Which of the dozen changes that were made to the paid search landscape this year had the greatest impact? This was the question I asked the dedicated marketers who are still monitoring the Twittersphere this week. Two negatives rose quickly.
OK, 3 other people are working this week …. Which change has had the biggest impact on your paid search / # PPC / # SEM campaigns this year? #ppcchat
– Ginny Marvin (@GinnyMarvin) December 26, 2019
Biggest negatives: tie between close variant expansion and Google Ads support
One could almost hear the "hearts" clicked after Julie Bacchini of Neptune Moon Google's extension of equivalent narrow variants to match-and-match and broad match modifier and decline in support for Google ads identified the changes as the biggest Had an impact this year.
The expansion of the Tomfoolery "close variant". In addition, G Ads' support for a leap in quality, as they say, was really not good. #ppcchat
– Julie F. Bacchini (@NeptuneMoon) December 26, 2019
The expansion of close variants was named by several others – "and not in a good way," as Jeffrey Baum, Director of Services at Hanapin Marketing, put it. "I very much agree with the narrow variants. Terrible results and they're getting worse, ”added Sam Kessenich, chief digital officer at RyTech, LLC.
Mark Skinner, Managing Director of Rare Digital Marketing Ltd. in England, said the "tight variant changes were a big disadvantage". He also cited poor Google support as a problem, adding that it appears to take longer to appear on the screen before ads are approved.
There have been frequent complaints about Google ad support throughout the year. Support reports did not contain up-to-date and accurate information about the latest changes that resulted in poor advice.
Greg Finn, Cypress North partner and digital marketer, said that "Google support is getting worse" at the top of his list of issues. “Problems arise and it now takes at least two hours to solve a simple problem. Productivity killer, ”he wrote.
With certainty and convenience as motivators, Google Ads announced that as of January 1st, it will no longer answer customer support questions through its social accounts. The users are then directed to an online form that can be forwarded to the appropriate team. However, it is not clear whether this will affect response times.
In terms of productivity, Steve Plimmer, director of client services at BlackbirdPPC, noted the reporting problems caused by the tight variant changes and removal of the average position: “The death of the average position meant a major revision of the report templates. Customer training. That and the Exact Match dilution make the year-on-year comparisons cloudy, to say the least! "
Honorable mentions: ITP headache, Facebook ad policies, and more. Apple continues to make smart follow-up prevention changes in Safari, making targeting and measuring normally high-quality iOS audiences a challenge. "ITP on iOS has had a remarkable impact on us," said Andrew McGarry, founder of the Scottish McGarry Agency, which focuses on fashion and lifestyle e-commerce.
Two marketers identified challenges that resulted from changes in Facebook ad policies. "We're in marketing for the human resources industry, so the Facebook changes for job ads have had a HUGE impact," wrote Matt Lozar, director of recruitment marketing at Haley Marketing Group. Matt McGee, former editor-in-chief of Search Engine Land and current real estate marketer, said the Facebook changes that also affect real estate ads were disruptive. As of March, advertisers in the U.S. could no longer use their age, gender, or zip code to target home, employment, or credit ads. From the end of August, Facebook asked these advertisers to use a special ad category and restricted audience targeting.
To be noted positively: intelligent bidding, audience, bing and low social CPCs
Finn described Google’s maximum conversion bid as a big positive change this year. "Great for those with a variety of products / prices!" He added that the latest audience update, the combined audience for search, was also a good addition: "Great to attract B2B customers!"
McGarry called Bing's paid search campaign "one of the few enjoyable stories in 2019". This year, Microsoft Advertising added many new ad features and took over delivery of all of Yahoo's inventory and AOL search ads under a new contract with Verizon Media.
In the area of paid social networks, Skinner said: "The low CPCs on Facebook have resulted in our customers investing more in paid social networks."
Embracing automation. The advance of automation continued this year, and more and more marketers seemed to switch from pessimism about things like intelligent bidding to a kind of optimistic skepticism.
This change of mind was best captured by Matt Umbro. “Automation and machine learning. I have finally allowed myself to use these functions and my accounts are more suitable for them, ”wrote Umbro.
About the Author
Ginny Marvin is the editor-in-chief of Third Door Media and carries out the daily editorial processes in all publications and monitors the reporting on paid media. Ginny Marvin writes about paid news and trends in digital advertising and analytics for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both internal and agency management positions. It can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.