads API Partnerships

Microsoft and Snap vow to remain attuned to advertiser feedback as they refine their chat ad offerings.

This initiative is not just a one-off; it marks a strategic milestone in the continued growth of generative AI in advertising.

Microsoft encourages inaugural partners using the Chat Ads API to provide feedback through its advertising feedback portal and social media.

In addition to its current partners, Snap and Axel Springer, Microsoft has noted plans to expand the new advertising option to more partners soon.

It encourages interested companies to fill out a partnership application for help with “algorithmic organic results and ads monetization or ads monetization only.”

Featured image: ECO LENS/Shutterstock

5 PPC Tips For Technology Companies via @sejournal, @brookeosmundson

More and more companies are discovering the benefits of a well-run PPC program.

PPC can be so much more than just a lead generation tool.

With many different campaign types available in Google and Microsoft Ads, a sophisticated PPC program can support potential buyers in every part of their journey.

However, competitive keywords in certain industries, especially the technology industry, can be extremely costly.

$50 cost per click (CPC)? No, thank you!

Do not let expensive keywords prevent you from developing a PPC strategy to help reach your goals in this industry.

Below are five top PPC tips for effectively using search platforms such as Google Ads and Microsoft Ads to effectively reach your target audience in the competitive technology space.

1. Make Use Of Detailed Demographics In Google Ads

Detailed demographics is an audience type available at the ad group or campaign level in Google Ads.

This audience type allows advertisers to target further beyond the standard demographics available.

This is especially beneficial to the technology industry because you can target by:

Company Size

  • Small Employer (1-249).
  • Large Employer (250-10k).
  • Very Large Employer (10k+ Employees).


  • Construction.
  • Education Sector.
  • Financial.
  • Healthcare.
  • Hospitality.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Real Estate.
  • Technology.


Highest Level of Educational Attainment:

  • High School Graduate.
  • Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Advanced Degree.

 target audience

demographicsScreenshots by author, July 2023

Other detailed demographics can be added, but are likely better used for B2C companies:

  • Parental Status.
  • Marital Status.
  • Homeownership Status.

It’s important to understand what campaign types are available for this type of targeting.

Currently, the “Company Size” and “Company Industry” segments are available for the following campaign types:

  • Search.
  • Discover.
  • Video.
  • Performance Max.
  • Shopping.

They are not available on Display or App campaigns.

With these demographic options, the possibilities are endless!

You have the option to use Targeting (meaning you are only targeting users who are in this category).

Another option is Observation (meaning you are targeting these users, as well as everyone else who doesn’t fit into this category).

targetingScreenshot by author, July 2023

If you’ve never used detailed demographics targeting, start by adding the demographics that fit your audience to current Search campaigns as “Observation” first.

By adding them as “Observation” initially, it can help you understand how these audience segments engage differently than those not categorized in those demographics.

Once enough data is obtained, try switching the segments to “Targeting” to really narrow in on those customers specifically.

2. Keep Keywords Broad When Targeting By Audience

Switching audiences to “Targeting” instead of “Observation” will undoubtedly narrow your reach in those campaigns.

Narrowing and limiting isn’t necessarily a bad thing. By layering audience segments onto campaigns, you’re further qualifying the target audience.

Now that the targeting is narrowed, try testing out broad match keywords specific to these audiences.

Don’t go too wild at first and target terms like “tech news” as a broad term, for example.

Another note about keywords: everyone searches differently.

Conversions in B2B campaigns can come from low-volume, high-intent searches, and with broad match keywords, campaigns can capitalize on the individual user.

Another added benefit of going broad is that you gather more data on how users are actually searching to get to your product or service.

It can shed light on language or buying behaviors you may not have thought of using before!

I see this a lot between product marketing teams and digital marketing teams – there is a disconnect in how you talk about your product vs. how the end consumer searches for it.

3. Don’t Forget About Microsoft Ads

As the competition in Google Ads continues to grow, it’s no wonder that companies are becoming more aggressive in other platforms.

Microsoft Ads can be a hidden goldmine for technology companies because of its exclusive LinkedIn Profile Targeting feature.

Microsoft is the only platform besides LinkedIn that can offer this targeting.

Advertisers are able to target these characteristics of a user’s LinkedIn profile:

  • Company. Choose as few or as many individual companies that fit your criteria. Currently, there are over 80,000 companies to target.
  • Industry. Examples include ‘Software & IT Services,’ ‘Hardware & Networking,’ ‘Manufacturing,’ and more.
  • Job Function. Examples include ‘Product Management,’ ‘Operations,’ ‘Marketing,’ and more.
Campaign exampleScreenshots by author, July 2023

Currently, this targeting is only available as “Bid Only.” That means you can increase or decrease your bids on these demographics but cannot exclusively target users who match these criteria.

