Search Updates: November 2020

Search Updates: November 2020

October 23rd marked the 20th anniversary of Google Ads (previously known as Google AdWords). Over the past two decades, the platform has become a key player in the search engine industry, dominating with more than 90% market share. The bulk of its progress, however, was within the past five years, where it has more than doubled its ad revenue. According to Search Engine Land, Google Ads was only a $60 billion business in 2015. Now, Google Ads is generating $135 billion in revenue.

Customer match, audience targeting, campaign automation, responsive ads, and Google properties were some of the more notable changes that have contributed to its success. As the company continues to grow, Google stated they will continue to “make it easy for anyone – even those who have little to no online advertising experience” to promote their business.

Could there be a new search competitor out there, in preparation to challenge Google’s placement in the industry? Well, according to the Financial Times, there has been an increased amount of spider crawler movement in one of the leading multinational technology companies, Apple. Whilst Apple has always been tight-lipped about their internal projects, outsiders have compiled a list of past and ongoing efforts from Apple that has contributed to this intriguing speculation.

For instance, Apple hired John Gianandrea, who was the head of Search at Google, 2.5 years ago and continuously scouts for search engineers the assembly of an experienced team builds the solid foundation that is needed to start such a huge, industry-changing project. Financial Times also stated that “in a little-noticed change to the latest version of the iPhone operating system, iOS 14, Apple has begun to show its own search results and link directly to websites when users type queries from its home screen.”

This will be a pivotal moment for Google if Apple continues its development of Apple Search. On top of Apple’s internal goals, there are external forces like the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority that may accelerate Apple’s timeline. For years, Google pays Apple over $10 billion annually to be the default browser on its 1.5 billion active devices. If the motion to cease their partnership is carried, Google is looking at a sizable decline in market share, ad revenue, and data acquisition since there is a significant number of Apple users.

This may be the justification that advertisers from all around the world need. The tech giant’s dominance in the industry has been a gateway to “forced” acceptance of their prices and their policies. As customers of Google Ads, it is safe to say, having the option of choosing the traffic quality, the price, and the advertising policies would be much appreciated.

Google Shopping Now Free Globally

Free Google Shopping listings are now available globally, which means retailers from Canada, Europe, Asia, and Latin America now have access to free brand and product exposure through the Google Shopping tab. The implementation of this change is also beneficial to Google, and its users since the list of products will expand, enticing more users to use the tool and purchase products. Hopefully, the global release of this feature can help businesses around the world regain their losses from the pandemic by allowing them to market their products in a high-traffic area right before the peak holiday season.

There are no actions to be taken for advertisers who already use Google Merchant Center and Shopping Ads. Per Google’s communication, “Just as we don’t charge sites to be part of the Google Search index, listings for participating retailers are eligible to appear in these results at no cost to them. Paid listings will continue to appear in ad slots and will operate in the same way as Shopping ads do today.”

Microsoft Promotion Extensions Now Available

Microsoft just released Promotion Extensions, a feature that has already been available on Google. This extension lists a promotion’s occasion, discount amount, item, details, and date range under Microsoft paid search ads. In addition to free digital real estate, this feature helps advertisers distinguish themselves from other advertisers and may be the contributing factor to a sale. Advertisers are applauding Microsoft Ads for releasing this feature right before the major shopping holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas.

The utilization of ad extensions (i.e. sitelink extensions, callout extensions, etc.) has certainly amplified the ads in our accounts, so the option of an additional ad extension type excites the Search & Destroy team. We believe the implementation of promotion extensions will only strengthen the performance of our clients and will be testing it during the upcoming major shopping days: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.