Google This Week: Deprecation of Universal Analytics & More

by | Mar 18, 2022

8 min read

Shocking updates at Google This Week with Google’s Deprecation of Universal Analytics (Google Analytics), the launch of Automated Vehicle Ads, AdSense’s ‘Related Search for Content’, Google Analytics 4 Integration with Search Ads 360, and more.

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

Google Launches Automated Vehicle Ads

Google announced the launch of Vehicle Ads that will display nearby cars for sale, and provide more direct connection from search results. Vehicle ads use vehicle data feeds in Google Merchant Center to match users’ searches with ads.

Google Launches Automated Vehicle Ads

Google’s new vehicle ads option will enable auto sellers to occupy the valuable top of search real estate, helping to maximise attention and response. Advertisers are required to upload their vehicle data feed to Merchant Center. The advertiser’s feed must contain pertinent details about their vehicles, including make, model, price, mileage, colour, and more.

Google “Things To Know” in Search Results

Google is testing out a new format called ‘Things to Know’ in Google search which looks similar to the ‘People Also Ask’ search results. Google is launching this feature in the coming months.

Google this to know

Google said, “when you search for a topic, like acrylic painting, you can see all the different dimensions people typically search for, and find the path that’s right for you” This will extrapolate more details and serve up categories for the topic, then as you click on them, it shows you a featured snippet for that option and also the ability to click on and show more results.

Google Favicon Crawler Now Uses Googlebot & Googlebot-Image Token

Google has updated its Google crawler help documentation to specify that Google Favicon crawler now respects the Googlebot and Googlebot-Image robots rules.

Google Favicon Crawler Now Uses Googlebot & Googlebot-Image Token

Previously, it respects its own Favicon rules, but it was updated a few days ago.

Google Analytics 4 Integration with Search Ads 360

Google has launched a Search Ads 360 integration for Google Analytics 4 (GA4) properties. Users can now establish links between Google Analytics 4 properties and Search Ads 360 advertisers. This may help contextualise data to enable more efficient campaigns.

Google Analytics 4 Integration with Search Ads 360

Linking to Search Ads 360 supports the following features:

  • Users will gain access to dedicated Search Ads 360 reporting and will see attributed Search Ads 360 traffic appear in their Google Analytics 4 cross-channel reporting
  • Google Analytics 4 conversions will be exported to Search Ads 360 and will be available in Search Ads 360 reporting
  • Additionally, users accessing the integration through the New Search Ads 360 Experience will gain access to the following:
  • Google Analytics 4 website and app-engagement metrics will be exported to Search Ads 360 and available in Search Ads 360 reporting

New Display & Video 360 Updates

Google teases an interactive “send to phone call-to-action” will be added to YouTube ads serving on connected TV, providing the ability to send a link to the logged-in user’s phone.

New Display & Video 360 Updates

The company also announced TrueView for shopping line items will stop serving on May 2, 2022.

Google Domains Goes Live

Google announced that Google Domains has exited beta and is now available in 26 countries worldwide. The service has been in beta since 2015 and the company says it already has “millions of active registrations”.

If you register with Google Domains, you can pick from more than 300 different domain endings, have access to “high-performance DNS” (Google says it’s the same infrastructure it uses for itself), “around-the-clock customer support from real people,” and more.

Free Hotel Booking Links on Google Search and Maps

Google is expanding its free hotel booking links to show on Search and Maps. The company is also adding reporting capabilities, support for hotel rates in Google Business Profiles and Local Posts to share timely updates about their hotels.

Free Hotel Booking Links on Google Search and Maps

Hotel owners can see how many people clicked on their free booking links via a new report in Hotel Center. Google plans to expand reporting to include impressions and booking value in the coming weeks.

Google’s Deprecation of Universal Analytics

Google announced that the company will deprecate Universal Analytics, known as Google Analytics, next year. Universal Analytics properties will stop processing new hits on July 1, 2023, and Universal Analytics 360 properties will stop processing hits on October 1, 2023.

Previously processed data in Universal Analytics will be stored for at least six months after the deprecation dates.

For those who haven’t set up their GA4 properties yet, now is the time. Even though we have well over a year, configuring GA4 now will enable it to start tracking the metrics you care about so that historical data is there when you need to reference it.

Do you have any idea how you’re going to deal with Google’s deprecation of Universal Analytics? Worry no more, In Marketing We Trust will have more information and recommendations on this development very shortly.

Google AdSense’s ‘Related Search for Content’

Google AdSense announced a new ad unit, ‘Related Search for Content’, which aims to help drive users to more related elements on your site. The new ad unit is dedicated for publishers to create even more useful search experiences on their sites.

Google AdSense's 'Related Search for Content'

When users click a search term, they’re taken to a search results page on the publisher’s site where they can explore other relevant topics, including search ads. As a result, related search for content can help publishers increase site engagement — including site traffic, page views and ad impressions — and drive incremental revenue.

Thank You for Reading

Have you noticed any other changes from Google this week?

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

Kirsten Tanner

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