Google This Week: Redefining Search, New Shopping Tools & More

by | Oct 1, 2021

15 min read

This might be the biggest week yet at Google This Week. We have a huge amount of updates to tell you about, including AI improvements coming to Search and Shopping, plus Data-driven attribution are now the default in Google Ads. Google has also introduced engaged-view conversions and they’re rolling out enhanced conversions in beta.

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

Confirmed Google Ads Outage

Google has confirmed that there was an issue with Google Ads last week which caused billing confusion for some accounts. This resulted in some ads to stop serving for a period of time on September 22nd. 

Google’s Ginny Marvin, confirmed the issue on Twitter saying there was an account outage issue and that the issue has been resolved and no action is required. If you noticed any issues with your stats and billing reports last week, this may have been why.

Google Wants to Index Instagram and TikTok Videos

Google is reportedly working on deals with both Instagram and TikTok in order to index their videos in the search results. The deals are said to be similar to the one formed between Google and Twitter in 2015. If the deals go ahead, short-form video content from TikTok and Instagram may be as common as Tweets in search results.


New Insights in Display & Video 360

This month Google has added updated insights in Display & Video 360. 

    • Google has introduced a new metric called ‘Unique Reach: Added Impression Reach From Frequency Cap’ which shows additional users reached when you consolidate mixed media in one campaign and apply frequency management. 
    • Google has also introduced ‘Programmatic Guaranteed added Unique Reach: Impressions due to Frequency’ which shows additional users reached by applying frequency management to your Programmatic Guaranteed deals. 


New Video Dimensions in Display & Video 360

Google will soon be adding two new dimensions in Display & Video 360 for better video reporting: media type and video content position. 

    • Media type can be audio, video, display, tracking or unknown
    • Video content position can be pre-roll, mid-roll, post-roll, or unknown 


Enhanced Click and Conversion Tracking in YouTube

If you have a Display & Video 360 account linked to Campaign Manager 360, you can choose a tracking placement when creating a YouTube ad. 

Now Google is launching enhanced click and conversion tracking for YouTube campaigns which will automatically include clicks as part of the selected Campaign Manager 360 tracking placement, which will surface post-click conversions in Campaign Manager 360 and Display & Video 360. Previously, this tracking placement did not include clicks.


Data-Driven Attribution Now Default in Google Ads

To help advertisers take advantage of better attribution and improve performance, Google is removing the data requirements around data-driven attribution in Google Ads and making it the default attribution model for all new conversion actions. 

Google is adding support for more conversion types, including in-app and offline conversions. Data-driven attribution will become the default for all new conversion actions starting in October and Google plans to have it in all Google Ads accounts by early next year.


Google Introduces Engaged-View Conversions

Google is introducing engaged-view conversions (EVCs), a more robust non-click conversion metric. This is counted when a user watches 10 seconds of a video in your ad and doesn’t interact, but later completes a conversion on your site. 

EVCs can be measured across different Google Ads channels and can also be tracked on TrueView skippable in-stream ads, Local campaigns and App campaigns.

Google Introduces Engaged-View Conversions


Upgrade from TrueView for Action to Video Action Campaigns

Google is evolving TrueView for action and scaling its best features to more places on and off YouTube with Video action campaigns. With Video action campaigns you can have longer headlines and access to top-performing places including YouTube’s home feed, watch page, watch next feed, and Google video partners. 

Starting early next year, all existing TrueView for action campaigns will automatically upgrade to Video action campaigns. September 30, 2021, is the last day to create a new TrueView for action campaign. Any existing campaigns will continue to run until early next year. Google has launched a copy and paste feature in Google Ads so you can more easily copy existing TrueView for action ads and paste them as Video action campaign ads.


Google My Business Adds Latino-owned Attribute

Google has introduced a new business attribute to Google My Business. You can now specify if your business identifies as a Latino-owned business to highlight it in Google Search and Maps. You can now choose four different attributes: Black-owned, Latino-owned, veteran-led and women-led.

