Google This Week: Google Does Not Intend to Charge Australians for Search

by | Aug 21, 2020

Google This Week
10 min read

It’s been a chaotic week for Google Search and YouTube in Australia with the rollout of pop-up warnings and ACCC’s accusations. Plus as always, Google is rolling out a bunch of new features and updates.

ICYMI, here’s what happened at Google This Week.

Custom Bidding Scripts via Google Analytics Goals in DV360

Soon, you’ll be able to use goals from your linked Google Analytics account to build Custom Bidding scripts in Display & Video 360.

“You’ll be able to optimize towards metrics from your goal to represent specific user journeys on your site.”

Position Targeting Settings for Native Inventory Coming Soon to DV360

Position targeting settings for native inventory are coming soon to Display & Video 360. It will include options specific to native inventory, enabling users to set targeting based on where an ad is located in relation to other content.

Settings include in-feed, in-article, peripheral, recommendation, and unknown. You can use the Position in Content dimension for reporting.

ACCC says Google’s Open Letter to Australians Contains ‘Misinformation’

Google is showing Australians pop-up ads with an open letter that contains ‘misinformation’ according to the ACCC. Google is campaigning against a proposed code to force it to share advertising money with media companies.

ACCC says Google's Open Letter to Australians Contains Misinformation

As of Monday morning, Australians have been presented with a small pop-up ad on Google Search which resembles a warning that says “The way Aussies use Google is at risk”. It also states that “your search experience will be hurt by new regulation.” The letter states:

“We need to let you know about new government regulation that will hurt how Australians use Google Search and YouTube. A proposed law, the News Media Bargaining Code, would force us to provide you with a dramatically worse Google Search and YouTube, could lead to your data being handed over to big news businesses, and would put the free services you use at risk in Australia.”

Rod Sims, chair of the ACCC responded by saying that the letter “contains misinformation”. He said that any changes to currently free Google services would be at the company’s discretion.

“Google will not be required to charge Australians for the use of its free services such as Google Search and YouTube unless it chooses to do so. Google will not be required to share any additional user data with Australian news businesses unless it chooses to do so.”

Google Says It Does Not Intend to Charge Australians for Search

Google has hit back after the ACCC claimed that Google’s letter to Australians contained misinformation. A Google spokesperson told ZDNet:

“We did not say that the proposed law would require us to charge Australians for Search and YouTube — we do not intend to charge users for our free services. What we did say is that Search and YouTube, both of which are free services, are at risk in Australia. That’s because the code as it is drafted is unworkable.”

Google said the current draft requires it to provide all news media businesses advance notice of algorithm changes and explain how they can minimise the effects. Google also stated that unlike what the ACCC stated, they are required to share additional user data.

“[It] requires Google to tell news media businesses what user data we collect, what data we supply to them and how the registered news business corporation can gain access to that data which we don’t supply them”.

Chrome to Highlight Fast Pages on Mobile

Google Chrome will start assigning a “fast page” label to pages that meet all Core Web Vitals benchmarks. Users will be able to see the “fast page” label when they long-press on any link within the Chrome mobile browser for Android. This means users will be able to choose to access a page or not depending on whether it’s fast, responsive and stable.

Chrome to Highlight Fast Pages on Mobile


New Support for Conversion Delay and Shared Budgets in Google Performance Planner

Google has rolled out new features to the Performance Planner including conversion delay and shared budgets. This means users can now account for the lag between when a user clicks on an ad and when they perform a conversion action.

New Support for Conversion Delay and Shared Budgets in Google Performance Planner


Google Rolls Out Search Console Insights for Content Creators in Beta

Google has now officially confirmed the new Google Search Console Insights, a new view of your data specifically “tailored for content creators and publishers.”

Google Rolls Out Search Console Insights for Content Creators in Beta


Insights help creators discover how audiences find their site’s content and what resonates with their audience. Insights uses both Search Console and Google Analytics data in one view.

Fix Your AMP Signed Exchange Issues in GSC

The AMP enhancement report and the URL inspection tool in Google Search Console can now show you issues with your signed exchanges. Signed exchanges can be used with AMP to show your real publisher URL rather than the Google AMP cache URL.

The URL inspection tool and the AMP enhancement report in GSC can now both report on issues around AMP and signed exchanges.

“Sites implementing SXG for their AMP pages will be able to understand if there are any issues preventing Google from serving the SXG version of their page using the Google AMP Cache.”

Fix Your AMP Signed Exchange Issues in GSC



Google Search Adds Activity Cards to Help You Pick Up Where You Left Off

Google is making it easier to pick up where you left off in Search by adding updated activity cards around jobs, recipes and online shopping.

  • With the shopping activity card, Search will show you products you’ve been researching, even those featured in articles you read so you can easily see and compare products
  • The jobs activity card will show you new, relevant job postings since your last search
  • The recipes activity card will show relevant recipes related to your query and those you’ve recently visited

Google Search Adds Activity Cards to Help You Pick Up Where You Left Off



Billing-only Access Level in Google Ads and Updated Account Ownership

Google has introduced a new billing-only access level for Google Ads in order to keep your account more secure. With this role, the user has the ability to view and manage billing but won’t be able to view or edit campaigns.

Google has also updated account ownership (previously administrative ownership). The account can now only have one manager account to have ownership of the Ads account. According to Google:

“This update paves the way for more advanced manager account features in the future.”


Thank You for Reading

Have you noticed any changes from Google this week?

Check back in next Friday for the latest from Google This Week.

Paul Hewett

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