Google Marketing Live 2022 – Automation, Privacy, and Innovation was the first GML event in three years. To start, let’s talk about some logistics. After uploading proof of vaccination, the guests had to test for COVID within 24 hours of the conference. This process allowed the conference to feel like old times.
Over one thousand attendees and Googlers were packed into Google’s new 90% self-sustainable (dragon skin solar roof) campus. It has been many years since I first attended a “Google Dance”, with the last one being a Search Engine Strategies conference at the Googleplex. The atmosphere was vibrant with messages of innovation, privacy, trust, and success. It was great to see so many smiles in-person again.
There are the topics I found most interesting and wanted to share:
- Multisearch – This is Google’s new explanation of universal search. It is the multimedia-rich results that vary by the query. The old days of ten blue links are long gone. Now all areas of the SERPs can be filled with visually stunning content and even ads.
- More Visual Search – Google has invested heavily over the years in visual search, and it keeps getting better. They are now combining the search and camera functions and augmenting the screen with all types of results. A great example showed was the use of your mobile device in a grocery store to see product reviews on the screen. Think about the depth and quick access to information that gives shoppers.
- Humming Search – This example of technology was on the fun side. Go to Google on your phone, click on the microphone, then click on search for a song. Hum your favorite tune and see how well the technology can match the musical notes to a song. The algorithms here are so cool! It’s one thing to match recorded music to a song, but it’s entirely different to try and match sounds (the humming) that have never been heard before to a song.
- Ads on YouTube Shorts – Right now, this medium is super popular on YouTube. They are quick clips akin to Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and TikTok, and it’s exciting that ad units are coming.
- Geo experiments, Search lift experiments, Performance max experiments – My eyes lit up when I heard about this. I sat in on a roundtable discussion about this topic, giving me extra coverage. The Google Ads team is dedicated to making the “insights” and “recommendations” features super easy to implement or test. There will be one-click access enabling users to test a “recommendation”. For instance, imagine you have a high-value keyword on phrase match, and they recommend a broad match. With just one click, you can run a 50/50 experiment to see the results. I will say that I heard “more conversion at a similar CPL” quite a bit. The quality of those conversions was not addressed, and that needs to be kept in mind.
- Google Ads Asset Library – Images, videos, and more can be kept here and implemented more easily across Google Ads campaigns.
- Insights Reports – I mentioned this a little already. Keep an eye on this area of the Google Ads interface because lots of innovation is coming. I am very excited about the forecasting reports soon to be available on the account and MCC levels, which is exciting for budget planning and performance expectations. Reviewing this area should be part of digital marketing specialists’ daily routine.
- My Ad Center – Privacy and trust were hot topics of this conference. Google is releasing an area for its users to control what kind of ads they see. There are already places where ad preferences can be set, though this will be more formal and should be easier to access. These settings should only relate to Google Ads network channel ads and are different than browser privacy settings.
- Omni Buyers – The recent pandemic changed the shopping behavior of US customers. Many different channels can contribute to a purchase today, online or in-store. So it’s not surprising that “Near me in stock” had explosive search query growth in the past year.
- Hello Sunshine – The attendees got to see success stories from different companies throughout the day. This company, founded by Reese Witherspoon, is focused on developing stories with full circle media around woman’s success. The main take-home for me: we are under-indexed in joy.
- Redbull’s Agency – Bring the soul to the data.
- Responsive Display Ads – Google now makes it even easier to contribute to the creative process for ads and build responsive display ads by uploading graphics and tag lines and streamlining the graphic. One area that stands out here is the lack of control regarding brand guidelines.
- Diagnostic insights are coming– The optimization score is a quick glance into the health of an account. I really look forward to the diagnostic insights report addition, which is a great place to check daily for issues that may not be clear when reviewing performance.
- Malcolm Gladwell – Today’s world suffers from a crisis of lack of shared stories. Will and Grace changed the world with their shared story, as they had a 20% market share of broadcast viewers. This viewing power enabled them to change their viewers’ perception of the LGBTQ+ community and same-sex marriage. Today 1% market share is seen as a success for a show. Reaching 1 out of 100 households is not a shared story. Media consumption changes and the diversification of channels and mediums make it very difficult to promote social change and a moral compass to the masses.
It was a great day at Google Bay View Campus. Excitement was in the air for the future of online advertising. Having the ability to learn in person, network in person, and share experiences in person made it worth the cross-country trip to be there. Attending Google Marketing Live 2022 made it feel like we are on the other side of a challenging time. Even Miley Cyrus said she was excited to see everyone’s face again! (We were not wearing masks at the concert.)
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