Google This Week: Project Bernanke, Insights Page, New Unique First-Party Cookies & More

by | Apr 16, 2021

Google This Week
8 min read

It’s all about Google Ads at Google This Week with news around Project Bernanke, the Insights page rolled out globally, auto-applied recommendations, dynamic exclusion lists, new unique first-party cookies and conversion modelling through Consent Mode.

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

Google Discover Excludes 5 Types of Content

Google has updated its Google Discover policy and added five types of content that will be excluded from being recommended. The five examples of the type of content Google added that are excluded from Discover are job applications, petitions, forms, code repositories and satirical content.

Product Reviews Algorithm Update

There was a new algorithm update released last week called the “product reviews update” which is designed to better reward in-depth reviews “rather than thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products.” While this is separate from Google’s regular core updates the advice provided about producing quality content for those is also relevant here.

Google Changed Cumulative Layout Shift Metric for Core Web Vitals

Google has changed how it calculates the cumulative layout shift (CLS) metric in core web vitals. Specifically, maximum session window with 1-second gap capped at 5 seconds. Malte Ubl from Google said it was changed to make it “more fair for long running pages and single page apps.”

Google Changed Cumulative Layout Shift Metric for Core Web Vitals

Project Bernanke Gives Google Unfair Advantage in Display Network

In a recent anti-trust case, it has been alleged that Google has been giving its own ads an unfair advantage within the Google Display Network. Google uploaded documents to the court’s public docket that were not redacted. The Wall Street Journal saw the documents before Google was able to refile.

The initial documents referred to a program called “Project Bernanke” which detailed how Google used data from past auctions on their platform to create advantages for their own media buying. Google has maintained that the data acquired through their system is comparable to data available through other ad-buying tools.

New Metrics and Dimensions in Display & Video 360 Standard Reports

New metrics and dimensions to expose budget and pacing information are being added in standard reports in Display & Video 360. A percentage of current IO goal metric will be added along with budget segment budget, start date, end date, name and type dimensions, line item budget, start date, end date and pacing percentage dimensions and current budget segment pacing %, current IO goal type and value.

Changes Coming to FeedBurner

Google is making several upcoming changes to FeedBurner. In July, FeedBurner will be transitioned onto a more stable infrastructure to keep the product up and running, however, it does mean turning down most non-core feed management features, including email subscriptions. If you’re using the tool to manage email subscriptions, we recommend downloading your subscribers now to migrate to a new service.

Google Ads Insights Page Rolled Out Globally

Last year, the Insights page (beta) in Google Ads was rolled out to select countries to help businesses stay on top of emerging trends. Now, Google has made the Insights page available to all advertisers globally.

Automatically Apply Recommendations in Google Ads

Google Ads is now allowing advertisers to start automatically applying recommendations. By opting in, Google will apply recommendations of your choice as new opportunities arise. You can choose from over 17 recommendations to apply automatically and you can change these selections or opt-out at any time. You can keep track of the recommendations applied in the History tab.

Automatically Apply Recommendations in Google Ads

Dynamic Exclusion Lists in Google Ads

Google has announced a new feature in Google Ads to give advertisers the ability to use dynamic exclusion lists that can be updated seamlessly and continuously over time. Once advertisers upload a list to their account, they can schedule automatic updates as new web pages or domains are added, ensuring the lists remain effective and current. This new feature will be available to all advertisers within the coming weeks.

New Unique First-Party Cookies in Google Ads

Google Ads is updating the global site tag and Google Tag Manager to set a new same-site cookie on advertisers’ web domains to help improve how conversions are attributed back to ads. The new cookie will be unique and limited to users on your site only. This new feature will begin in May to enable more accurate attribution of conversions, including instances where a user may engage with multiple ads before converting.

Conversion Modelling Through Consent Mode in Google Ads

Last year, Google introduced Consent Mode, a beta feature for those in the European Economic Area and the United Kingdom. When a user doesn’t consent to ads cookies or analytics cookies, Consent Mode automatically adjusts the relevant Google tags’ behaviour to not read or write cookies for advertising or analytics purposes.

Without cookies, however, advertisers experience a gap in their measurement and lose visibility. Now, Google is introducing conversion modelling through Consent Mode to recover the attribution between ad-click events and conversions in Google Ads. Google said early results show this feature recovers more than 70% of ad-click-to-conversion journeys.


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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