Performance Max, Apple Search and chaos at Twitter are just a few of the many features available
2022 was an exciting ride, and that’s not just about NyQuil chicken. We asked, and you responded. Marketers told us this year that Google Ads automation is their least favorite part. We don’t feel the warm fuzzy feeling that we once had because of the gradual loss in control and forced automation. Who would have thought?
But, automation and economic uncertainty aside. Search advertising is thriving. In 2023, spending could reach $112 billion. This would be nearly twice the 2019 spend. Google holds 56% of the ad revenue and dominates this spend. Record numbers were reached for Cyber Monday and Black Friday this year. Digital marketing is one of the most sought-after skills that Americans will learn in 2022.
Our Search Engine Land PPC Award Winners were announced. NP Digital won Agency of the Year this year along with 2 other awards. Streamline Results won Small Agency of the year, while Workshop Digital took home Best B2B SEO Marketing Initiative. Melissa Liu, RPA’s Search Marketer of Year, was also a winner. Congratulations to all our winners
Security and legal concerns
Google needed to tighten their policies regarding explicit content after Reuters discovered illicit ads for sex toys and high-risk investments. After finding that their ads contained harmful or violent content, large brands have begun to leave Twitter. We’ll be talking more about Twitter in the future.
Google security was still in the news when Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), wrote a letter claiming that Google wasn’t doing enough to crackdown on deceptive ads coming from their platform. This claim was made citing an investigation that claimed Google advertisers were impersonating government websites in order to sell fake ads.
Location data issues also plagued Google, and they were sued in Washington D.C. by Karl Racine. Additional lawsuits were also filed in other states.
Google users who are concerned about security and privacy may be pleased to learn that Google has updated their My Ad Center features to give them more control.
TikTok is making strides towards a safer and more secure platform but there are still security holes. Even the FCC recommended (recommended?) The FCC recommended that Apple and Google remove it from their apps stores because they had breached user data. The request claims that U.S. data had been accessed by China and that “TikTok poses an unacceptable national security risk due to its extensive data harvesting being combined with Beijing’s apparently unchecked access to that sensitive data.”
Speaking of TikTok, in an effort to play nice, the social media platform banned political fundraising and started requiring accounts that belong to U.S. government departments, politicians, and political parties to be verified.
Safety and security cannot be discussed without mentioning Meta. No new ads on social issues, elections or politics will be allowed to be published between 12:01 AM PST on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 and 11:59 PM PST on Tuesday November 8, 2022. Most edits will be banned. This policy is in place every year, likely as a response to the 2016 presidential elections.
Russia declared War in Ukraine. Google and Microsoft Bing stopped selling ads in Russia as a response. This was a smart and necessary step to protest Russia’s actions against Ukraine. However, they also help search engines avoid brand safety issues like misinformation campaigns passing through their automated systems and showing to users.
In July, Google removed restrictions on ads for at-home abortion provider, making it easier to differentiate themselves from other services that discourage this practice. Telemedicine providers that mail FDA-approved drugs to those looking for at-home abortions were not allowed to call themselves providers. But in the aftermath of the Supreme Court overturn of Roe v. Wade, Google has amended its policies.
Gmail, YouTube, Smart Shopping updates; and is Google Search getting worse?
Freakonomics podcast asked us if Google Search was getting worse. What do you think? Their research suggests that maybe.
Gone but not forgotten
Automation & Performance Max
Google starts automatically upgrading Smart Shopping campaigns to Performance Max. Like it or not, PMax isn’t going anywhere, and if you missed the deadline to switch your SS campaigns over, don’t worry, Google has got your back.
Google Ads launches placement reports for Performance Max campaigns finally giving advertisers a view into where their ads served, how many impressions they received, and insight into brand safety.
Google launches automated vehicle ads and are designed to allow auto advertisers to promote their entire vehicle inventory to potential customers on Google.com. Google will automatically change some advertisers’ attribution models. In a bold, but unsurprising move, Google took it upon themselves to switch advertisers’ attribution models to data-driven.
- New & improved
- Cookies will remain active on Chrome until 2024. Google’s Sandbox initiative was delayed in July. Developers are now aiming to launch the Sandbox in Q3 2023. Google developers also predict that it will start phasing out third-party cookies in the second half of 2024 – not 2023 like originally planned.
