Google Ads gets a makeover, Everyone's making a media network, Reddit thinks it’s a retailer, and more…

June 14, 2024

Welcome back, My Digital Darlings,

Ready to dish? We’ve got lots to chat about. Google Ads is getting a makeover, new media networks are popping up everywhere I turn, and Reddit thinks it’s a shopping haven. Let’s dive into the drama!

SEO takeaways from Google’s session at SMX Advanced

Google’s director of product management for search shared lots of SEO insights during her keynote. She said not to get bogged down with the details of trying to game the SERP and just focus on creating helpful content that answers people’s queries… I’ve heard that one before. She also clarified why the March core update took so long, what led to the 45% reduction in unhelpful content, how Google defines low quality content, and more. A lot of her responses were a bit generic and she refused to comment on the recent content API documentation leak, but I still recommend SEOers review the key takeaways. Speaking of core updates…

Google Ads is getting a makeover

The platform is upgrading to a new, more organized design. Updates include a new left-side navigation menu that segments the platform into 5 categories - campaigns, goals, tools, billing and admin. There’s also now a search bar at the top so users can quickly find the tools they need, and the new UI is more ‘modern’ looking… basically, she’s cuter. Users can expect to see the changes starting August 30th. They’ve actually been testing the new design for about a year now, so you may not experience any changes. But if you’re still using the old UI, it’s time to say goodbye. And in other Google news…

Google dropped a new ‘AI Essentials’ guide

It details how the Google tag and consent mode work together to adjust tracking behavior based on the level of consent each user provides. According to Google, they work together to “provide in-depth website analytics while respecting user privacy preferences.” Sounds like the best of both worlds, right? The article provides a step-by-step guide to getting started with the Google tag + consent mode. So if your tracking is in need of an upgrade for the cookieless world, check it out. And in other media news...

Media network mania? Google, Costco, & United are launching networks

Google recently announced their new Google TV network, “offering targeted, in-stream video inventory across more than 125 channels built into Google TV.” Google TV network is available in Google Ads today. In the settings for a video campaign you can easily select Google TV alongside your usual YouTube and Display Network serving options. It’s worth testing this network for your video ads, but keep in mind that since these ads will be served on TVs, people will be less likely to click on a CTA than on a YouTube video they watch on their phone or laptop. That said, a large percentage of people now watch YouTube on their TVs, so maybe performance won’t vary too much between YouTube and the CTV network. Regardless, it’s worth a test!

United Airlines also launched a media network, following the trend set by Chase Bank and Paypal, of companies that historically have had no skin in the ad game suddenly capitalizing on user data to make more money. United’s new Kinective Media Network will be the first network created by an airline company. The aim is to use the data they have on user’s travel behavior to serve targeted ads on United’s app and in-flight entertainment screens. So if you’re in a business that targets travelers, give United’s ads a shot.

Also hopping on the media network wave is Costco, who are working on building their first ad network. Considering the likes of Walmart and Target have been selling their shopper’s data for years, it’s about time. Nothing is sacred anymore, not even Costco… Their retail media network is still in the works, but if you advertise on other grocers’ networks, this is definitely one to look out for. Now, let’s dish about Reddit…

Reddit thinks they’re a shopping platform

They recently released Dynamic Product Ads, where advertisers can upload their product catalog and then Reddit will serve ads for the different products to specific Reddit communities based on relevance. Seems great in theory, but if you’ve spent time on Reddit you know the platform’s success is based on peer-to-peer information sharing and authenticity, so how can advertisers run ads on these forums without making users angry?

Reddit’s EVP of marketing addressed this concern in a recent interview, saying “Reddit is inherently commercial. Even if you think about your hobbies, like some of the most fun [part of a] hobby is actually buying all the gear that’s associated with that hobby.” Ok, fair enough, but I’d still proceed with caution. Reddit ads are certainly worth testing for retail marketers. But try to keep the ads unintrusive, avoid ‘salesy’ language, and try to add value to the conversations which your ads are serving alongside. Redditers are looking for authentic insights, and any ad that's too pushy and corporate likely won’t be well received. Now, let’s chat about AI…

Is Adobe’s using creators’ content to train AI?

Earlier this month, Adobe sent out a notification about their terms of service update, which prompted users to agree that the company can ‘access their content for review’. People were outraged, interpreting this to mean that Adobe would use their creative work to train AI models. Adobe said that this new addition to the terms and conditions is not related to training AI, and that their generative AI models are trained on licensed content like stock photos and public domain content, not users’ work. The update is actually so that Adobe can create thumbnails from files in its cloud storage to scan for childhood sexual abuse materials, which we can all agree is a good thing. Still, users’ trust in Adobe took a hit. I can’t blame creatives for being fearful of AI stealing their work and using it to then steal their jobs down the line. It’s quite dystopian indeed. But it sounds like using Adobe tools is still safe, for now…

And that’s the scoop for this week! From Google’s SEO tips to Reddit’s ad ambitions, the digital world is buzzing. Stay sharp, stay sassy, and keep reading. Until next week, darlings!

You know you love me.

Maddie Marinsider

Marin Software
By submitting this form, I am agreeing to Marin’s privacy policy.

See why brands have relied on Marin to manage over $48 billion in spend