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How Useful Are Google’s July 2018 Announcements?

This week, Google announced a plethora of new features. How fun! While these events are exciting, I always wonder – how helpful will these new features be to me as a marketer? When will it become available to me in Canada? How much did these speakers practice prior to this event?! You can watch the whole keynote here – I’m going to go through some of the biggest announcements and how useful I think they will be!

1. Responsive search ads

This type of ad essentially lets Google’s machine learning do the A/B split testing of your ads for you. Bonus: responsive search ads have 90 character descriptions instead of 80 (and may show two of them :|), and may show up to 3 headlines. Ack. So you give Google all of your options and, over time, it learns more about what people are searching for, which ads perform better, and it builds the perfect ad.

Apparently. While I think this has a lot of potential to save time and improve performance, any time we give too much control to Google I get a little bit wary. Check back with me on this!

Usefulness: 7/10…FOR NOW.
Availability: We cannot find this in any of our accounts yet. Rumour has it, it’s still in beta so who knows when we’ll actually get our hands on it! 1/10.

2. Cross-device reporting

This announcement had a room full of what I assume are already huge data nerds ACTUALLY CLAPPING. This type of reporting will allow us to better understand what happens when someone visits a site on mobile through an ad, then comes back on desktop directly. This will now be more clearly indicated in Analytics as one person’s journey rather than separate sessions – wow!

spiderman-pointing

This will be amazing for a customer like me who rarely makes a mobile phone purchase but will peruse a website on my phone, look at prices, maybe even build a cart but for some reason, I need to be on my computer or laptop to actually make the purchase. Now, we can know that that was the same customer who eventually came back to buy those items, rather than just leave a sad & lonely abandoned cart full of dog toys.

Usefulness: 10/10 EXCEPT that, while this is aggregated and anonymized data, it will only be gather from those who have opted in to personalized advertising, and I suspect that as people become more privacy savvy, we’ll lose more of this data.
Availability: From Google:“We’ll roll it out to all Analytics accounts over the coming weeks.” A tentative 5/10.

3. Google Adwords → Google Ads!

This is actually really helpful because “Adwords” isn’t a phrase that makes much sense to most people, and “Ads” is pretty self-explanatory. I don’t understand why this took so long to change although it does mark the first time in history that Google has gotten it’s cues from Bing, and not the other way around.

Usefulness: 10/10
Availability: July 24, 2018!