Microsoft is making a giant comeback
Microsoft isn’t new to PPC. It’s been third, fourth or fifth string to Google, Meta and LinkedIn over the years. We were impressed by the sheer number of new, improved and updated features Microsoft released in 2022.
The acquisition of AT&T’s Xandr was one of the most significant announcements of the year. Microsoft and Xandr will be able to merge their audience data and technology. Microsoft could use this to expand their audience and offer additional inventory, such as native video or digital TV.
Microsoft also announced plans to double its ad revenue to $20 billion. They are on the right track since they launched in 29 additional countries in Europe, Africa and Asia.
As though this year could not have been more hectic, they won the bid for partnership with Netflix to provide their ad-supported tier. Microsoft now has access to high-quality streaming video content, something they had previously been unable to do.
Cruise Ads were launched and appear on the right-hand side of the Bing search results and appear alongside mainline text ads. They can trigger for queries such as cruise name, location, length, etc.
Multimedia Ads. The new video and image formats are “infographic-inspired,” meant to “innovate and disrupt web search.”
New ad type for service providers. Professional service ads can also be used to promote regional offices, branches or even national brands that provide relevant services.
Cash back incentives. This new ad offer will reward shoppers with a rebate on their purchase. Microsoft will determine the right amount of cashback to give advertisers the best return on their advertising spend.
- Pinterest import and Performance Max beta. Multimedia ads support is available in Editor. Subdomains are also available in DSAs. Weep!
- New audience networks, automated bidding data exclusions URL tracking for auto extensions and doctor and clinic beta.
- Credit cards are now globally available. In November, there were 10 additional updates.
- Auto-generated remarketing lists, flyer extensions, and expanded coverage of hotel and property promotion ads closed out the month of December.
- Crypto exchange ads are now allowed on the platform, with pre-approval of course.
- Microsoft has also been affected by the dreaded auto apply of recommendations. Auto-apply went out of beta in February and users began to see recs applied to their accounts.
- Meta takes a backseat
- Meta stayed pretty quiet in 2022. They didn’t launch nearly as many products or features because Zuck was so focused on the Metaverse as Google and Microsoft. There were still some new developments.
- Twitter: Where do we even start
Twitter had an interesting year. The story isn’t over, Elon Musk, the new Chief twitter, continues to make headlines. We will keep you informed of the latest news as it occurs, just like we do every day. We can’t keep up with Twitter updates as fast as we can, so we appreciate you staying tuned while we navigate the pitfalls and make sense of what’s important.
After Musk’s takeover, security policies appeared to be loosening and over 30 brands had their marketing campaigns suspended after they found their ads alongside child pornography accounts.
Despite all the drama, Twitter released some new features and tools. Let’s have a look.
TikTok shopping debacle, longer videos, and unhappy creators
TikTok continued to compete against Facebook and Instagram to gain an edge over the short form video market. They increased the video length to 10 minutes and changed the description limit to 2,200.
. But the longer descriptions and videos weren’t enough for creators to be happy. We reported in July that TikTok’s low Creator Fund payouts had caused some influencers on the platform to quit. Yikes! Yikes!
You would think that TikTok would be doing everything they could to get a leg up on other social and ad platforms. It was not surprising that when Meta announced its plans to reduce shopping, TikTik also announced it would no longer be bringing shopping to the US. It was understandable, however, after the disastrous launch in the UK.
TikTok released three new shopping ads features one month later. These included video, catalog and LIVE ads. So what gives?
For their LIVE feature, they aimed at enhancing the experience and promoting greater brand safety, something that the app has been accused of neglecting in the past.
They did this by introducing:
The introduction of Multi-Guest
Increasing the LIVE minimum age from 16 to 18
Introducing safety reminders for all LIVE guests
I think they were hoping that brands that saw features being cut on Meta would abandon the platform and move to TikTok. Is that what has happened? We’ll see.
