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

Google Ads

What: Google limits Search Terms transparency due to privacy concerns

Details: In early September, Google began withholding information on low impression search query results. Moving forward, that data will “only include terms that were searched by a significant number of users”. The stated justification is due to data privacy concerns. In general, the more granular data gets, the easier it becomes to hack or misuse.

Impact: Account managers should monitor this trend closely. Early indications are that some accounts will face >20% loss in Search Terms data. While many of these queries are low impact searches, there is simply no denying that they add up. Those using n-gram analysis to aggregate data are likely the most impacted.

What: Tax changes for advertisers showing in UK, Austria, and Turkey

Details: On November 1st, Google will begin charging a new fee for ads serving in specific countries.

Impact: The spend will show up on the invoice. Advertisers will need to factor in this additional fee ahead of time when planning budgets.

What: Quicker approval of Merchant Promotions this holiday season

Details: Google announced “near instant promotion approvals on eligible offers” within the United States. Additionally, live edits shouldn’t result in lengthy re-approvals.

Impact: Streamlined approvals are likely to benefit promotion-heavy retailers during peak season.

What: Google launches new custom audiences

Details: Custom audiences are now available in Google Ads, Display, Discovery, Gmail, and Youtube campaigns. These represent a replacement (or moreso a merge) of custom affinity or intent audiences. 

Impact: Custom audiences provide advertisers an added level of flexibility and creativity when it comes to targeting.

What: Simplified creation of location extensions

Details: Google has added functionality to choose locations from lists of business chains. In just a few clicks, choose the chain and method for promoting to quickly create a location extension. 

Impact: The search giant notes that “available near me” searches have grown more than 100% since last year. The updated process improves functionality and efficiency for advertisers with a brick and mortar strategy.

What: Expanded conversions categories

Details: Previously Google offered 6 conversion categories. This has been expanded to 19 including “add to cart”, “submit lead form”, “book appointment”, and more. 

Impact: To aid with this transition, Google Ads will recommend new categories for all actions. You can review and modify these suggestions. On October 15th, suggestions will be automatically applied if you haven’t already accepted them.

What: Performance Planner extends to Shopping

Details: Performance planner is now available for Shopping and Smart Shopping Campaigns.

Impact: Expansion of the tool should help advertisers more effectively create projections and manage budgets on the Shopping network.

Microsoft Advertising (Bing)

What: Microsoft expands in-market audience, dynamic remarketing, and LinkedIn Profile targeting

Details: LinkedIn Profile Targeting (previously in Beta) is now available for the following markets: US, CA, UK, AU, FR, and DE. In-market audiences and Dynamic Remarketing have been expanded to DE and FR.

Impact: Microsoft takes a leap forward in the B2B world with the unique offering of LinkedIn Profile targeting. As for the In-market Audience and Dynamic Remarketing — advertisers in those respective markets gain additional targeting opportunities.

What: Re-designed advertising interface

Details: If you’ve checked a Bing account this month, undoubtedly you’ve already noticed this update. The interface has taken on a new look quite similar to the most recent Google overhaul.

Impact: As always, transitions such as this can offer slight growing pains. Soon enough those will disappear, and the new user experience will become second nature. 

What: Multi-Image Extensions now available

Details: Ad extensions with multiple images are now available within the US.

Impact: Search platforms have often experimented with image based extensions. Yet another option has entered the marketplace. The jury is still out on impact to important KPIs and overall volume/impression an advertiser can expect.


What: Data Use Checkup rolling out for businesses

Details: Businesses using the platform will be asked to review the permissions they have access to and commit that their API access and data use comply with platform terms.

Impact: Facebook has faced legal battles when it comes to proper use and application of user data. The annual checkup is likely to shift a degree of responsibility to the advertiser, as well as encourage active adoption of frequently changing policies within the Digital Marketing world.

What: Facebook announces update election advertising policy

Details: For the week prior to the election Facebook will not accept new political ads. 

Impact: Facebook will allow previously created ads to continue running, but to mitigate potential misinformation they will cease accepting new political ads temporarily starting October 27th.


What: Capture leads with Promoted Answers

Details: Last month Quora launched Lead Gen Forms with image and text ads. They are now available via Promoted Answers.

Impact: The B2B world gains another arrow in the quiver as Quora continues their push to be a high-intent hybrid platform.

General Note

If you missed last month’s update, turn to August 2020 Updates to Paid Media Platforms for all of the latest info. 

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