Google My Business Adds Latino-owned Attribute


Google Launches Offline Conversion Import Helper

Google has launched an offline conversion import (OCI) helper tool to import your offline conversions so you can measure what happens in the offline world after your ad results in a click or call to your business and then use that first-party data to find similar high-quality leads in Google Ads. The OCI helper tool supports you with detailed steps and project management guidance.


New Shopping Tools in Google

Google is making it even easier to shop online with a few new features announced.  

Soon, iOS users will see a new button in the Google app to make all the images on a page searchable through Google Lens. Lens is also coming to Chrome on desktop. 

Google Lens Coming to Search

Plus, Google is making it easier to shop right from your Search results. “For example, when you search for “cropped jackets,” we’ll show you a visual feed of jackets in various colors and styles, alongside other helpful information like local shops, style guides and videos. From there, you can easily filter your search by style, department, brand and more – and when you find something you like, you can check out ratings, reviews and even compare prices to get the best deal.” This new feature is powered by Google’s Shopping Graph, a real-time dataset of products, inventory and merchants with more than 24 billion listings. 

Google has also added an “in stock” filter to see only nearby stores that have your searched-for-product on their shelves.

Google Expands About This Result

Google is expanding the About This Result feature and bringing more insights to help you learn more about the sources and topics you find on Search. 

You’ll be able to see more information about the source (what a site says about itself in its own words, as well as the Wikipedia description), you’ll also be able to read what others on the web have said about the site and learn more about the topic, with news or results about the same topic from other sources. 

The updates will be rolling out in the coming weeks in English in the US. Google is currently working to bring About This Result to more countries around the world.

Google Expands About This Result

Google is Redefining Search with MUM

Earlier this year, Google announced it reached a critical milestone for understanding information with Multitask Unified Model (MUM). Now Google is sharing an early look at what’s coming in the future

In the coming months, Google will introduce a new way to search visually. “Your bike has a broken thingamajig, and you need some guidance on how to fix it. Instead of poring over catalogs of parts and then looking for a tutorial, the point-and-ask mode of searching will make it easier to find the exact moment in a video that can help.” 

Google has also announced how they’re using MUM to redesign Google Search. First, Google will make it easier to explore new topics with “Things to know” launching in the coming months. “For example, we can identify more than 350 topics related to acrylic painting, and help you find the right path to take.” 

Second, you’ll be able to zoom in and out of a topic with new features to refine and broaden searches. 

Third, Google is making it easier to find visual inspiration with a newly designed, browsable results page.  

Google is also diving deeper into videos with a new experience that identifies related topics in a video, with links to easily dig deeper and learn more. With MUM Google can show related topics that aren’t mentioned in the video. The first version of this feature will be rolling out in the coming weeks.

Google Rolls Out Enhanced Conversions in Beta

Google is rolling out enhanced conversions in beta to all eligible advertisers. 

“Enhanced conversions allow tags to use consented, user-provided data from your website to give you a more accurate view of how people convert after engaging with your ads.”

The first-party data is hashed to protect privacy and you’ll get aggregated and anonymised conversion reporting in Google Ads. Google is also working with additional data platforms like Tealium and Twilio Segment to make it easier to implement enhanced conversions.


Google Ads Launches New Budget Report

Google Ads is launching a new budget report so you can better visualise your monthly campaign spend behaviour. The new report can help you understand how much you are projected to pay at the end of the month, and how past changes to your average daily budget impacted performance and spend limits. 

The new budget report will highlight:

  • Your daily spend (which may be up to twice your average daily budget on the days when your ad is more likely to get conversions)
  • Your campaign’s monthly spending limit
  • Your monthly spend forecast, cost to date and any budget changes you’ve made


Google Gets More Granular with Products Enhancements Report

As of yesterday, you may begin seeing changes in your products enhancements report in Google Search Console. The report is now more granular and gives more actionable errors and notices on what to do to improve the product structured data on your pages. 

“As a result, many issues involving incorrect formatting that were formerly marked as invalid object are now marked more specifically with invalid type or format categories.”


Thank You for Reading

Have you noticed any changes from Google this week?

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

Kirsten Tanner

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