Google This Week: Fewer Search Terms in Google Ads and More

by | Sep 4, 2020

Google This Week
11 min read

Some big news out of Google This Week with advertisers unhappy with fewer search terms in Google Ads, Adsense reporting data more than 3 years old to be removed this month (download it before it’s too late!), and new conversion categories in Google Ads. Get our notes from the Google Partners Academy Search Excellence Livestream and more.

ICYMI, here’s what happened at Google This Week.Usage_Rights_Screenshot_Desktop.max-1000×1000.png

Google Testing Removing Text Ad Creation

Last week, some marketers noticed that the “Text ad” option from the Ads dropdown for Search campaigns in the Google Ads interface was missing. Google has confirmed that they are testing the removal of the option. This makes sense as Google moves more towards responsive search ads (RSAs) rather than text ads. If this option has been removed from your account, don’t worry, you can still create manual/expanded text ads. On the RSA creation screen you can click to “Switch back to text ads”.

Google Ads Rsa Dan Thies

Download Your AdSense Reporting Data Before it’s Gone

AdSense is removing reporting data that is older than three years in order to improve accuracy, speed, and usability of the reports. Google has also removed YouTube and AdMob data. You can download your data using the old AdSense reporting dashboard until the end of September 2020, so be quick.

New Licensing Information on Google Images

Licensable SRP and ViewerGoogle is making it easier for creators to include images by launching new features in Google Images. It’s now easier to find licensable images with a new “licensable” badge over certain images. When you select the image you’ll see a link to the license details and maybe a link to where the image can be purchased. You can also filter results for licensable images and select either images with Creative Commons or commercial or other licenses in the Usage Rights dropdown.

Usage Rights Screenshot

Advertisers to Pay Google’s Digital Services Taxes

Google notified advertisers this week of new fees for ads that run in the UK, Turkey, and Austria. Advertisers are set to absorb Google’s digital services taxes. Starting November 1, advertisers running ads will be charged an additional 2% in the UK, 5% in Austria, and 5% in Turkey.

“The new fees will be subject to any taxes, such as sales tax, VAT, GST, or QST that apply in your country. Any taxes, such as sales tax, VAT, GST, or QST that apply in your country will be charged in addition to the new fees.”

A Google spokesperson told the UK’s City A.M. that “Typically, these kinds of cost increases are borne by customers and like other companies affected by this tax, we will be adding a fee to our invoices, from November.”


Optimise Local Campaigns for Store Visit Indicators

Starting this week, you can now optimise Local campaigns for store visit indicators like clicks on “directions” or “calls.” Google is making it easier for you to connect with nearby customers when searching or browsing for a business like yours across Maps, Search, YouTube, and Display. Google has found that more consumers are carefully planning in-store visits with 67 percent of holiday shoppers saying they will confirm online that an item is in stock before going to the store to buy it.

Clothing Store

Fewer Search Terms in Google Ads

Google has posted a notice in Google Ads to inform advertisers that it has updated the search terms report to only include search terms searched by a “significant” number of users, meaning you won’t be able to see all your search terms going forward. Unfortunately, we don’t yet know what Google considers “significant” and this does not seem to be good news at all. We’ll keep you posted.


Create Location Extensions Faster in Google Ads

Google is making it easier and faster to create location extensions. With searches for “available near me” having grown globally by more than 100% since last year, marketers should use location extensions to add details about their physical locations, including address, hours, and directions for online ads across Search, Display, and YouTube. Now you can choose your locations from lists of business chains created by Google. Simply choose the chain you want and create a location extension.

Location Extensions

Notes from the Google Partners Academy Search Excellence Livestream

Some of our team attended the Google Partners Academy Search Excellence Livestream this week. Here are some of their notes:

  • There are newer audience options in Google Ads now
  • The majority of the time, Search is the first point of consumer research, so just being present is so important
  • ‘Free’ is immensely attractive, e.g. free breakfast, free shipping as is ‘next day delivery’
  • They had an example where they ran tests on Moisturiser Brand A vs Moisturiser Brand B (B being a completely made up Brand) but 60% of the online consumers ended up choosing the fake brand they’d never heard of simply because of their offerings in the ad copy (next day delivery) and also a (fake) 5-star rating
  • 1 in 3 consumers will choose their 2nd choice brand just because it’s visible in search results
  • Small language tweaks can nudge consumers to take action
  • The Google Ads UI is a lot more “user-friendly” with more insights and explanations on the “recommendations” tab
  • Using audience lists will help the Smart Bidding functionality in the backend – it can auto-adjust bids according to whether someone has visited the page for the 1st, 2nd or 3rd time

You can download the workbook for the event here which includes lots of handy information.

New Conversion Categories in Google Ads

Previously you could organise your conversion actions into 6 categories. Now, you can group your conversion actions into 19 different categories, including “add to cart”, “submit lead form”, “book appointment” and more. These new categories should make it easier to understand your conversion funnel metrics. To help you get started, Google will recommend new categories for your existing conversion actions. These recommendations will be automatically applied on October 15 if you don’t accept or change them beforehand.

Google Introduces Consent Mode Tag Settings

For advertisers not opting into TCF v2.0, Google has created another solution to manage user information. The new Consent Mode introduces two new tag settings that manage cookies for advertising and analytics using the global site tag or Google Tag Manager. With the settings, you can customise how Google tags behave before and after users make consent decisions.

For Google Ads, Campaign Manager, Display & Video 360 and Search Ads 360, once Consent Mode is implemented you’ll see a new tag setting, “ad_storage” which controls cookie behaviour for advertising purposes. If a user does not provide consent for ads cookies, Google tags will not use cookies for advertising. But, you’ll be able to continue reporting conversions meaning you can still attribute conversions to the right campaign and optimise your campaign bidding efficiently.\

Google GMP Consent Mode BlogConsent Mode also works with Google Analytics. With the “ad_storage” tag setting disabled for unconsented users, Analytics will not read or write ads cookies. Consent Mode is available in beta to a limited number of advertisers operating in Europe and already using the global site tag or Tag Manager.


Thank You for Reading

Have you noticed any changes from Google this week?

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

Paul Hewett

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