The start of a new decade can only mean one thing… PPC hot topics!
- Standard text ads will live on a bit longer, says Microsoft Advertising
- Twitter rolls out a new ad unit in the Explore tab
- Google Jan 7th search ranking algorithm update early signals
- Microsoft Advertising’s PromoteIQ integration is now in beta
- Direct site navigation via voice arrives on ioS Bing Search app
Standard text ads will live on a bit longer, says Microsoft Advertising
What: On 6th January, Microsoft announced that the deadline for Expanded Text Ads would be extended to 31 March 2020, having previously stated they would no longer serve after 2019. The article was written by two of Microsoft’s Program Managers, Rose Dorelans and Shirley Yuan, and directed readers towards a previous blog post about Expanded Text Ads.
Why: According to the article, the extended deadline will “give advertisers more time to migrate” from Standard Text Ads to Expanded Text Ads. This comes after Microsoft strongly encouraged everyone to migrate back in April 2019.
The result: Though it’s suspected fewer advertisers migrated to Expanded Text Ads in 2019, we can expect more advertisers to review their campaigns following the deadline. Microsoft has also encouraged users to reach out for support, review frequently asked questions and consider using the Microsoft Advertising Editor Tool to migrate to Expanded Text Ads in bulk.
Twitter rolls out a new ad unit in the Explore tab
What: Also on 6th January, Twitter announced the launch of their newest takeover ad product Promoted Trend Spotlight. It was announced via Twitter’s Product Marketing Manager, Austin Evers, and Product Manager Madeleine Bayer wrote about the key features on the official Twitter blog.
Why: As stated in the blog post, this takeover ad placement “pairs the undeniable stopping power of video with the premium real estate of Twitter’s Explore tab.” In other words, it will allow advertisers to capture attention, highlight brand content and surface conversation with potential customers who use the Explore tab for their daily dose of news.
The result: Advertisers will be able to use Promoted Trend Spotlight for 6-second videos and GIFs, as well as static images. Ads will appear at the top of the Explore tab for the first two visits per person, per day, before moving to the standard Promoted Trend placement. The new feature will be generally available in the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, as well as expanding to 12 additional markets.
Google Jan 7th search ranking algorithm update early signals
What: RustyBrick CEO Barry Schwartz took to Twitter to shine light on a potential Google search algorithm update on January 7th. Similar discussions were also being had on WebmasterWorld and Black Hat World, with one advertiser saying “Drastic changes or not. SERP’s are fluctuating that’s for sure.”
Why: Though very early, there seemed to be a difference in ranking with some advertisers seeing a drop overnight on some keywords. We can also see from some screenshots within a Search Engine Roundtable blog post that SEMrush, Cognitive SEO and RankRanger were among those affected.
The result: Nothing more has been said on the supposed update over the past couple of days, though it’s suspected Google may make an official announcement soon. Even if not, advertisers should be relatively familiar with search algorithm updates and shouldn’t experience a severe impact from most – this one in particular being a prime example.
Microsoft Advertising’s PromoteIQ integration is now in beta
What: Microsoft announced its awaited integration with PromotelQ in a blog post on 9th January. It was written by Microsoft Advertising’s Corporate Vice President Rik van der Kooi, who detailed the importance of commerce marketing for advertisers and discussed the key elements of Microsoft PromotelQ.
Why: According to the blog post, this is the next step in Microsoft’s journey to evolve their digital commerce offerings since announcing the acquisition of PromotelQ in August last year. As well as offering a great solution for retailers, brands will also be able to effectively manage their advertising campaigns with key retailer partners across campaign management, targeting and optimisation and analytics.
The result: Using PromotelQ, retailers will be able to “dramatically increase revenue from their digital vendor marketing programs, while remaining fully in control of monetization and engaging brand partners.” On a similar note, Microsoft is making its new on-site search product Microsoft Bing for Commerce available to retailers.
What: Microsoft’s Bing Search App has been updated to bring direct site navigation via voice to iOS users. The new design will feature a carousel of common search categories such as “near me”, “news”, “movies” and more.
Why: For those who prefer to navigate via voice, the Bing Search app will provide an extra option which may also help to increase adoption. With voice search becoming more and more popular, this highlights Microsoft’s efforts towards being a more accessible and optimised platform.
The result: There doesn’t seem to be much emphasis on this update so far, but from what we can gather, users will be prompted to “keep use voice to search this site” each time they navigate to a website – improving both UI and UX.