- And to further compete with Meta, TikTok also launched Photo Mode as well as 7 other photo editing features including:
- Edit clips: Stack, trim, and split video clips
- Edit sounds: Cut, trim, and set the duration for sounds
Edit and position text: More easily edit, position, and set the duration for text
Add overlays: Add photo and video overlays for picture-in-picture (or video-in-video) stacking
- Adjust video speed: Speed or slow the pace of video clips
- Frame content: Rotate or zoom in and out of frame of individual clips
- Add sound effects. Add musical soundtracks to videos and photo carousels
- Look familiar?
- Competing with Amazon, too?
- But Meta isn’t the only media giant TikTok is going after. TikTok Shop was launched in November. Users can now purchase directly from the app. TikTok currently invites select U.S. companies to join the initiative at the time this publication was published. That means live streamers from places where the feature is not live will need to continue directing shoppers to third-party websites.
Apple is trying its hardest to join the ad game, but unless you’re a publisher or game developer, there aren’t a ton of options for you right now. Apple has made some notable updates and changes this year. Let’s take another look.
Apple expands ads on iPhone and iPad. Display ads can be found in the search tab. Bloomberg reports that Apple will soon expand display ads to the main Today tab and third-party download pages. Developers can now pay to have their app featured in search results for app store terms.
There are four new Apple Search Ad placement options. Four new placement options were released by Apple for search ads. These are designed to increase visibility and downloads from the App Store. The new placements are:
Product pages — while browsing
- Apple could be building an ad network for live TV. In November we reported that Apple was holding discussions with advertising partners and MLS sponsors with the plan to launch next February.
- Apple Search campaigns shifting to cost-per-tap (CPT) pricing model. Apple switched to Cost-per Tap (CPT) pricing model in June. CPT, Apple’s cost per click, is Apple’s equivalent to CPC. This is calculated by multiplying your total spend and the number of impressions you ad received.
- Other platforms that are making headlines
- We wouldn’t be remiss if you didn’t mention the many other platforms that were big in 2022. These platforms may not be big enough to warrant their own category but they are certainly worthy of being mentioned.
Best buy to sell search ads under its in-house media company. Best Buy Ads has been launched by Best Buy, an in-house media company. Best Buy Ads offers paid search ads and sponsored product listings on Best Buy’s website, among other ad offerings.
Walmart is expanding their self-service Marketplace platform. Search Brand Amplifier increases visibility for products in the Walmart Marketplace by pushing advertised products higher up search results. Walmart says this benefits newer and smaller brands that haven’t achieved high organic listings within the Walmart platform.
Walmart is now selling ads on TikTok, Roku, and Snap. Walmart is now able to sell ads on Snap, Roku and TikTok for the first time. They’ll also have the capability to measure any sales that come from those ads.
A podcast network aimed at professional audiences. The LinkedIn Podcast Network is a pilot program that will include shows about topics such as technology, recruiting and mental health, from external experts as well as its own in-house news team.
- LinkedIn announces Business Manager. Finally! The new Business Manager will aim to simplify how marketers keep track of their accounts by offering their Campaign Manager and Pages options easily visible from a central location.
Pinterest is doubling down on Shopping by adding 4 new features. Pinterest has introduced four new merchant features that will help retailers promote their stores.
- Product Tagging on Pins
- Video in Catalog
Shop Tab on Business Profiles
The API for Shopping
- Uber ads are coming, and they’re already raising privacy concerns. Uber’s new journey ads will appear in the Uber app at minimum three times per rider’s journey. Uber claims that the new feature allows brands to place ads using data derived from riders’ travel histories and precise geographical destinations.
- SMX Advanced, SMX Next
10We cannot wrap up 2022 without mentioning SMX. This year, we had two epic virtual conferences with experts discussing topics like automated bidding and how to achieve success using an audience-first strategy. Let’s look back.
Do you want to see SMX Next again or did you miss it? You can still.
SMX Next PPC was launched with an amazing
from Ginny Marvin, Google’s Ads Liaison and former Search Engine Land Editor-in-Chief.
taught us how automation can work for lead generation.Registration is freeNavah Hopkins gave us the guide to
- .keynote10 and showed us how Excel can help us improve our analytical skills.
- Melissa Mackey It’s been a great year. It’s been a great year.
Nicole Farley is Search Engine Land’s editor. She covers all things PPC. She is a Marine Corps veteran and has extensive experience in digital marketing. She also holds an MBA.