In this monthly post, we bring you the latest from all of the major platforms.


What: California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) goes live

Details: On January 1st, 2020 CCPA went into effect representing a major milestone in data privacy legislation within the United States.

Impact: For brands that properly prepped for GDPR, there were likely minimal alterations to make. That said, every single business and advertiser should review the small print within CCPA to ensure 100% compliance. Although the bill went into effect on January 1st, California AG will likely not begin formal CCPA enforcement actions until July 1st.

Google Ads

What: Google implements black  “Ad” label and brand icons on the desktop SERP

Details: Following a test on mobile, Google has brought the slightly retooled SERP of a small, unassuming black “Ad” label in addition to brand icons to the desktop SERP.

Impact: Ad labels in Google’s SERP have gone through numerous iterations. Advertisers should track any major changes in click related KPIs such as CTR. Overall, Google has been trending towards a more integrated SERP of paid and organic listings with this update being yet another step in that evolution.

What: Google testing custom dimensions that would match your business structure

Details: Custom dimensions in Google Ads would grant the ability to split reports by category and subcategory classifications that match your different business goals.

Impact: Most advertisers use a combination of VLOOKUP and custom labels in conjunction with an intentional naming convention. Custom dimensions would simplify this process and are designed to remain viable for the long term. Lastly, such dimensions would make drill-downs into sub-category KPI reporting more intuitive.

What: Bid simulator now enabled for Target ROAS, while budget simulator is now available for Maximize Clicks and Maximize Conversions

Details: Google has extended the use of bid and budget simulators for more smart bidding strategies. Previously, a bid simulator was available for only manual and Target CPA bidding.

Impact: Simulators are a helpful tool for finding a ballpark projection of a given campaign. Extension of these into additional smart bidding strategies helps avoid one of the Most Common Mistakes of Automated Bidding — too high of a budget to begin with.

Microsoft Advertising

What: Microsoft Advertising’s PromoteIQ is now in beta testing for brands and retailers

Details: Microsoft Advertising’s acquisition of PromoteIQ is taking form and entering beta testing for brands and retailers.

Impact: The announcement comes on the heels of the August acquisition of PromoteIQ.  Microsoft describes the platform as “delivering an end-to-end commerce marketing platform with enterprise-grade capabilities to manage and scale vendor-funded digital marketing — whether on-site or off-site”.  The platform includes an extensive analytics suite and helps brands understand incremental sales.

What: Response Search Ads(RSAs) are now available worldwide

Details: Back in September 2019, Bing announced RSAs were in open beta. These are now available to all advertisers worldwide.

Impact: RSAs are designed to work alongside Expanded Text Ads and should not be relied upon for all auctions. On average, Bing notes that advertisers have recorded an increase of 10% in volume, 6% in CVR, and a decrease of 7% in CPA.

What: Microsoft sunsetting average position metric

Details: Much like their “follow-the-leader” approach to sunsetting average position, Bing will remove reporting of average position in April 2020.

Impact: Advertisers will already be accustom to a post-Avg. position world due to Google’s update. New impression metrics will be introduced to aid in auction transparency:

  • Top impression share
  • Top impression share lost to rank
  • Top impression share lost to budget
  • Absolute top impression share
  • Absolute top impression share lost to rank
  • Absolute top impression share lost to budget

LinkedIn Advertising

What: LinkedIn provides In-Product Help

Details: Get convenient access to help without leaving the Campaign Manager. Click the question mark icon in the top right of Campaign Manager to open a window that lets you access help center content and get help.

Impact: For Google/Bing platforms, direct support can occasionally be challenging to come by. This update should help users navigate more quickly to simple support answers.

Did we miss any major monthly updates? Not covering a certain platform close enough? Feel free to let me know on Twitter @Will_Larcom