Google This Week: Property Promo Ads, Zero-Click Claims & More

by | Mar 19, 2021

9 min read

It’s been a big week at Google This Week with a number of updates for Display & Video 360 and Campaign Manager. Google has also announced property promotion ads for hotels. YouTube is testing automated product lists and unsurprisingly disputing claims that zero-click searches rose to almost 65% last year.


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

Parallel Tracking for YouTube & Partners

The deadline to adopt parallel tracking for YouTube & partners is April 30. Parallel tracking will help to load your landing page faster. Customers will go to your landing page while click measurement happens in the background.

New Report Templates in DV360

Soon, you’ll see new customisable and granular details about how your campaigns are performing in auctions with new report templates on Display & Video 360 auction outcomes. There will be two new report templates: Win Loss and Impression Loss in the standard report type. There will also be four new metrics: available requests, targeted impressions, big responses and win rate.

Bid Suggestions Available in Display & Video 360 Troubleshooter

Bid suggestions from the Intelligence Panel will soon become available in the Troubleshooter when your line items have impressions that are restricted by bids. Reach more impressions by adjusting your bid or enabling an automated bid strategy by accepting the suggestions.

Assign Inventory Packages Without Leaving Marketplace

Soon, you’ll be able to add inventory packages to existing line items in Display & Video 360 directly from Marketplace. Instead of navigating to a line item and updating its inventory source targeting, you’ll soon be able to use a new menu to do so without leaving Marketplace.

Google Testing “Not Helpful” Button on Local Reviews

Google seems to be testing a “not helpful” button next to the “helpful” button in the local reviews within local listings in Google Maps and Search. Tom Waddington first spotted this and shared on Twitter.

Google Testing "Not Helpful" Button on Local Reviews

Google Testing Smart Matching in Google Ads

Google appears to be testing a new match type in Google Ads called “Smart Matching”. For now, we don’t know what this match type is. Google stated that “This experiment is one of many small tests that select advertisers have opted into. We don’t have anything more to share at this time.”

Google Testing Smart Matching in Google Ads

Zero-click Searches in Google Rose to Almost 65% in 2020

In a new study published by Rand Fishkin, nearly 65% of Google searches ended without a click to another web property between January and December 2020 – up from 50% in June 2019.


Zero-click Searches in Google Rose to Almost 65% in 2020


On desktop, 46.5% of searches were zero-click, compared to 77.2% on mobile. While the latest data and the figure from the previous year did not come from the same provider, Fishkin stated:

“Nonetheless, it seems probable that if the previous panel were still available, it would show a similar trend of increasing click cannibalization by Google.”

Update: Google Disputes Zero-Click Claims

Google has called the SparkToro zero-click claims misleading. “To set the record straight, we wanted to provide important context about this misleading claim.” Google says they have increased the number of visitors to websites every year.

“We send billions of visits to websites every day, and the traffic we’ve sent to the open web has increased every year since Google Search was first created.”

However as many have pointed out, the claims are not mutually exclusive.

Restrict Identifiers in Click Trackers in Campaign Manager 360

The ltd= parameter, currently available in placement tags will soon be available for use in click trackers in Campaign Manager 360. The parameter will allow publishers to restrict the use of identifiers in click trackers in environments where policies or user consent define their use.

New Metrics and Dimensions in Instant Reports in Campaign Manager

Instant reporting in Campaign Manager 360 will soon support additional metrics and dimensions, previously only available in offline reporting. If a selected metric or dimension can’t load immediately, you’ll see a message and an offline report will generate in the background while you continue to view your instant report.

YouTube Tests Automated Product Lists

YouTube is currently experimenting with automated lists of products detected in videos. “We are experimenting with a new feature that displays a list of products detected in some videos, as well as related products.” The test is only visible to users in the U.S. and appears below the video player, between the recommended videos.

Google FLoC Not GDPR Compliant

According to a report by AdExchanger, Google will not be testing FLoC, it’s third-party cookie alternative in Europe as it’s not currently GDPR compliant. FLoC is set to open to advertiser testing in Q2 of this year, but countries that fall under GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive will not be participating.

The report stated, “During a meeting of the Improving Web Advertising Business Group (IWABG) at the World Wide Web Consortium on Tuesday, Michael Kleber, a Google engineer, acknowledged that FLoCs might not be compatible with European privacy law.”

A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land, “We are starting this FLoC origin trial for users in the US and select other countries, and we expect to make FLoC available for testing worldwide at a later date.”

Google FLoC Not GDPR Compliant

Wix and Google Announce Google My Business Integration

Wix and Google have announced an expanded partnership with Google My Business integrated directly in Wix. Now everything that you can do in the GMB interface, including managing your Google Search and Maps profile can be done directly in the Wix platform through a familiar interface.

Google Announces Property Promotion Ads for Hotels

Google has announced the global availability of property promotion ads. The format will help advertisers reach users who have not yet identified which hotel they’d like to book. The ads show prominently in search results for geographical locations, enabling advertisers to position specific hotels in a particular place.

Google Announces Property Promotion Ads for Hotels

Previous to the launch, direct participation in property promotion ads was done via a whitelist. Now, advertisers can set specific bids for property promotion ads through the Google Ads interface, API and bulk upload system.


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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