If you’ve been busy getting ready for the easing of lockdown restrictions over the last few weeks, you might have missed some of the very latest developments in search. With algorithm news, new Google roll outs and plenty of stats and figures emerging, keeping up with what’s new can feel like another full time job in its own right. To make sure you don’t miss an important development, we’ve rounded up all of the most important news you should know, in this handy blog. Read on to get totally up to date.
Google has rolled out a new ranking update
Google has confirmed it’s rolled out a new update (though stressed this isn’t a core update). The search engine’s plainly named Google Product Reviews Update launched 08 April to reward “content that provides insightful analysis and original research, content written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well.”
Google says, “We know people appreciate product reviews that share in-depth research, rather than thin content that simply summarizes a bunch of products. That’s why we’re sharing an improvement to our ranking systems, which we call the product reviews update, that’s designed to better reward such content.”
As of the time of writing, this update only applies to content in the English language, though the update itself has been deployed worldwide.
It’s been a while since Google touched on the importance of reviews but this is a good reminder to be proactive about reputation management. You can find our tips for best practise approaches here:
- 4 ways to ask for reviews
- Are you doing enough to manage your online reputation?
- User generated content is vital to the consumer journey
And Google’s tips for additional questions to ask of your product reviews here.
Microsoft Ads product updates abound
The last few weeks have been busy at Microsoft, with a number of updates to Microsoft Ads either launched or confirmed as being in the pipeline.
- Countdown customizers, which show how long a particular offer remains available, have been extended to responsive search ads. Microsoft says, the countdown “automatically updates as the event draws nearer, is eye-catching and gives potential customers greater incentive to click your ad.”
- Google Import has been given added functionality. The Google Import API will unlock additional tools and flexibility, and mean Google campaign can be imported over even if ad formats aren’t fully supported by API features at that time. There’s more on this here.
- In Market Audiences have been updated with 60 new segments for both search and audience campaigns. These include seasonal audiences, such as Back to School, Mother’s Day (which is later in the USA).
- Flyer extensions will launch in the USA soon, which will allow advertisers to attach flyers or promos to their Microsoft Ads to drive more engagement.
UK on track to be second largest market for ad spend
New data suggests that the UK is on course to become the second highest growth market for ad spend in the world. Dentsu’s ad spend report expects UK ad spend to grow 10.4% year-on-year, putting it second only to India on the global stage. Overall, global ad spend is forecast to achieve a 5.8% growth rate, following last year’s decline of -8.8%.
Amazon picking up ad spend
Amazon continues to make inroads into Google’s ad dominance, with new data from eMarketer suggesting it now accounts for 10% of US ad market revenue. The figures show Amazon grew its ads business by more than 52% in 2020, with healthy ad revenue from video ads, Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands. eMarketer experts an additional 30.1% increase in Amazon’s ads business for 2021, with video ads expected to provide substantial growth.