To get around this limitation, try setting your keyword bids extremely low and using a significant bid increase on those demographic targets.

This is by no means foolproof, but it’s one possible way to show ads only to those who meet your criteria.

4. Introduce Your Brand With Video Ads On YouTube

Gone are the days of targeting $50 CPC search terms, hoping you might have enough budget to get a few clicks per day.

That type of marketing won’t move the needle unless you have an unlimited budget.

If you’re under the assumption that Video Ads only work for B2C companies, this is a good time to be wrong!

Technology and other B2B brands are leveraging the power of Video Ads as a cost-effective way to reach a receptive and relevant audience.

With the ability to target by Detailed Demographics segments and Custom segments, marketers can feel more secure that they’re reaching users in their target audience.

Custom segments in Google used to be named “Custom Intent” audiences, if you’re not familiar with the new name.

Try building a new custom segment audience by adding a mixture of these characteristics that are related to your product or service:

  • Specific keywords.
  • URLs.
  • Apps.

Even a $20 per day budget for testing YouTube’s effectiveness for your company is bound to win you brand recognition.

Remember, the goal of YouTube Ads typically isn’t to generate immediate conversions; the main goal should be to measure brand awareness. This is why attribution and utilizing remarketing is so important for this campaign type.

Try testing multiple audiences at a low cost per day ($10-$20). From there, the remarketing capabilities are almost endless!

Examples of how marketers can create video remarketing lists include:

  • Users who watch certain videos.
  • Users who watch a certain percentage of a video.
  • Users who subscribe to the linked YouTube channel.
  • Users who visit the YouTube channel page.
  • Users who have liked or shared any video.

Those video remarketing lists can be used in a targeted Display campaign to re-engage those particular users.

Coupling YouTube and Display campaigns with this strategy can be a cost-effective way to fill the top of your funnel with qualified users.

Additionally, you can layer those video audiences on top of Search campaigns and increase bids on those segments.

However, video audiences can’t be specifically targeted in Search campaigns.

5. Ensure Your Tech Brand’s Marketing Assets Are Clear & Compelling

This may be the most important recommendation of all, and not to be overlooked.

I have seen many companies carve out multiple target personas for their product but produce just one message for each persona.

Then, they are stumped when they’re seeing poor ad engagement or responsiveness.

If you have multiple target audiences, shouldn’t you be speaking to them in different ways?

It’s no secret that the economy has had its fair share of ups and downs in the past few years.

Marketing messaging, inevitably, has become more emotional because the goal is to speak to each user’s pain points.

Think of each of your target audience’s pain points. What problem can your brand solve for them? Start your message with that.

Remember, you may be reaching different roles in a particular company based on how you’re utilizing targeting.

A CMO of a company has different pain points than a Product Manager.

The second piece to think about is your offering. Should all marketing offerings be the same across each advertising platform?

Probably not.

Say you’re trying to reach a software engineer or IT person who would use your product every day. Your messaging should offer something tangible that they can use or try out.

While they may not be the decision-maker to choose your product or service, they likely have some influence on what products are used to make their job easier.

On the other hand, if you’re trying to reach the CEO or another C-Suite level person in that same company, they likely aren’t the ones who will be using your product every day.

They probably don’t want a trial. They just need to know your product or service works.

For example, provide them with messaging that shows you’re a thought leader in the space.

Build A Smarter PPC Strategy

If you’re in the technology industry and have been relying on traditional PPC methods, it’s time to test something new.

Especially today, marketing budgets are usually the first to go when performance stalls.

Knowing this, regardless of your industry, it is up to you to be innovative in your approach to reaching your ideal consumer.

This may include trying new campaign types like Video Ads or different platforms like Microsoft Ads, Quora, or Reddit.

These PPC tips can benefit others, even outside the technology industry.

Once you know your options, you can combat those high search CPCs for more effective marketing strategies.

More resources: 

Featured Image: one photo/Shutterstock

Microsoft Advertising Introduces 3 New Generative AI Solutions via @sejournal, @kristileilani

Microsoft announced a series of generative AI updates to its search and advertising platforms to redefine how we interact with search engines and online ads.

Earlier this year, the tech giant revealed its plans to implement generative AI into its services to change how we work.

It’s doing that with features like Compare & Decide Ads and Copilot in the Microsoft Advertising Platform.

Microsoft’s data reveals that the company’s AI-powered chat feature, Bing Chat, resonates well with younger users and encourages quicker decision-making.

Compared to traditional search methods, users on Chat reportedly take half the time to reach a decision.

