Google This Week: New Marketing Platform Tools and Another Algo Update Maybe?

by | Sep 18, 2020

Google This Week
14 min read

It’s been a big week at Google This Week and we have a lot in store for you today. We heard about the new tool’s features on Google Marketing Platform and also discovered bugs, new support added on Google ads, and more.

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

New Google Marketing Platform Tools

Forecasting ad spend has always been difficult but now Display & Video 360’s forecasting tool is being revamped. It will let you add support for programmatic deals, including deduplicated reach estimate, and that already includes open auction and YouTube.

If you want to connect with TV viewers, then this will be helpful especially media planners working with brands. With these special features, you can now determine the incremental reach you could get by combining a network CTV deal with YouTube reservation and open auction video ads. You can read more on other features here.

New Google Marketing Platform Tools


New Features and Expanded Access in Google Audiences

New reservation features and expanded access to premium inventory.

Google is working on Programmatic Guaranteed in Display & Video 360 that gives you more productive ways to engage with your audiences than traditional reservations by increasing reach for the same budget. It also reduces the manual work required to set up deals by automating many steps of the campaign management workflow.

Today they’re improving Programmatic Guaranteed by adding support for Google Audiences so you can reach people with more precision, giving you more control over how you execute your media buy and expanding access to premium inventory.


First-Party Cookies for Google AdSense

You can now enable first-party cookies in Google Adsense. “It may increase your revenue because it enables features like frequency capping on ads and allows ads with a frequency cap to serve on your site.”

You can allow or block it under Ad Serving in your Google Adsense account.

First-Party Cookies for you Google AdSenseThis ad serving will take effect on the 16th of October 2020, but you can start updating your settings today.


Updated Google Shopping with Nearby Product Inventory & Shopping Options

New updates added to Google Shopping with options for nearby/near me queries. You can shop safely and efficiently by checking out nearby local stores and see their operating hours, location on maps and inventory of the item you wish to purchase.

You can go straight to Google Shopping and choose the Nearby filter at the top of the page or add “near me” to your search. This will give you options of stores available near your location, the operating hours, and item availability.

Updated Google Shopping with Nearby Product Inventory & Shopping Options


For business owners, you can add this to your business profile on your Google My Business account or uploading your local product feed in Google Merchant Center.


Googlebot to Support Crawling Over Http/2

Starting in November 2020 it will begin to crawl some sites over HTTP/2 as announced by Google: “Today we’re announcing that starting mid-November 2020, Googlebot will support crawling over HTTP/2 for select sites.”

We will see efficiency improvements with this change. Google said that it “expects this change to make crawling more efficient in terms of server resource usage.” It will require opening fewer TCP connections. “Googlebot is able to open a single TCP connection to the server and efficiently transfer multiple files over it in parallel, instead of requiring multiple connections. The fewer connections open, the fewer resources the server and Googlebot have to spend on crawling.”

Google will start rolling this out over a small number of sites before increasing. Google will determine sites to crawl over h2, depending on the sites HTTP/2 support and what will better benefit the site or GoogleBot.

And just to be clear, there is no ranking benefit for a site being crawled over h2.


Algorithm Update Suspicions Continue

Suspicion started on September 15 with most of the ranking tools showing fluctuations and volatility in Google’s organic search results. Today wild fluctuation continues.

Chatter in the SEO community is mostly on the tools potentially misbehaving and not the ranking of their own sites going up and down. Have you been seeing the same fluctuations?


RankRanger is off the charts:

RankRanger off chart

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitive SEO


SEMRush showing signs of slowing down:

SEMRush signs of slowing down



Regional Video Structured Data Now Supported by Google Ads

Google is now supporting the regionsAllowed structured data for Video. This will give more control over rich results for International SEOs and publishers. This markup allows a publisher to tell Google that a video is specific to a region.

Google Images and Discover Screenshot



Search results and Video search results Screenshot


Google Prohibits the Sale of Gift Cards on Buy on Google

Merchant Center products in the gift card category on Buy on Google will be disapproved and will no longer be available to your customers once the policy has been updated on September 30. No action is required from you.

Google Investigating Traffic Drop on 10th of August

There are threads across WebmasterWorld and several at Google Webmaster Help forums and even on Twitter with users still looking for answers as to why traffic dropped off a cliff in Google Discover. Google did mention that they are investigating it but after a month, there’s still been no word.

Export and Import Containers in GTM

In Google Tag Manager you can now export containers in JSON. You can compare, modify, share, and store in a version control system and import back into Tag Manager.

Google Combines Custom Affinity and Custom Intent Audiences

Everything is being streamlined as announced by Google last week – in its audience options for Display, Discovery, Gmail, and YouTube campaigns. Before this change, advertisers could set up audiences to be “custom intent” and “custom affinity.”

Now they are combined in Custom Audiences. They are set up in the Audiences section at the Campaign or Ad Group level.

Google will choose the right audience based on the goals of your campaign, along with your bidding strategy.

Google Combines Custom Affinity and Custom Intent Audiences

Google is Asking for Examples of Inaccurate Site Command Counts

Gary Illyes from Google is looking to create a more reliable site command as some results seem “wildly off” compared to what shows in Google Search Console for the number of pages indexed on your site. He is asking on Twitter to send him examples for comparison.

Google Images and Discover Screenshot



YouTube Short is Google’s Version of TikTok

YouTube Shorts will be launching first in India.

“Shorts is a new short-form video experience for creators and artists who want to shoot short, catchy videos using nothing but their mobile phones.“

Shorts Adding Video

Adding a new icon, famous in the YouTube app on Android, users can easily start their Short recording. They are also expanding to iOS soon.


Search Coverage Report Delayed and More Google Bugs

Google confirmed last Friday that it had an indexing issue which had an impact in showing the Top Stories section in Google Search. It lasted 4hrs. Google also had an issue with Search Console,  with an unusual delay on the report that was not updated for 2 weeks.


Bug in Google My Business when Changing Addresses For Service Area Businesses (SAB)

Google seems to have a bug when changing the addresses of some service area businesses (SABs) according to local SEO Ben Fisher. He said on Twitter that “If you are trying to change an address for a (SAB) Service Area Business, adding an address and clearing it is not working. In most cases, it will revert back to the initial address.”


Apple IDFA consent: Roughly 60% of Consumers Open to Allowing Tracking

Publishers bracing for impact, sigh with relief — for now. Apple delayed one of iOS 14’s most controversial new privacy features: consumer opt-in permission to track. The rule requires apps to get consent from users to access the device’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) and transmit data to third parties.

Apple IDFA consent: Roughly 60% of consumers open to allowing tracking


Better Measure Video Ad Conversions on Youtube and Google

Advertisers have a hard time assessing the conversions on video ad campaigns when you can’t compare across ad formats. And so, by the end of the year, Google will make engaged-view conversions a standard way of measuring conversions for TrueView skippable in-stream ads, Local campaigns, and App campaigns.

“Our vision for the coming year is to give you more transparent reporting across both click and engaged-view conversions, aggregated and anonymously, and new configurability options for conversion measurement to make data-driven media decisions for your business.”


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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