Google Announces New Ad Formats, Shopping Revamps

author image Written by: Lia           Categories - In The News

News Out of Google Marketing Live Event Cover Plenty of Ground for 2019

Google’s big Marketing Live event took place on May 14, 2019 and brought with it a ton of new info about products and services they’re introducing this year. Major announcements focused on new ad formats (3 of them, to be exact) and a revamp and redesign for Google Shopping, the company’s Amazon competitor.

New Ad Formats: Discovery Ads, Gallery Ads, and Showcase Shopping Ads

Discovery Ads

Google’s 3 new ad formats include Discovery Ads, which are native ads designed to appear in Google feeds. According to Google’s VP of Product Management, Brad Bender, these ads are visually rich and use the “power of intent” based on past site visits, app downloads, videos watched, and map searches. Discovery ads won’t roll out until later this year, but once they do, they’re expected to reach 800 million users globally. Discovery ads make use of machine learning; to get started with them, users will need specific ad copy and creative assets that Google will then optimize for you. Completed ads will pop up on mobile feeds, as well as YouTube and Gmail’s social and promotions tabs.

Gallery Ads

Gallery ads are designed to appear at the top of mobile search results, giving users a scrollable gallery of images that click through to a landing page or a product page. Advertisers will pay for gallery ads on a CPC basis when a user actually clicks or swipes—the cost for a click or a swipe is the same. According to Google, these ads had 25% more interactions than other search ad units while in testing.

Showcase Shopping Ads

First introduced in 2016, showcase shopping ads, once limited to Google Search, are rolling out to Google Images, the Discover Feed, and YouTube feeds. If you’ve ever searched for a generic product on Google, you’ve probably seen these ads at the top of your search results. Now, you’ll see them in more locations.

Google Shopping Redesign

Google Shopping, introduced back in March, has been revamped and redesigned. This Google-style take on online shopping has folded in what they describe as the “best of Google Express” for a more standardized customer experience. Google Shopping’s redesign aims to be more personalized, letting users buy on merchant sites, in local shops, or directly on Google. Merchants already involved in Shopping Actions can opt-in to the new Google Shopping experience. These improvements might seem small, but it seems as though Google wants to compete more effectively with Amazon. Bringing greater consistency to Google Shopping will help streamline what could often be a scattered experience.


Google Pulling Back Ad Restrictions For YouTube


Google announced that they are lifting some restrictions on YouTube mastheads ads. That means that advertisers who have been limited with their ad publishing until now, can finally publish ads in the following categories:

  • Sports betting (US Only)
  • Alcohol (where legal)
  • Prescription drugs (US, CA, NZ)

Categories for election and political ads, as well as non-sports gambling, remain restricted.

“We’re constantly reviewing our ad requirements to improve our products and services. Given the evolving regulatory landscape for sports betting and following our successful implementation of our new “per market” YouTube masthead format, we believe that this decision balances the needs of advertisers and consumers.” -Google’s spokesperson said.

YouTube mastheads are the ads that users see at the top of the YouTube homepage. Since it’s the most prominent placement, the ads there must comply with all Google Ads policies and YouTube ad requirements.

However, the masthead ad content requirements are much more restrictive than the ad requirements on other platforms. So, even if an ad has been denied for the masthead placement, it can still run somewhere else on Google.

Read More: Users Can Limit Three More Types Of Ads On Youtube

Ad Requirements for YouTube

As mentioned, ad content must comply with certain requirements. Here’s what ad content is prohibited on YouTube:

  • Exaggerated or inaccurate claims – exaggerated or false claims for a product or a service that misleads people
  • Offensive language – obscene or offensive language, derogatory language that incites hatred, discrimination, racism
  • Negative events and imagery – mentally distressing, disturbing, scary content, death, decay, etc. This also means no videos of people weeping at funerals, excessively gory content, dangerous challenges, etc. There are exceptions for movies, TV shows, news channels, etc.
  • Improper content – focusing on specific body parts or health conditions, nudity, racy and sexually suggestive topics. There are some limitations to ads for weight loss, hair loss, skin conditions, swimwear, etc.
Read more: YouTube Launches ‘Search Insights’

Why Is This Important?

Masthead ads are one of many YouTube and Google advertising formats and only a small portion of YouTube’s daily ad impressions. All of the previously restricted categories above can now select that placement for their ads, giving them more choice and options for their ads.

Read More: Should You Create Video Content?
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Instagram Updating Its Ranking Algorithm 


Instagram chief Adam Mosseri announced that Instagram is adding a few changes in order to put more focus on creators and the credit they get. One of the mentioned changes is updating its ranking algorithm with the goal to put more focus on original work. Judging by the number of copy-paste posts we’ve seen so far, this update should have been made a long time ago.


Read More: Instagram’s Main Feed Going Full Screen

Making Sure The Credit Goes To Those Who Deserve It

Instagram announced the following changes:

  • Product Tags – it will now be available to everyone. So, no matter who you are, you will be able to tag products and drive traffic and attention to a business, creator or a company that they like.
  • Enhanced People Tags – now, you can add a category for yourself (into profile, edit profile) which will show up when you are tagged in a photo or a video. This makes sure you have your identity be what you want it to be, and credited according to your wishes.
  • Ranking – people that actually created something from scratch should be more credited for that, so the algorithm will focus more on that kind of content.

“We are going to do more to try and value original content more, particularly compared to reposted content. So, more to come there as well.” – said Mosseri in the announcement.

But, what does it exactly mean? As mentioned in SocialMediaToday, the changes in ranking are not that well explained and it’s not clear if any penalization will happen.

What Will Affect The Ranking?

The Twitter community did have some questions regarding the originality of content and asked about editing outside of the app. If you remember, Instagram started down-ranking content that was re-shared from other apps. So, if you will be re-posting your TikTok with a watermark on it, your content will still be penalized. However, if you only edited it off the Instagram app, that shouldn’t be a problem and won’t affect your rank.

Still, Mosseri admits that Instagram can’t know for sure if a content piece is an original or not. They only build classifiers that will show how likely something is to be an original, but they can never know for sure. It’s still a work in progress.

Posting History Is Also A Factor

Content aggregators are the focus of this update, and Instagram will be able to determine this with the account’s posting history. Instagram is more likely to detect that an account is an aggregator if it re-posts a lot of content from other accounts.” So if you’re re-posting a lot of content from other accounts, you’ll likely see a drop in reach.

The main goal of the whole update is, as we mentioned, to give more credit to original creators, but the system is not yet perfect. However, Mosseri said that Instagram will continue to improve its detection features over time to better distinguish where the content comes from and who posts original content, to promote the real creators and reduce the influence of big farm accounts.

It looks like it’s time to say goodbye to reposting trending memes in order to boost engagement.


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