Additional internal data revealed significant growth in Microsoft’s Edge browser, attributing it partly to the successful integration of Bing AI chat.

Compare And Decide Ads Offer Engaging Conversational Experience

Microsoft is introducing new advertising formats designed exclusively for the Bing Chat experience.

The first of these, Compare & Decide Ads, will allow users to evaluate options based on their chosen criteria.

Microsoft Advertising Introduces 3 New Generative AI SolutionsScreenshot from Microsoft, September 2023

Slated for a closed beta in early 2024, these ads will collate all relevant data into a concise table to revolutionize retail, travel, and auto advertising.

Microsoft also plans to release more Conversational Ad experience formats over the coming months to help advertisers engage with AI chat users.

Microsoft Introduces First Ads For Chat API Partners

In addition to the new Conversational Ad experiences, Microsoft also announced its first two partners using the new Ads for Chat API.

Snapchat’s My AI chatbot, accessed by 150 million people globally on the popular social platform, is among the first to serve sponsored contents in its chat responses via the Ads for ChatAPI.

Microsoft Advertising Introduces 3 New Generative AI SolutionsScreenshot from Snapchat, September 2023

Axel Springer’s product Hey_, with 16-17 million visits daily, has also implemented the advertising solution.

Microsoft intends to respond to feedback about the Ads for Chat API service from its current partners before expanding it to more.

Copilot For Microsoft Advertising Offers Intelligence AI Assistance

Another groundbreaking feature is the Copilot in the Microsoft Advertising Platform.

Microsoft Advertising Introduces 3 New Generative AI SolutionsScreenshot from Microsoft, September 2023

This intelligent assistant aims to help advertisers and agencies streamline their advertising efforts, making recommendations for images, headlines, and descriptions.

Microsoft is conducting tests with a limited number of advertisers before rolling it out for open beta “in the coming months.”

AI Continues To Transform Advertising And Search

The advancements in Microsoft’s advertising and search features have significant implications for the ad industry, offering more effective targeting and enhanced user experiences.

Microsoft advertisers are invited to sign up for a webcast in November to learn more about generative AI in Microsoft solutions.

Featured image: Lori Butcher/Shutterstock

Google Ads Updates Misrepresentation Policy To Strengthen Standards via @sejournal, @MattGSouthern

To maintain trust and ensure transparency in advertising, Google has announced an update to its Misrepresentation policy.

The update, enacted on November 21, 2023, is designed to tackle issues related to the non-fulfillment of a product or service due to lack of qualifications.

Policy Update Details

The policy change revolves around removing the non-fulfillment of a product or service due to a lack of qualifications from the Misrepresentation policy.

Instead, these issues will be addressed under the Unacceptable Business Practices policy.

Google warns that any found violations of this policy will result in the immediate suspension of the offender’s Google Ads accounts without prior warning.

Advertisers who believe they have been wrongfully accused of violating the policy can submit an appeal and explain their side.

Context For The Misrepresentation Policy

Google Ads’ Misrepresentation policy prohibits ads or destinations that deceive users by excluding relevant product information or providing misleading information about products, services, or businesses.

The policy targets unacceptable business practices like scamming users by concealing or misstating information about the advertiser’s business, product, or service.

Other violations include using phishing techniques to gather user information, dishonest pricing practices, clickbait tactics, misleading ad design, and making unproven or inaccurate claims.

Context For The Unacceptable Business Practices Policy

Google Ads’ Unacceptable Business Practices policy prohibits impersonating other brands, falsely advertising services you can’t provide, gathering user information under false pretenses, and other deceptive tactics.

Google provides several examples of practices that violate the policy, such as pretending to be a legitimate business when you cannot deliver the advertised product or service.

The policy also bars dangerous false advertising, like claiming to provide medical help but actually just delaying real treatment.

Beyond the direct violations listed, Google may take action if an advertiser receives regulatory warnings or settlements related to shady business practices. External complaints about impersonation could also trigger consequences.

The Importance Of Adherence To Policies

When serving ads on Google, you must adhere to its policies. Ads that don’t meet Google’s policies will be disapproved and stop serving.

Egregious or frequent policy violations may trigger account suspension, and all the ads in your account will stop serving.”

You can check for a policy violation in the policy manager of your Google Ads account.

Featured Image: GoodIdeas/Shutterstock

Microsoft Bing & Wix Announce IndexNow Integration via @sejournal, @kristileilani

Wix, a leading web development platform, has recently integrated IndexNow into its services, optimizing the speed at which new content on premium sites gets indexed by search engines.

This development is especially crucial for the millions of Wix users who depend on rapid search engine updates to drive web traffic.

In a collaborative effort with Microsoft Bing, Wix now offers seamless support for IndexNow, an innovative initiative by significant search engines.

Einat Hoobian-Seybold, Product Lead at Wix, expressed enthusiasm about the integration, stating it further exemplifies Wix’s commitment to delivering “exceptional out-of-the-box SEO solutions.”

How IndexNow Works For Premium Sites

IndexNow simplifies the typically arduous content indexing process for Bing, Yandex,, and

Website owners typically rely on search engine crawling or sitemaps, which can be slower and occasionally less accurate.

With IndexNow, websites can submit a straightforward HTTP request to notify search engines of content changes, including new, updated, or deleted URLs.

Helping Businesses Build An Online Presence

According to Fabrice Canel, Principal Program Manager at Microsoft Bing, IndexNow is already a game-changer in the industry.

It’s currently used by over 60 million websites, publishing over 1.4 billion URLs daily. Reportedly, 12% of all new URLs clicked in web search results were first identified via IndexNow, illustrating its efficacy.

Microsoft and Wix both anticipate this new feature will substantially aid Wix users in growing their online presence and business ventures.

The integration does not require additional steps from SEO professionals or website owners with premium sites, making it an effortless tool for instantaneous content indexing.

This move by Wix and Microsoft could revolutionize how quickly businesses adapt to online market changes, especially those heavily reliant on search engine rankings.

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Google Ads Automatically Created Assets Available In 8 Languages via @sejournal, @kristileilani

Google shared the latest updates to Google Ads’ automatically created assets and conversational experience to help more users leverage artificial intelligence (AI) to improve ad campaign efficiency.

The latest features focus on automatically created assets and a new conversational experience, marking a step toward automating the advertising workflow.

Expansion Of Automatically Created Assets

One of the most notable enhancements is the expansion of automatically created assets.

This feature automatically crafts tailored headlines and descriptions based on an ad’s specific context, such as its landing page or pre-existing ads.

The goal is to bolster the “Ad Strength” indicator, which quantifies the effectiveness of ads in responsive search campaigns. Marketers can remove any automatically created assets they deem unfit for their campaigns.

Initially available only in English, this feature has now been expanded to include seven additional languages: Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

To use automatically created assets, activate them through your campaign settings or locate the “Enable automatically created assets” suggestion on the Recommendations page.

Google will also add generative AI to create English assets for U.S. and U.K. advertisers, tailoring them more closely to user search queries.

Beta Testing For LLM-Powered Conversational Experience

Another development is the conversational experience powered by large language models (LLMs).

This feature allows advertisers to have a “natural language conversation” with Google Ads to generate campaign elements such as keywords, headlines, and images.

With beta testing underway in the U.S. and U.K. (English only), Google has received positive feedback for saving time and sparking new ideas for advertisers.

Google Ads Automatically Created Assets Available In 8 LanguagesScreenshot from Google, September 2023

Based on initial feedback, Google plans to refine these tools further and will roll out additional improvements to more advertisers in the coming months.

Google Continues Implementing Generative AI

The latest generative AI features coming to Google Ads aim to mitigate the complexities of modern digital advertising by providing a more automated and efficient workflow.

These new tools should help advertisers efficiently navigate shifting consumer behaviors and the ongoing need for more personalized and effective advertising strategies.

In an increasingly automated landscape, Google’s AI-powered updates to its Ads platform offer tools that could significantly streamline the ad creation and deployment process, making it more efficient and targeted.

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Google Apologizes As Automated GA4 Transition Surprises Advertisers via @sejournal, @MattGSouthern

Google has started automatically migrating advertiser conversion tracking from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4, confusing advertisers.

While intended to ease the transition to GA4, Google’s automated changes are creating problems for advertisers unaware of the migration.

Google apologizes for the confusion and recommends advertisers manually migrate their Universal Analytics settings for complete control.

A Shift To Google Analytics 4

Google has been replacing Universal Analytics with its upgraded version, Google Analytics 4 (GA4), since July 1.

As part of this shift, the company has been creating GA4 properties for users based on the settings of their existing Universal Analytics properties unless the users opted out.

Google Ads Liaison Ginny Marvin explained on X (formerly Twitter):

“Some advertisers have noticed our system making changes to GA4 conversion actions in their Google Ads accounts. This is the conversion swapping piece of the Setup Assistant migration process with the turndown of Universal Analytics.”

Communication & Confusion

Google notified advertisers that it would configure corresponding conversions and audiences in GA4 and apply them to Ads accounts as part of the migration process.

Advertisers had the option to opt out of this automatic configuration. However, Marvin acknowledged that some advertisers were surprised by the changes.

Marvin says:

“With the turndown process taking some time, we understand that some advertisers may be caught off guard with these changes being made now and apologize for the confusion.”

She explained that the changes aim to “map UA conversion to GA4 conversion settings for bidding & avoid duplicate measurement.”

Recommendations For Advertisers

Advertisers who do not manually migrate their settings may face issues.

According to a Google help page, not all Universal Analytics settings have a clear GA4 counterpart. Hence, the automated migration process might not consistently deliver the same choices that users would make.

That’s why Google advises manually migrating your Universal Analytics settings to GA4 to maintain control over your configurations.

Google reaffirmed that a new GA4 property will automatically be created if users do nothing, and Universal Analytics configurations will be copied to this new GA4 property.

Looking Ahead

Universal Analytics properties stopped processing data on July 1. Therefore, users wanting to continue using Google Analytics to measure their website traffic need a GA4 property.

Google will copy over any configurations for advertisers who have created a GA4 property and linked it to a Universal Analytics property.

As Google continues to navigate this significant shift, the company urges advertisers to stay informed and actively manage their migration to ensure the best results.

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Google Allegedly Adjusts Ad Auctions To Meet Revenue Goals via @sejournal, @MattGSouthern

In an ongoing federal antitrust trial, Google’s advertising practices are spotlighted this week.

Jerry Dischler, Vice President for Google’s advertising products, testified that Google adjusts its advertising auctions to meet revenue targets.

These adjustments, including price increases of up to 5%, are carried out without informing the advertisers.

This testimony is part of a larger case in which the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) alleges that Google has unlawfully maintained an online search monopoly.

As the trial continues, Google’s pricing changes, its competition with Amazon, and the impact of its policies on advertisers are all coming into focus.

Inside Google’s Advertising Practices

Dischler revealed during a federal antitrust trial on Monday that the tech giant regularly changes its ad auctions. These modifications, aimed at selling search ads, are carried out without notifying the advertisers.

“We tend not to tell advertisers about pricing changes,” Dischler stated.

He disclosed that in May 2019, his team was working on finding ways to ensure Google met the quarterly revenue targets set by Google’s CFO, Ruth Porat. He warned that failing to meet these expectations would result in a negative market response.

Dischler expressed concern about revenue and that a significant drop in Google’s stock price could negatively impact employee morale, especially for teams living in high-cost areas.

Dischler further clarified his intent during the trial, stating his goal was “to get creative so we could meet our quota.”

‘Honest Results’ Policy

Dischler says over 60% of Google’s total revenue comes from search ads, amounting to over $100 billion in 2020.

However, he emphasized that Google maintains an “honest results” policy, and the search team responsible for unpaid search results can disregard suggestions from the ads team.

He explained, “Financial compensation shouldn’t impact the quality of the search results. Revenue is motivator, not a decider.”

Pricing Changes & Competition

Dischler admitted that some auction changes resulted in a 5% increase in costs for the average advertiser, with some even seeing price hikes of up to 10%.

Despite this, he believes that a price increase of 15% would lead most advertisers to switch to competitors such as Meta Platforms Inc. or ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok.

“It would be a dangerous thing to do,” he cautioned.

Still, Dischler acknowledged that he had no reason to believe that Google wouldn’t retain enough advertisers to keep its revenue rising, even if prices were raised by 15%.

The Amazon Threat

Google is currently facing stiff competition from Amazon in the retail advertising sector.

Dischler admitted that consumer goods manufacturers have threatened to shift their ad spending from Google to Amazon, which is growing at twice the rate in retail advertising.

“Amazon is able to get better data than we are on the effectiveness of their advertising. That has caused budgets to shift,” Dischler said.

A Controversial Change

One specific change that boosted Google’s revenue, RGSP, altered the ad auction process so that the second-highest bidder would win the top advertising slot, with the actual winner taking the second spot.

Dischler revealed that while he didn’t know if this change led advertisers to place higher bids, it did increase Google’s revenue.

A Google spokesperson at the trial declined to comment on Dischler’s testimony.

Google’s Legal Headwinds

The U.S. DOJ alleges that Google has unlawfully maintained an online search monopoly by paying billions to web browsers and smartphone manufacturers to ensure Google is the default search engine for users.

As the antitrust trial continues, Google’s advertising practices remain under scrutiny.

With rising competition from Amazon in retail advertising and threats of advertisers switching platforms, Google faces challenges in balancing revenue motivations with fair business practices.

The outcome of the trial and advertiser responses to Dischler’s revelations will determine if adjustments are on the horizon for Google’s ad auctions and pricing strategies.

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